Each day provides us a brand new news cycle, and it’s hard to keep up. Here’s a short list of the news and notes to keep you informed.
Trump is now OK with the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
The news right now is that Trump wants to rejoin the TPP, which he railed against on the campaign trail.
"The Trans Pacific Partnership is the greatest danger yet. The TPP ... would be the death blow for American manufacturing. It would give up all of our economic leverage to an international commission that would put the interests of foreign countries above our own." — DJT 6/2016 https://t.co/h4bffwiGt1
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) April 12, 2018
Read here why Trump was so wrong in hating the trade deal.
Scott Pruitt has big plans for the EPA
Need more proof that the federal government has been divided into mini fiefdoms, with appointees in charge? Here's what Scott Pruitt has been doing at the Environmental Protection Agency, courtesy of The New York Times, starting with an idea to remake the agency's "challenge coin":
Mr. Pruitt instead wanted the coin to feature some combination of symbols more reflective of himself and the Trump administration. Among the possibilities: a buffalo, to evoke Mr. Pruitt’s native Oklahoma, and a Bible verse to reflect his faith.
Other ideas [Pruitt has had,] included using the Great Seal of the United States — a design similar to the presidential seal — and putting Mr. Pruitt’s name around the rim in large letters, according to Ronald Slotkin, a career E.P.A. employee who retired this year, and two people familiar with the proposals who asked to remain anonymous because they said they feared retribution.
But one of the biggest takeaways from the Times article could be that Pruitt absolutely detests the EPA logo.
Another person who was involved in the debate said that Mr. Pruitt had expressed disapproval of the agency’s seal, a round flower with four leaves. He felt it looked like a marijuana leaf.
Pruitt could say he's merely following in the footsteps of President Donald Trump, who gave the presidential coins a facelift — and turning it into a modified campaign button.
What is the president mad about today?
That people think his announcement of impending war against Syria was taken as an announcement of impending war against Syria.
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
The president also seems to be upset with the Robert Mueller investigation.
If I wanted to fire Robert Mueller in December, as reported by the Failing New York Times, I would have fired him. Just more Fake News from a biased newspaper!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
It's not so good to be in the Trump business
Living in Trump Tower isn't so fun for New Yorkers anymore, Reuters reports:
In an overwhelmingly Democratic city, the Fifth Avenue building that blares the name of the Republican president has fallen from favor with many New Yorkers and been eclipsed in the super luxury market by nearby new entrants.
“Clearly the Trump candidacy and presidency have had a negative impact on the real estate values” at Trump Tower, said Wendy Maitland, a broker with Brown Harris Stevens, who last year listed a fashion industry client’s three-bedroom, $7.5 million condo, 39CD, at the tower that failed to sell.
Since 2015, prices at Trump Tower have dropped 30 percent per square foot compared with an 8 percent fall in comparable properties on Manhattan’s Midtown East Side, according to New York real estate site CityRealty.com.
Team Trump plans to brand James Comey a liar
Fired FBI Director James Comey is coming out with a new book, and it will likely contain his thoughts on President Donald Trump. Naturally, Trump is going to fight back — with a nickname!
According to CNN, Trump allies have developed "Lyin' Comey," which is enshrined in a website already, and it is becoming a talking point for Republicans who want to allege misdeeds against the nation's law enforcement. And the head of the RNC, Ronna McDaniel, is already on board with the plan, based on what she told CNN:
Comey is a liar and a leaker and his misconduct led both Republicans and Democrats to call for his firing. If Comey wants the spotlight back on him, we'll make sure the American people understand why he has no one but himself to blame for his complete lack of credibility.
But Newt Gingrich has a different plan!
“That’s Stalin, that’s the gestapo in Germany” pic.twitter.com/dRhFyQxFzt
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 12, 2018
Trump judicial pick grilled on Planned Parenthood claims
Wendy Vitter once claimed that Planned Parenthood killed 150,000 females a year. On Wednesday, she faced questions about that charge. Per HuffPost:
Vitter acknowledged in Wednesday’s hearing that her past comment was a reference to aborted fetuses that were females. But when Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked her if she stands by that claim, she avoided answering over and over again.
“Senator, I don’t recall the exact context” of the comment, Vitter said.
“I think it’s been recalled to you,” Blumenthal said, “but I’ll read you the full statement if you like.”
After he read her comments aloud, Vitter said she did indeed remember making them. So Blumenthal, a vocal advocate of abortion rights, asked again if she stands by her claim that Planned Parenthood kills 150,000 women every year.
Uh . . . Rudy Giuliani is a ladies man?
This one comes from the New York Post, an outlet friendly to the former New York City mayor, failed presidential candidate and vocal Trump supporter. And warning: You won't be able to un-read this.
The about-to-be-consciously uncoupled Rudy Giuliani is coming off to Upper East Side sex kittens like catnip. They’re purring at him. Sidling — if not actually front-ling — in his direction.
Republicans plan to hold Trump accountable
Well look at them, all telling the president that he should look out for the American people and democracy while posing for a photo op with him, using his signature hand gesture.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
That will likely be used sometime before November.
Bad news for Mike Pompeo
On Thursday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's selection to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, is scheduled to testify before the Senate for a confirmation hearing. There's one detail that will likely be brought up. Via McClatchy:
CIA Director Mike Pompeo failed to disclose last year that he owned a Kansas business that imported oilfield equipment from a company owned by the Chinese government.
That omission, on the questionnaire Pompeo was required to fill out for Senate confirmation to lead the spy agency, could cause a problem for him in Thursday’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be President Donald Trump's secretary of state.