The U.S. mission in Iraq ended the year on a violent note Tuesday as supporters of an Iran-backed militia breached the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, vandalizing the property and causing U.S.
President Trump opened himself up to a new line of attack from Democrats by vigorously criticizing the record of a former ambassador to Ukraine who he ousted earlier this year after she faced a smear
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Thursday blasted President Trump for asking China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, calling it a “fundamental breach” of presidential decorum and a threat to national security.
Emerging from a closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement, where lawmakers from three committees are interviewing a key witness as part of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, Schiff said the comments are evidence that Trump has ignored the lessons from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference — and Mueller’s warnings of ongoing foreign influence over critical domestic affairs.
“To have the president of the United States suggesting — urging — a foreign country to interfere in our presidential elections is an illustration that this president, if he learned anything from the two years of the Mueller investigation, it’s that he feels he can do anything with impunity,” Schiff told a crowd of reporters staking out the meeting.
“The president of the United States encouraging a foreign nation to interfere again to help his campaign by investigating a rival is a fundamental breach of the presidential oath of office,” Schiff continued. “It endangers our elections; it endangers our national security. It ought to be condemned by every member of this body, Democrats and Republicans alike.”
Hours earlier, Trump raised plenty of eyebrows when he called on the leaders of China and Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
“I would think that if they were honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Trump is already under fire after the recent revelation, unveiled in an anonymous whistleblower complaint, that Trump had urged Ukraine’s president in July to investigate corruption allegations against the Bidens.
In response, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), after months tamping down the impeachment push, endorsed a formal inquiry. As part of the process, Democrats have subpoenaed administration documents related to the Ukraine affair, while seeking depositions from a handful of current and former State Department officials with knowledge of the episode.
Someone really ought to introduce Donald Trump to the phrase, “Never let ‘em see you sweat.”
President Donald Trump escalated his complaints about the myriad of investigations he is facing on Thursday morning, tweeting that there was “no reason” for the House Intelligence Committee to open a new, sweeping probe into whether his decision making as president is motivated by financial gain.
A day after claiming he’s never heard of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Trump began the day by lashing out at the congressman, claiming that the Democrat is poised to examine “every aspect of my life, both financial and personal.”
The president went on to say that “unlimited presidential harassment” has “never happened before,” adding, “The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House!”
He concluded the little Twitter tantrum, “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT! It should never be allowed to happen again!”
These are not the missives of a man who’s feeling confident in the face of scrutiny. On the contrary, between these tweets and his State of the Union threat, Trump appears to be panicking a bit.
Let’s unpack the tantrum a little, because the presidential pitch is deeply flawed.
Are Adam Schiff and House Dems going to investigate every aspect of Trump’s life, “both financial and personal”? No. As Rachel explained on last night’s show, the House Intelligence Committee has established five areas of interest in its investigation into the Russia scandal. The scope includes probing “whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates.”
Sure, that’s likely to make the president uncomfortable, but it’s hardly an unreasonable line of inquiry under the circumstances.
Is this level of scrutiny unprecedented? It’s probably fair to say the Russia scandal is itself unique in American history, but Trump may not realize just how aggressive Republicans were when investigating the Clinton and Obama presidencies. Maybe someone can share with Trump some reading materials on the number of Benghazi investigations Congress launched and the melons Dan Burton used to shoot in his backyard.
For that matter, maybe the guy who harassed Obama for years with a racist conspiracy theory should avoid about whining about “presidential harassment.”