John T. Bennett

Trump calls Pelosi ‘incompetent’ for launching impeachment inquiry
White House official says Trump ‘is expected to sign’ short-term spending bill

Continuing their yearslong feud, President Donald Trump on Tuesday called Speaker Nancy Pelosi “incompetent” over House Democrats’ impeachment probe.

The president also lashed out at the media, saying their coverage of his unscheduled visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday shows news outlets are “sick.” There also were indications from the president’s staff that he will not trigger another government shutdown later this week.

In run-up to crucial impeachment hearings, president hits a rough patch
Despite Trump’s troubles, has impeachment ‘moved the needle?’ One Dem strategist says no

An embattled Donald Trump enters one of the most consequential weeks of his presidency on defense, reeling from self-inflicted wounds, political setbacks and a surprise hospital visit the White House is struggling to explain.

This week will keep the focus on the president as nine administration witnesses head to Capitol Hill to testify in the House impeachment inquiry. Several told lawmakers behind closed doors they understood Trump ordered military aid to Ukraine frozen until its new president agreed to publicly state he would investigate U.S. Democrats.

Trump ignites firestorm during impeachment hearing — with just two tweets
‘Be quiet!’: Agitated president lashes out at reporter‘s questions about tweet

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was fired  by President Donald Trump had just begun her public testimony in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Then came the tweet.

“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him,” he wrote. “It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.

Trump goes after Adam Schiff at Louisiana rally for GOP governor nominee
President’s ‘brand is winning’ so ‘losing anything, anywhere … hurts that brand,’ Republican strategist says

President Donald Trump on Thursday night used a political rally in Louisiana, billed as a late-race assist to the Republican candidate for governor, to blast the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry and insult House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff.

“While we are creating jobs and killing terrorists, the radical left — Democrats — are ripping our country apart,” he said to boos from the crowd inside the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City. He later accused Democrats of trying to “sabotage our democracy.”

Going all in on Louisiana governor’s race, Trump tries to ‘thread a needle’
‘This is not a Republican Party like it was two or three years ago,’ GOP strategist says

President Donald Trump on Thursday continues his considerable effort to rally Louisiana Republicans to oust the Democratic governor, making his fourth trip to boost GOP candidate Eddie Rispone.

The attempt to take personal ownership of the contest comes with some risk for Trump, who has already seen control of the House go to the opposite party in the 2018 midterms and a personal pitch to help the Republican governor in Kentucky, a state he won by 30 points in 2016, seemingly come up short last week.

Trump, White House aides show some restraint on Day One of public impeachment hearings
‘I haven’t watched,’ president claims after spokeswoman called televised session ‘boring’

ANALYSIS — For once, the often-brash and always-combative Trump White House played it safe.

On day one of House Democrats’ public impeachment hearings, President Donald Trump and his top aides opted against firing back to sometimes-damning testimony by two administration witnesses and allegations of corrupt intent from Intelligence Committee Democrats.

White House says Trump ‘too busy’ to watch ‘boring’ impeachment hearing
President cared more about Biden probe than corruption in Ukraine, diplomat testifies

President Donald Trump — an avid cable news consumer — contended Wednesday he is “too busy” to watch the first public impeachment hearing, but he dismissed it as a made-for-television “hoax.”

The White House-Republican strategy for providing a counter message to testimony from acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent about two quid-pro-quos with Ukraine’s new president orchestrated by Trump began to unfold in the hearing’s first two hours.

Trump declares economic ‘boom’ underway as CBO sounds slowdown alarms
Congressional analysts predict slower GDP growth, lower labor force participation

Despite warning signs of an economic slowdown, President Donald Trump on Tuesday told an audience of wealthy and influential New York players that the U.S. economy is booming — almost exclusively because of his stewardship.

“Today, I am proud to stand before you as President to report that we have delivered on our promises — and exceeded our expectations. We have ended the war on American Workers, we have stopped the assault on American Industry, and we have launched an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before,” Trump said at a lunch hour address before the Economic Club of New York, the word “boom” in all capital letters on the White House-released excerpts.

Trump to host Turkey’s Erdogan same day public impeachment hearings start
Bipartisan calls to cancel visit ignored, as experts say Washington still needs Ankara

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be feted Wednesday at the White House despite his attacks on a longtime U.S. ally, his purchase of military equipment from Russia and calls from lawmakers in both parties to punish him.

President Donald Trump and top aides have ignored bipartisan calls to cancel Erdogan’s visit, which is expected to include a joint press conference on the same day public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry begin.

Trump declines to endorse Jeff Sessions’ Senate bid — but doesn't deliver death knell
President says of House Democrats in impeachment probe: ‘We're kicking their ass’

Donald Trump on Friday declined to endorse Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general he fired after several clashes, as the Alabama Republican seeks the Senate seat he held for decades before joining the administration.

But he also did not demand the former AG end his bid on its first full day, giving Sessions’ campaign life — because of “nice” things the Alabaman said about the president on television. As he departed the White House for fundraisers and an event with black voters, he also told reporters during another wild “Chopper Talk” gaggle he is “kicking their ass,” referring to House Democrats in their impeachment probe.

