John T. Bennett

‘I didn’t get a thank you’ for approving John McCain’s funeral, Trump says
Trump’s economic speech in Ohio becomes political rally — with tanks

ANALYSIS - President Donald Trump went to Ohio to deliver an economic message. Instead, as always, a political rally broke out — this time, in front of military tanks.

He already was in quite a mood Wednesday afternoon as he approached reporters awaiting his departure on the White House’s South Lawn, declaring Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report is being written “out of the blue.”

Trump: Mueller report illegitimate, because special counsel was not elected
President says ‘I don’t mind’ if Justice Department releases former FBI chief’s findings

Updated 1:14 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Wednesday took direct aim at special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, saying his coming report is illegitimate because he was not elected by the American people.

“No collusion, no collusion. It’s interesting that a man gets appointed by a deputy he writes a report. Never figured that one out,” Trump said mockingly.

Trump, Brazil’s Bolsonaro flaunt nationalist bromance
‘There’s zero hostility with me,’ the U.S. contrarian in chief says of Brazil

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump got his desired victory lap Tuesday with the Brazilian known as the “Trump of the Tropics” as they stood side by side in the White House Rose Garden in a full display of the nationalism that put both in office.

Hours earlier, in true Trump fashion, he had flashed his contrarian side as he and his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, sat together in the Oval Office.

Trump warns Venezuela with new sanctions, won’t rule out military action
Trump spoke in a joint Rose Garden press conference with new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he may impose new strict sanctions on Venezuela in another attempt to force President Nićolas Maduro from office.

“I’m not being told any specific time,” Trump said on how long Maduro might hold on. But he did predict a “change” is ahead.

‘I was never a fan of John McCain,’ Trump again goes after the late Senator
President makes clear he holds grudge over vote to repeal 2010 health law

President Donald Trump is not backing down from his attacks on the late Sen. John McCain, on Tuesday saying he was “never” fond of the Arizona Republican.

On Sunday, Trump fired off a tweet with several inaccuracies criticizing McCain for his role in getting a dossier allegedly containing negative information about then-businessman Trump. He erroneously tweeted that McCain was “last in his class” at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Trump overshadows Brazilian president’s visit by attacking Kellyanne Conway’s husband
President dubs George Conway a ‘total loser’ after attorney challenged Trump’s mental health

A number of foreign leaders have visited the White House in recent weeks with little fanfare, but President Donald Trump’s aides are setting big expectations for Tuesday’s visit by the “Trump of the Tropics.”

Yet, on what White House officials hope will be a paradigm-shifting day, Trump and his team got an early start on stepping on their own intended message about “fundamentally” overhauling relations with South America’s largest economy.

Visit by ‘Trump of the Tropics’ puts ‘America First’ in spotlight
Bolsonaro’s embrace gives Trump another chance to pitch himself as fighting socialism

A populist message built on a pledge to put his country “first.” Hardline immigration policies. A get-tough-on China stance. And a controversial relationship with conservative strategist Steve Bannon.

Though that description certainly applies to President Donald Trump, it could also describe the man with whom Trump will appear Tuesday in the White House Rose Garden: Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s new president.

Trump lobs pre-emptive strike against Biden after weekend gaffe
The president pounced on Biden after a weekendlong Twitter screed

Former Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t formally announced he will run for president, but Donald Trump is already treating him like a potential 2020 contender.

The president pounced on Biden’s slip of the tongue at a dinner in Delaware Saturday night that reportedly drew a standing ovation from attendees who collectively interpreted the gaffe as a signal the former VP will announce his third White House bid.

Trump issues first veto, killing resolution to block border national emergency
Bipartisan resolution 'dangerous’ and ‘reckless,’ POTUS says

“VETO!” President Donald Trump vowed in a Thursday tweet about a resolution to block his southern border national emergency, a pledge he made good on Friday.

Moments before he signed the veto, he called the bipartisan resolution “dangerous” and “reckless,” and said lawmakers’ votes to pass the measure were made “against reality.”

3 Things to Watch: Kim lets Trump know their ‘mysteriously wonderful’ chemistry isn’t enough
‘There is no sign he’s stopped producing missiles,’ analyst says of North Korean strongman

ANALYSIS President Donald Trump once claimed he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “fell in love.” But the dictator he once called “Little Rocket Man” let him know on Friday that their “mysteriously wonderful” relationship might not be enough to strike a disarmament pact.

As recently as Wednesday, the U.S. commander in chief signaled he continues to believe the unlikely warm relationship with Kim could drive a deal under which Kim would give up his nuclear arms.

Trump to frustrated Jewish Dems: GOP will welcome you with ‘open arms’
Fires off religion-based tweet minutes after offering ‘warmest sympathy’ to New Zealand after slaughter in mosques

President Donald Trump on Friday claimed Democratic politicians treat Jewish people with “total disrespect,” saying his Republican Party would welcome them with “open arms.”

He used a morning tweet to claim the so-called “‘Jexodus’ movement” of offended Democrats out of the party after a freshman congresswoman’s recent controversial remarks is fueled by “Total disrespect!” shown to them by Democratic politicians.

