FROM Aaron Blake
Reported intelligence leak to Russia: What does it mean for US relations with allies? On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster addressed reports that Trump shared classified ISIS data with Russian officials during a visit to the Oval Office last week. He used the phrase “wholly appropriate” at least five times during the press briefing. Trump also tweeted he had the “absolute right” to share the data. But the move has drawn criticism from both Democrats and some Republicans, and fueled calls for an independent investigation into Trump’s Russia ties.
President Trump: Illegitimate or just unpopular? Donald Trump landed in Washington today and he takes office tomorrow with the lowest approval ratings in recent memory. At least 60 Democrats in Congress are boycotting his inauguration, some even calling his presidency "illegitimate." Another record-breaker: Saturday's Women's March on Washington could be one of the largest inauguration-related protests in history. But given Trump's temperament and Republican control of Congress, guest host Barbara Bogaev asks whether any of this will matter when it comes time to actually govern.
Fake news story leads to a shooting at a DC pizzeria A man with an assault rifle was arrested at a Washington, D.C. pizzeria yesterday. The suspect said he came to “self-investigate” PizzaGate, which is a fake conspiracy circulating online. The story claims that D.C.’s Comet Ping Pong restaurant is at the center of a child sex trafficking ring run by Bill and Hillary Clinton. People are also pointing fingers at Michael Flynn, Trump’s pick for national security advisor, for fanning the fake story.
Trump makes an indirect case for a recount Green Party candidate Jill Stein is launching recount campaigns in several states, as Donald Trump now claims — without providing evidence — that he won the popular vote in addition to the Electoral College. He's claiming "serious voter fraud" in Virginia, New Hampshire and California. Aaron Blake, senior reporter on The Fix at the Washington Post, says Trump is making a strong case for a recount of his own election win.
Is Trump flipping on his immigration stance? In recent days Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has been signaling he'll "soften" his position on immigration. But last night he seemed to do an about face on the issue in a Fox News Town Hall with Sean Hannity. Aaron Blake, who covers national politics for the Washington Post , helps us sort it all out.
The Elections Are Over: Let the Campaign Begin Even before the midterm voting began, both parties were looking ahead to the next Presidential election. Now, Republicans have the Senate for the first time since 2006, and their biggest House majority since 1950. Can they legislate their way to success in 2016? We hear about their challenges — and those of a lame duck Democrat in the White House whose party blames him for its losses. What’s in store as both parties try to impress an electorate that will look very different from yesterday’s voters?
With Nuclear Option, Senate Changes Rules on Filibuster Democrats today detonated the so-called "nuclear option," changing Senate rules so the Republican minority can no longer use the filibuster to block the President's judicial nominations. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called it "nothing more than a power grab in order to try to advance the Obama Administration's regulatory agenda." Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid explained , "For too long, Washington has been in gridlock, gridlock, gridlock. The American people are sick of this. We're sick of it." Aaron Blake covers national politics for the Washington Post .
What if Congress Votes 'No' on Syria Strike? President Obama will address the nation on Tuesday about an attack on Syria. Today, in Russia, he declined to say what he would do if Congress fails to give its approval. He did however emphasize that, "I think we will be more effective and stronger if, in fact, Congress authorizes this action. I'm not going to engage in parlor games…about whether or not it's going to pass, when I'm talking substantively to Congress about why this is important." Aaron Blake covers national politics for the Washington Post .
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.