John T. Bennett

President Escalates Feud with Media, Will Skip Annual D.C. Gala
Trump uses tweet to announce he won’t attend White House Correspondents Dinner

President Donald Trump used a Saturday tweet to announce he will not attend this year’s White House Correspondents Association Dinner, his latest salvo in his simmering clash with the media.

By using the social media site, the president took the news directly to the public and went around the press in another symbolic jab at media outlets. He made the announcement one day after his White House excluded some organizations, including CNN, Time and CQ Roll Call, from a “gaggle” with Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and after Trump lambasted the press as “enemies of the people.”

Trump White House Lets First Routine Week Slip Away
Administration clashes with reporters over invitation-only Q&A session

The Trump White House was close to pulling off its first drama-free week after a month of chaos, but on Friday, the new administration reverted to the norm.

The new president and his team seemed to be settling in over the last seven days. Donald Trump quickly named a new, well-respected national security adviser. They held off on a coming executive order limiting who can enter the country so relevant federal agencies could weigh in. And senior White House officials stayed on message.

At CPAC, Trump Delivers a Journalism Lecture — and a Threat
POTUS hits anonymous sources after ‘senior administration official’ briefs reporters

Donald Trump on Friday issued a blistering attack on news organizations he dubbed “fake news,” appearing to threaten those outlets and again calling them an “enemy of the people.”

The president’s latest broadside on the media came a few hours after he attacked the FBI with two morning tweets for an alleged inability to stop and find individuals within the government — including in its own ranks — that leak sensitive information to news outlets.

White House Official: FBI Said Trump-Russia Story is ‘BS’
Comey, McCabe told Priebus as much in meeting last week, senior administration official says

A White House official said Friday that top FBI officials told Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that the story that the agency is looking into ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia is “bull----.”

The White House appeared to be responding to a CNN report that the White House asked the FBI to dispel media reports of the Russia story.

Bannon, Priebus Deny Talk of Tension Inside White House
Chief strategist: ‘Corporatist’ media opposed to Trump’s ‘economic nationalist agenda’

President Donald Trump’s two top aides are dismissing whispers they are engaged in a personal feud at the center of a dysfunctional White House, and said the president will defy the “corporatist” media by implementing all of his campaign promises.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the “biggest misconception” about what really is going on inside the Trump White House’s inner circle is “everything you read” about tensions between he and chief strategist Steve Bannon. For his part, Bannon described the duo as “great partners.”

Kellyanne Conway Breaks Silence, Advises Less Time on Twitter
Despite Trump’s penchant for tweets, close aide makes pitch to ‘live in real time’

Kellyanne Conway, once President Donald Trump’s most visible proponent, broke her week-long silence Thursday by telling a friendly crowd they should spend less time on Twitter.

Notably, her boss did just that before her appearance at the Conservative Political Action Caucus (CPAC), a rare instance when the president held his fire during the morning news shows.

White House Signals Own Path on Health Care
Reference to president’s own plan signals dual tracks for GOP

Updated 4:40 p.m. | The White House declined Wednesday to rule out that President Donald Trump will push his own plan to replace the 2010 health care law rather than pursue one course with congressional Republicans.

When asked if there will be a single White House-congressional GOP plan, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer left the door open for Trump to roll out his own plan — no matter what lawmakers do. Minutes later, Spicer referred to “the president’s plan” when discussing how the administration intends to achieve one of its top campaign goals.

Ellison Gets Unlikely Boost From Trump in DNC Chairman Race
President touts Minnesota Democrat as soothsayer

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison picked up a semi-endorsement from an expected — and potentially unwelcome — source Wednesday morning in his bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee: Donald Trump.

With DNC members set to vote on a new leader in just three days, the Republican president, apparently while watching morning cable news talk shows, felt the need to weigh in. He did so in a tweet pointing out that Ellison predicted Trump would become the 45th chief executive.

White House Not Dropping Travel Ban Court Fight
Justice Department had indicated otherwise, though Trump was murky

The Trump administration says it is keeping up its court fight to revive an executive order banning entry in the United States by people from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries, despite Justice Department lawyers stating the opposite.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday the administration is moving ahead on dual paths: a new executive order that should be issued in a few days, and a continued legal fight over the initial order.

