intelligence

After contentious border moves, stakes only get higher for Trump
‘The real rough water for President Trump still lies ahead,’ GOP insider says

South Koreans watch on a screen at the Seoul Railway Station on June 12, 2018, showing President Donald Trump meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images file photo)

ANALYSIS — “Stay tuned” is a common refrain from White House aides when asked about the many cliffhangers created by President Donald Trump. But remarkably, even after three topsy-turvy months that culminated Friday in a wild Rose Garden appearance, that West Wing mantra will apply doubly over the next few weeks.

Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border to unlock Pentagon funds for his proposed border wall came wrapped in an announcement press conference during which he veered from topic to topic, undercut his own legal position, often appeared dispassionate when discussing the emergency declaration, and made more baseless claims. That matter is already embroiled in court fights, putting perhaps his biggest campaign promise in legal limbo, and has appeared to created new distance between him and some Senate Republicans.

Trump denies calling Andrew McCabe's wife a ‘loser’ as feud intensifies
Former acting FBI boss is under president’s skin ahead of Kim summit, China tariffs deadline

Then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe prepares to testify before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee. Since fired, he is at war with President Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump is at war with Andrew McCabe, accusing the former acting FBI director of “Treason!” and accusing him of a “lie” by claiming the president once called his wife a “loser.”

Even during and after a long weekend at his South Florida resort after a chaotic mid-December to mid-February stretch, Trump was unable to ignore claims McCabe, who ordered a counterintelligence investigation into Trump and his possible coordination with Russians, is making as he peddles a new tell-all book.

Trump wings it in feisty, combative Rose Garden emergency announcement
POTUS berates reporters, slams Dems as policy event morphs into campaign rally

\President Donald Trump speaks in the White House Rose Garden on Friday. Trump said he would declare a national emergency to free up federal funding to build a wall along the southern border. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS  — A testy and combative President Donald Trump winged it Friday in the Rose Garden, turning an often-rambling defense of his border security emergency into a 2020 assault on Democrats.

Trump has redefined the presidency around his unique style and penchant for unpredictable and unprecedented moves, as well as the sharp rhetoric he uses both at the White House and his rowdy campaign rallies. But there was something different during Trump’s remarks Friday, with the president leading off his remarks by talking about anything but the compromise funding measure and border security actions he signed later that day.

Trade talks with China ‘intensive’ but tariffs still set to balloon on March 1, White House says
‘Much work remains,’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders said ahead of new round next week

U.S. and Chinese officials made “progress” in trade talks this week in Beijing, the White House said. But spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not provide details as a new round of talks is slated for next week in Washington. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images file photo)

The White House on Friday said “intensive” trade talks this week with Chinese officials yielded “progress,” but there was no indication President Donald Trump is ready to delay a substantial ballooning of tariffs on Chinese-made goods set to take effect March 1.

“These detailed and intensive discussions led to progress between the two parties,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Much work remains, however.”

Trump field tests 2020 campaign attack lines amid latest shutdown drama
‘We have to stop politicking every minute,’ Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey shoots back

President Donald Trump speaks as he is joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Steve Scalise in the Rose Garden of the White House on Jan. 4. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump tested a new 2020 script Monday night during a raucous rally in El Paso, slamming some new Democratic faces and policy proposals to the delight of a rowdy crowd.

But that doesn’t mean familiar targets and chant-encouraging lines were missing from the campaigner in chief’s roughly 80 minutes on stage in the West Texas border city. The president appeared to be field-testing which 2016 campaign lines to keep in his arsenal and which new ones might keep the conservative base energized — and angry at Democrats.

Trump pre-empts border wall pitch in El Paso to take shots at Beto O’Rourke
President vastly overstates crowd size as O’Rourke blasts his migrant rhetoric

President Donald Trump, here at a rally in North Dakota last year, was back on the campaign trail Monday night in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump interrupted a border wall rally in Texas to take a shot at former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, saying the potential 2020 presidential candidate “has very little going for him.”

“We were all challenged by a young man who lost an election to Ted Cruz. And then they said, ‘You know what? You’re supposed to win before you run,’” Trump said of O’Rourke.

Trump revives campaign rallies with trip into heart of ‘Beto Country’
Expect shots at O’Rourke and a border wall pitch ahead of Friday shutdown deadline

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks to the crowd at a rally in Austin, Texas, in September during his failed Senate bid. He is mulling a 2020 presidential run, and Donald Trump is holding a rally Monday in his native El Paso. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump ventures into Beto O’Rourke country Monday night, returning to the campaign trail in El Paso, the Texas border city home to the former Democratic congressman and potential 2020 Trump foe.

The president has held fire on a number of Democrats already running. But he has taken several shots at O’Rourke, the kind of youthful candidate who might be able to connect with both progressives and blue-collar voters who broke for Trump in 2016 in key states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Trump drags Schiff again in morning Twitter screed
The president suggested Schiff’s sweeping probe of all things Trump is merely a partisan hit job

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Just three days after calling for cross-party unity in Washington, President Donald Trump on Friday again lashed out at House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, suggesting his sweeping probe of all things Trump is merely a partisan hit job.

The president used his Tuesday State of the Union address as a plea to Democrats to work with him and other Republicans to achieve legislative “greatness.” But just 16 hours later, he mockingly slammed the California Democrat after Schiff announced the panel would investigate Trump’s 2016 campaign, possible nefarious ties to Moscow and whether the former real estate mogul’s potential interest in financial gain has influenced his decisions as chief executive.

Capitol Ink | Vandal in Chief

Trump sounds familiar notes on defense in State of the Union
The only news was the announcement of a date and location of his second summit with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump arrives in the House chamber to deliver his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump stressed his principal defense positions in his State of the Union address Tuesday, without providing new details about planned troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan.

The only news was announcement of the date and location of his second summit with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un — on Feb. 27 and 28 in Vietnam. Trump said he believed that if he had not been elected, the United States would “right now” be fighting a “major war” with North Korea that might have killed millions.