John T. Bennett

Tax cuts to avoid recession would be another Trump contradiction
Trump says a recession is unlikely, but officials might slash some taxes just in case

White House officials, despite President Donald Trump saying a recession is unlikely, are considering slashing some federal taxes to avoid an economic slowdown, according to an official with knowledge of planning.

“As Larry Kudlow said yesterday, more tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table,” a White House official told Roll Call Monday afternoon, referring to the president’s top economic adviser.

‘The Mooch’ is under President Trump's skin amid recession warnings
President dubs former comms director a ‘nut job’ as Fox poll suggests uphill reelection fight

ANALYSIS — Anthony Scaramucci is under Donald Trump’s skin, hitting a nerve as the president frets about his re-election chances amid economic warning signs.

The former White House communications director was back on CNN Monday morning, delivering another broadside on his former boss just four days after a Trump’s stated favorite news organization, Fox News, released a poll showing him trailing the four leading Democratic presidential hopefuls — including former Vice President Joe Biden by 12 percentage points.

Undeterred Trump to tout economy in ‘toss-up’ New Hampshire despite stock tumble
It’s not ‘guaranteed’ every Clinton state will remain blue in 2020, analyst says

A White House official grimaced slightly Wednesday as a cable news chyron showed stocks plummeting, potentially undercutting President Donald Trump’s Thursday plans to say his stewardship of a strong economy should help earn him a second term.

Trump will make another campaign-trail pitch to voters Thursday evening in what his aides see as a likely 2020 battleground state that could be a photo finish next November: New Hampshire.

Trump reprises his pitch as the only savior for a Rust Belt battleground
Environmental groups call Pennsylvania facility he visited part of a ‘cancer alley’

President Donald Trump interrupted his summer vacation Tuesday to again court Rust Belt voters that helped deliver him the White House, espousing false statements and bold promises as he seeks a second term.

“The political class in Washington gutted … your factories,” Trump told workers at a new Shell-owned petrochemical plant in Beaver County, along the border with Ohio, another perennial swing state he also won in 2016. Trump also blamed other countries for American industrial decline, drawing cheers when he told the audience “they have been screwing us for years.”

Trump’s new hard-line immigration rule at odds with independent voters’ views
75 percent of key voting bloc sees immigration as ‘good’ for U.S., poll finds

The White House on Monday again answered a chorus of criticism by pivoting to a hard-line immigration policy, even though it could drive away independent voters in key battleground states.

With the commander in chief on his third full day of a 10-day “working vacation” at his New Jersey golf resort, the White House deployed Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, for a rare session with reporters in the James A. Brady Briefing Room — a briefing that came two days after former Trump friend and alleged child sex-trafficker Jeffery Epstein was found dead in his New York City jail cell.

After years of promises, Trump again sounds dire about China trade pact
‘Joe Biden is not playing with a full deck,’ POTUS alleges of Dem front-runner

President Donald Trump on Friday did not rule out canceling planned trade talks next month with Chinese officials, saying he is not yet ready to make a deal with the Asian economic powerhouse.

He also announced the United States is cutting all ties to Huawei, the giant Chinese telecommunications company that Beijing considers one of its industrial champions but the Trump administration contends is a national security threat. Trump left open the possibility of rebuilding that link if his team can strike a deal with China.

Trump says McConnell ‘totally on board’ with background checks
President dismisses possibility of NRA opposition to legislation

President Donald Trump on Friday gave perhaps his strongest endorsement yet of a background checks overhaul bill for firearms purchases, and predicted Republican lawmakers would “lead” on the issue despite opposition from the National Rifle Association.

“Frankly, we need intelligent background checks. This isn’t a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat. I spoke to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell yesterday. ... He is totally on board,” the president told reporters as he left the White House for a 10-day working vacation.

After shootings, Trump again shows he prefers political brawler to consoler in chief
White House has ‘a problem’ with alleged ‘disingenuous’ comments by Sherrod Brown, Dayton mayor

Even on a day when he was thrust once again by gunmen into his consoler-in-chief role, President Donald Trump found new political enemies — and started throwing rhetorical elbows as the country reeled from two more gun massacres.

The president and first lady Melania Trump spent time Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, with the victims of weekend mass killings and law enforcement officers who neutralized the shooters. But before, during and after even his critics gave him points for consoling and spending time with those affected, the president appeared more focused on political sparring than emotional healing.

Trump dings Biden during post-shootings trip, as lawmakers handle visits differently
‘Take these assault weapons off the streets,’ Sherrod Brown tells president in Dayton

President Donald Trump met privately Wednesday in Ohio and Texas with survivors of two deadly mass shootings, but he found time to publicly ridicule 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden as several local lawmakers took differing approaches to his visits.

The day’s traveling press pool was not allowed access to Trump and first lady Melania Trump as they met with shooting survivors and local officials at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters aboard Air Force One as the president flew to El Paso, Texas, for a similar meeting that Trump was not there for a “photo op.” (The White House, however, released its own photos in a tweet.)

Sen. Sherrod Brown to meet with Trump after initially saying he wouldn’t
‘I decided I have a responsibility to look him in the eye and urge him to do the right thing,’ Brown tweeted

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown reversed himself Wednesday and joined President Trump in Dayton to meet victims of a mass shooting there and law enforcement officials who ended it.

“I wrestled with the right thing to do when Trump visits Dayton today. I decided I have a responsibility to look him in the eye and urge him to do the right thing,” Brown tweeted a day after telling Sirius XM he would decline a White House invitation because of the president’s racist rhetoric and stance on gun access.

