John T. Bennett

Trump Throws Stopgap Spending Vote Into Chaos Over CHIP
Says children’s health insurance program should be solved ‘long term’ instead of extended for 30 days

President Donald Trump on Thursday undermined efforts by House Republican leaders and his own staff to avoid a government shutdown, criticizing a decision to include an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in a GOP-crafted stopgap spending bill.

The president, after first contradicting his own chief of staff via Twitter on Thursday morning, fired off another post expressing his view that a CHIP extension should not be part of a four-week stopgap measure on which the House is slated to vote later in the day.

Trump Contradicts Kelly, Claims Wall Views Have Not ‘Evolved’
Chief of staff contends president was previously ‘uninformed’

Contradicting his chief of staff, Donald Trump on Thursday claimed his thinking about a southern border wall has not “evolved,” and returned to his vow that Mexico, one way or another, will pay for it.

Kelly first described Trump’s views on the U.S.-Mexico border barrier as changed during a Wednesday morning meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Capitol Hill. The retired Marine Corps four-star general kept up his rare public remarks about the controversial Trump campaign pledge during an evening cable news interview.

Non-Denial Denials and Disbelief: Tuesday at the White House
Reporters seemed to have trouble accepting medical report on president

Non-denial denials and an hour of stunned disbelief dominated Tuesday’s White House proceedings.

President Donald Trump and his top aides danced around his alleged vulgar comments about black-and-brown skinned immigrants while also bashing Democrats over what appears to be a longshot immigration bill. And his military physician, who served in the same position under two other commanders in chief, faced an hour of increasingly incredulous questions from the White House press corps after he deemed Trump is of sound physical and mental condition.

Clock’s Ticking on Deal to Dodge a Government Shutdown
 

President Donald Trump may have thrown out a bipartisan deal to address the status of so-called dreamers, but White House correspondent John T. Bennett says to expect another New Yorker, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, to help broker a plan to at least keep the government funded for a couple of weeks longer....
Blaming Dems, Trump Says DACA Deal Likely ‘Dead’
President also doubles down on ‘merit-based’ immigration

President Donald Trump on Sunday declared a deal on the DACA immigration program likely “dead,” tweeting his view that Democrats don’t really want one.

Democratic lawmakers “just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” he wrote.

Trump Again Waives Iran Sanctions — But With a Threat
President has vowed to kill what he calls 'the worst deal ever'

Despite Donald Trump’s vows to kill it, Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal lives. The 45th U.S. president on Friday again gave a reprieve to the 44th's pact despite his longheld stance that it is “the worst deal ever.”

Trump is again waiving sanctions on Iran that would jeopardize the nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers, according to senior administration officials. But it is the final time he plans to do so, they warned, adding Trump wants to negotiate a new pact with European allies that would re-impose sanctions on Iran if its government violates terms produced by those desired talks.

Trump Denies Using Slur to Describe Majority Black Countries
President slams Durbin-Graham immigration proposal in epic Twitter rant

President Donald Trump on Friday denied using the term “shithole countries” to describe Haiti and African nations during a Thursday Oval Office meeting on immigration.

And, in classic Trumpian form, he attempted to alter the day’s new coverage to focus on a bipartisan immigration overhaul proposal offered by Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Lindsey Graham — a plan he rejected during an Oval Office meeting that also featured immigration hawks from his White House and Congress.

White House Won’t Deny Trump’s Slur About Haiti, African Nations
President reportedly complained about immigrants from ‘shithole countries’

The White House is not denying that President Donald Trump used a vulgar expression Thursday when talking about immigrants from Haiti and African countries during a meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office.

The president allegedly called those nations “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States.

Thursday's Hangout With Steven Mnuchin and Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Global elitism, FISA, a possible stock market dive pepper White House day

A Treasury secretary says the Davos gathering of global elites isn’t a hangout for global elites. A press secretary says tweets that seemed to contradict each other didn’t contradict each other. A president predicts a stock market dive if he doesn’t get his way. In other words: Thursday at the White House.

Among the business-as-usual moments were White House officials blaming Democrats for delays on immigration and government-funding measures, even while the White House chief of staff was trying to close the deal, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announcing that taxpayers should see bigger paychecks next month — as long as new withholding tables the IRS is circulating work like they are designed to. 

Ahead of FISA Vote, Trump Sows Confusion
House Dems see ‘latest example’ of Trump ‘undermining’ security

President Donald Trump sent mixed signals Thursday morning about a controversial law used to collect intelligence on individuals suspected of spying on the United States just hours before the House is slated to vote on reauthorizing it. And a key privacy hawk in Congress contends the president is more in line with him than the White House lets on.

For nearly two hours, the commander in chief even broke with his own White House’s stance on whether the law should remain on the books. But in an apparent clean-up operation, Trump was forced to fire off a tweet declaring this of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: “We need it!”

