John T. Bennett

Trump says ‘thousands’ of companies are leaving China. It’s not that simple
President routinely exaggerates situation, which also has roots in rising wages for Chinese workers

President Donald Trump repeatedly asserts that “thousands” of companies are scurrying to flee China because of his tariffs. But Asia and trade experts say he is exaggerating data for political gain.

As the president tells it, U.S. and other firms have either moved or will move their production operations and supply chains off Chinese soil because he has slapped $250 billion worth of import duties on Chinese products. As recently as last Tuesday, Trump threatened further tariffs of $325 billion on goods from the Asian superpower. Experts, however, say the situation is not that black and white.

Trump: US shoots down Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz
‘The drone was immediately destroyed,’ the president said

President Trump said U.S. forces shot down an Iranian drone that was operating too close to an American vessel.

Trump said the drone was shot down in the Strait of Hormuz, an important shipping lane that provides the only access to open ocean from the Persian Gulf. He called on other countries to condemn Iran and protect their own ships.

President Trump can’t stop slamming his reelection campaign team
Stump speech’s syrupy ending is ‘getting a little obsolete,’ gripes candidate in chief

ANALYSIS — First, it was the lights. Next, it was the price of — perceived — bad advice. And Wednesday night, it was the months-old end to his canned campaign stump speech.

President Donald Trump, the New York-based real estate executive whose penchant for delegating has faded since taking office, isn’t exactly hiding his annoyance with his reelection campaign advisers.

Trump backs away from ‘send her back’ chant after rally
‘I was not happy with it,’ the president claimed, ‘I disagree with it’

President Donald Trump on Thursday, in a rare move, broke with his supporters one day removed from a Greenville, N.C., crowd chanted “Send her back!” after he criticized Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Trump had whipped the Pitt County crowd into a frenzy by calling Democrats “socialists” and accusing Omar of “vicious, anti-Semitic screeds.”

Secret Service pressed for plan to avoid future Mar-a-Lago security breaches
A 33-year-old Chinese woman was arrested with malware, other suspicious items

Three senior Senate Democrats are pressing the U.S. Secret Service on whether security has been beefed up at President Donald Trump’s Florida and New Jersey resorts after a 33-year-old Chinese woman talked her way into his Mar-a-Lago property while he was there.

Yujing Zhang, 33, pleaded not guilty on charges of trespassing and lying to U.S. Secret Service agents after being arrested March 30 at the president’s Florida resort. When searched, she was found carrying a pair of passports, four mobile devices, a laptop computer, a thumb drive allegedly containing malware and one external hard drive.

N.C. crowd chants ‘Send her back’ as Trump criticizes Omar and House ‘squad’
President also mocks Buttigieg’s last name, painting South Bend mayor as foreign policy lightweight

President Donald Trump on Wednesday night criticized the House Democratic women known as “the squad,” zeroing in on Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota as his supporters at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, chanted “Send her back!”

He contended that Omar “blamed” the United States for the 9/11 attacks and “smeared” U.S. soldiers involved in the so-called Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia in 1993.

Trump contends he is winning war of words with House ‘squad’
President expected to slam four minority House freshwomen at N.C. rally

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he believes he is winning the “political fight” over his racist tweets and comments about four minority female House freshman Democrats.

“If people want to leave our country, they can,” he said, repeating his days-old line about Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts. “I’ll never change on that.”

With racist tweets and comments, Trump signals bare-knuckle reelection fight
“He’s willing to go as far as he wants and needs,” GOP strategist says

“Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! Quiet!” With those four words, President Donald Trump threw onto the 2020 canvas the political boxing gloves he ripped off Sunday with two racist tweets.

An animated-then-aggressive Trump was demanding silence of a reporter, under an intense July sun during an impromptu Monday press conference. The reporter had agitated the president by asking if he was “OK” with people viewing his tweets about four Democratic freshmen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — as “racist.”

Trump suggests Rep. Omar, other Dems cheered 9/11 attacks and ‘should leave’
‘If you're not happy here, you can leave,’ president says amid backlash over comments criticized as racist

President Donald Trump on Monday, for the first time in front of television cameras, suggested four freshman House Democratic congresswoman who have harshly criticized him should leave the United States.

Trump, very much in reelection mode during almost every public appearance, suggested the House freshmen congresswoman prefer the al Qaeda terrorist group over the United States and alleged they “hate our country.”

Trump says House ‘Squad’ congresswomen should ‘apologize’ to him after ‘go back’ tweet
President makes false statement about three female members as his staff focuses on Rep. Omar

President Donald Trump is not backing down after calling on minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the countries of their ancestry, tweeting on Monday that they should apologize — not him.

The president on Sunday drew immediate outrage from Democratic members and other critics when he lashed out at a handful of freshman House Democrats who have been in a war of words with Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California while also sharply criticizing Trump since before they took office in January. They also support impeachment proceedings against him, something that has angered him for months.

Acosta out as Labor secretary as Epstein child sex scandal engulfs White House
Acosta will stay on through next week, Assistant Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella will fill the post in an acting capacity after that

Embattled Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned Friday amid a churning scandal over a plea deal related to billionaire financier Jeffery Epstein and sex acts with minors.

President Donald Trump told reporters that Acosta had made the decision to resign as he departed for Wisconsin and Ohio, where the president will hold fundraisers and speak about a trade deal.

Trump drops census effort, announces new plan to ‘count’ noncitizens
‘The 2020 reelect is a big factor in this battle for Trump,’ GOP strategist says

President Donald Trump lost a battle Thursday when he dropped his bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but by reviving the effort in dramatic fashion he amassed more ammunition for his coming reelection campaign.

During an unrelated social media forum event at the White House, Trump criticized federal judges and the Supreme Court for blocking his attempt to add the question, calling it a “left-wing” effort to erode rights. And he teased a “solution.” Once in the Rose Garden to address the citizenship matter, he declared, “we are not backing down.”

Confusion surrounds what Trump will say about census

About the only thing known for sure in an evolving situation about adding a citizenship question to the census is that President Donald Trump will make some sort of announcement Thursday. But even then, White House aides were scurrying late into the afternoon to figure out from which room or garden the president might make his announcement.

According to a source with knowledge of internal discussions, the president was weighing dropping his push to add a citizenship question to the census.

Trump will announce executive order on census and immigration on Thursday afternoon
Bid to add citizenship question comes amid legal challenges

Updated 10:35 a.m. | President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon will announce an executive order on adding a citizenship question to the census, according to a source familiar with the plan.

Earlier Thursday, the president announced he would hold a Rose Garden news conference about his push to add a citizenship question to the census. Any such order almost immediately would be challenged in court. Federal judges have been hesitant to allow the Justice Department to replace attorneys working on lawsuits looking to block a citizenship question.

As other Democratic candidates close in on Biden, Trump tries to ‘soften up the front-runner’
President calls former VP a ‘reclamation project’ after sluggish debate performance

Democratic White House front-runner Joe Biden has slipped in the polls, but President Donald Trump has only intensified his attempts to discredit and disqualify the former vice president.

In the last five days alone, the president has dubbed his potential 2020 rival “sleepy” and “a reclamation project,” suggesting in one tweet that “some things are just not salvageable.” He has asserted that China and other countries are “begging” for a President Biden so they can get back to trade tactics that “ripped us off for years.”

Acosta defends plea deal as Epstein child-sex scandal engulfs Trump
Labor secretary continues to play defense against criticism about accused child sex trafficker’s previous plea deal

As President Donald Trump struggles to shake a child-sex scandal involving a former friend, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta defended a 2007 plea deal he offered billionaire financier and accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Acosta used an afternoon press conference to call alleged sex-trafficking by Epstein “despicable,” and said his actions deserve a “stiffer sentence” than the 13 months he served last decade. He called a new New York case against him that included charges filed Monday an “important opportunity to more fully bring Epstein to justice.”

Amid Epstein child sex scandal, Trump doesn’t rule out firing Secretary Acosta
About 2007 plea deal, president says he will ‘look at it very carefully’

President Donald Trump on Tuesday left open the possibility that he might fire Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta over a plea deal he struck last decade with accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein after top congressional Democrats called for his ouster.

Acosta has been an “excellent secretary of Labor,” Trump said. But the president stopped short of saying Acosta would remain a part of his Cabinet as yet another scandal has engulfed his administration.

Qatar has ties to Iran, but Trump eyes ‘investments’ ahead of talks with emir
President didn’t mention Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan during dinner for al-Thani

ANALYSIS — Escalating a name-calling feud with your closest ally’s envoy to your government and threatening another with trade penalties is an unconventional way to build a coalition. But amid tensions with Iran, President Donald Trump is doing just that.

The U.S. leader is slated to meet privately Tuesday afternoon with Qatar’s ruling emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the Oval Office. The duo will have no shortage of things to discuss, from how to combat Iran’s increasingly aggressive actions related to its nuclear program to Qatar’s ongoing spat with some close American allies.

In shift, Trump touts issue not important to his base: the environment
Environmental groups, Democrats not impressed

President Donald Trump on Monday pivoted to an issue to which he has devoted little time and tends not to register much with his political base: the environment.

The president said he gave his Cabinet heads early in his term “clear direction to focus on addressing environmental challenges so we can provide the highest quality of life to all Americans.” At the same time he said his administration brought energy-related business back to the United States after the Obama administration “waged a relentless war on American energy.” Under the Obama administration, the United States continued a long trend of making its way to being a total net energy exporter.

Trump delivers unifying July 4 message, but few see it helping reelection
GOP strategist: Military-heavy event likely ‘gauche and unnecessary’ to key voting bloc

President Donald Trump was more a measured statesman than political streetfighter Thursday during his much-anticipated Independence Day address. But expectations are low that his patriotic — even, at times, unifying — message will boost his reelection odds.

Impressed early in his term as the guest of honor at France’s 2017 Bastille Day celebration, which featured an elaborate military parade, the U.S. commander in chief on Thursday deployed Air Force One, jets from the Air Force and Navy, helicopters from the Army and Marines — and even a Stealth Bomber — to the National Mall. And, in a speech that connected Thomas Jefferson with the Apollo crew that landed on the moon nearly 50 years ago, Trump struck a rare unifying tone.