Rocked by revelations of his disfunctional leadership and by the declaration of “Quiet Resistance” from inside the Administration, Donald Trump tries to rally in an appearance in Montana.
But Trump betrayed his growing concern over impeachment, telling the crowd:
You didn’t go out to vote — that’s the only way it could happen.
I’ll be the only President in history they’ll say: “What a job he’s done! By the way, we’re impeaching him.”
Trump was ostensibly in Billings to support GOP candidate Matt Rosendale, who is challenging Democrat incumbent Jon Tester in a close race for the US Senate. But as with all his appearances, the rally quickly turned into Trump’s promotion of himself and attacks on his critics.
Trump opened with the same tactics he has used since Wednesday, when he was hit with a double blow. First, there were the extracts from Bob Woodward’s book Fear — with advisors calling him a “moron” and “idiot”, speaking of the Administration as “Crazyland”, and hiding papers from him to avoid his rash decisions — and then the Op-Ed by a “senior Administration official” in The New York Times, describing how “dozens” of officials are trying to contain and even push back an erratic, ill-informed, and “amoral” President.
He recited a litany of supposed accomplishments, beginning with a series of sweeping statements about the economy — some of them exaggerated and out-of-context. He referred to this week’s confirmation hearings for nominated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and to “The Wall” with Mexico, misrepresented issues such as tariffs and the US relationship with NATO, and assailed Democrats, “fake news”, and “Crooked Hillary” Clinton and “Crazy Bernie” Sanders.
But the centerpiece of his address was November’s Congressional votes and an impeachment threatened by both the Trump-Russian investigation and the gathering claims about his competence and temperment.
“Is he competent? I think I’m very competent,” Trump asked and answered and continued:
This election, you aren’t just voting for a candidate, you are voting for which party controls Congress. Very important thing. Very important thing.
He set up a mock conversation between himself and his regular targets, notably Rep. Maxine Waters of California, with his voice rising to a shout:
They like to use the “impeach” word. “Impeach Trump.” Maxine Waters: “We will impeach him.”
“But he didn’t do anything wrong.”
“It doesn’t matter. We will impeach him. We will impeach.”
But I say, “how do you impeach somebody that’s doing a great job, that hasn’t done anything wrong? Our economy is good. How do you do it? How do you do it? How do you do it?”
“We will impeach him!”
“But he’s doing a great job!”
Remember that line, “He’s doing a great job.”
“That doesn’t matter. We’ll impeach him.”
Trump then added to his recent warnings that his impeachment will lead to recession and a stock market crash: “Everybody would be very poor.”
The US will become a “Third World country”, he pronounced.
Giuliani: Trump Won’t Answer Mueller Questions — In Writing or In Person
Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says Trump will not answer questions in the Trump-Russia investigation, in writing or in person.
Trump’s lawyers and Mueller’s investigators have been negotiating for months over an interview. The attorney’s statement is a shift from the previous line that Trump might answer a set of written enquries from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, while refusing a face-to-face encounter.
Giuliani’s statement indicates that the Trump team is worried not just about the possibility of perjury in a Trump discussion with Mueller, but about the provision of any information which may reinforce the case against their client.
Giuliani also ruled out any mention of obstruction of justice: “That’s a no-go. That is not going to happen. There will be no questions at all on obstruction.”
In a letter last week, Mueller’s team said it would accept written responses from Trump on questions related to Russian election interference.
But Giuliani said that, after considering the initial submission, there can be no further written questions: “If you want to follow up on our answers, justify it. Show us why you didn’t get there the first time.”
He continued, “We aren’t going to let them spring it on us.”
416 Immigrant Children Still Separated from Parents
Six weeks after a court-ordered deadline for reunions, 416 immigrant children are still separated from their parents.
The children were among 2,654 seized under the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy from April, ordering the detention of parents and break-up of families even if the immigrants were on the way to a port of entry to seek asylum.
The courts ordered a suspension to the seizures in June, with Judge Dana Sabraw setting the deadline for reunions by late July.
However, poor record-keeping and deportations of parents have maintained the hundreds of separations. Of the 416 children, 304 have parents who have been returned to home countries.
Fourteen of the children are under 5 years old.