Fact Check: Trump’s Dossier Tweet Full of Dubious Claims
Tweet registers high on defensive scale, but low on accuracy meter

President Donald Trump on Thursday labeled a dossier of information about his alleged Russia ties “disproven,” suggesting it was directly paid for by the Democratic Party and used by the FBI to tip the scales in the 2016 election.

But each of those claims is dubious at best.

Analysis: Defiant Trump Returns After ‘Performance’ for Members
With arms crossed, president says Mueller interview ‘seems unlikely’

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump was back Wednesday to his defiant manner after playing the role of accommodating host and facilitator-in-chief on Tuesday when he told lawmakers he would sign just about any immigration bill that funds a border wall.

Trump crossed his arms behind the presidential podium when asked during a joint press conference with his Norwegian counterpart if he is willing to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Justice Department’s Russia probe. The president several times reiterated his long-held stance that his 2016 presidential campaign did not collude with any Russians.

Trump’s 2018 Legislative Agenda is Already Slipping
 Connecting Congress and the White House at the intersection of politics

Tuesday’s bipartisan meeting at the White House revealed a deep Republican-Democratic divide on immigration policy. White House correspondent John T. Bennett says bills on immigration, welfare reform and infrastructure might slide off the GOP agenda when summer hits and election season starts in earnest. ...
Trump Returns to a Fave With Vow to Review Libel Law
Campaign talking point resurfaces in ‘Fire and Fury’ aftermath

President Donald Trump returned to a favorite talking point Wednesday, vowing to take a “a strong look at our national libel laws” in the aftermath of the release of author Michael Wolff’s new book, which paints a negative portrait of him and his presidency.

Trump and his personal legal team tried to halt publication of “Fire and Fury,” threatening to sue. That prompted the publisher to release the book early. The threat of legal action reflects a trend that spans Trump’s life. And the promise to try to alter libel laws was a fixture of his presidential campaign as he railed against the media industry.

Trump Slams Feinstein Over Russia Info Release
Calls California senator ‘sneaky’

President Donald Trump slammed Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein for releasing the transcript of a Fusion GPS co-founder’s testimony to the panel, calling her “sneaky” and suggesting — without evidence — she might have broken the law.

The California Democrat said she made the transcript public because she felt the American people had the right to know what the firm’s leaders said about a dossier of Russia-related information about Trump. But she did so over the objections of panel Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa, angering Republicans and the White House.

Ample Confusion After White House Immigration Meeting
Democrats and Trump want two bills, GOP wants only one

Updated at 4:08 p.m. | Republican and Democratic lawmakers emerged from a lengthy meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday with vastly differing views of what happens next. 

On the substance of anything that might emerge, Trump made clear he will leave the specifics up to lawmakers.

Goodlatte to Roll Out Immigration Bill Soon, Trump Says
‘I really do believe Democrats and Republicans ... want to get something done’

President Donald Trump said House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte will introduce immigration overhaul legislation soon but did not specify how quickly legislation might be finalized.

Trump said any such bill should be one “of love,” but added the United States also needs to enhance its border security measures and curb the flow of illegal drugs as it codifies the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program into law.

White House Reiterates Wall Demand Ahead of Key Meeting
Sen. Graham, other lawmakers look to pair DACA with border security upgrades

Just hours before a high-stakes White House meeting with Republicans and Democrats, the Trump administration continued to hold tight to its demand that funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed southern border wall be included in a possible immigration overhaul bill.

“President Trump looks forward to meeting with bipartisan members of the House and Senate today to discuss the next steps toward achieving responsible immigration reform,” White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

Trump Defends Mental State, Makes DACA-for-Wall Pitch
President also appears willing to talk to Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump, during a remarkable impromptu press conference, defended his mental fitness and declared himself willing to hold direct negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He also dug in on his demand that any immigration bill include funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Trump took questions at Camp David following a strategy session with GOP lawmakers, Cabinet officials and White House aides. He again denied he or his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. While the president did not flatly deny dispatching aides to try stopping Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Justice Department’s Russia probe, Trump contended he did nothing illicit.

Analysis: Five Ways Trump Dimmed the Tax Bill Glow
Chaos returns to White House, overshadowing legislative agenda

President Donald Trump was excited, beaming behind the storied Resolute Desk three days before Christmas. He joked with reporters and offered camera operators presidential ink pens. And he boasted that, after a year with more downs than ups, he was starting to figure out how to be president.

“So, you know, it’s been a process,” he said after securing his first major legislative win by signing a GOP tax bill into law — and terminating the Obama-era health law’s individual mandate at the same time. “It’s been a great process. Really beautiful.” In the days that followed, he assured members of his Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida his administration was about to have a “great” second year.