gop-brand

Trump feared ‘one of these independent counsels.’ He got something else
Amid Democrats’ criticism, is Barr trying to protect Trump or the office he occupies?

President Donald Trump was worried that “one of these independent counsels,” as Kenneth Starr was during the Clinton administration, would bring the “end of my presidency,” special counsel Robert S. Mueller III concluded in his report. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jeff Sessions, then the attorney general, ended a phone call and returned to the Oval Office. It wasn’t long before President Donald Trump was in an angry rage.

Sessions, since unceremoniously fired, had just taken a phone call from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who informed him he had appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as a special counsel to look into Russia’s 2016 election meddling, including whether there was coordination with Trump’s campaign.

Trump has been all over the place on ‘crazy’ Mueller report
President contends Donald McGahn’s damning notes ‘never existed until needed’

After calling the Mueller report "great" 25 days ago, President Donald Trump on Friday dubbed it "crazy." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday broke his uncharacteristic silence about Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report, calling it “crazy” just 25 days after dubbing it “great.”

In a tweet from rainy Palm Beach, Fla., where he is spending a long Easter weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort and nearby golf club, the commander in chief also lashed out — without naming him — at former White House counsel Donald McGahn, who offered Mueller’s team some of the most damning testimony about Trump and his chaotic West Wing.

Trump painted as media-obsessed in Mueller’s report
At times, focus on press was a blessing for Trump; at other times, it was a burden

President Donald Trump takes questions from reporters at the Capitol in March, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, and Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. Robert Mueller's report reveals a media-obsessed chief executive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation of the Trump White House reveals a presidency calibrated to drive and respond to media coverage of itself. Though unconventional, Donald Trump’s unique approach helped save his presidency.

At several critical points of his turbulent term, Mueller found that Trump — who once cold-called New York reporters claiming to be a public relations agent named “John Barron” to promote his real estate ventures — was mostly focused on responding to negative press reports or trying to generate positive ones. When the president took several questionable actions, the former FBI director concluded, it was because he was focused on a “press strategy” — and misleading or even lying to reporters is not a crime.

Mueller report shows Trump aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial matters
Special counsel highlights chaotic West Wing where staff tried to save president from himself

President Donald Trump's top aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial legal matters during his first year in office, according to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Presidential orders given but often ignored. Ample cursing. Aides working behind the scenes to protect Donald Trump from his own anger and impulsiveness. And an effort to prevent the president from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III despite his determination to do so.

Mueller’s long-anticipated report reveals a chaotic West Wing driven by paranoia and frequent outbursts from a green president who wanted to remove the special counsel and demanded that his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, be more like predecessors Robert F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr., whom he felt “protected” the respective presidents they served, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

Trump’s ‘Game of Thrones’ tweet: President declares ‘GAME OVER’
‘No collusion, no obstruction,’ text on latest Twitter image reads

President Donald Trump took as vindication Thursday remarks by his attorney general, William Barr, on the special counsel investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Minutes after Attorney General William Barr delivered an across-the-board vindication of his claims of “no collusion” with Russia and “no obstruction” of justice, President Donald Trump declared victory in one of his favorite ways: using imagery of himself in the style of “Game of Thrones.”

Trump’s personal Twitter account posted an image of the president standing amid fog and the words “GAME OVER” prominently displayed. 

Club for Growth backs a woman in 17-person North Carolina primary
Celeste Cairns is one of three women running for GOP nod in safe seat

The Club for Growth PAC has backed one of the three women vying for the GOP nomination in a safe Republican seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

The Club for Growth PAC backed accountant Celeste Cairns in the crowded primary for North Carolina’s 3rd District on Wednesday, elevating one of three women seeking the nomination in this safe Republican seat. 

Seventeen Republicans are vying for the nomination for the eastern North Carolina seat that has been vacant since Walter B. Jones died earlier this year. A candidate must win at least 30 percent of the vote in the April 30 primary to avoid a runoff in July. 

White House braces for Mueller report as obstruction questions linger
Only a ‘bombshell’ would dramatically change public opinion, expert says

President Donald Trump talks with journalists before departing the White House on March 20. He is expected to depart the White House via Marine One on Thursday just hours after a redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report is released — and possibly take reporters’ questions about it. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

The White House is bracing for the public’s first glimpse at some of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings, but it likely would take a bombshell to alter President Donald Trump’s approach to campaigning for a second term.

Attorney General William Barr is set to release on Thursday morning a version of the former FBI director’s report — though a substantial portion is expected to be blacked out, redacted that is, for legal and security reasons. White House aides have long echoed Trump’s contention that his 2016 campaign did not conspire with Russians to influence the race, besides mirroring his denials about obstructing justice since taking office.

White House gives Herman Cain an out on Fed amid GOP opposition
Kudlow: ‘It would probably be up to Herman Cain if he wants to stay in’

Presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in Washington on Oct. 7, 2011. The White House is giving him an out on a Federal Reserve seat amid mounting GOP concerns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House appears to be giving Herman Cain, who was forced from the 2012 presidential race amid sexual misconduct allegations, an out in his candidacy for a seat on the Federal Reserve board of governors amid Republican senators’ mounting opposition.

President Donald Trump said earlier this month he is considering Cain for the central bank’s leadership. The president has voiced his anger with the Fed’s decisions on key interest rates, claiming it has slowed economic growth that will be key to his 2020 reelection fight. Cain is a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, but exited the race amid a slew of sexual harassment charges.

Trump refers to Fox News as ‘we,’ after years of echoing the network
Anchor defended network to DNC chief, claiming ‘line’ between daytime and evening shows

Fox News Channel and radio talk show host Sean Hannity (left) interviews President Donald Trump before a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on September 20. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday acknowledged what his critics have charged for his entire tenure in office, referring to Fox News as “we.”

His morning and late-night tweets have closely resembled the themes of one cable network’s morning show since he took office in January 2017. Sometimes he has even quoted directly from “Fox & Friends” segments, and the right-leaning outlet’s other shows. He’s shared a campaign rally stage with one of its top hosts, Sean Hannity.

‘Renovation, what’s that all about?’ Trump asks about burning Notre Dame
Highlights of president’s most-eyebrow raising lines at economic roundtable in Minnesota

President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally last month in Grand Rapids, Mich. On Monday, he was in another Upper Midwest state, Minnesota. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump lingered on Air Force One in Minnesota on Monday, later telling workers at Nuss Truck and Equipment in Burnsville that he and others were watching coverage of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris engulfed in flames.

Trump said he had been briefed on the blaze, adding that it looked like “one of the great treasures of the world” was “burning to the ground. … That puts a damper on what we are about to say.”