Hosts of Southern California’s “Morning Answer” radio show were wrapping up a two-hour live broadcast from a white tent just outside the West Wing last week and marveling at their access to Cabinet secretaries and prominent administration figures.
“If you’re a Trumpkin,” host Brian Whitman told his listeners on AM 870, “this is like fantasy camp.”
The White House’s daylong hospitality for Salem Radio Network, a nationwide chain of Christian and conservative stations, underscored President Trump’s continued courtship of — and increased dependence on — core supporters as he confronts a stalled agenda and increasingly perilous investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Russia and he subsequently sought to obstruct the inquiries.
In the year since Donald Trump won the Republican presidential nomination, party leaders have been reluctant to challenge a man who has formed a tight bond with conservative voters, even when he upset party orthodoxies and norms of presidential behavior.
But that reticence is breaking down. A convergence of contentious issues, as well as embarrassing infighting and shake-ups at the White House, have a number of Republicans suddenly in open resistance to Trump on a number of fronts.
President Trump ousted his beleaguered chief of staff, Reince Priebus, naming Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly to replace him Friday in the latest White House shake-up as the administration struggles to emerge from bitter staff infighting and a stalled legislative agenda.
Trump announced the abrupt reshuffle in three posts on Twitter hours after the Senate killed his latest plans to rewrite President Obama’s signature healthcare law, dealing another harsh blow to the White House.
The tweets, sent as Trump was returning on Air Force One with Priebus after a speech on gang violence in New York, caught Capitol Hill and others off guard even though Priebus’ stature in Trump’s inner circle has been in sharp decline for some time.
Russia urged the United States on Monday to show “political will” to mend ties even as it ordered sweeping cuts of U.S. embassy personnel unseen since Cold War times.
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said it will take time for the U.S. to recover from what he called “political schizophrenia,” but added that Russia remains interested in constructive cooperation with the U.S.
“We are interested in a steady development of our ties and are sorry to note that we are still far from that,” he said.
A pair of prominent lawmakers urged President Trump on Sunday not to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in the wake of failed Republican efforts to scrap his predecessor’s signature legislative achievement.
But Trump urged GOP senators to try again to push through some version of repealing and replacing the law, even though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said last week it was time to move on to other matters.
Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway said the president would decide in coming days whether to block subsidies that are a crucial component of the existing healthcare law.
Frustrated by the failure of the Obamacare repeal in the Senate, President Trump on Saturday threatened to end federal subsidies for healthcare insurance — for Congress as well as the rest of the country.
After seven years of "talking" Repeal & Replace, the people of our great country are still being forced to live with imploding ObamaCare!
“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Trump tweeted, fuming about Congress’ failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which he said was “imploding.”
Such a move could cause havoc and much higher premiums in insurance markets, since many low- and moderate-income people depend on those subsidies to help cover the cost of their policies. Through a series of administrative maneuvers by Congress and the Obama administration, members and their staffs also benefit from those subsidies.
Iran defied Washington and condemned new U.S. sanctions over its development of missiles capable of being armed with nuclear warheads.
"We will continue with full power our missile program," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told state television IRIB on Saturday, dismissing new sanctions passed by Congress last week as, “hostile, reprehensible and unacceptable.”
“It’s ultimately an effort to weaken the nuclear deal,” Ghasemi said, adding, “The military and missile fields … are our domestic policies and others have no right to intervene or comment on them.”
President Trump wants police to know that he – not mayors – has their back.
“I've met police that are great police that aren't allowed to do their job because they have a pathetic mayor or a mayor that doesn't know what's going on," Trump said Friday in a speech before police officers in Brentwood, N.Y.
The comments from Trump, who in his address highlighted crime in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, drew applause from some in attendance.
President Trump was back on Twitter early Saturday morning, closing out a chaoticanddisappointing week with one of his signature online rants.
He took no responsibility for the collapse of the GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, instead suggesting Senate leaders are weak for refusing to change filibuster rules. (Even with the change in rules Trump is calling for, there were still not enough GOP votes in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act.)
Republican Senate must get rid of 60 vote NOW! It is killing the R Party, allows 8 Dems to control country. 200 Bills sit in Senate. A JOKE!
President Trump will sign a package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia that passed Congress with overwhelming support, the White House said Friday.
Moscow has already responded, ordering a reduction in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia and closing the U.S. Embassy's recreation retreat.
Trump's willingness to support the measure is a remarkable acknowledgement that he has yet to sell his party on his hopes of forging a warmer relationship with Moscow. His vow to extend a hand of cooperation to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been met with resistance as skeptical lawmakers look to limit the president's leeway to go easy on Moscow over its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.