Trump touts GOP primary victors as ‘the team we want’ for midterms

The winners of Tuesday night’s Republican primaries across the country are “the team we want” heading into November’s midterm elections, President Donald Trump wrote online Wednesday morning, throwing his support behind several GOP winners.

“Great Republican election results last night. So far we have the team we want. 8 for 9 in Special Elections. Red Wave!” Trump said in a tweet.

Tuesday’s primaries were especially busy in Wisconsin, where Leah Vukmir bested Kevin Nicholson in a tense GOP primary to unseat first-term Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, while Gov. Scott Walker cruised to the Republican nomination in his reelection campaign. In southeast corner of the state, Bryan Steil won the GOP nomination in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, the seat House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will vacate at the end of the year.

On Twitter, Trump congratulated Vukmir on her “great win” and threw in a dig at Baldwin, writing that the GOP Senate nominee will “make a fantastic Senator after winning in November against someone who has done very little.” Of Steil, who will face Democrat Randy Bryce in November’s election, the president wrote that he “will be replacing a great guy in Paul Ryan, and your win in November will make the entire State of Wisconsin very proud.”

Walker, Trump wrote, “is very special and will have another great win in November.”

Elsewhere in the Midwest, Trump endorsed Republican Jeff Johnson, who defeated former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in Minnesota’s GOP gubernatorial primary. Johnson will run against Democratic Rep. Tim Walz in the general election.

“Jeff Johnson of Minnesota had a big night in winning the Republican nomination for Governor against a very strong and well known opponent!” Trump wrote. “Thanks for all of the support you showed me. You have my complete and total Endorsement. You will win in November!”

Trump also offered an endorsement for Pete Stauber, the runaway winner of the GOP primary in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. Stauber will run in November against Joe Radinovich to fill the seat that will be left vacant by retiring Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.).

“.@PeteStauber won big last night in Minnesota. A big star in Hockey, he will be an even bigger star in politics,” the president wrote online. “It all begins with a win in November. Pete has my complete and total Endorsement!”

Trump also tweeted his support for gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski in New England, who he deemed “a major difference maker.”

“It is about time that Connecticut had a real and talented Governor. Bob Stefanowski is the person needed to do the job. Tough on crime, Bob is also a big cutter of Taxes,” Trump wrote.
The president also endorsed his “friend and very early supporter” Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who edged out Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Colyer conceded to Kobach on Tuesday, a week after that election. Kobach was an active member on the president’s voter fraud commission.

While political prognosticators have forecast the potential for a so-called “blue wave” of Democratic victories in this fall’s midterms, spurred in part by the president’s low popularity, Trump has insisted that November will deliver a “red wave” of Republican wins that will maintain or perhaps strengthen the GOP majorities on Capitol Hill. While Trump’s endorsements have proven powerful in GOP primaries, they could have the opposite effect in November’s general election, when candidates will seek to win swing voters, not the deep-red base.

Even as the president celebrated the GOP victors, Tuesday’s primaries were widely seen as a milestone for Democrats ahead of the midterms. Vermont voters made Christine Hallquist the first openly transgender candidate for a governorship, and Jahana Hayes is expected to be the first black member of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation. Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar won the Democratic primary in her state’s 5th Congressional District, putting her in position to be the first Muslim female elected to Congress if she prevails in November.


Kudlow: Economy will help GOP keep its grip on House

Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, says Republicans will hold the House this fall and the economy will be a big reason why.

“These are very good times and the midterms will be a report card on that,” Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said in an interview, dismissing concerns that relatively flat wages and a soaring deficit will cut into enthusiasm for the economy.

“The confidence indices are telling a very important story, and POTUS is polling in the low to mid fifties on the economy,” Kudlow said just before returning to the White House after some time off. “The great blue wall has crashed. I think GOP will lose seats but keep the House.”

Republicans are counting on faster growth and a low jobless rate to help them hold off expected Democratic gains in swing districts where Trump polls poorly. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to retake the House.

But so far, the economy has not played a major role in special elections, with Republican candidates talking more about guns, immigration and other hot-button social issues while painting Democrats as liberal extremists.

