Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News
- In an effort to prevent Trump’s conversations – which officials have said sometimes veer off into unguarded or undiplomatic territory – from becoming known to even those inside the administration, senior aides have further restricted the number of administration officials allowed to listen to the President’s phone calls with foreign leaders since his July 25 call with Ukraine’s President was revealed.
- Trump is receiving free legal services from Giuliani. Trump failed to mention it on the annual financial disclosure, which requires that the value and source of gifts, including free legal work, to be publicly listed.
- Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general who recently joined President Trump’s impeachment messaging team, said that the White House should be “working hand in hand” with GOP senators amid an impeachment trial, despite the lawmakers being asked to be impartial jurors: “These are some of the weakest charges out there, you know that. We wouldn’t be doing our job if we weren’t working hand in hand with the Senate.”
- Rudy Giuliani admitted in an interview last month, published on Monday, that he pushed for U.S. ambassador Yovanovitch to be removed from her post because she was getting in the way of his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rivals. Giuliani, who serves as Trump’s personal lawyer, told the New Yorker in November that he lead the effort to smear the now-former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine because she was an obstacle in getting the investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden that both Trump and Giuliani sought.
- A federal judge on Monday rejected Michael Flynn’s attacks against the FBI and the Justice Department, setting a long-delayed sentencing for President Trump’s former national security adviser for Jan. 28. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington, D.C. dismissed Flynn’s motion to find prosecutors in contempt. In a 92-page decision, Sullivan ruled there was no basis for Flynn’s allegations that federal law enforcement officials entrapped the retired three-star Army general into accepting a plea deal and that special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s prosecutors had not wrongfully held back requests for evidence from Flynn’s attorneys.
- The State Department on Tuesday rebuked the Senate’s latest move to recognize the mass killing and deportation of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during the first half of the 20th century as genocide, releasing a statement that the Administration continues to view the events as “one of the worst mass atrocities.”
- Mitch McConnell said he won’t allow any legitimate process designed to uphold constitutional democracy and Republicans will not allow witnesses to testify in Trump’s Senate trial. 71% of Americans support hearing from witnesses at Trump’s trial.
- The Senate has just passed a mammoth defense bill, sending it to President Trump’s desk for his signature. It includes funding for Trump’s Space Force and creates the first-ever federal parental leave policy in U.S. history.
- Cell phone records provide “irrefutable proof” of the sexual assault accusations former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zevos has leveled against President Donald Trump, her attorney claimed Tuesday. Zervos has alleged Trump “repeatedly touched her, groped her, and kissed her” on multiple occasions in late 2007 and early 2008, and he has denied it and called her a liar.
The phone records appear to validate Zervos’ public statement that Trump called her in late 2007 after he had landed in Los Angeles. She claimed he asked her to meet him at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she claims he sexually assaulted her.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recalled the acting ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., a key witness in the House impeachment inquiry who criticized the White House’s decision to withhold aid to the country.
- President Trump sent an extraordinary personal six-page letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi railing against what he calls an “illegal, partisan attempted coup.”