John T. Bennett

Trump Breaks With GOP Over 401(k) Changes in Tax Bill
President to Twitter followers: ‘NO change to your 401(k)’

President Donald Trump further complicated Republicans’ quest to find agreement on a package of tax rate cuts and code changes, breaking with his party by tweeting Monday that he wants the 401(k) system left unchanged.

The popular retirement program allows employees to save a slice of their paychecks before taxes are withdrawn; taxes are eventually paid, but not for years until the money is withdrawn, typically after that employee has reached retirement age.

White House Shifts Stance on Kelly Criticism of Wilson
Press secretary: 'Many people' heard 2015 remarks not captured on video

The White House shifted its stance again Friday in its latest feud, this one with a Florida Democratic congresswoman stemming from her criticism of President Donald Trump’s words to a military widow.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Thursday sharply criticized Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, who says she overheard a Tuesday call from Trump to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. Wilson and Johnson family members contend Trump said the late soldier “knew what he signed up for.”

Trump Predicts Paul Will Vote for Tax Cut Bill
Senator and president trade tweets, with Paul endorsing 'boldest' cuts possible

Updated at 8:42 a.m. | While celebrating Senate passage of a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, President Donald Trump on Friday predicted the GOP holdout on that bill will vote for a follow-on tax measure.

The Senate on Thursday night adopted a budget measure altered as the final vote approached to allow House Republicans to adopt it and avoid a conference committee. The move is an attempt to get a final package of tax cuts and code changes to Trump’s desk faster.

Trump’s Generals Had a Very Emotive Day
White House isn't denying account of president's words to military widow

The generals with whom President Donald Trump has surrounded himself have seen combat and are known for public personas one part stoic and two parts tough. But on Thursday, Trump’s generals had a very emotive day.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, the retired Marine Corps four-star general who once commanded troops in Iraq, appeared in the White House briefing room and delivered a passionate rebuke of Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, D-Fla., who this week slammed Trump for his alleged remarks to the widow of a fallen U.S. soldier.

Analysis: McMaster’s ‘Hurt’ Feelings Make His Job Even Harder
Trump's national security adviser must manage feud between his boss, SASC chair

ANALYSIS | Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has touched a nerve with one of President Donald Trump’s top aides. And it puts the president’s national security adviser in a very tough spot, hurt feelings and all.

The Arizona Republican often complained to reporters on the national security beat just how tough he found it to get information about strategies and U.S. operations abroad from the Obama administration. He frequently groused that the Obama White House was micromanaging the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence community.

George W. Bush Delivers Scathing Rebuke of Trump Presidency
'The health of the democratic spirit is at issue,' 43rd president warns

Former President George W. Bush on Thursday delivered a scathing warning about Donald Trump, saying his “America first” philosophy portends a dangerous inward turn that is eroding democracy at home and threatening stability around the world.

“The health of the democratic spirit is at issue,” the 43rd president said during a speech in New York. “And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.”

Do Republicans Have Votes on Budget? ‘Who Knows?’ Trump Says
Measure is key to opening path for GOP-crafted tax overhaul bill

Do Senate Republican leaders and the White House have the 50 GOP votes to pass a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that is linked to possible tax cuts? “Who knows?” says President Donald Trump, the leader of the party.

The Senate is poised to begin a marathon series of votes Thursday that will culminate with a final vote on a GOP-crafted fiscal 2018 budget resolution. Republicans who helped derail recent major legislation, like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, this week have expressed confidence that ample votes will be there.

Bipartisan Tax Bill More Durable, GOP Says After White House Meeting
Toomey sees overlap, but Democrats show little enthusiasm

After huddling Wednesday with President Donald Trump and a handful of Democrats, Senate Republican tax writers said an overhaul bill that secures bipartisan support would be more “durable” than a GOP-only path. 

Senate Republicans are moving ahead with plans to ensure a tax bill could pass with as few as 50 GOP votes, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. But after a White House meeting with Trump and five Senate Finance Committee Democrats, three GOP members on that panel said they agree with the president that a bipartisan bill is preferable.

Trump Claims Proof Rep. Wilson Fabricated Words to Military Widow
President’s warning harkens back to initial Comey tapes claim

A Democratic Florida congresswoman became the latest target of a morning presidential twitter attack, with Donald Trump alleging Rep. Frederica S. Wilson “totally fabricated” details of his call to the widow of a U.S. soldier killed in Niger.

Trump called the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson on Tuesday afternoon, shortly before his body was returned to the United States during a ceremony at Miami International Airport. Wilson told several media outlets she was traveling with his widow, Myeshia Johnson, who took the call on her car’s sound system, allowing all passengers to overhear it.

