As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Author Archives: Keith Koffler

Romney Demands Trump Tell Congress How He Will Spend Relief Bill Funds

Mitt Romney demanding compliance is one way to ensure Trump will not comply.

According to The Hill:

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Friday released a letter with Sen. Jon Tester(D-Mont.) calling on President Trump to comply with the oversight requirements Congress attached to the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed into law last week.

“With trillions of taxpayer dollars being spent, it is critically important for the Administration to ensure full transparency and willingness for independent oversight,” Romney and Tester wrote in the April 3 letter to Trump.

The senators noted that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established three level of oversight for the hundreds of billions of dollars in federal aid: a special inspector general, a congressional oversight committee and a panel of inspectors general known as the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC).

Romney and Tester called on the president to report his administration’s plans for spending the funds to Congress.

“As you work to implement COVID-19 legislation, we ask that you provide Congress a detailed plan on how the government plans to execute these funds and what accountability measures are being put in place to ensure our taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively,” they wrote.

Durham Investigation of Origin of Trump Campaign Probe Focuses on John Brennan

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Investigators examining the beginnings of the 2016 probe of possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian election interference are pushing to complete their inquiry despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durhams team began interviews earlier this year at the Central Intelligence Agency, according to people familiar with the process. It has focused on people who are or were working at the National Intelligence Council, a unit of the Director of National Intelligence’s office that coordinated the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s 2016 election interference, as well as on individuals at other agencies whose work fed into that assessment, one official said.

Increasingly, investigators are focused on former CIA Director John Brennan, examining whether he pushed for a blunter assessment about Russia’s motivations than others in the intelligence community felt was warranted, people familiar with the matter said.

Intelligence agencies agreed in 2016 that Russia’s interference in the presidential election was aimed at hurting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and boosting President Trump’s election chances. The CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation expressed high confidence in that assessment, while the National Security Agency had moderate confidence. Those disagreements have long been publicly known, and the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee said in 2018 that the conflict “appropriately represents analytic differences” between the agencies. The committee’s report also concluded the Russian efforts were meant to help Mr. Trump.

Part of the disagreement was over whether a source the CIA relied on in the intelligence assessment, who was close to the Kremlin, had specific knowledge that Mr. Putin wanted to help Mr. Trump, one person said. Mr. Durham’s team appears to be pressing people involved in that report on whether Mr. Brennan sought to steer the intelligence community agencies to sign on to a “high confidence” assessment, people familiar with the matter said.

New White House Chief of Staff May Oust Press Secretary Grisham

I guess he’s thinking about replacing President Trump, since the president is his own press secretary. But I’m not sure that’s constitutional.

According to the Washington Examiner:

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has been discussing whether to bring in a new press secretary. 

Sources familiar with the private discussions told Axios that Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah and Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany are under consideration. 

Meadows, who started his chief of staff role on Tuesday, has met with Farah in recent days and discussed the position with her. Farah was communications director for Meadows when he chaired the House Freedom Caucus and was Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary before she took the Pentagon job in August.

Democratic Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom Praises Trump Responsiveness to State’s Needs

With all the talk about President Trump politicizing the crisis and trying to help Republican states, the praise from Newsom is significant. Out of the 40 million people who live in California, Trump is likely to get about seven votes. It’s obvious that the president is constantly on the phone during this crisis, talking to… Continue Reading

ABC WH Reporter Jonathan Karl Chides CNN’s Acosta for Acting Like Part of “The Resistance”

This is a braver move than it may seem. ABC’s Jonathan Karl is an excellent reporter who, you may remember, went toe to toe with Obama White House Press Secretary Tim Carney, but without the grandstanding and with a legitimate intent to hold him accountable. He was a rare example of a White House press… Continue Reading