Trump himself often touts strong economic numbers — including the second-quarter growth rate of 4.1 percent — but also gets repeatedly sidetracked by the Russia investigation and stories like the recent tell-all book from his former top aide Omarosa Manigault Newman.

Republicans also have to deal with a tax-cut bill that focused on lowering corporate rates and remains widely unpopular with the public. A poll in June by POLITICO and Morning Consult found that just 37 percent of voters supported the tax cut, down from 44 percent in April.

Democrats are also hammering at any signs that Trump’s tariff battles with China and his levies on steel and aluminum are costing U.S. jobs while driving up prices for consumers. And they note that when adjusted for inflation, earnings are flat over the last year, if not slightly lower.

Kudlow rejected that measure of wages and said workers were feeling better about the economy in ways that will help the GOP.

“All you have in [the Consumer Price Index] is a bump up in oil prices,” he said. “And energy prices are already coming down. The dollar is strong. The more important measure is real disposable income and it’s booming.”

Kudlow added that he continued to see real momentum in talks with European Union leaders to avoid a tariff war and lower existing levies.

“We set up a process and they are coming back here. And I’ll be going to Brussels,” he said. “I grabbed ahold of this and I’m not letting go.”


Trump says Omarosa lied about his use of n-word

President Donald Trump said on Monday night that he’d never used the N-word and that no tapes existed of him saying other inflammatory material, rebutting the claims made by former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman that Trump repeatedly said the word during the filming of his reality-TV series “The Apprentice.”

“.@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa,” the president wrote on Twitter, claiming he talked to Burnett, who produces the series. “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up.”

Manigault Newman has unleashed a torrent of criticism of her former boss, claiming in a new book that his mental faculties are declining and that he is ill suited for the presidency. The White House has scoffed at her claims as tawdry efforts by a disgruntled former employee to boost book sales. Trump has echoed the pushback with personal attacks on Manigault Newman, who first gained public attention as a contestant on “The Apprentice.”

“Look at her MANY recent quotes saying … such wonderful and powerful things about me — a true Champion of Civil Rights — until she got fired,” he continued in the two-part tweet. “Omarosa had Zero credibility with the Media (they didn’t want interviews) when she worked in the White House. Now that she says bad about me, they will talk to her. Fake News!”

In addition to claiming that she has recordings of White House aides, Manigault Newman has reignited the search for outtakes from “The Apprentice” in which Trump reportedly used the N-word at least once, if not multiple times.

Burnett, who could not immediately be reached for comment, has previously said he does not have the ability to release outtakes himself.

“MGM owns Mark Burnett’s production company and ‘The Apprentice’ is one of its properties,” a statement from MGM and Burnett, released in October 2016, said in part. “Despite reports to the contrary, Mark Burnett does not have the ability or the right to release footage or other material from ‘The Apprentice.’ Various contractual and legal requirement also restrict MGM’s ability to release such material.”


Trump responds to ‘wacky’ Omarosa: ‘She never made it, never will’

President Donald Trump on Monday called former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman “wacky” and “vicious,” responding to Manigault Newman’s sharp criticisms of the Trump administration as well as her release of recordings she secretly made during her tenure with the administration.

Manigault Newman released a tape Monday to NBC’s “Today” show of a phone call with the president a day after her departure in which Trump sounds surprised and disappointed by her firing. On Sunday, Manigault Newman shared a recording of her firing by White House chief of staff John Kelly with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart,” the president wrote in a pair of posts to Twitter. “I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me – until she got fired!”

Although Trump claimed in his Monday Twitter post that he told Kelly to “try working it out” with Manigault Newman, the former aide’s recording shows Trump’s apparent surprise at Omarosa’s firing.

“Omarosa what’s going on? I just saw on the news that you’re thinking about leaving? What happened?” Trump says on the tape, which Manigault Newman said was recorded the day after she was fired.

“General Kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave,” Manigault Newman responded.

“No…I, I, Nobody even told me about it,” Trump replied, to which Manigault Newman said “wow.”

The former “Apprentice” star, who joined the White House as an assistant to the president and communications director for the Office of Public Liaison, has been on a media tour to promote her new book “Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House.”

