John T. Bennett

Trump Breaks Silence on Moore Allegations
‘I can tell you one thing for sure: We don’t need a liberal person in there’

Updated 5:27 p.m. | President Donald Trump broke his silence Tuesday on Republican Roy Moore and the sexual assault allegations hindering his Alabama Senate bid but isn’t ruling out campaigning for the embattled candidate.

“I can tell you one thing for sure: We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” Trump said over the loud hum of Marine One’s engine as he left for Florida.

Analysis: 4 Takeaways From Trump’s First Turkey Pardoning
Even when Trump passes presidential test, Russia matter looms

Drumstick is a free bird, thanks to President Donald Trump.

The commander in chief used his executive authorities Tuesday to pardon the Minnesota-bred fowl just two days before he might have become someone’s Thanksgiving meal.

White House Joins GOP Line That Keeping Alabama Seat Matters Most
Sanders: Trump wants candidates elected ‘who support his policies’

The White House on Monday joined a growing chorus of Republicans declining to formally back embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore but stressing the GOP-held seat is too important to lose.

The president and senior White House officials have declined publicly calling for Moore to drop out of the race or giving him an official endorsement. But a GOP talking point has emerged in recent days that was repeated in various forms.

Trump Adds N. Korea to Terror List, Readies ‘Very Large’ Sanction
President: Kim government is ‘a murderous regime’

President Donald Trump announced Monday that he is putting North Korea back on the U.S. government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism and plans to slap a “very large” sanction on Pyongyang.

Trump has mulling whether to put North Korea back on the list  for weeks. He and his senior aides decided to hold off until after his 12-day Asia swing, which ended last Wednesday. It was removed under a 2008 deal struck by the George W. Bush administration.

Flake Fires Back at Trump to Dispute Tax Vote Prediction
Another defection would put GOP bill in jeopardy as president seeks first big win

President Donald Trump and perhaps his top congressional Republican critic are sparring again, this time with Sen. Jeff Flake’s office disputing the commander in chief’s claim that the Arizona Republican plans to oppose the party’s tax overhaul plan.

Trump started the duo’s latest back-and-forth with a Sunday evening tweet predicting the retiring Flake — whom he mocked by referring to him as “Flake(y)” — will “be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is ‘toast.’”

Trump Hits Dems for Failing to Understand ‘Power of Lower Taxes’
President suggests Franken might have further sexually assaulted woman in 2006

Buoyed by a pair of Thursday incremental victories in his tax overhaul push, President Donald Trump is arguing separate House and Senate bills would be stronger if Democrats would play ball.

The president used several Thursday evening and Friday morning tweets to celebrate House passage of a GOP-crafted tax measure and a late-night Senate Finance Committee vote to send its version to the chamber floor.

Hot Start With Trump 'Pep Rally' Burns Out as Tax Bill Cruises
Before passing tax bill, GOP members gush about president

Two fireplaces outside the House chamber told the story Thursday a few minutes before members streamed in to vote on a sweeping tax bill. Orange embers were still just visible in both beneath scorched logs and ash. For Republicans, what had started with a white-hot visit by President Donald Trump ended with the anti-climactic passage of their tax plan.

But there was nothing anti-climactic a short time earlier in the basement of the Capitol, where House GOP members gather weekly as a group. They scurried in — mostly on time, with a few notable exceptions — for the presidential visit, and many emerged just before noon strikingly giddy about the scene during the president’s roughly 20 minutes of remarks.

Trump Parched During Animated Defense of Asia Trip
America first trade message has resonated, president says

President Donald Trump delivered a passionate defense Wednesday of the “America first” trade policy he sold during his recent Asia swing

At one point the president became so animated he ducked behind his podium in search of water.

Corker, Cardin See Little ‘Firm’ in Latest Trump North Korea Shift
President told of peaceful path, ‘maybe it sunk in,’ Cardin says

Senior Senate Foreign Relations Committee members aren’t quite sure what to make of the White House’s dramatic shift on North Korea during President Donald Trump’s recent Asia tour

Before the president departed on the 12-day trip, he and his senior aides ruled out negotiations with North Korea. But during the Asia swing, he invited the North’s government to the negotiating table, and Trump’s senior staff spoke openly about the president’s terms for the very talks he for months had said would not work.

Trump Mentions Twitter Account With Pro-Roy Moore Posts
User has retweeted criticisms of GOP candidate’s accusers

One of the Twitter accounts President Donald Trump shared with his 42.7 million followers on Wednesday has posted regularly defending embattled Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Back from his Asia trip for just a few hours, Trump rose early Wednesday morning and resumed his morning Twitter habit before 6 a.m. EST. He touted what he called in two tweets his “successful trip,” labeled CNN a “Loser!,” and thanked several followers who had praised him.