Trump: ‘Great appetite’ for background checks bill; Biden has ‘lost his fastball’
Former VP to say Trump ‘has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he might call Congress back to Washington if he and lawmakers “get close” to a deal under discussion to overhaul the federal background check system following deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

Trump said he senses a “great appetite for background checks” among members and predicted the various sides would strike a “really, really good” overhaul deal. As he departed the White House to visit with victims of the Dayton and El Paso shootings, he said he has had conversations with numerous lawmakers but was not yet ready to urge a special session of the House and Senate. (No such special session would be necessary, as the House and Senate are still in session. That has not stopped people from referring to calling Congress back to something special.)

El Paso skeptical of Trump’s visit as he lashes out at opponents, media
The president lashed out at Beto O’Rourke and the media before his visits to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio

Updated 8:51 a.m. | President Trump is opting to attack his political opponents and the media in the hours before he is slated to meet with victims of the deadly mass shootings in Ohio and Texas and the law enforcement officers who stopped both rampages.

Previous commanders in chief almost always chose to focus on the victims of tragedies and attacks, while also discussing federal aid and possible policy changes. But not Trump, firing off angry tweets hours before Air Force One is slated to touch down in Dayton and then El Paso, where two gunmen killed at least 31 people over the weekend.

Trump urged unity after shootings. But White House is hitting Dems hard
President heads to Dayton and El Paso as his team criticizes political opponents

President Donald Trump’s warnings about political divisions hindering efforts to stave off future mass shootings began to erode Tuesday at his own White House, as he and senior aides took not-so-veiled shots at Democrats.

The president will spend time Wednesday with some family members of the victims of deadly weekend shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, and others, 48 hours after warning of the dangers of political division and calling for unity.

Top Trump economic adviser sees ‘no signs’ of recession amid trade war
Lawrence Kudlow says China has taken more hits than United States

Lawrence Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, predicted Tuesday that “calmer heads” will prevail in an escalating trade confrontation between the U.S. and China even as he offered few concrete signposts for progress.

The former CNBC analyst’s comments come as U.S. and global markets are slumping over worries that the world’s two biggest economies could trigger a recession with their trade war. Major U.S. markets dropped by at least 3 percent Monday.

Trump seeks cover from Fox News as criticism mounts
President quotes ‘Fox & Friends’ to criticize Obama on mass shootings after warning about political division

ANALYSIS | One day after he warned the country about political division and the “perils” of social media, President Donald Trump contradicted himself with a series of tweets criticizing his predecessor and a perceived big-tech nuisance. And he again turned to his favorite cable network for an assist.

The president addressed the country Monday morning in a speech meant to console the families of the victims of two deadly weekend mass murders in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Gunmen opened fire in a WalMart in the former and an entertainment district in the latter. The violence has prompted calls for Trump to call on Congress to interrupt its August recess to send him gun-control legislation.

Trump opts against call for gun-control bill after Dayton and El Paso shootings
‘Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,’ POTUS says

Criticized for sometimes appearing to side with white supremacist groups, President Donald Trump on Monday said such ideologies “devour the soul” as he opted against calling on Congress to pass gun-control legislation following two more mass shootings.

The president was under pressure to speak out against white nationalists after the suspected gunman in a Saturday El Paso shooting that left 20 people dead posted a racist manifesto before his killing spree. The document echoed Trump’s talk about an “invasion” of the United States by undocumented migrants from Central and South America.

After Dayton and El Paso killings, here are 3 things Trump could call for
President could endorse House-passed bill or call for quick vote on Manchin-Toomey

President Donald Trump is calling for Congress to pass “strong” legislation on firearms background checks following deadly weekend shootings in Ohio and Texas, but just what he wants lawmakers to send him remains vague.

He even used a pair of Monday morning tweets, posted hours before he is slated to address the country at 10 a.m., to address the latest mass shootings during his tenure. The suspect in Saturday’s El Paso shooting posted a manifesto that echoed Trump’s previous statements about an “invasion” of the United States by undocumented migrants from Central and South America.

Here’s the beef: Trump formally announces trade pact with European countries
EU will purchase more American beef after U.S. president rattled markets with new China tariffs

Updated 2:15 p.m. | President Trump on Friday formally announced an agreement with the European Union under which countries in the bloc will purchase additional amounts of American beef, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The deal, largely negotiated by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other administration officials, was made possible when Australia and other beef-producing countries renegotiated their agreements with the EU. Under it, the U.S. beef industry will have access to nearly 80 percent of the EU’s yearly quota on hormone-free beef over seven years, European officials announced in July.

Ohio, Kentucky GOP officials stand by Trump at rally after attacks on ‘squad,’ Cummings
President promises Kentucky Gov. Bevin a rally for his reelection effort

Several top Ohio Republican officials chose to stand with Donald Trump on Thursday rather than put some distance between their political fortunes and the president’s recent racist attacks on minority lawmakers and a major mid-Atlantic city with a majority black population.

Trump was on a rally stage, this time in Cincinnati, for the first time since Greenville, North Carolina, on July 18, when a mostly white crowd chanted “Send her back,” referring to Somali-born Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.

South Lawn Tales: Trump won’t urge Ohio crowd to avoid ‘send her back’ chant
President ‘not concerned’ on China tariff effects

After U.S. stock markets dipped on the news he is escalating his trade war with China, President Donald Trump claimed he is unfazed by the tumble. And he appeared unconcerned that a waiting campaign rally crowd might repeat a racist chant he claims to oppose.

“I’m not concerned about that at all,” he said of the markets’ drop. “I kind of expected that ... because people don’t really understand what’s going on.” And on the ”send her back!” chant that a North Carolina crowd broke into last month about Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Trump said he doubts he could stop his supporters if they all want to send that message.