Here’s a summary of some of the most intriguing political stories closing out today’s news cycle:
Bannon Knocked Down A Peg: If there was anyone in Trump’s orbit that seemed untouchable, it was WH Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon. When he was given a seat at the NSC table, the unprecedented and bizarre move drew bipartisan ire in swift and unequivocal measure. Today, Bannon was very publicly stripped of that seat.
The former Naval Intelligence Officer and Chief of alt-right platform, Breitbart News, Bannon has often stayed in the shadows preferring the measure and power of his influence to be felt. In a rare joint appearance with WH Chief of Staff Reince Priebus back in February, Bannon’s language was aggressive calling the news media, “the opposition party” and that the goal of the Trump Administration was the deconstruction of “the administrative state.” Could it be that the mercurial Trump has tired of Bannon’s alt-right ideological philosophy and approach to governing? Or is it as some have suggested that perhaps Trump, with the cloud of collusion on behalf of his staff with Russian officials during the 2016 election cycle, is separating himself from all those who could ultimately prove to be stain in that regard? More as the story develops.
Trump Defends O’Reilly Amidst Sexual Assault Scandal: President Donald J. Trump, in a statement regarding the snowballing sexual assault scandal against talk show juggernaut Bill O’Reilly, weighed in saying, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” Many have decried the statement by the leader of the free world as dismissive and condescending to the victims of O’Reilly’s unwanted and unsolicited advances (some of whom Fox News has already settled suits to the tune of $13 million). We believe this is another case of Trump’s personal loyalty blurring his political sensibilities. The optics are just bad here. 1) How could Trump possibly or even remotely know if O’Reilly “did anything wrong”? The short answer is he couldn’t. 2) By making this statement, Trump has immediately inferred nefarious intent on the victims. Victims, as we stated, that have received settlements for O’Reilly’s abuse. He has, with the opening of his mouth, basically said that all these women are liars and that good old Bill is beyond reproach. Someone should have advised #45 to just shut up on this one. I mean, he’s already got so much foot in his mouth, who knew he had room for more?
Schiff Says WH Reneging On Promise to Provide Documents: House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff stated today regarding “unmasking” allegations that the White House has not been forthcoming with documents it says promised to support those allegations. “If these documents are so damning or so indicating of the President, as he suggests, why are they opposing efforts to provide them to the full committee? I think that’s a question worthy of the White House answering.” It indeed has been a confusing maze of cat and mouse between Rep Devin Nunes and Rep Adam Schiff as it pertains to the hearings investigating Trump campaign officials colluding with Russia during the 2016 election. Nunes shook intelligence protocol to the core when he went directly to the WH with information regarding the unmasking of intelligence that should have been shared with the joint committee. He basically shared information critical to the investigation of the Trump Administration, with the Trump Administration. Clear conflict of interest. So now we wait and see if the WH will actually cooperate as they said they would and should with the investigation or if they will continue to stall with the handing over of critical information. And the bigger question here is, why do they continue to stall?
Think Passionately. Disrupt Strategically.
-A. Lawrence Haskins
United States Congress: (202) 225-3121
ALH Around the Web: