2016

How John Kennedy Sees Things
‘This is why the aliens won’t talk to us.’

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., speaks with reporters in the Senate subway in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Since arriving in the Senate last year, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy has become a gift to Capitol Hill reporters for his colorful use of language.

Most recently, he has said that the dispute about whether President Donald Trump called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “why the aliens won’t talk to us.”

Poll: 44 Percent of Americans Think Trump is a Racist
Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words

President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s rough rhetorical style was thrust under the microscope (again) last week after he called Haiti and parts of Africa “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States, multiple lawmakers who were at the meeting with the president confirmed.

Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words, a new poll found.

Former Takai Staffer Still Getting Paid From Campaign Cash
Paid himself a monthly salary of $5,759 a month from late congressman’s campaign account

A former staffer for the late Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, is still being paid a salary after Takai's death. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former staffer for the late Hawaii Rep. Mark Takai  is still getting paid thousands of dollars from Takai’s campaign coffers after the congressman’s death more than a year ago.

Dylan Beesley was Takai’s campaign manager and said that after Takai died of pancreatic cancer he became campaign treasurer at the request of the family, according to Hawaii News Now.

Trump Again Waives Iran Sanctions — But With a Threat
President has vowed to kill what he calls 'the worst deal ever'

Donald Trump, then president-elect, talks after a meeting with then-President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite Donald Trump’s vows to kill it, Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal lives. The 45th U.S. president on Friday again gave a reprieve to the 44th's pact despite his longheld stance that it is “the worst deal ever.”

Trump is again waiving sanctions on Iran that would jeopardize the nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers, according to senior administration officials. But it is the final time he plans to do so, they warned, adding Trump wants to negotiate a new pact with European allies that would re-impose sanctions on Iran if its government violates terms produced by those desired talks.

Former Rep. Mike Honda Might Run for San Jose Mayor
Lost re-election in 2016 against Rep. Ro Khanna

Former Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., said talk of him running for mayor in San Jose is “flattering.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former California Rep. Mike Honda is considering running for mayor of San Jose after losing his seat in the House in 2016.

When asked whether he was considering running by the San Jose Mercury News, the Democrat said, “I’m not saying no.”

Ahead of FISA Vote, Trump Sows Confusion
House Dems see ‘latest example’ of Trump ‘undermining’ security

President Donald Trump walks from the Oval Office to speak with members of the press while departing the White House last Friday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump sent mixed signals Thursday morning about a controversial law used to collect intelligence on individuals suspected of spying on the United States just hours before the House is slated to vote on reauthorizing it. And a key privacy hawk in Congress contends the president is more in line with him than the White House lets on.

For nearly two hours, the commander in chief even broke with his own White House’s stance on whether the law should remain on the books. But in an apparent clean-up operation, Trump was forced to fire off a tweet declaring this of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: “We need it!”

Fact Check: Trump’s Dossier Tweet Full of Dubious Claims
Tweet registers high on defensive scale, but low on accuracy meter

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House on Wednesday with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday labeled a dossier of information about his alleged Russia ties “disproven,” suggesting it was directly paid for by the Democratic Party and used by the FBI to tip the scales in the 2016 election.

But each of those claims is dubious at best.

Democrats Push Back Against Graham, Grassley Dossier Criminal Referral
Graham looks like a ‘man possessed’ over dossier obsession, Swalwell says

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is among those pushing for a criminal investigation into the author of the Trump Russia dossier. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democrat on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham “looks like a man possessed” as he and other Republican lawmakers amp up pressure on the main actors behind the Trump dossier alleging the president is compromised by ties to Russia.

Graham and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa recommended a criminal investigation into Christopher Steele, the dossier author, for making false statements to federal investigators.

Analysis: Five Ways Trump Dimmed the Tax Bill Glow
Chaos returns to White House, overshadowing legislative agenda

President Trump walks along the White House's West Colonnade of the White House on Wednesday evening. (White House photo via Flickr)

President Donald Trump was excited, beaming behind the storied Resolute Desk three days before Christmas. He joked with reporters and offered camera operators presidential ink pens. And he boasted that, after a year with more downs than ups, he was starting to figure out how to be president.

“So, you know, it’s been a process,” he said after securing his first major legislative win by signing a GOP tax bill into law — and terminating the Obama-era health law’s individual mandate at the same time. “It’s been a great process. Really beautiful.” In the days that followed, he assured members of his Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida his administration was about to have a “great” second year.

Trump v. Bannon: Trial of the Century or Just Trash Talk?
Legal experts doubt president would brave legal scrutiny to follow through on lawsuit threat

Steve Bannon arrives for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s “Drain the Swamp” campaign rally in Midland City, Ala., in December. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It would be the political trial of the century: President Donald Trump versus former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

But don’t expect the president’s legal threats against his former right-hand man to escalate beyond the cease-and-desist letter from his lawyers, legal experts say.