“We went through hell unfairly. Did nothing wrong. Did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit. Not purposely, but I’ve done things wrong. …” Trump said in an hourlong, rambling speech in the East Room.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday trashed President Trump’s raucous State of the Union address while huddling with rank-and-file Democrats, and explained why she dramatically ripped up his speech as he wrapped up his remarks.
“He shredded the truth so I shredded his speech,” Pelosi told House Democrats during a closed-door caucus meeting, according to sources in the room. Like she did the night before, she called his 90-minute address “a manifesto of mistruths.”
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.
New public opinion surveys show signs of trouble for President Trump in the fast-evolving impeachment inquiry unfolding just 13 months out from Election Day.
Polls out this week show independents and a growing share of Republicans warming to the inquiry or expressing concern about Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
While early shifts in support of impeachment appeared to be driven by Democrats, a Washington Post-Schar School poll released on Tuesday rocked Washington, finding that nearly 30 percent of Republicans support the impeachment investigation and nearly 20 percent support a Senate vote to remove the president if he is impeached in the House.
Since July, the poll found support for an impeachment inquiry has grown by 25 points among Democrats, 21 points among Republicans and 20 points among independents.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls, support for impeachment among Republicans has increased from 8 percent last month to 16.2 percent presently, while support among independents has leaped from 33.9 percent to 44.4 percent.
Some Democrats who were worried that impeachment would backfire are breathing a little bit easier now, confident that if they lay out the case for impeachment, public opinion will follow.
“This is becoming a serious liability for the president and for the Republicans who remain with him,” said Andrew Feldman, a Democratic strategist.
Still, there is debate among experts about the significance of the new polls, and not all Democrats are convinced that the impeachment gamble won’t come back to haunt them.
“Hillary Clinton was leading in the polls on Election Day,” said one Democratic fundraiser. “I want to see this poll again when we start having people testify over the course of a few months after Republicans stay on message and use Fox News to their advantage. If by then independents are still for it, ok. But I don’t see that happening.”
Trump and his allies have only just begun running millions of dollars worth of ads attacking Democrats for launching the impeachment inquiry.
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.
Comments from the Minnesota lawmaker last month about 9/11, criticizing its use as a cudgel against Muslim Americans, have been the subject of intense criticism that escalated on Friday when Trump highlighted them in a video he tweeted.
Speaking at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last month, Omar said “some people did something” in reference to the 9/11 attacks before explaining that some used the attack to advocate for taking away civil liberties from Muslim Americans.
Trump on Friday shared an edited video superimposing the remarks over images and video of the 2001 terrorist attacks that appeared to suggest Omar was dismissing what happened. “We will never forget,” he tweeted.
The tweet drew immediate backlash and led Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to issue a statement on Sunday saying she had alerted the U.S. Capitol Police in order to ensure Omar’s safety.
The measure is expected to pass the Democratic-held House, but will need to win GOP support to get through the Senate.
Republicans are urging President Trump to step back, for now, from the negotiations to prevent a second partial government shutdown.
The president is offering a running, real-time commentary about the conference committee tasked with breaking the months-long stalemate between the White House and congressional Democrats, frustrating lawmakers who worry Trump is complicating already difficult talks.
In a tweet on Thursday, Trump warned that Republicans on the panel might be “wasting their time.”
He later added during a rollercoaster White House appearance before reporters that he “won’t even look” at a deal that didn’t including funding for his wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
GOP senators say Trump should stick to the sidelines and let the bipartisan group of appropriators, known for their ability to cut deals, get to work.
“I think it would be more worthwhile and effective if the president would allow some space for these negotiations to occur and not be doing commentary at this point,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said he hoped Trump’s skepticism was “wrong” and that the president was just “trying to set expectations low.”
Asked if the president should give negotiators some space, Thune added: “I think it’s good to let them do their thing and see what they can come up with.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), asked about Trump’s belief that Republicans are wasting their time, said she was trying to “urge success” and that the conference committee should “be empowered to do their work.”
Allies of President Trump are growing increasingly concerned about the political impact of the partial government shutdown, which has now entered its fifth week.
Trump evinces confidence that he will prevail in the battle to secure funding for the southern border wall he promised at almost every opportunity during his 2016 campaign.
But even some veterans of his own White House aren’t sure he fully grasps the odds he faces.
“The president jumped without looking first,” said one former White House official. “And can you imagine the humiliation the president would bring on himself if he caved and got little or nothing in return?”
Trump could yet reframe the whole debate when he makes a new statement on the crisis, scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday. So far, he has held fast to his insistence that he wants $5.7 billion in funding for a border well. Democrats have been adamant that they will not give it to him. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called the concept of a border wall an “immorality.”
The dispute took on a more personal — and petty — tone in recent days.
Pelosi made a power play by writing to Trump suggesting he postpone — or deliver in writing — his State of the Union address, currently scheduled for Jan. 29.
Trump hit back on Thursday, revoking permission at the last minute for Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers to use military planes for a scheduled trip to Belgium and Afghanistan. Trump suggested the Speaker and her party colleagues could use commercial planes to travel overseas if they wished.
The acrimony only increased on Friday, as Pelosi canceled the trip outright, with her aides accusing the White House of having fueled security concerns by leaking the details of the trip.