Trump is the fighter-in-chief... but what about governing?
photo of Trump is the fighter-in-chief... but what about governing?
Trump is the fighter-in-chief... but what about governing? : First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
As we enter Day 21 of Donald Trump's presidency, one theme of his first three weeks on the job is how he picks fights with, well, almost anyone. Just look at the last 24 hours:Trump appeared to criticize the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel hearing the dispute over his travel ban: "I don't want to ever call a court biased, so I won't and we haven't had a decision yet, but courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they would read a statement to do what's right."He went after Nordstrom for dropping his daughter's clothing line: "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"He -- once again -- attacked the news media: "[The American people] have great respect and admiration for the people in this room and the people that you represent. And don't let anyone ever tell you different," Trump told an audience of police chiefs and sheriffs. "Don't let the dishonest media try and convince you that it's different than that, because it's not."His press secretary took a shot at John McCain for calling the U.S. military raid in Yemen unsuccessful: "Anybody who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and a disservice to the life of Chief Owens." When asked by NBC's Kristen Welker if that was the same message to McCain, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded, "That's my message to anybody who says that."And this morning, Trump went after Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for relaying that Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch said Trump's attacks on the judiciary were "disheartening" and "demoralizing": "Sen.Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie),now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?" (In fact, per NBC's Frank Thorp, a spokesman for Gorsuch said he did use the words "disheartening" and "demoralizing.")
But where's the governing?
Yet as Trump picks fights with these different entities -- Democrats, Republicans, businesses -- it's worth reminding everyone what his administration HAS NOT accomplished. New Attorney General Jeff Sessions became just the eighth member of Trump's team to win Senate confirmation, versus 26 for Barack Obama at this same point in time in 2009. More importantly, outside of his executive actions, Trump hasn't made progress on his big-ticket agenda items (Obamacare repeal and replace, tax relief, paying for that border wall). By contrast, Congress passed Obama's economic stimulus on Feb. 13, 2009, and he also signed the Lilly Ledbetter bill on Jan. 29 and SCHIP expansion on Feb. 4. George W. Bush sent his tax-cut proposal to Capitol Hill on Feb. 8, 2001. Bill Clinton gave his address on health-care reform (and named his wife's controversial role on it) on Jan. 25, 1993. George H.W. Bush formally sent his budget to Congress on Feb. 9, 1989. And Ronald Reagan signed his first legislation -- to raise the debt limit, of all things! -- on Feb. 7, 1981. Just asking, but if Trump simply stopped tweeting, you could make a case that his approval ratings would be closer to 50% than 40%.
"There no consensus" on GOP efforts to replace Obamacare
As for the GOP efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, Politico writes that Republicans are struggling with several different health-care fixes. "Republican leaders want to get their Obamacare repeal effort back on track. There's a big problem, though: They're neck-deep in competing plans to replace the law. Nearly a half-dozen plans have been introduced or are coming — none with the broad support needed to get through Congress and win over the public. And that's making it far more difficult to repeal a law the GOP has spent six years trying to kill. 'There's no consensus,' said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). From my vantage point, there isn't a consolidation around a particular thought yet.' There's no agreement on how much of Obamacare can be replaced through the budget reconciliation process in the Senate and only the murkiest of timelines when it comes to scrapping the law. The GOP wants to find a proposal that the whole party can get behind, but for now there are merely disparate ideas and warring factions fighting for attention."
Gorsuch criticizing Trump's judicial attacks is great politics -- for Gorsuch
Meanwhile, Gorsuch criticizing Trump's judicial attacks is great politics -- for Gorsuch. NBC News: "President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court has called the president's recent criticism of the judiciary 'disheartening' and 'demoralizing,' a spokesman for the nomination confirmation team told NBC News on Wednesday." Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who has been escorting Gorsuch through the Capitol Hill process, release this statement, per NBC's Frank Thorp: "Judge Gorsuch has made it very clear in all of his discussions with senators, including Senator Blumenthal, that he could not comment on any specific cases and that judicial ethics prevent him from commenting on political matters. He has also emphasized the importance of an independent judiciary, and while he made clear that he was not referring to any specific case, he said that he finds any criticism of a judge's integrity and independence disheartening and demoralizing."
Trump's dig at Nordstrom could come back to haunt him
Here's Politico on Trump's anti-Nordstrom tweet yesterday: "Norm Eisen, a former Obama administration ethics czar, called the move "outrageous" on Twitter and said Nordstrom should consider suing under the California Unfair Competition Law, which forbids "any unfair" business act. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) also replied to Trump's tweet, by "cc"ing the Office of Government Ethics. Casey's press secretary Jacklin Rhoads said in an emailed statement that the senator 'feels it is unethical and inappropriate for the President to lash out at a private company for refusing to enrich his family.' Richard Painter, the former chief ethics lawyer in the Bush administration, weighed in, too, saying the tweet was 'absolutely unacceptable.' 'This is misuse of public office for private gains,' he said. 'And it is abuse of power because the official message is clear — Nordstrom is persona non grata with the Administration.'" Just a reminder: If Democrats were in charge of Congress, you'd start having hearings on this ASAP.
