Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro said Monday that Donald Trump failed in responding to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
“Unfortunately, as all of us witnessed, the Trump administration failed the people of Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria hit,” Castro said in San Juan, the Hill reported.
Castro spoke at a Latino Victory Fund summit in Puerto Rico after announcing his presidential bid over the weekend in his home town of San Antonio.
A number of prominent Democrats have gathered in San Juan for a retreat hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s political PAC, as well as the Latino Victory Fund event.
“I chose as my first visit after [my] announcement to come to Puerto Rico, because I want all the people of Puerto Rico to know that you count, that we respect you,” Castro said, according to the Hill.
Donald Trump responded dismissively when asked about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying that he is a racist. “Who cares?” he said in remarks to reporters outside the White House.
The new New York Congresswoman says she can tell she’s getting under his skin.
Donald Trump declined to condemn Steve King’s remarks about white supremacy, saying when asked by a reporter today: “I haven’t been following it.”
King, an Iowa Republican, is under fire after saying to the New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, western civilization – how did that language become offensive?” He’s set to meet today with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who vowed to take action over the comments.
Trump’s attorney general pick to say it’s “vitally important” to complete Mueller probe
Attorney general nominee William Barr will say it’s “vitally important” for special counsel Robert Mueller to be able to complete his Russia investigation, according to testimony prepared for his confirmation hearing and obtained by the Associated Press.
“I believe it is in the best interest of everyone — the President, Congress, and, most importantly, the American people – that this matter be resolved by allowing the Special Counsel to complete his work,” Barr will say.
He also plans to say Congress and the public should be “be informed of the results of the special counsel’s work,” CNN reported.
“For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law. I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decision,” he says in the prepared remarks.
The confirmation hearing is set to begin Tuesday.
Barr also plans to say Trump has not asked for any promises from him regarding his handling of the investigation. Trump “sought no assurances, promises, or commitments from me of any kind, either express or implied, and I have not given him any,” he says in the prepared remarks, according to AP.
Donald Trump will meet with Clemson’s national champion football team at the White House after returning from a trip to New Orleans, and had some thoughts on their culinary preferences before he took off.
“They’ll be coming tonight, and I think we’ll serve McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King with some pizza,” Trump said. “I would think that’s their favorite food.”
Donald Trump in remarks outside the White House claimed that some Democrats are “breaking” in the government shutdown fight while Republicans are “rock solid.”
Trump is refusing to sign off on government funding unless he gets money for a wall on the US-Mexico border, leading to a partial shutdown of the government.
Trump noted some Democratic lawmakers have been in Puerto Rico, where they traveled as part of a Congressional delegation. “Maybe they’re celebrating the shutdown,” he said.
“Many of them are breaking. The Republicans are rock solid. We’ve got to take care of the border,” Trump went on. “The Democrats have to do something. We need their votes. Otherwise we can’t solve it.”
Trump attacks FBI officials who investigated his Russia ties as “scoundrels”
Donald Trump called the FBI officials who started an investigation into whether he had worked on Russia’s behest “known scoundrels. I guess you could say they’re dirty cops.”
“I never worked for Russia. And you know that answer better than anybody. I never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it’s a disgrace that you even asked that question because it’s a whole big fat hoax. It’s just a hoax,” Trump said.
But Trump then appeared to confirm the investigation existed, complaining about the officials who started it.
He singled out Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, and agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
“I guess they started it because I fired Comey, which was a great thing I did for our country,” he said. “I have done a great service for our country when I fired James Comey, because he was a bad cop and he was a dirty cop and he lied.”
Trump also discussed a meeting he had with Vladimir Putin, where the Washington Post reported he took his translator’s notes and told him not to disclose the contents of the meeting to other US officials.
“That was a very good meeting. It was actually a very successful meeting,” he said, adding they had discussed Israel and an oil pipeline. “We have those meetings all the time. No big deal.”
Trump denies he ever worked for Russia
Donald Trump is explicitly denying he ever worked for Russia.
“I never worked for Russia,” he told reporters outside the White House, per AP.
Previously, Trump had called the question “insulting” but did not directly answer.
Here’s some new advice from Donald Trump to members of the press: Take a nice long vacation. “Chill!” he added in a tweet that also repeated his attacks on “Fake News” and claimed journalists have “gone MAD!”
A New York immigration group is launching a $1 million campaign to get the state to grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, the Daily News reports.
Issuing the drivers licenses has become a real possibility, along with a slew of other progressive measures, since Democrats took over the state Senate in New York, which had been the last bastion of Republican control in the state.
The New York Immigration Coalition will fund a Super PAC and spend at least $1 million on TV, radio and online ads.
There are dozens of out of work former members of Congress, many of them looking for lobbying gigs and not all of them likely to get one, Politico reports this morning.
“Former Republican congressmen are a dime a dozen right now,” former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), now a lobbyist for Holland & Knight, told Politico. “I think there are still a lot of people who are scrambling and looking.”
Some lawmakers already have lobbying gigs, though. Former Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lamar Smith joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Sen. Jon Kyl, who left Covington & Burling to temporarily fill John McCain’s Arizona Senate seat after his death, has now returned to his old firm.
Donald Trump on Dec. 11 said of the possibility of a government shutdown: “I am proud to shut down the government for border security.” If that left any doubt, he said: “I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.”
This morning, on the 24th day of the partial shutdown, he said of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer: “Nancy and Cryin’ Chuck can end the Shutdown in 15 minutes. At this point it has become their, and the Democrats, fault!”
Donald Trump invoked one of the worst massacres against Native Americans in US history late last night as a way to continue mocking Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren over her claims of Native American heritage.
“If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas, did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash!” he wrote.
US soldiers killed up to 400 Sioux at the Wounded Knee massacre in South Dakota in 1890.
Critics, who have long called Trump’s use of “Pocahontas” as a slur offensive, denounced his latest comments.
FBI discussed whether Trump was following orders from Russia
Senior FBI officials met soon after Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director to discuss launching an investigation into whether the president had been acting on behalf of Russia, according to transcripts of congressional testimony obtained by CNN.
The group debated a range of possibilities: at one extreme, the possibility that Trump fired Comey on direct instructions from Russia. At the other end, that he had done nothing wrong and was appropriately exercising his executive power.
James Baker, then the FBI general counsel, said in the House interview last year that the bureau officials were discussing whether Trump was “acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing their will,” according to CNN.
“That was one extreme. The other extreme is that the President is completely innocent, and we discussed that too,” Baker said. “There’s a range of things this could possibly be. We need to investigate, because we don’t know whether, you know, the worst-case scenario is possibly true or the President is totally innocent and we need to get this thing over with — and so he can move forward with his agenda.”
Baker said the possibility of Trump taking orders from Russia was “discussed as a theoretical possibility.”
“I’m speaking theoretically. If the President of the United States fired Jim Comey at the behest of the Russian government, that would be unlawful and unconstitutional,” Baker said.
“Is that what happened here?” asked Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican.
“I don’t know,” Baker said. At that point the FBI cut off the line of questioning.
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