FROM Aaron Blake
EPA chief Scott Pruitt on thin ice as more details emerge about multiple ethics scandals Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency have raised flags about EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s big ticket office furniture, a soundproof phone booth, first class travel requests, and the use of sirens and flashing lights to speed up his motorcade. This follows reports that Pruitt gave two advisers big raises through an obscure provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act, and that he got a sweet rental deal on a condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist.
Bob Corker's rebuke of President Trump As Republican Senators prepared to lunch with President Trump to talk about tax cuts, Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters the chief executive is "debasing" the country and that "The president has great difficulty with the truth." The President responded with no less than five tweets, saying Corker's leaving office next year because "he couldn't get elected dog catcher." Aaron Blake, senior political reporter for the Washington Post , says it sounds like Corker, who is retiring, is making a case for removing Trump from office.
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 .
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.