Cabinet watchSecretary of State: Rex Tillerson CONFIRMEDAttorney General: Jeff Sessions CONFIRMEDTreasury: Steve Mnuchin NOMINATEDDefense: JamesMattis CONFIRMEDHomeland: John Kelly CONFIRMEDInterior: Ryan Zinke NOMINATEDHHS: Tom Price NOMINATEDHUD: Ben Carson NOMINATEDEducation: Betsy DeVos CONFIRMEDCommerce: Wilbur Ross NOMINATEDTransportation: Elaine Chao CONFIRMEDLabor: Andy Puzder NOMINATEDAgriculture: Sonny Perdue NOMINATEDEnergy: Rick Perry NOMINATEDVeterans Affairs: David Shulkin NOMINATEDOMB Director: Mick Mulvaney NOMINATEDU.S Trade Representative: Robert Lighthizer NOMINATEDUN Ambassador: Nikki Haley CONFIRMEDEnvironmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt NOMINATEDSmall Business Administration: Linda McMahon NOMINATEDCIA Director: Mike Pompeo CONFIRMED
What were other new presidents doing on February 9?Obama takes his first major domestic trip to Elkhart, Indiana, to plug his economic plan, and he gives his first news conferenceA U.S. Navy submarine collides with a Japanese fishing boat, prompting the first foreign policy challenge for George W. Bush's new administrationBill Clinton announces cuts of White House staff and payGeorge H.W. Bush addresses a joint session of Congress and sends his "Building a Better America" budget to lawmakersAides to Ronald Reagan suggest he will seek a second termJimmy Carter meets with employees of the Labor and Commerce Departments and takes their questions
related Trump is the fighter-in-chief... but what about governing?
As efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare stall, Republicans face new challenges on health care.
El Nacional issued an apology Saturday after readers quickly pointed out they used a picture of Baldwin playing Trump on 'Saturday Night Live.'
Women in power are asking some of the toughest questions of Trump, and leading the scrutiny of his policies in all branches of government.
China considers the decades-old policy, in which the U.S. recognizes the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government, as non-negotiable.
Consistent with all of President Donald Trump's Cabinet confirmations this week, Price narrowly won confirmation on a 52 - 47 vote.
Good morning, 818. Today is Frday, April 29, 2016. Temperatures for today are expected to reach a high of 74 and a low of 55, according to the National Weather Service .
Phillips has been accused of government ethics breaches.
Get ready for a steady drip, drip, drip of leaks and stories.
Who killed a Las Vegas mob boss's daughter? Could the answers be in an unprecedented interview with millionaire Robert Durst?
Will Baker, also known as Vince Li, was initially kept in a secure wing of a psychiatric hospital but has been given more freedom every year
This year marked Beyonce’s 21st Grammy Award even before the show
The much-publicized deportation of an immigrant who had been living illegally in Arizona prompted the Mexican government on Friday to urge its nationals in the United States to
Whale lovers in New Zealand finally got some good news on Sunday after more than 200 stranded whales managed to refloat themselves overnight and swim away, while volunteers managed
Two rockets landed in Baghdad's highly fortified Green Zone on Saturday night following clashes at anti-government protests that left five people dead, according to Iraqi
A powerful nighttime earthquake in the southern Philippines killed at least six people and injured more than 120, with officials combing through cracked buildings and nearby towns
Authorities in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki distributed fliers and put up posters Friday as part of preparations to evacuate about 75,000 people in order to defuse a
The Syrian government commits an atrocity. The United States and the United Nations denounce it. Nothing happens.
A harrowing piece of anti-war art by a Syrian that was erected in the heart of Dresden this week has sparked an emotional debate in the city that was controversially destroyed by
Every time President Trump rails against big “pharma” over jobs that have been shipped overseas, his pledge to streamline regulations and lower taxes to lure them back to the U.S.
Iran celebrated the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution with large nationwide rallies Friday that were strikingly devoid of one thing: the usual full-throated denunciations
Kenya’s High Court on Thursday overturned a government order to close the world’s biggest refugee camp, home to more than 300,000 Somali refugees, including some who have lived
In late December, Brazil’s largest construction company pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to having paid $788 million in bribes to government officials throughout Latin America
He is a recovering alcoholic who dropped out of high school and spent most of his political career abroad.
A Russian opposition leader who planned to challenge President Vladimir Putin in next year’s election was found guilty Wednesday in the retrial of a 2013 fraud case, formally
It was a high-stakes clash of executive power versus the rule of law: Prosecutors stood at the gates of South Korea’s Blue House, where the president lives and works, demanding
Cambodia’s most shocking killing in years happened in broad daylight, on a muggy July morning, just as its capital city was stirring to life.
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that he needs several thousand more troops to help Afghan government forces break a stalemate with the Taliban less than a year
Climbing down from a position that put the United States on a collision course with Beijing, President Trump has told Chinese President Xi Jinping in a telephone call that he would