The tweets are Trump’s first response via Twitter to Manigault Newman’s media blitz. On Saturday he reportedly told the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman that his former employee was a “lowlife.”

The president in another tweet expressed annoyance about having to respond to Manigault Newman but argued that her saturation of the airwaves required it because the media “will be working overtime” to make her claims “look legitimate as possible.”

“While I know it’s ‘not presidential’ to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!” he posted.


Trump says he will have dinner with Apple CEO Cook on Friday

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Twitter post that he would have dinner with Apple Inc (AAPL.O) Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Friday.

“Looking forward to dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple. He is investing big dollars in U.S.A.,” said Trump, who is on vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Cook said in a conference call with investors last week that Apple was looking at whether Trump’s tariffs in a trade war with China would hit the company on the purchases it must make.

The New York Times reported in June that Trump told Cook that the U.S. government would not levy tariffs on Apple iPhones assembled in China.

The newspaper reported that Cook traveled to the White House in May to warn Trump of the potentially adverse effects of Trump’s trade policies on Apple in China, but did not specify precisely when Trump made the commitment to Cook.

Apple this month became the first $1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company.


Trump fumes at the FBI, Justice Dept. and Sessions in series of tweets

President Donald Trump on Saturday publicly castigated the Justice Department, the attorney general and the FBI, amplifying his allies’ recent efforts to cast doubt on the Russia probe after remaining largely silent as the trial of his former campaign chairman progresses.

“Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text messages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities,” the president wrote on Twitter, one of a series of tweets he sent during his extended stay at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. “FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding?”

Trump has been fixated on coverage of Paul Manafort during his “working vacation,” expressing his rage to close confidants that his former campaign chairman’s trial is dominating news coverage. Manafort is facing charges of tax and bank fraud in Virginia, the first high-profile case from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to reach the trial stage.

Slamming Attorney General Jeff Sessions for being “scared stiff and Missing in Action,” Trump later seized on a line of his attacks his allies have made on a separate Justice Department official in recent days.

“The big story that the Fake News Media refuses to report is lowlife Christopher Steele’s many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly. It was Fusion GPS that hired Steele to write the phony & discredited Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary & the DNC….

“….Do you believe Nelly [sic] worked for Fusion and her husband STILL WORKS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF “JUSTICE,” the president wrote on Twitter. “I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life. Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed – not pretty. IG Report soon? Witch Hunt!”

Trump, who has long criticized Sessions for his recusal in the Russia investigation, sought to amplify attacks by conservative lawmakers and his own lawyers on former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie. Nellie Ohr reportedly worked for Fusion GPS, the organization that hired Christopher Steele to compile his dossier on the president’s ties to Russia and was paid indirectly by Hilary Clinton’s campaign.

Trump’s allies allege Ohr’s role in handing over copies to the dossier to FBI officials proves there were nefarious motives behind the bureau’s counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s election meddling and possible coordination with Trump campaign officials.

“If you look at the scenario of events that have taken place in this investigation in particular, I mean the corruption at the start of it — and the new information, the Bruce Ohr information just coming out yesterday — raises serious concerns all the way through,” Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s attorneys, said Wednesday on his radio show, according to an ABC report.

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment on behalf of either Sessions or Ohr.

Amid the renewed assault on the key players behind the Russia probe, Trump’s legal team is still trying to negotiate the terms of an interview between Mueller’s team and the president.

“I don’t think we want to put a date on it, but we want to get to the period of time where we don’t want to affect the 2018 election,” Giuliani told POLITICO earlier this week, adding questions about obstruction of justice could still be on the table.


‘She’s a low life’: President Trump attacks Omarosa ahead of scathing tell-all book

President Donald Trump called his former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman, a “low life” on Saturday. His comment came in response to a question about Newman’s tell-all book, in which she calls Trump a “racist” suffering from “mental decline.”

Trump made the remark during a bikers rally with motorcycle-riding supporters in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is vacationing at his golf resort.

After shaking hands with the bikers for five minutes, Trump stood back atop the dais and asked the crowd for their thoughts on the press, according to the White House pool report. The president responded to one question from a reporter in the press pool about Newman and her new book.