Boastful Trump Ends Asia Trip Touting ‘Minimum’ $300B in Deals
Major trade announcement could slip to Thursday, president says

President Donald Trump wrapped up his swing through Asia by boasting that he inked agreements to sell $300 billion in U.S.-made goods and predicting the total value of the deals could “quadruple.”

“I think the fruits of are going to be incredible,” Trump told reporters of his dealmaking during the 12-day trip just minutes before Air Force One lifted off from the Philippines.

From Asia, Trump Presses Tax Writers on Individual Mandate
Neither House nor Senate GOP overhaul bill includes repeal language

President Donald Trump on Monday again pressed House and Senate Republican lawmakers to use tax overhaul legislation to end the 2010 health care law’s individual insurance mandate, something neither chamber’s plan includes.

Tweeting just before midnight in Manila, Philippines, Trump laid down a marker for House and Senate Republicans as they continue work on their separate bills. The president wrote that he is “proud of the Rep. House & Senate for working so hard on cutting taxes {& reform.} We’re getting close!”

Major Announcement on Trade Coming Wednesday, Trump Says
U.S. president praises Philippines’ Duterte despite hardline crackdown

Updated at 7:54 a.m. | President Donald Trump plans to make a major announcement Wednesday on trade and North Korea following his 12-day swing through Asia.

“A lot of things are happening on trade. And I’ll be announcing pretty much what happened here, and also with other meetings, including China and South Korea and lots of other places,” Trump said during a meeting with his Australian and Japanese counterparts at a summit of Asian leaders in Manila, Philippines.

Analysis: Trump Pitches Every Country-For-Itself System in Asia
President urges Asian leaders to replicate his ‘America first’ approach

President Donald Trump has used parts of his Asia tour to vigorously defend his “America first” approach to governing. But he also told world leaders to look out for themselves. ...
Trump on Putin Election Meddling Denials: He ‘Means It’
Chinese President Xi Jinping described as ‘more powerful’ than Mao Zedong

President Donald Trump said Saturday he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin “means it” when he denies meddling in last year’s U.S. presidential election. He also said Chinese President Xi Jinping is “more powerful” than Mao Zedong, one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

Trump said he again asked Putin on the sidelines of a summit of powerful Pacific Rim countries if Russia meddled in the election. Putin again denied it — but the president did not tell reporters traveling with him aboard Air Force One if he warned Putin to cease such tactics.

Unhappy With Asia’s Trade Tactics, Trump Delivers Stern Warning
President says his administration will punish ‘chronic trade abuses’

Updated 8:30 a.m. | President Donald Trump delivered a stern lecture to Asian leaders Friday, chiding them for profiting off an open U.S. market while taking advantage of America and its companies.

“The United States promoted private enterprise, innovation, and industry. Other countries used government-run industrial planning and state-owned enterprises,” Trump said during remarks at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam. “They engaged in product dumping, subsidized goods, currency manipulation, and predatory industrial policies.

Tillerson: China Sends ‘Unequivocal’ Message on North Korea
Xi wants to give sanctions time to further squeeze North, secretary of state says

Chinese leaders have made an “unequivocal” declaration to U.S. officials that they will not tolerate a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons, says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

U.S. and Chinese officials see evidence of “stress” on key North Korean figures, including members of its military, because of recent sanctions applied since the Trump administration took office, Tillerson said, citing intelligence reports.

Trump Gives China ‘Great Credit’ for ‘Unfair’ Trade Tactics
On Chinese soil, U.S. president blames his predecessors

President Donald Trump stood on Chinese soil Thursday and gave his country’s top economic rival “great credit” for trade tactics he said allowed China to “take advantage” of the United States.

Instead, the former real estate mogul and reality television star put the blame on past U.S. presidents for what he called America’s “very one-sided” trade relationship with China. As he often does, Trump cast himself as the one man who can reverse the United States’ massive trade deficit with the Asian power.

In Shift, White House Describes Terms for North Korea Talks
President may be unable to tweet while visiting China

The Trump administration continued on Wednesday to soften its rhetoric on North Korea, with a senior official spelling out terms for talks over its nuclear arms program. Not long ago, the administration declared negotiations would be a waste of time.

Any negotiations with Pyongyang and other countries over its nuclear and long-range missile development would have to meet the standard of being “authentic talks,” the senior administration official told reporters on Air Force One heading to Beijing. For negotiations to begin, the North would first have to “reduce the threat, [end] provocations, and [move] toward sincere steps to ultimately denuclearize,” the official added.

While Trump’s Away, Congress Legislates?
President’s absence eases tax bill work, some Republicans say

President Donald Trump spent the first four days of his Asia swing focused on countering North Korea and bolstering trade relationships — and some Republican members who are eager to pass a tax bill are just fine with that.

The way they see it, Trump being nearly 7,000 miles away for most of the next two weeks will allow them to make more progress on their tax legislation than if he were in Washington. That’s because Trump is often hunkered down in the White House watching cable news reports about their efforts, his phone at the ready to fire off a tweet that could substantially delay or completely derail their work.