Posts tagged with "John Bolton"

Republican group pummels Trump with derogatory ad: ‘What Is He Afraid Of?’

December 2, 2019

Republicans for the Rule of Law—a nonprofit group of lifelong conservative GOP members who are “dedicated to defending the institutions of our republic”— has called out President Donald Trump with a critical TV ad.

In its new 32-second clip released online November 27, The Huffington Post reports, the group questions the White House’s refusal to allow key witnesses in the Ukraine scandal to testify before Congress in the impeachment inquiry that targets Trump.

“These witnesses must testify,” the voiceover says, referring to a lineup of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, along with White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

“What is Trump afraid of?” the narrator adds.

The ad is slated to air on Fox News’ flagship morning show “Fox & Friends” for several days after Thanksgiving.

Republicans for the Rule of Law Executive Director Sarah Longwell said in a statement that the House impeachment hearings “have presented startling evidence” that Trump “abused his power, strong-arming a foreign government to interfere on his behalf in the upcoming election, and damaging national security in the process.”

“The president denies the allegations, but won’t let key administration officials― including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney―testify to Congress,” Longwell added. “If the president did nothing wrong, what does he have to hide? If they tell the truth, what is he afraid of? Most importantly, will Republicans in Congress allow the president to simply ignore their constitutionally mandated oversight role?”

According to the HuffPost, the group last week launched a campaign that aimed to educate GOP voters―who polls have shown remain steadfast in their support of Trump―on the facts of the Ukraine scandal that prompted the impeachment inquiry.

Research contact: @HuffPost

From no-show to must-go: McGahn must testify to Congress, judge rules; DOJ will appeal

November 27, 2019

Former White House Counsel Don McGahn—who often spoke truth to the president, but refused to testify before the U.S. Congress after he was subpoenaed last April to do so—may yet face the music, if an appeal by the Trump administration of the ruling made on November 25 by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia  is not successful.

The ruling that McGahn must appear before Congress comes as a disappointment to the president, who had made it no secret that he wanted to block all White House aides from appearing before the House impeachment investigators.

Indeed, Judge Jackson said that senior presidential aides must comply with congressional subpoenas and characterized the administration’s arguments to the contrary as “fiction,” The New York Times reported.

Her 120-page decision handed another lower-court victory to House Democrats in their fight to overcome Mr. Trump’s stonewalling. However, Attorney General Bill Barr already has requested a continuance so that he can appeal the case—despite the fact that the judge has stated that “absolute immunity from congressional subpoenas has no basis in law.”

She addressed the Department of Justice directly, noting that, ““When DOJ insists that Presidents can lawfully prevent their senior-level aides from responding to compelled congressional process; and that neither the federal courts nor Congress has the power to do anything about it, DOJ promotes a conception of separation-of-powers principles that gets these constitutional commands exactly backwards,” Jackson wrote. “In reality, it is a core tenet of this Nation’s founding that the powers of a monarch must be split between the branches of the government to prevent tyranny.”

According to the Times report, the judge said “the same is true even for those who worked on national security issues.”

“Presidents are not kings,” wrote Judge Jackson, adding that current and former White House officials owe their allegiance to the Constitution. “They do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control.”

The ruling by Judge Jackson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, could have broader consequences for the investigation into the Ukraine affair, the news outlet noted.

Notably, John Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, has let it be known that he has significant information about the Ukraine affair at the heart of the impeachment inquiry—but is uncertain whether any congressional subpoena for his testimony would be constitutionally valid. He wants a judge to decide.

Judge Jackson’s ruling also came on the same day that another federal judge in Washington held out the possibility that more documents about the Ukraine affair could yet see the light of day, ruling that emails between the White House and the Pentagon about the freezing of military aid to Ukraine should be released under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Research contact: @nytimes

Chances look slimmer for Singapore summit

May 23, 2018

The budding détente between North Korea and the United States hung in the balance on May 22, as the Trump administration continued pushing Pyongyang to denuclearize as a condition of the scheduled meeting in Singapore on June 12 with the hermit kingdom’s Leader Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, according to a report by CNN, North Korea has released three strongly worded statements—slamming Seoul and Washington for their joint military maneuvers earlier in the month and demanding that South Korea take action against defectors it claimed were sending anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets across the border.

As tempers on both continents continued to flare, South Korean President Moon Jae In flew into Washington, DC, to meet with President Trump in an effort to salvage the summit.

But should the diplomatic deliberations even be saved?

Those in the know say the White House staff is balking—both because North Korea seems to already have taken denuclearization off the table; and because Trump has not taken the time or trouble to learn about the nuclear program, something necessary to have a substantive conversation.

South Koreans, however, blame Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton for the problems with the summit, according to The Washington Post.

Bolton has said that his goal is for the North Korean denuclearization process to go like the one that took place in Libya in 2003, when Colonel Muammar Gaddafi agreed to give up his country’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. That didn’t end well for the Libyan leader, who eventually found himself in the midst of a coup that led to his capture and execution.

While Trump continues to hold firm on the denuclearization demands, about three-quarters of Americans (77%) approve of his original decision to meet with Kim Jong Un, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on May 10.  Trump’s approval rating for handling the situation with North Korea has jumped ten points since late March.

At press time, there were no reports coming out of the POTUS’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae.

Research contact: @jgriffiths

Americans ‘split hairs’ over John Bolton’s mustache

April 6, 2018

It is strange but true that most American politicians are clean-shaven—and that those who are not risk losing votes, especially from women.

Why is this phenomenon being discussed widely at the moment? Because President Donald Trump’s next National Security Adviser, John Bolton, not only has facial hair—but his mustache is so large it should have a ZIP code of its own.

He is set to replace the extremely clean-shaven Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster on April 9—who, “on the face of it,” is more popular with the public: Fully 41% of American women view men without facial hair as more attractive, 20% see them as more trustworthy, and 18% perceive them as more intelligent, based on findings of a YouGov poll released on April 3.

This is not a new trend. In fact, in 2015, The Atlantic magazine interviewed Rebekah Herrick, a professor of Political Science at Oklahoma State University who studied the phenomenon of facial hair and found that the reason fewer than 5% of federal legislators have a mustache or a beard is because they don’t want to adopt a persona that “might make them look insensitive to women’s issues.”

According to Herrick, this isn’t just politicians being paranoid. In her study, women subconsciously perceived politicians with beards and mustaches as being less feminist, regardless of their actual voting habits.

To date, YouGov reports, Bolton, mustache and all, has yet to make an impression on many Americans. Nearly four in ten have no opinion of him. Those who do are divided: 26% are favorable towards Bolton; 27% are not.  But when asked about replacing the current National Security Adviser with Bolton, there is more disapproval than approval.

As one might expect, that assessment is heavily partisan.

Research contact: kfrankovic@yahoo.com