2016

Analysis: Migrants, ‘Rocket Man’ and Trump’s Ever-Changing Mind
Executive order another contradictory move in an ever-changing presidency

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he arrives at the Capitol for a meeting on immigration with House Republicans on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump is a hardliner. Until he’s not. Donald Trump is open to compromise. Until he’s not.

The president — yet again — on Thursday reversed himself on a major issue by ending his administration’s practice of separating migrant families. In doing so, he bowed to all kinds of pressure: from his wife and daughter, from human rights groups, from Democratic members — and even from his fellow Republicans.

Trump Hits FBI, Defends N.Korea Summit in Wild Driveway Scene
President: Without Singapore summit, ‘you’re going to have nuclear war’

U.S. President Donald Trump crosses the South Lawn after arriving at the White House on May 5, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump suggested Friday outside the White House that former FBI Director James B. Comey should be jailed and his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un averted “nuclear war.”

Trump broke with decades of protocol and ventured out to the executive mansion’s North Lawn to do a live interview with Fox News. He stayed outside with Secret Service agents scanning nearby Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Park for nearly an hour, taking a half hour of questions from a Fox anchor then another 30 minutes of questions from White House correspondents.

Trump Uses Justice IG Report to Continue Attack on Comey
Dems’ counter-narrative: Report shows FBI aided Trump’s campaign

President Trump says a Justice Department IG report is a “total disaster” for former FBI Director James B. Comey]. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday suggested a Justice Department inspector general report that faulted the FBI for its actions during the 2016 campaign shows James B. Comey is not credible as the president tries to sow doubts about the agency’s Russia probe.

The department released the IG’s final report on the FBI’s handling of a probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of State, which contained an anecdote from one senior agent involved in that case texting another about the prospect of then-businessman and reality television star Trump becoming president: “We’ll stop it.”

Analysis: Trump Trip Showed New Approach to Presidency
But lawmakers doubt future presidents will follow such a path

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participate in a Tuesday signing ceremony during a meeting on Sentosa Island in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

First, Donald Trump remade the Republican Party in his own image. And after his double-dip of G-7 and North Korea nuclear diplomacy, it’s even more obvious he’s doing the same to the presidency.

Some congressional Democrats are worried the former reality television star’s eagerness to break with decades-old norms and traditions is soiling the office and influencing future chief executives to mirror Trump’s ways. And though a handful of Republican members publicly share those concerns, most are helping him transform the highest — and long the most revered — job in the land.

Analysis: Trump Wanted a Fight. He Found One — With His Allies
Lawmakers are split over president’s tough-love approach for Europe, Canada

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron had a warm state visit in April. But since, relations have soured after Trump slapped  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was looking for a brawl with some of America’s closest allies Thursday morning. By evening, he had found — no, provoked — one. And lawmakers are split on his tough-love approach.

“Fight.”

Romney, Once the Face of ‘Never Trump,’ Embraces the President
Now running for Utah open Senate seat, former presidential nominee predicts Trump will win in 2020

Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort Conference Center at National Harbor, Md., on Friday, March 15, 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By all indications, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now fully aboard the Trump train as he prepares for the GOP primary for an open Senate seat in Utah.

In 2016, Romney called President Donald Trump a “con man” and “a fake.” But at the opening remarks of his annual mountainside retreat for business leaders and politicos on Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor predicted Trump would “solidly” win a second term in 2020 after securing the GOP nomination, The Associated Press reported.

Paul Ryan Siding With the ‘Deep State,’ GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz Says
Murmurs of revolt around speaker, conservative Florida congressman said

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., criticized Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., on Wednesday for defending the “deep state.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz fired a shot across Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s bow Wednesday, claiming Ryan was siding with the “deep state,” the FBI and  the Justice Department over congressional Republicans trying to conduct oversight on those agencies.

At issue was the speaker’s defense of the FBI earlier in the day for pursuing information from an informant in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign about Russian interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Conway: Trump to Target Red-State Dems Like Donnelly, Tester
White House counselor acknowledges president's ‘friends’ influence his decisions

White House counseor Kellyanne Conway speaks during a breakfast event with reporters Wednesday morning. (Photo provided by The Monitor)

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday said Donald Trump plans to target vulnerable red-state Democrats as the midterm election campaign heats up and denied the president is “serially untruthful.”

She also disagreed with former Speaker John A. Boehner’s stance that the Republican Party is “taking a nap” that allowed Trump to take control of it, predicted more West Wing staff upheaval and offered a window into efforts to plug a series of leaks during a breakfast event with reporters. Conway insisted the president is busily preparing for his summit with his North Korean counterpart, but struggled to provide specifics on that preparation.

Sanders Sidesteps Questions On Don Jr. Memo, Her Own Credibility
White House spox had denied president dictated misleading statement

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was under fire Monday, but opted against defending herself. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday declined to clarify a matter that could bring legal trouble for President Donald Trump while also sidestepping questions about her own credibility.

Sanders and Trump’s personal legal team for months denied the president, while returning from an overseas trip on Air Force One, dictated a misleading statement about a June 2016 meeting his oldest son had at Trump Tower with a Russian attorney claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. But that claim was directly contradicted by a confidential memorandum sent earlier this year by the president’s lawyers to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Trump Claims ‘Absolute Right’ to Pardon Himself
Democratic Rep. Beyer: President believes he is ‘above the law. He isn’t’

President Donald Trump contends he has the legal power to pardon himself. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump, echoing his legal team, on Monday asserted that his office gives him the “absolute right” to pardon himself.

The president made the claim, which is a matter of dispute among former Justice Department officials and legal experts, in a tweet that also stated he ultimately will not have to because he is innocent of any crimes.