Trump acknowledges ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy ‘hurts people’
President also signals that he thought about Boeing’s export business before grounding jets

President Donald Trump on Thursday admitted his immigration policies are “hurting people,” and signaled he mulled Boeing’s export business before he bowed to pressure and grounded two models of its 737 airliners after a second deadly crash.

The president’s comments came in response to an Irish reporter in town with his country’s prime minister for annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities at the Capitol and White House. That reporter asked Trump in the Oval Office if he sees his own immigration policies as “cruel.”

3 Takeaways: Experts say ‘Beto’ could beat Trump — if he can get that far
‘You pronounced it incorrectly: It’s Robert Francis,’ WH spox says dismissively of O’Rourke

President Donald Trump has mostly remained silent about the ever-growing list of candidates who have joined the Democratic race for the party’s 2020 nomination to face him. But that’s not the case with Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who threw his hat in the ring late Wednesday.

Unlike California Sen. Kamala Harris or former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper or Washington Gov. Jay Inslee or Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the politician known colloquially as “Beto” seems to have gotten under the president’s skin — or at least gotten Trump’s attention.

Trump leaving budget salesmanship to others, again
Silence comes at time of heightened attention to issues concerning wall, military

President Donald Trump often has a lot to say, but what he doesn’t say can be just as illuminating. Take his latest budget proposal. 

The administration is asking Congress to spend $4.7 trillion next year despite the president’s gripes that the federal government is too bloated and spends too much. But so far, Trump is showing zero interest in making the case for his request, which experts say resembles a campaign document as much as one about governing. Trump opted against a public event on Monday, leaving the budget rollout mostly to his acting budget chief, Russell Vought, and surrogates on Capitol Hill and cable news.

Trump says he’s not thinking of pardoning Paul Manafort — but won’t rule it out
New state charges, however, would leave POTUS powerless to free his former campaign chairman

President Donald Trump on Wednesday reiterated his sympathy for Paul Manafort, but would not commit to a pardon after his former campaign chairman manager was sentenced to additional prison time that brings his total behind bars to at least 7 1/2 years.

But the longtime Republican political operative, just minutes after receiving a 3 1/2-year federal sentence, on top of a previous 4-year sentence, was indicted on 16 counts by New York state prosecutors. If convicted and sentenced on any of the state counts, the president would lack any powers to pardon him from those.

FAA: New data led to grounding of 737 Max jets
All Max 8 and 9 models in the air right now ‘will be grounded’ today as soon as they land, Trump told reporters

Updated 5:40 p.m. | The Federal Aviation Administration ordered all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 airliners grounded on Wednesday after enhanced satellite data showed similarities between Sunday’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight and an October crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia.

President Donald Trump announced the decision, which came after the European Union, Great Britain, China and some airlines had already grounded the planes and members of Congress were calling on the FAA to follow suit.

Trump to face reporters after 5 days of silence and a run of bad news
Previous spans of silence have ended with eruptions from POTUS

ANALYSIS - “Just another quiet day at the White House,” a reporter said to a Roll Call scribe as they left the executive campus Tuesday evening. “Too quiet,” the Roll Call reporter responded, adding: “Can’t last much longer.” The first reporter nodded knowingly and said, “Yeah...”

More than a bit out of character, President Donald Trump has not uttered a word in public since Friday. That is scheduled to change Wednesday afternoon — and anything could happen.

Trump, Pelosi agree on one thing: No impeachment, but for different reasons
‘I never did anything wrong,’ president tweets, linking economic strength to impeachment decision

President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually agree on something. But their shared view that the House should not start impeachment proceedings against him are based on starkly different reasons.

I’m not for impeachment,” the California Democrat said in an eye-opening interview with the Washington Post that was published Monday.

Trump is leaving infrastructure details to lawmakers. That has stymied them before
‘Few Republicans will go down this road,’ expert says of WH proposal in budget plan

Donald Trump has talked about the “necessity” of a massive infrastructure overhaul since he became a presidential candidate in 2015, but his latest budget plan offers Congress the kind of vague proposal that has left them confused and stymied before.

The administration is asking lawmakers for $200 billion as an initial payment toward the president’s goal — up to $1.5 trillion from $1 trillion — for a sweeping project to upgrade the country’s roads, airports, bridges, tunnels, seaports and broadband networks. But senior officials say they won’t lay out a plan for which projects in which states Trump would like to see receive any of those dollars.

2020 Trump budget reflects 2020 Trump re-election themes
White House hopeful Bernie Sanders blasts plan for ‘cruelty’ and ‘broken promises’

The budget plan President Donald Trump sent to Congress on Monday reflects the messaging themes that are the early pillars of his re-election campaign.

The $4.7 trillion spending proposal includes increases for things the president uses to fire up his supporters, including a sizable military budget boost and $8.6 billion for his U.S.-Mexico border barrier that could trigger a new government shutdown fight in late September. It also calls for $2.8 trillion in cuts to non-Pentagon programs.