White House Watch: For Trump, Back to What Worked

Fresh off a surprise press conference by the president, Roll Call’s White House reporter John T. Bennett gives his take on the Thursday event and what it might mean for the White House in weeks to come....
Trump Comes Out Swinging Against Familiar Foes
Ignoring stumbles, president says administration is a ‘fine-tuned machine’

President Donald Trump on Thursday handed the Senate a new Labor secretary nominee who has previously been approved by the chamber three times — but he used the next 75 minutes to rouse his base and goad his critics. 

Trump walked into the East Room of the White House and announced that Alexander Acosta, a former assistant attorney general, will be his second pick to run the Labor Department after fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination on Wednesday.

Trump Travel Ban Crashes Texas Wedding Plans
Texas native with Iranian roots presses lawmakers on executive order

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said his approach to preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil won’t always be tidy. That’s especially true when it affects things like the already delicate task of compiling a wedding guest list. Just ask Shervin Taheran. 

If reinstated by the judicial branch, Trump’s travel ban may prevent many family members and friends from entering the United States to celebrate personal milestones with their loved ones.

One State or Two? For Trump, Whatever Works
Trump prods Netanyahu on Mideast peace

President Donald Trump on Wednesday cast aside decades-old U.S. norms by saying any Middle East peace deal would not necessarily have to establish a Palestinian state.

“I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House’s East Room. “I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”

Trump Accuses Agencies, Media of ‘Cover-up’ Via Russia Leaks
POTUS: ‘Russia connection non-sense’ aimed at protecting Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump started Wednesday by continuing his efforts to deflect blame for an escalating scandal involving Russia, the 2016 election and his top associates, as the president seemed to suggest intelligence agencies and media outlets are in cahoots.

As cable news morning shows discussed the dismissal of his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after just 25 days and New York Times and CNN reports of repeated contact between his campaign aides and Russian intelligence, Trump lashed out at the National Security Agency, FBI, CNN and MSNBC.

Trump Hill Backers Provide Cover After Flynn Departure
Republicans say there's no reason to question president's judgement

Some of President Donald Trump’s earliest and most vocal congressional supporters offered him political cover Tuesday, chalking up the first-month dismissal of his national security adviser as merely an inevitable early stumble.

GOP Rep. Chris Collins of New York, an early Trump supporter who was his transition team’s congressional liaison, was quick to protect the president’s flank after Michael Flynn resigned on Monday night. But few other Republican members flocked to television cameras on Trump’s behalf.

Collins Defends Trump Over Flynn While GOP Colleagues Remain Silent
N.Y. congressman: ‘I don’t believe anyone knew what Gen. Flynn was doing’

Rep. Chris Collins of New York, one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters on Capitol Hill, is defending the administration after Michael Flynn resigned his post as national security adviser.

Yet, most of his Republican colleagues are notably silent.

Democrats Want Probe of ‘Unfit’ Flynn’s Russia Ties
Cummings, Conyers want Justice briefing before President’s Day holiday recess

Congressional Democrats are applauding the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, labeling him “unfit” for the office and calling for the Justice Department to fully disclose his ties to Russia.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an “bipartisan, independent, outside commission” to investigate President Donald Trump’s and his administration’s connections with Russia.

Justin Trudeau’s Day of Trump and Trade
Canadian PM gets an earful about dairy industry from Paul Ryan

President Donald Trump signaled Monday after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that his promised revisions to a decades-old trade pact among the United States, Canada and Mexico would hit his southern neighbor harder than the one to the north.

The president’s remarks came as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan was also wading into trade issues with the Canadian leader, especially ones that affect industries near and dear to Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. 

Future Muddied in Legal Fight Over Trump Travel Ban
White House mulls scrapping executive order and starting anew

Alongside Abe, Trump Morphs From Nice Guy to Tough Guy
President defiantly vows 'we will be extreme vetting'

ANALYSIS | Their long weekend mini-summit began with what can only be described as a “bro hug” -- initiated by the new U.S. president.

Donald Trump greeted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe outside the White House’s West Wing with a warm handshake that became and affectionate embrace, complete with backslaps. Later, in the Oval Office, Trump complemented Abe’s strong handshake.