Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News
- A California board voted to enact tougher energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, pushing back against a rollback from the Trump administration of Obama-era environmental rules.
- The jury has entered deliberations in the trial of Roger Stone, veteran political operative and longtime friend of President Trump.
- Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has said he is confident the president will remain loyal to him as an impeachment inquiry unfolds in which the former New York mayor has become a central figure. But, Giuliani joked that he had good “insurance” in case Trump did turn on him, amid speculation Republicans will seek to frame him as a rogue actor.
- A second official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine overheard U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s call with President Trump about the need for an investigation by Ukraine. Ambassador William Taylor testified Wednesday that someone on his staff overheard a July 26 call between Trump and Sondland during which Trump asked Sondland “about the investigations.” Sondland replied that “the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.” “Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine,” Taylor said. “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.”
- President Trump’s political appointees inappropriately retaliated against a career civil servant at the State Department in part because of her ethnic background, her perceived political views, and the fact that she was in government during prior administrations, a federal watchdog says. State Department Inspector General Steve Linick recommends that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo consider disciplining officials found to have violated policies that require they use merit-based factors in determining where to place career staffers.
- Mark Morgan, the head of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters that the Trump administration has still not completed construction of a single mile of new border wall.
- Trump tweeted: “@RepRatcliffe asked the two ‘star’ witnesses, ‘where is the impeachable event in that call?’ Both stared straight ahead with a blank look on their face, remained silent, & were unable to answer the question. That would be the end of a case run by normal people! – but not Shifty!’
NOTE: Ambassador Taylor attempted to respond as to his reason for testifying, but was unable to get a word in with Ratcliffe speaking over him. Finally, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff suspended the time and allowed Taylor to speak. Taylor said he and Kent were not there to decide on anything having to do with impeachment. “That is not what either of us are here to do. That is your job.”
- Trump was viewed in the Oval Office having an “animated conversation” with Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Pat Cipollone. Trump was scheduled to leave the White House at 4:10PM for a rally in Louisiana, but he could be seen through the window of the Oval Office talking to Barr and Cipollone.
- The Trump administration is preparing paperwork to begin taking over private land to build the president’s long-promised border wall as early as this week, according to two officials familiar with the process.
- The ratings for the first day of televised Impeachment hearings contradict claims from some of the president’s allies, including his son, Eric, who said on Fox News that “no one was watching it. No one cares.” FoxNews and MSNBC ratings were double what they receive on a typical day.