John T. Bennett

Trump Slams 9th Circuit as a ‘Disgrace,’ Intends to File ‘Major Complaint’
President also defends daughter Ivanka Trump over email use

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a “disgrace,” saying he intends to file a “major complaint” against it for a ruling against his attempts to cease asylum grants to migrants.

Without providing specific potential moves, he told reporters on the South Lawn that the country must “look at” the 9th Circuit because other countries take cases against the U.S. there for an “automatic win.”

Trump Goes There While Pardoning Turkeys. Of Course He Did
President warns both Peas and Carrots that House Dems may subpoena them

Peas, one of the South Dakota-bred turkeys that received a presidential pardon Tuesday, pleaded the Fifth. But President Donald Trump had a warning for the creature about House Democrats.

The bright white bird merely pranced around in the Rose Garden and let out nary a gobble as Trump warned him that he may be among the first target of several investigation-minded House committees next year.

Trump White House Goes With Saudi Story in Jamal Khashoggi Murder
CIA reportedly said Mohammad bin Salman was responsible

President Donald Trump again broke with U.S. intelligence Tuesday, this time siding with senior Saudi leaders and their denials they ordered the killing of a Washington Post journalist.

It came in a most unusual written statement from the White House, issued as the press corps on duty ahead of Thanksgiving gathered in the Rose Garden for the generally light-hearted turkey pardoning.

Zinke Circles Back to Familiar Scapegoat for California Fires
Cost of combating blazes will be ‘well into the billions,’ Interior secretary says

As the dead and damage continue to be tabulated from California’s Camp Fire, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday continued the administration drumbeat that environmental groups are to blame for the devastation, saying they have prevented officials from forestry practices that reduce the risk of deadly blazes.

Forest experts, scientists and resource managers say a combination of factors, including drought exacerbated by climate change and urban and rural development patterns, have helped lead to the current situation. But Zinke on several occasions during fire season has put the blame squarely on environmental groups that are frequently at odds with Republican politicians. 

Top Trump Aide Denies Recession Rumbles as Stocks Tumble
Kudlow: ‘I don’t even remotely agree’ with downturn warnings

U.S. stock markets continued to drop sharply on Tuesday, but the chief economic adviser to President Donald Trump insists the economy is not headed for a recession.

“I don’t even remotely agree with that,” Lawrence Kudlow told reporters when asked if he agrees with some top financial firms that the American economy is primed for a major slowdown after steady growth under President Barack Obama and faster growth under the Trump administration.

Buck Stops Here? Not So Much for President Trump
Fox interview shows how he practices the art of distance and wiggle room

ANALYSIS | Most of Donald Trump’s predecessors endorsed the notion of the buck stopping “here,” meaning on their desks. But for the 45th president, the buck often stops elsewhere.

Trump sat down with Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace for a 15-minute interview that aired Sunday. Even though the sit-down in the White House’s Roosevelt Room was relatively brief, the president showed several times how just about everything political is fungible — especially when the stakes are high for himself.

Trump and Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown — Strange Company on Climate Change?
President says his views, those of Brown and Gov.-elect Newsom, ‘not as different as people think’

President Donald Trump on Saturday stopped just shy of saying he believes climate change is a legitimate scientific phenomenon, a statement that likely would not sit well with his conservative base and most GOP lawmakers.

“We have different views but maybe not as different as people think. Things are happening. Things are changing,” he said aboard Air Force One in California, flanked by Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.

Trump Heading to Mississippi to Give Hyde-Smith a Runoff Boost
Senator has drawn national headlines for controversial comments

President Donald Trump will make an eleventh-hour attempt to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in Republican hands later this month when he headlines two rallies there the day before a runoff election.

His campaign organization announced Saturday the president will hold two rallies on Nov. 26 on behalf of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. He will be in Tupelo at 5 p.m. and then in Biloxi three hours later.

Trump Casts Himself as Pelosi’s Speaker Savior
‘I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants,’ president claims

President Donald Trump on Saturday said he can twist enough House Republican arms to give Nancy Pelosi the necessary votes to become speaker.

The California Democrat publicly says she has ample support within her own caucus to secure the gavel. But all indications are a floor vote could be close, meaning Republicans could opt — for a list of reasons — to put her over the top.

Trump Says He’s Giving Mueller Questions a Personal Touch
‘I’ve answered them very easily,’ the president says

President Donald Trump implied Friday that he — and not his legal team — will be personally answering written questions from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“I’ve answered them very easily. I’m working on them,” he told reporters during a bill-signing event in the Oval Office.

