Intelligence

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.

Sam Ervin took down Nixon. We’re still waiting for his heir
Maybe Nancy Pelosi needs to appoint a small select committee modeled after Watergate

Folksy North Carolina Sen. Sam Ervin, center, chaired the committee that destroyed Nixon’s strongest claim to power — his political popularity, Shapiro writes. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It is easy to imagine an undiscovered Samuel Beckett play entitled “Waiting for Mueller.” On stage, faithful Democrats vacillate between stubborn hope (“He should be here”) and fatalistic despair (“He didn’t say for sure that he would come”). In the end, they just wait, day after day.

Whatever Robert Mueller’s internal timetable (seers like Rudy Giuliani have so far been comically wrong in trying to predict it), the investigation will face new pressures with the virtually certain Senate confirmation this week of William Barr. For the first time, Mueller will be supervised by a legitimate attorney general — rather than an acting Donald Trump factotum — who has avoided any promises about releasing the full report.

In bid to avoid shutdown, spending deal drops Violence Against Women Act extension, other contentious provisions
House and Senate conferees were signing the document Wednesday night, votes expected Thursday

Senate Appropriations leaders Richard C. Shelby, right, and Patrick J. Leahy led conference negotiations on senators’ behalf. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As negotiators were finalizing a final fiscal 2019 funding package highlighted by border security spending Wednesday evening, it became clear that an extension of the Violence Against Women Act wouldn’t make the cut.

Several policy riders in the mix earlier Wednesday, including back pay for federal contractors for wages lost during the 35-day partial shutdown and the VAWA extension, didn’t make it in the final bargaining over the fiscal 2019 spending conference report, according to aides in both parties.

Foreign Relations chairman says Trump has met reporting burden on Khashoggi murder; other senators disagree
‘The administration has been very forthcoming, the State Department has been very forthcoming,’ says Jim Risch

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch said the Trump administration has met its reporting requirements. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee insists that the Trump administration has been responsive to congressional requests for information about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, despite claims to the contrary from several colleagues. 

“We received a response to the inquiry that we made last fall,” Sen. Jim Risch said. “I’ve said we have been briefed on this matter numerous times, met with not all of the 17 intelligence agencies, but a good number of the intelligence agencies.”

Ocasio-Cortez snaps back at Trump after he disparages ‘Green New Deal’
New York Democrat highlighted president’s neglect of written intelligence briefing books

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., defended her “Green New Deal” resolution from President Donald Trump's comments at a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Sunday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez snapped back at Donald Trump on Monday after the president took a swipe at the literary merits of the “Green New Deal” House resolution she championed.

“It sounds like a high school term paper that got a low mark,” Trump said at a campaign-style rally in El Paso, Texas, referring to the legislation that was written in standard House format.

House Democratic leaders, chairmen criticize Omar for ‘anti-Semitic trope’
McCarthy says House Republicans will ‘take action’ this week

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said tweets from Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., about a pro-Israel lobbying group buying off members of Congress "invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money.'" (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Democratic leadership team and key Jewish committee chairmen on Monday joined a chorus of criticism against freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar for tweets suggesting that a pro-Israel lobbying group was buying off members of Congress.

Republicans have been attacking the Minnesota Democrat for several weeks for supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and making comments against the Israeli government. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he is likely to take action against Omar and another BDS supporter, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib — the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

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.

Reed: Congress should be consulted on any Colombia deployment
The top Democrat on Senate Armed Services warned generals against planning military intervention in Venezuela without congressional input

Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., left, and ranking member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., attend a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Hart Building on the U.S. Central Command on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, testified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee warned generals on Thursday against planning a military intervention in Venezuela without first seeking congressional input.

“Congress must be consulted if there is any military action beyond the current planning for the evacuation of U.S. citizens and embassy personnel" in Venezuela, Jack Reed of Rhode Island told Adm. Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command.

Trump, Schiff go to war as president’s call for unity fades quickly
House Intel chair moves toward sweeping probe of president, who questions his authority

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

Even by Donald Trump’s standards, that escalated quickly. His State of the Union call for comity between Republicans and Democrats to end Washington’s era of gridlock and bad blood lasted all of about 16 hours.

This was the president on Tuesday night during his State of the Union address: “This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots. … No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together.”