John T. Bennett

Trump: Missing Saudi Journalist Perhaps Slain by ‘Rogue Killers’
President says he’s dispatching Secretary of State Pompeo to discuss disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

President Donald Trump appears ready to believe the Saudi king’s rejection of charges he had a Washington Post journalist killed, using language almost identical to his statements that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling.

“Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen,’” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

Impeachment or Bust? Democrats Have Few Options on Kavanaugh Inquiries
Lawsuits, possible House probes expected, but party largely staying mum for now

Brett M. Kavanaugh looked bewildered. Sen. Kamala Harris looked perturbed but determined. It was hour ten of the then-Supreme Court nominee’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, and the California Democrat seemed to have him backed into a corner.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was very much back in a courtroom. She was trying to get her witness, Kavanaugh, to reveal the name — or names — of anyone at the Washington law firm of Trump’s personal attorney with whom she alleged he had discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his ongoing Russia election meddling investigation the president almost daily refers to as a “witch hunt.”

Why Trump Spent His Friday Night in Deep-Red Southwest Ohio
Rep. Steve Chabot won re-election by 18 points in 2016. Now he faces a closer race

President Donald Trump took his campaign road show to Ohio on Friday, a state that is a microcosm of the fight his Republican Party faces in next month’s midterm elections.

On the one hand, a recent Suffolk University-Cincinnati Enquirer poll showed a boost in Republican support and enthusiasm for Trump — and, he hopes, GOP candidates by extension. But on the other, those same surveys suggest the overall electorate in the Buckeye State is more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican ones.

Pastor Freed From Turkish Prison Will Meet With Trump in Oval Office
Andrew Brunson’s return after a stop in Germany will be another victory for the president

Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who was released by Turkey on Friday, is in “good shape” and will return to U.S. soil on Saturday, President Donald Trump said as he scored another victory.

Trump did not speak to reporters as he departed the White House for a campaign stop in Ohio, while Brunson’s plane was still inside Turkish airspace. But a spokesman told reporters as Air Force One landed in Cincinnati that Brunson had cleared Turkish territory.

In His Own Words: Trump Becomes Spokesman-in-Chief as Midterms Near
President weighs in and Democratic lawmakers fume

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump on Thursday said Kanye West can “speak for me anytime he wants.” But the controversial rapper is one of the few folks doing so lately.

Worried Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was in trouble, Trump decided to go on the offensive last week. He sent a message to his conservative base — and other Republican voters — when he declared men are in danger of being “ruined” by a single “false” allegation by a woman. At a campaign rally, he mocked one of Kavanaugh’s accusers as an arena full of his supporters laughed and chanted that she should be thrown in jail.

No to ‘Ambassador Ivanka’ — President Signals Daughter Won't Be UN Envoy
‘I can already hear the chants of Nepotism!’ Donald Trump tweets

President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to signal he will not nominate his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

He used a tweet to say it is “nice” that “everyone” wants his daughter to be the U.S. envoy to the global body. But then he added this: “She would be incredible, but I can already hear the chants of Nepotism!”

Trump Defends Holding Rally During Hurricane Michael
President appears to make 2020 re-election announcement on ‘Fox & Friends’

President Donald Trump pledged a speedy federal response to Hurricane Michael, which left a wake of devastation it tore through northern Florida on Wednesday.

“We’re going to make it go fast,” he told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning.

Trump’s Stump Speeches Describe Democrat-Run Hellscape
‘Crazy’ party wants to ‘destroy everything,’ campaigner in chief warns

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump’s midterm homestretch stump speech has evolved into a warning that Democratic control of one or both chambers will create a hellscape of rampant crime, high taxes and no safety net for older Americans.

At several campaign rallies in recent weeks, the president has painted a portrait of an ungovernable country if “rage-filled” Democrats retake the House or Senate or both. 

Midterm Races Tightening After Trump Defends Kavanaugh and Unleashes on Campaign Trail 
 

White House correspondent John T. Bennett says polls in competitive midterm races are looking a bit tighter as President Donald Trump went on the offensive to support Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by attacking his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. With Kavanaugh’s successful confirmation, Trump is hitting Democrats on the campaign trail over their handling of the confirmation process....
‘Monster’ Hurricane Michael Is a ‘Big Tornado,’ Trump Warns
President mulls canceling Wednesday night campaign stop in Pennsylvania

Hurricane Michael is a “massive tornado” that is about to cause widespread damage in Florida and nearby states as the category four storm makes landfall, President Donald Trump warned Wednesday.

After receiving a briefing on the hurricane from Homeland Security officials, the president said Michael began “innocently” but then “grew into a monster.”

