Posts tagged with "US President Donald Trump"

Despite Trump’s tantrums, House Republicans want Mueller to testify

May 8, 2019

The U.S. president frantically flailed out on Twitter again on May 6—insisting that there is no “need” for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify publicly before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller to testify,” Trump tweeted. “Are they looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion?”

However, even House Republicans say they’re eager for Mueller to testify about the findings of his investigation into links between Trump’s campaign and Russia, Politico reported.

Although Republicans have largely sided with Trump’s claim that Mueller’s 448-page report absolved the president of wrongdoing, the political news outlet said, the president’s GOP House allies say they want to hear from the former FBI director.

“I think Mueller should testify,” Representative Doug Collins (Georgia), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview on Monday with Politico. “There was no collusion, no obstruction, and that’s what Bob Mueller will tell everyone.”

Representative Tom McClintock (R-California), another member of the same panel, said he has “a lot of questions” for Mueller. “So I hope that happens.”

Both House Republicans say their interest is less in Mueller’s report than in whether he has any insight into how the FBI launched an investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016. Trump has amplified those concerns, claiming he was targeted by Trump-hating FBI officials rather than the numerous contacts between Trump associates and Russia-linked figures.

“I think the president is just frustrated here, and I get that,” Collins added. “I’ve wanted Mueller to come before the committee all along. Then I can ask [Mueller] about how this investigation got started in the first place, what he was told about how it all began.”

Collins had previously urged Democrats to quickly call Mueller to the Capitol—even suggesting last month that they cut short a two-week recess to hear from the special counsel about his findings, Politico reports.

“I think we can agree this business is too important to wait, and Members of the Committee will surely return to Washington at such a critical moment in our country’s history,” Collins wrote at the time,—a plea that was rejected by the committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) as premature.

In private, several top House Republicans believe it would be a mistake for Trump to prevent Mueller from appearing before the Judiciary Committee. To these GOP lawmakers and aides, that would allow Democrats to focus on the issue of Mueller’s non-appearance rather than the findings in his report.

“Then the issue becomes ‘Trump is stonewalling,’ rather than ‘Mueller didn’t find anything,'” an aide to one senior Republican told the news outlet. “This will be a bad move.”

Research contact: @politico

Trump ‘makes nice’ with North Korea

June 13, 2018

It was a long-awaited meeting of two world titans,  but just one walked away from the table truly a winner, according to a June 12 report by the news outlet Mic. U.S. President Donald Trump faced off with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Monday night—and while the POTUS promised to stop America’s joint military exercises with South Korea on the Korean Peninsula, the North Korean ruler only committed “to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

What’s more, the document that the two men signed at the summit had few, if any, details about what the latter promise means. North Korea agreed to similar denuclearization language back in 2005 and never followed through.

Later, during a news conference—Trump’s first since January 2017, Mic reported—Trump called the military exercises “war games,” and said they were “very provocative.” Trump also suggested that while pulling U.S. troops from South Korea was “not part of the equation right now,” that could be coming in the future.

When the pundits weighed in, they said that Trump had made some major concessions without “any reciprocal concrete agreements” during the negotiations.

Indeed, Trump ultimately concluded that he might not actually be able to trust Kim after all. “I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey, I was wrong,’” Trump said at the news conference.

Of North Korea’s human rights violations—which the POTUS declined to mention during the summit—Trump told the reporters, “I believe it’s a rough situation over there. It’s rough in a lot of places, by the way, not just there.”

Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist who has been critical of Trump, characterized the meeting as a failure. “Claims of achievements from this summit are nonsensical,” Schmidt tweeted. “Trump got nothing except empty promises. Kim Jong-un achieved global standing for his evil regime and got military exercises cancelled. The sycophantic panting and exultations across the GOP and Trump media are delusional.”

Erick Erickson, another GOP pundit, criticized Trump’s behavior during the summit, in which Trump befriended a dictator who is hostile to America., but criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is the leader of one of America’s best and oldest allies. “If Obama had had the last 24 hours that Trump has had, the GOP would be demanding his impeachment,” Erickson tweeted.

However, Trump’s base may be happy with the results and the American public may be relieved by the cessation of overt hostilities, now that North Korea has proven that it is a nuclear power.

In an AP/NORC Center for Public Affairs poll conducted before the summit, most Americans thought the relationship with Pyongyang would remain strained, even after the meeting. Twenty percent believed that the U.S. relationship with North Korea would improve, while 47% said it would worsen and 31% anticipated no change. Thus, a lull in the animus and aggression would be a reprieve.

Research contact: Young-Eric@norc.org

Macron, U.S. voters want President Trump to back Iran deal

April 26, 2018

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has been making U.S. President Donald Trump “feel the love” during a White House visit this week.

Indeed, Macron, who has been dubbed “The Trump Whisperer,” hopes to influence the POTUS to sign off on a new agreement with Iran that would curb its development of ballistic missiles and contain its involvement in regional wars, in addition to halting its nuclear program, according to an April 24 Bloomberg report.

Public support for the Iran nuclear deal has remained steady, based on findings of a Morning Consult/Politico survey that was fielded ahead of last year’s October 15 deadline for Trump to declare whether the Middle Eastern country is in compliance with the accord’s framework.

In the online poll—conducted in late September among 1,987 registered voters—54% of respondents said they were in favor of the agreement reached in 2015 between former President Barack Obama, Iranian leaders and the heads of six other countries and the European Union to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for its pledge to halt efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Fully 69% of Democratic voters supported the deal, along with 46% of Independents and 43% of Republicans.

Despite confirmations from Trump administration officials that Tehran is complying with the deal, the president has continued to rail against it, calling it an “embarrassment to the United States.”

Thirty-seven percent of voters said they prefer that Trump recertify the deal, with 34% saying he should decertify it and let Congress decide whether to reimpose sanctions — effectively killing the deal.

At a joint press conference with Macron at the  White House on April 24, Trump commented, “People know my views on the Iran deal. It was a terrible deal …. It’s insane. It’s ridiculous. It should have never been made, but we will be talking about it.”

“We have a common objective, we want to make sure there’s no escalation and no nuclear proliferation in the region. We now need to find the right path forward,” Macron said, through an interpreter.

Research contact: ceasley@morningconsult.com

Public supports North Korea summit, but isn’t hoping for results

April 19, 2018

As unconfirmed Secretary of State candidate (and former CIA chief) Mike Pompeo returns from a secret visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, most Americans are torn between not wanting to confer legitimacy on the Hermit State and wanting President Donald Trump to follow up with an upcoming summit, based on findings of a Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,002 U.S. adults released on April 17.

Over half (56%) say Trump should hold a summit meeting with Kim to try to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. A smaller number (36%) say the meeting should not be held because it would give Kim validity while his government allegedly violates international law.

Three in 10 Americans think it is likely the meeting will lead to an agreement for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but two-thirds of the public say that is unlikely—including 42% who say it is “very unlikely”—the Post-ABC poll finds.

Trump and Kim have traded vague threats of using a “nuclear button,” but, by a margin of nearly two to one, Americans say Trump should not threaten U.S. military action against North Korea if it doesn’t give up its nuclear weapons.

There are modest partisan differences on support for holding a summit, with 70% of Republicans expressing support for the meeting while 46% percent of Democrats and 56% of Independents saying the same. But majorities across partisan lines find it unlikely the meeting will lead to an agreement for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, including 77% of Democrats, 67% of Independents and 58% of Republicans.

Research contact: emily.guskin@washpost.com