Trump Twists Judiciary Leaders’ Findings on Comey Actions
President says Clinton ‘not interviewed’ despite July 2016 session with FBI

President Donald Trump started Wednesday by twisting the findings of two senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, tweeting that Hillary Clinton was among “people not interviewed” by the FBI in an investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of State.

The FBI released documents Monday that show then-FBI Director James Comey began writing a statement exonerating Clinton before he concluded his investigation. Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of Judiciary’s Crime and Terrorism subcommittee, first revealed Comey’s actions Aug. 31.

Trump, McConnell All Smiles, All the Time
President, majority leader say they are on the same page, despite tension

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is ready to cancel Christmas recess to get a tax bill done, but President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled the effort could slip into next year.

Trump on Monday called his relationship with McConnell “very good” amid reports of tension between the two leaders. During a remarkable and rowdy midday joint press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump declared he and McConnell “are probably now … closer than ever before.

Trump Asia Itinerary Filled With Potential Headaches
North Korea tension, meeting with Philippines strongman frame trip

President Donald Trump will stop in China and South Korea — two countries key to his standoff with North Korea — next month during his first Asia swing, a trip that also will feature one-on-one meetings in the Philippines with that country’s hardline leader.

Trump is slated to depart on an 11-day swing through the continent on Nov. 3, with the main event to be his participation in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.

Analysis: With Iran Decision, Trump Punts on First Down
President keeps pact intact, leaves next step to Congress

It is now a familiar maneuver. President Donald Trump mixes bold rhetoric with a lofty promise — and then sets up a Congress controlled by his own party as a scapegoat for the potential failure.

Trump did it yet again Friday by punting action on the Iran nuclear deal to lawmakers.

Trump to Keep Iran Deal Intact — for Now
President wants Congress to set up ‘trigger points’ that could kill agreement

The Iran nuclear deal is (not quite) dead. Long live the Iran nuclear deal (maybe).

After dubbing the 2015 nuclear pact the Obama administration and five other world powers inked with Tehran as the “the worst deal ever,” President Donald Trump on Friday will announce he is keeping the United States in the agreement. For now, at least.

Trump Signals Agreement with O’Reilly Claim Media Is ‘Corrupt’
President said earlier that it’s ‘disgusting’ that press can ‘write whatever it wants’

President Donald Trump continued his weeks-long rhetorical attack on the media and First Amendment, lending credence to a conservative commentator’s stance that the American press often is “corrupt.”

After suggesting this week that he sees the media’s First Amendment protections as “disgusting,” the president on Friday morning retweeted former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s post that included this line: “A corrupt press damages the Republic.”

‘Call me,’ Trump Tells Democrats After Nixing Obamacare Subsidies
President paints Dems as in pocket of ‘their pet insurance companies’

“Call me.”

That was the message early Friday morning from President Donald Trump to Democrats after he drew their ire late Thursday night for canceling health care subsidies they immediately said would drive up insurance premiums.

White House Tips Hand — Slightly — on Iran Deal
Fact sheet refers to nuclear pact beyond Trump speech

Ahead of a much-anticipated announcement by President Donald Trump about the Iran nuclear deal, the White House tipped its hand a bit by signaling the agreement may not be dead.

The White House released a fact sheet late Thursday night laying out the administration’s new Iran policy that was subject to an early Friday morning embargo. While it did not specify if Trump will, as expected, decertify the deal with Tehran, it called for the pact to be implemented more stringently.

Trump Often Frustrated by Pace of Congress, Kelly Says
Amid reports of tension, president says he’s fortunate to have retired general

President Donald Trump views himself as a go-getter and is often frustrated by the pace of Washington, including the process of crafting legislation on Capitol Hill, his chief of staff said Thursday.

The president has let his feelings known about the Republican-controlled legislative branch numerous times on Twitter and in public remarks — especially the inability of GOP lawmakers to pass health care legislation.

With Signature, Trump Tries to Chip Away at Obamacare
President’s bold promises not reflected in heavily bureaucratic order

President Donald Trump continued chipping away at his predecessor’s legacy when he signed an executive order Thursday that spells major changes for President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law. But the order merely directs agencies to craft new rules that one senior official would only say could “possibly” help millions of Americans despite Trump’s bold promises.

Trump called the order a “historic announcement” and promised it would come at zero cost to federal coffers. During a signing ceremony at the White House, he also promised it would bring more affordable coverage to “millions,” and said plans would be available “all across state lines” with competition among providers that he promised will be “staggering.”

Trump Wants Democratic Support for Tax Bill but Slams Party
President addresses audience of long-haul truckers in Pennsylvania

President Donald Trump on Wednesday again made clear he wants some Democratic support for an emerging White House-GOP tax overhaul bill. But he then accused Democrats of supporting massive tax hikes.

Speaking to an audience of long-haul truckers Wednesday evening in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Trump pledged to convince Republican lawmakers and “maybe some of those Democrats” to vote for the plan.