Trump Largely Focuses on Own Re-Election at Iowa Rally for GOP Incumbents
President wants to find out if Elizabeth Warren really ‘has Indian blood’

Very much in re-election mode even before next month’s midterms, President Donald Trump took jabs at potential Democratic candidates at an Iowa rally Tuesday night, calling their party “an angry mob.”

“You don’t hand matches to an arsonists. And you don’t hand power to an angry mob,” he told rallygoers in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “If you want to defeat the swamp, you’ll have to elect Republicans.”

Grassley: Judiciary Panel Won’t Consider Supreme Court Nominee for 2020 Vacancy
Declaration could put Iowa Republican at odds with Mitch McConnell

Revealing a potentially contentious Republican chasm, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley told Fox News on Tuesday night that if he still leads the committee in 2020 and a Supreme Court seat becomes vacant, the panel would not consider a nominee.

That could put the Iowa Republican at odds with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump Hints at Ivanka, Dina Powell for UN Ambassador Job
President says he plans to name Nikki Haley replacement in next couple weeks

President Donald Trump appeared to cast his daughter and a former senior White House national security official as the frontrunners to replace Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations.

Daughter Ivanka Trump, a senior White House adviser, would be “wonderful” in the role, Trump said. Trump also said Dina Powell, a former deputy national security adviser, is a “person I would consider” for the job.

Outgoing Haley Vows to Not Run for President in 2020
Ambassador can have any job if she wants to return, Trump says

Departing UN Ambassador Nikki Haley denied she is stepping down later this year to prepare for a 2020 bid for the White House.

“I don’t have anything set on where I’m going to go,” she told reporters in the Oval Office. “I’m a believer in term limits.

Nikki Haley Resigns as UN Ambassador, Lawmakers Split on Meaning
Democratic Sen. Menendez sees new sign of a 'chaotic foreign policy'

Updated 11:48 a.m. President Donald Trump has accepted the resignation of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, multiple outlets reported Tuesday as lawmakers' began to react along party lines, as has become Washington's custom on just about every issue.

Trump heaped praise on Haley during a late-morning event in the Oval Office, saying she has done an "incredible" job and "gets it." He praised her relationship-making with other world leaders, and her ability to read them.

Trump Stokes Tribal Fury in Kavanaugh Ceremony
President accuses Senate Dems of ‘campaign of political and personal destruction’

ANALYSIS | Donald Trump’s remarks Monday night during a ceremonial swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was more than partisan. It personified how the president often fuels America’s increasingly tribal politics.

Washington and the country are trying to recover from several gut-wrenching weeks that included multiple sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh and the emotional testimony of the then-nominee and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford. But the president, during a ceremony in the ornate East Room, did not try to use his office to heal a grieving — and feuding — country.

Trump Keeps Rosenstein Despite Reported Recording, Removal Talk
‘I have a very good relationship’ with deputy AG, president says

Rod Rosenstein, despite reports he discussed secretly taping President Donald Trump with the goal or removing him from office, is still the deputy attorney general after the two men spoke aboard Air Force One.

The senior Justice Department official joined Trump on the executive jet on the way to Orlando, where the president is addressing law enforcement officials. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters traveling with Trump that the duo talked for 30 minutes during the flight to Florida.

President Donald Trump and Rod Rosenstein to Discuss DOJ Official’s Future Monday
Meeting was delayed by contentious Kavanaugh hearing

Updated 12:19 p.m.Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and President Donald Trump were expected to discuss the Justice Department official’s future during the president’s  trip to Orlando on Monday. 

Trump told reporters the deputy AG was waiting on the presidential jet as he left the White House for remarks in Florida to law enforcement officials. He also signaled he did not plan to terminate Rosenstein on Monday.

Office of Personnel Management Director Out, White House Says
Jeff Pon latest in long line of Trump Cabinet exits

Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon resigned on Friday, according to a White House official who declined to describe his reasoning.

The White House announced Friday afternoon that Margaret Weichert has been appointed as the acting OPM director. The official was unsure if the president intends to nominate a permanent director, but a White House statement noted that Weichert was confirmed by the Senate to her current post as deputy OPM director for budget.

From Adams to Pence: Long History of Memorable VP Tie-Breakers
If Kavanaugh vote is deadlocked, vice president would put him on Supreme Court

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump face a high-stakes Saturday showdown with a handful of key senators that will decide whether the Supreme Court tilts to the right — perhaps for decades to come. But it might fall to Vice President Mike Pence to put him on the highest bench in the land.

After the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh — who has faced multiple sexual assault allegations and criticism for his angry rebuttal that included sharp criticism of Senate Democrats — cleared a procedural hurdle Friday morning, McConnell and Trump needed to secure 50 GOP votes.