3 takeaways after Trump rallies in Louisiana: President takes ownership of governor’s race
GOP Sen. Kennedy urges voters at Monroe rally to resist being ‘happy with crappy’

ANALYSIS — Donald Trump had a very special announcement for supporters Wednesday night in Monroe, Louisiana. It was one that shows the extent to which the president is taking ownership of — and rolling the dice on — the tight race for the governor’s mansion there.

“By the way, this Saturday … I’m going to be at a certain game,” a smiling Trump said. “Let’s see, it’s LSU versus a pretty good team from Alabama. … I’m a football fan, I hear you have a great quarterback. We’re going to see him,” he said of Joe Burrow, the star QB of the No. 2 Tigers. “But I’m actually going to the game. I said: That’s the game I want to go to.

Gloom and doom in Louisiana: Trump warns of deep ‘depression’ if he loses in 2020
President tries to swing governor’s race toward Republican Eddie Rispone

Using his typical brash rhetoric, President Donald Trump on Wednesday night warned a Louisiana rally crowd to expect economic gloom and doom if he is defeated next November.

“You will have a depression the likes of which you’ve never seen before,” he said.

Trump, GOP senators throw themselves a party to celebrate judicial overhaul
Mitch McConnell to POTUS: ‘Boy, you didn’t blow it. Neil Gorsuch is an all-star’

President Donald Trump and Republican senators took a victory lap  Wednesday to celebrate their push to put nearly 150 of their picks on federal benches from coast to coast.

“It starts with Mitch — because you never gave me a call and said, ‘Maybe we can do it an easier way,’” Trump said during a lively ceremony in the White House’s ornate East Room.

Tuesday elections show Trump coattails are mostly rural, experts say
POTUS reelection effort hinges out turning out base in greater numbers

Tuesday’s election results show Republican candidates should be wary of nationalizing their races and the Trump campaign continues to hemorrhage voters that have long been under the GOP tent, political experts and strategists say.

Though analysts still see President Donald Trump as a formidable candidate as he seeks a second term, some say Republican candidates in suburban areas should resist “nationalizing” their races the way Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin did. The Republican state chief executive ran as a true Trump Republican — but appears to have lost his reelection bid to Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear.

‘The Giuliani problem’ and other takeaways from diplomats’ impeachment testimony
Officials’ statements to lawmakers sketch organizational, policy confusion

Kurt Volker knew by early July that he and other Trump administration officials had a problem. More precisely, he realized, “There’s a Giuliani problem here.”

That is what the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine told the House panels leading Democrats’ impeachment inquiry just weeks ago, referring to Rudolph Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney. The former U.S. attorney and New York City mayor is at the forefront of testimony that Volcker and Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, gave the House committees. Giuliani’s name comes up over and over, with both officials raising concerns about his role in American diplomacy despite having no government position.

The way Trump weaves economy, impeachment in reelection messaging
‘Your 401(K)s, how you doing? Pretty good?’ president says in Kentucky before warning of ‘overthrow’

President Donald Trump’s campaign aides and surrogates say his top argument for a second term is the economy. Yet, at a campaign rally Monday night in Kentucky, the president repeatedly chased his economic sales pitch with a shot of impeachment.

Relatively early in his Lexington rally — the expressed purpose of which was to boost GOP Gov. Matt Bevin’s reelection bid in Tuesday’s election there — Trump launched into one of his favorite bits about the economy.

Trump urges reelection of ‘pain in the ass’ Kentucky governor as a 2020 ‘message’
McConnell touts his judicial nominees strategy at Lexington rally: ‘Leave no vacancy behind’

President Donald Trump on Monday unveiled a new attack on Democrats one year ahead of the 2020 election, saying at a rally in Kentucky that the party wants to enact an “authoritarian agenda.”

Trump also vowed to return to the state “many times” to campaign for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who faces what some political experts call a serious Democratic challenge from Amy McGrath. Trump also urged Kentucky voters to reelect their “pain in the ass” incumbent Republican governor, Matt Bevin, to “send a message” about Trump’s own coattails.

Trump brings up impeachment during Nationals White House celebration
President praises players' hair and teases Nats pitcher Sanchez

President Donald Trump almost stuck to the script Monday as the Washington Nationals brought their gleaming World Series championship trophy to the White House. Almost.

House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry was clearly as on his mind after a morning of firing off tweets slamming Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff and the whistleblower who formally raised concerns about Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with Ukraine’s new president.

Trump thrives amid turmoil, and is banking that voters won’t mind
The president admitted of the even more chaotic environment: ‘I sort of thrive on it’

Donald Trump’s presidency has thrust the United States into plenty of unprecedented territory and it could again if the brash, testosterone-fueled campaign he is sculpting becomes the first featuring an impeached incumbent chief executive.

Political insiders from both parties, echoed by nonpartisan experts, said all summer that forecasting the 2020 presidential race was almost impossible for a raft of reasons. Then came Sept. 24.

Trump has no China trade pact, but he does have a signing location in mind
2020 battleground state of Iowa is president’s preferred spot

President Donald Trump gave no indication Friday he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are closer to signing a “Phase One” trade pact, but he does have a place in mind where a signing event for it could happen — a battleground state that has borne the brunt of the U.S.-China trade war.

“It could even be in Iowa,” he told reporters on the White House South Lawn as he departed for a campaign rally in Mississippi. “I would do it in the U.S. He would too,” he added, speaking for Xi.