Trump talked to reporters three times today — appearing alongside Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. All together, the US president spoke to the press for more than two hours today.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the House oversight committee are keeping up their messaging campaign against the impeachment inquiry by … photo-shopping chairman Adam Schiff’s face into a poster for the movie “Back to the Future.”
Speaking to reporters just now in London, Trump called Schiff a “maniac,” a “deranged human being” and a “very sick man” for his handling of the impeachment inquiry.
Trump announces G7 summit will be held at Camp David
Trump has now wrapped up his news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during which the US president announced the June G7 summit would be held at Camp David.
The president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, had previously announced the summit would be held at Trump’s resort in Doral, Florida, but that decision was quickly reversed amid intense criticism from Democrats and Republicans.
Ironically, when Mulvaney announced the initial choice of Doral, he claimed that the past G7 site of Camp David had been a “complete disaster.” “In fact, I understand the folks who participated in it hated it and thought it was a miserable place to have the G7,” Mulvaney said at the time.
Trump calls Schiff ‘deranged human being’
Sitting next to the Canadian prime minister in London, Trump railed against the House impeachment inquiry, calling intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff a “deranged human being.”
Echoing past comments, the president insisted Democrats have gone “crazy” over impeachment and said they should be “ashamed” of themselves for how they have handled the inquiry.
Trump just claimed to reporters that he does not follow the stock market after the Dow hit a one-month low following the president’s comments that he does not have a “deadline” for reaching a trade deal with China.
In reality, Trump has repeatedly boasted about the state of the stock market and has demanded credit for its rallies while shaking off responsibility for its trade-related tumbles.
Sitting alongside Justin Trudeau, Trump said Canada must increase its financial contribution to Nato, suggesting the country should be put on a “payment plan” to up its defense spending for the alliance.
The Canadian prime minister pushed back by pointing out his country has increased its Nato spending by 70% in recent years and insisted Canada is a key partner in the alliance.
Trump told reporters that he thought the initial question about supporting the protesters in Iran pertained to financial support, hence his surpising answer that he did not back the demonstrators.
“We do support them totally and have supported them from the beginning,” Trump said at the start of his news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in London.
Trump’s clean-up of his earlier comments aligns the president with secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who has said the US backs the protesters and has tried to keep online communications open in Iran depsite the government’s efforts to shut down the internet.
Trump says he supports Iran protesters (after saying he didn’t)
Trump has just sent a tweet saying he supports the protesters in Iran, less than an hour after the US president said during a news conference with Emmanuel Macron that he did not back the demonstrators.
During his news conference with the French president, Trump was asked whether he supported the protesters, as his secretary of state has expressed. “I don’t want to comment on that, but the answer’s no. But I don’t want to comment on that,” Trump replied.
If the federal appeals court’s ruling stands, House Democrats could have unprecedented insight into Trump’s business dealings. However, the president’s legal team is likely not done trying to fight the order.
Trump loses appeal in Deutsche Bank case
A federal appeals court has ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capitol One must comply with a congressional subpoena for Trump’s financial records, dealing another legal blow to the president.
However, the scope of the banks’ disclosures remains unclear, and Trump’s legal team could still appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
Trump’s press conference with Emmanuel Macron has just wrapped up, during which the French president repeatedly challenged the US leader on a number of foreign-policy issues. But Trump stuck by his controversial stances — arguing, for example, that there was a benefit to communicating with Russia because the idea is popular at his campaign rallies.
Sitting next to Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron repeatedly criticized the US leader for his stances on a number of foreign-policy issues, particularly his welcoming of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the Turkish president launched a violent military oepration in Syria.
Trump says he does not support Iran protesters
Trump shocked reporters in London when he responded to a question about whether he supports the protesters in Iran, who have been violently repressed by their country’s government.
The US president initially said he did not want to comment on the situation in Iran but then added offhandedly that he did not support the protesters.
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said yesterday that the US was supporting the protesters by trying to keep online communications open, despite the Iranian government’s efforts to shut down the internet.
Trump and Macron clash over returning ISIS fighters
Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are speaking to reporters in London as they meet during the Nato summit, and the two world leaders have repeatedly clashed on everything from Russia to the return of Islamic State fighters who have European citizenship.
Trump was insisting European countries need to take back control of those fighters and he joked to Macron, “Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I could give them to you.”
Macron responded by noting only a small percentage of ISIS fighters originally come from Europe. Trump replied, “This is why he’s a great politician because that was one of the greatest non-answers I’ve ever heard.”
Steyer qualifies for December debate
Tom Steyer’s campaign said the billionaire activist has qualified for the December Democratic debate, making him the seventh presidential candidate to meet both the polling and donor requirements to participate.
“After terrific performances in the last two debates and a tremendous amount of earned media over the last month, Tom continues his surge in the early state polls which has led to an increased amount of donors over the last few weeks,” his campaign manager, Heather Hargreaves, said in a statement.
Steyer will join Joe Biden, Elizbaeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage. Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang only needs one more qualifying poll to make the cut, and he has nine days to get it.
However, it’s looking increasingly likely that about half of the Democratic presidential field will fail to qualify for the next debate — which could pressure more candidates to withdraw from the race, as Montana governor Steve Bullock and former Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak both did in recent days.
House intelligence committee’s impeachment report expected today
Good morning, live blog readers!
Donald Trump is at the Nato summit in London striking fear into stockbrokers’ hearts and insulting world leaders (as we’ve come to expect), but the impeachment inquiry is continuing unabated as the president is abroad.
The House intelligence committee is expected to publicy release its report on the impeachment inquiry today. The report will convey Democrats’ argument that Trump abused the power of the presidency by trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and the 2016 election.
Republicans on the committee insist the inquiry is just an outgrowth of Democrats’ political animus toward Trump, who did nothing wrong in his communications with Ukraine. This viewpoint was articulated in a report released yesterday by the Republican minority of the intelligence committee. “The fundamental disagreement apparent in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is a difference of world views and a discomfort with President Trump’s policy decisions,” that report said.
The president’s allies are pushing back against the investigations of his administration in other ways as well. The Washington Post reported last night that attorney general William Barr has told associates he does not agree with the justice department inspector general’s finding that the FBI was justified to launch the Russia investigation.
However, as the House gets closer and closer to an impeachment vote, Trump’s allies may soon run out of options for protecting the president.
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
- Trump will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in London before a Nato leaders reception at Buckingham Palace.
- David Hale, the undersecretary of state who testified during the public impeachment hearings, will appear before the Senate foreign relations committee at 10 a.m. ET.
- Joe Biden will continue his bus tour in Iowa.
The blog will have much more coming up, so stay tuned.