Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News
- At his rally Tuesday night, Trump opened with the absurd claim that, “Some people want to change the name Thanksgiving. They don’t want to use the term Thanksgiving. And that was true with Christmas. Now everybody is using Christmas again. Remember I said that?”
- President Trump told supporters at a Tuesday night rally that he pushed back against “the deep state” by pardoning and granting clemency to military members convicted of war crimes, appearing to refer to senior Pentagon officials as “the deep state” as they had raised concerns about Trump intervening.
- Two weeks before Trump released the Ukraine aid, White House lawyers briefed him on whistle-blower’s complaint, a key detail about what Trump knew when he made a critical decision at the heart of impeachment investigation.
- On Bill O’Reilly’s radio show, Trump disputed the Rudy Giuliani was acting under his direction in the Ukraine. O’Reilly asked Trump, “What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine on your behalf?” Trump responded, “Well, you have to ask that to Rudy, but I don’t even know, but I know he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he cancelled the trip. But, ya know, Rudy has other clients other than me. I’m one…” O’Reilly, speaking over Trump, “So, you didn’t direct him to go there on your behalf? You didn’t…” Trump, “No.”
NOTE: In the released summary of the Ukraine phone call, Trump says, “Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”
- The internal watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security found that the Trump administration anticipated it would separate 26,000 children if the “zero tolerance” policy of 2018 had been allowed to continue, and that the agency knew it lacked the technology to track and reunite children with their parents.
Officials at Customs and Border Protection, the DHS agency responsible for separating families under the May-June 2018 policy, estimated in May of that year that it would separate more than 26,000 children by September, according to the report from the DHS Office of Inspector General, released publicly on Wednesday. After mounting pressure, President Donald Trump signed an executive order ending the policy on June 20, 2018.
- In a bizarre Tweet, President Trump posted a picture of his head Photoshopped onto Rocky Balboa’s body.
- President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called the president this week to reassure him that he had been joking when he told media outlets he had “insurance” if Trump turned on him in the Ukraine scandal, Giuliani’s lawyer said on Wednesday. The attorney, Robert Costello, said Giuliani “at my insistence” had called Trump “within the last day” to emphasize that he had not been serious when he said he had an “insurance policy, if thrown under the bus.”
- Rudy Giuliani privately sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from Ukrainian officials while trying to get dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
- The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia’s election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said.
The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I. officials spied on the Trump campaign but also at one point that former President Barack Obama had ordered Mr. Trump’s phones tapped. The startling accusation generated headlines but Mr. Trump never backed it up.
- President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing a task force on missing and murdered Native Americans and natives of Alaska.
- The Trump administration has moved to substantially cut its contribution to NATO’s collective budget according to several US and NATO officials, a symbolic move that comes as many continue to question President Donald Trump’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance as he prepares to attend a summit to mark its 70th anniversary in London next week.