Awkward Moments from Donald Trump's Veterans Day Do-Over
VA secretary managed to out-Trump embellishment-prone Trump

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump got around Thursday to commemorating Veterans Day on American soil, four days after the actual holiday and after as many days holed up in and lashing out from the White House.

Trump did speak Sunday at a rain-soaked Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in France, where U.S. soldiers who died in World War I are buried, and he visited graves there. But he canceled a Saturday visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial because of bad weather, later blaming the Secret Service.

Saudis Face Reprimand From Trump and Potentially Congress Over Khashoggi Killing
Senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among those targeted

The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on a senior aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and 16 others in connection to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Treasury Department announced the penalties Thursday morning, just a few hours after the Saudi government announced it would seek the death penalty for five of 11 individuals indicted there over the luring of Khashoggi to a diplomatic facility in Turkey that ended with him being killed in a violent confrontation.

Despite Evidence of Chaos, Trump Says White House ‘Running Very Smoothly’
But president ignores advice by lashing out at Special Counsel Mueller

Despite evidence to the contrary, President Donald Trump on Thursday denied chaos has returned to the West Wing — then immediately fired off a broadside against Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Trump was visibly agitated during a weekend diplomatic trip to Paris, including frustration with aides who advised that him canceling a Saturday trip to a cemetery where nearly 2,000 U.S. soldiers who died in World War I are buried would not become a major news story. It did and Trump reportedly let his staff know about his frustration.

You’re Reassigned! Trump Does Not Fire Key Adviser Under Fire
Mira Ricardel, deputy of National Security Adviser John Bolton, will stay in administration

Rather than firing a White House national security adviser that clashed with his wife, President Donald Trump instead is reassigning her.

“Mira Ricardel will continue to support the President as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the Administration. The President is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Eager for Lame Duck Win, Trump Backs Prison Reform Bill
Members of both parties, Jared Kushner negotiated plan for months

Eager for a legislative win in the lame duck session, President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed legislation that would alter prison and sentencing policies as he tries to show he can push bipartisan bills through Congress.

Trump had been reluctant for months about whether to endorse the bill, which would include criminal justice changes backed by members of both parties in the House and Senate. His son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, has been working with members of both parties to craft the measure and scored a big win with the presidential endorsement.

Possible Trump-Macron Split Fuels European Power Vacuum
Bromance burned bright at first, but presidents spent weekend trading barbs

Donald Trump is pushing away one of his few close allies, French President Emmanuel Macron, as experts warn of an emerging European power vacuum and some GOP lawmakers defend the U.S. president’s latest brash move.

The two presidents have little in common but quickly became unlikely allies. Trump is a businessman and former reality television star. Macron was a philosophy major who became a finance and economic wonk. A bromance developed, and Trump feted Macron during an official visit that included a private dinner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and an elegant state dinner at the White House.

U.S. Aware of All North Korea Nuclear Work, Trump Says Despite Report
President responds to report about alleged deception by Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied that North Korea is moving ahead with its nuclear weapons program despite a pledge from Kim Jong Un to freeze all such work.

Citing satellite images, the New York Times reported Monday that Kim is continuing work at sites he promised to Trump would cease while the two leaders — and, sometimes, their staffs — try to strike a denuclearization deal.

Trump-Macron Bromance Shows More Signs of Fading
U.S. president offers French counterpart mocking lecture on securing Europe

Are President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron headed for a Trans-Atlantic breakup?

After Trump’s rocky and controversial visit to Paris, which included some less-than-warm body language toward his younger French counterpart, the unlikely bromance appears to have hit choppy waters. Many U.S. lawmakers — Republican and Democrat — have warned Trump to avoid alienating close allies and want him to end a nasty trade flap with the EU. 

Trump Predicts ‘Deal-Making,’ Many Fights Ahead With Democrats
First up, both sides face border funding test in lame-duck session

President Donald Trump appears ready to make some deals — except when he’s threatening Democrats with “warlike” tactics.

Despite losing the House and several governorships in states that could be key for Trump’s 2020 re-election prospects, the president used a press conference last week to send widely divergent messages to lawmakers about just how much he wants to get done in the lame-duck remainder of the 115th Congress and after the 116th is seated in early January.

The Border Wall Funding Fight Could Lead to Another CR, or Partial Federal Shutdown
Penn Ave Report — connecting Congress and the White House at the intersection of politics