“Lowlife,” Trump responded. “She’s a lowlife.”

Here are some of the takeaways from Newman’s memoir, titled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House”.

She now believes the president to whom she was loyal for 14 years is “a racist, a bigot and a misogynist.” His biggest personality flaw is a complete lack of empathy for others, she writes.
She believes the president is in “mental decline” and physically unwell.
She believes a deeply unhappy first lady Melania Trump “is counting every minute until (her husband) is out of office and she can divorce him.”


Trump calls for unity on anniversary of Charlottesville rally

President Donald Trump on Saturday called for the nation to “come together” ahead of the one-year anniversary of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We must come together as a nation.”

On Sunday, white nationalists will gather at a “Unite the Right” rally near the White House marking the anniversary of the Charlottesville rally, which resulted in the death of a counter-protester after a supremacist drove his car into a crowd of people.

The president’s response to the rally was heavily criticized after he asserted during a press conference at Trump Tower that there were “very fine people on both sides.”

On Saturday, Trump wrote that he condemns “all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”

No permits were granted for a similar rally in Charlottesville this year and the city, county and Virginia have declared a state of emergency to allow for increased police presence. Multiple counter-protests are scheduled to take place in Washington.

The president followed up his Charlottesville tweet by touting his administration’s record on African-American and Hispanic unemployment levels. On Friday, amid the release of excerpts of a book criticizing Trump’s record on race relations by Omarosa Manigault, a former White House staffer who is African-American, Trump thanked rapper Kanye West for his support, following an interview broadcast with Jimmy Kimmel late Thursday.

The president, who is staying at his golf club in New Jersey, earlier Saturday returned to his criticism of current and former FBI officials, echoing calls from his congressional allies that the Justice Department had not turned over documents related to officials like former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe in a timely manner.

“Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text messages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities,” the president wrote. “FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding?”


Trump praises Texas AG’s lawsuit to repeal DACA

President Donald Trump on Thursday praised a lawsuit led by Texas to repeal an Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, saying he hopes the legal action is “successful.”

The lawsuit, which was filed against the Trump administration over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in May, was argued in federal court in Texas on Wednesday by the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton.

“Ken just filed a very interesting lawsuit, which I think is going to be very successful,” Trump said on Thursday in New Jersey during a roundtable discussion on prison reform that included several governors and state attorneys general. “I hope it’s going to be successful.”

Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia have also signed on to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas.

In the action, the states argue that DACA leads to additional costs in health care, law enforcement and education, in addition to increased competition for jobs.

The president later went on to ask Paxton how the case was looking, and the Texas attorney general said the hearing on Wednesday “went quite well.”

“We will see what the judge says,” Paxton said. “We know we are right on the law and right under the Constitution. We are confident that things are going to go on the right way.”

“It’s true,” the president replied.

In an op-ed published Thursday, Paxton argued that because DACA did not get congressional approval, it “represents a dangerous exercise of executive power, which, if left unchecked, allows the president to set aside any duly enacted law.”

Approximately 694,000 Dreamers are enrolled in the DACA program.


Melania Trump’s parents take citizenship oath in New York City

The parents of first lady Melania Trump have become citizens, an attorney representing the family confirmed to POLITICO today.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs took the oath of citizenship today in New York City, the attorney said.

The route the couple took to citizenship remains unclear. Michael Wildes, the family’s attorney, has declined to comment on the process, but said in February that they had become permanent residents and were on track to naturalize.

The Knavs’ immigration status has drawn scrutiny amid President Donald Trump’s sustained attack on legal and illegal immigration.

The president in particular has vented about the family-based immigration system, which the administration dubs “chain migration.”

“CHAIN MIGRATION must end now!” Trump tweeted in November after a fatal attack in Manhattan allegedly perpetrated by an Uzbek immigrant. “Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!”

Melania Trump’s own immigration history has raised questions in light of the president’s hard-line views.

Wildes said in a 2016 letter that Melania Trump sponsored herself for a green card as a model of “extraordinary ability” and became a lawful permanent resident in March 2001.

The Associated Press, which first reported on the Knavs’ naturalization, said they arrived and left the ceremony today accompanied by DHS officers.