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

Author Archives: Keith Koffler

Trump Schedule || Sunday, September 22, 2019

7:40 am || Departs White House
10:50 am CT || Arrives Houston, Texas
11:00 am CT || Delivers remarks at “Howdy Modi: Shared Dreams, Bright Futures”; NRG stadium
12:30 pm CT || Departs Houston
4:55 pm || Arrives Wapakoneta, Ohio
5:00 pm || Participates Pratt Industries Plant Opening and Tour; Wapakoneta, Ohio
5:20 pm || Delivers remarks at Pratt Industries Plant Opening
6:10 pm || Departs Wapakoneta, Ohio
8:10 pm || Arrives New York City
9:00 pm || Arrives Trump Tower; New York City

All times Eastern

Trump Sends Troops and Missiles to Saudi Arabia

Seems to me like a strong, yet measured response.

According to the Washington Examiner:

The Pentagon is sending additional troops and missiles to Saudi Arabia in response to Iran’s attack on Saudi oil facilities last weekend.

“The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces which are primarily defensive in nature,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a surprise briefing Friday night. He said the kingdom had asked President Trump for the support.

“We are contributing to Saudi Arabia’s defense,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford added.

Neither official would say how many troops the United States is contributing, but the number will likely be in the hundreds. Nothing is happening immediately, and Dunford said he will present more specifics next week.

Esper said U.S. and Saudi officials on the ground had confirmed the attack originated in Iran.

WSJ: Trump Repeatedly Urged Ukraine to Probe Biden but Offered No Quid-Pro-Quo

All the speculation that President Trump offered military aid to the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden, down the drain.

But asking foreign governments to investigate your political opponents is egregious. Not sure if it’s illegal, but it is the wrong thing to do.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.

“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” whether allegations were true or not, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on any investigation.

Mr. Giuliani in June and August met with top Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation, he said in an interview. The Trump lawyer has suggested Mr. Biden as vice president worked to shield from investigation a Ukrainian gas company with ties to his son, Hunter Biden. A Ukrainian official earlier this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son

Back Into Politics? Nikki Haley Moves Back to South Carolina

I doubt, though, that this is about a statewide run. It’s about running for president in 2024.

She was living in New York City. I don’t think she can run as a southern conservative when she’s living in New York. It’s not easy to run as any kind of conservative if you’ve abandoned South Carolina and embraced New York City.

If you’re from New York City, not much you can do about that, so it’s different. Obviously, it worked out well for someone.

According to the Washington Examiner:

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is moving back to her native South Carolina, re-establishing a home base and also fueling speculation that a return to politics is next on her to-do list.

The 47-year-old former South Carolina governor, who left office in 2017 to join the Trump administration, closed Friday on a home on Kiawah Island, according to Alex Malloy, a spokeswoman for Kiawah Island Real Estate, which operates on the tony golf community near Charleston.

Haley’s office confirmed the purchase, saying the family would be splitting time between South Carolina and New York until their son graduates from high school next spring.

“South Carolina has always been home for the Haleys, and they couldn’t be more excited to return back to their family and friends in the Palmetto State,” said Haley spokeswoman Chaney Denton.

Trump Meets with Mark Zuckerberg

President Trump met with Mark Zuckerberg, who is in Washington on a charm offensive as lawmakers try to determine whether he has too much control over the information Americans get and the way they share it.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

With his company under a regulatory spotlight, Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg scored a meeting at the White House with President Trump Thursday—but faced a chillier reception from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. 

A spokesman for Facebook said Mr. Zuckerberg was visiting Washington to meet with policy makers “to hear their concerns and talk about future internet regulation.” The spokesman said Mr. Zuckerberg’s meeting with the president was “constructive.”

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and White House social media director Dan Scavino also joined the meeting, a person familiar with the meeting said.

“Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook in the Oval Office today,” Mr. Trump posted Thursday night on his Facebook and Twitteraccounts, along with a photo of the president and Mr. Zuckerberg shaking hands.

On Capitol Hill, Mr. Zuckerberg received an earful of complaints, and two influential lawmakers couldn’t find the time to meet with him.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said he challenged Mr. Zuckerberg to spin off its Instagram and WhatsApp units—two acquisitions that are now part of a government antitrust probe into Facebook. 

“I said to him, ‘Prove that you’re serious…sell WhatsApp, and sell Instagram,’” Mr. Hawley said following his afternoon meeting with Mr. Zuckerberg. “I think it’s safe to say that he was not receptive to those suggestions,” he added.

Mr. Zuckerberg, clad in a dark suit and tie, was trailed throughout his Capitol Hill visit by a swarm of reporters and camera crews. He declined to comment.

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Trump Schedule || Friday, September 20, 2019

9:00 am || Participates in the arrival ceremony of Australian Prime Minister Morrison
10:00 am || Meets with Prime Minister Morrison; Oval Office and Cabinet Room
11:45 am || Participates in a joint press conference with Morrison
1:30 pm || Receives his intelligence briefing
8:20 pm || The Trumps host a State Dinner for Prime Minister Morrison and Mrs. Morrison; Rose Garden

All times Eastern

Biden Had a Facelift Since Leaving Office – and Not a Good One

Viewers warning: Photos include possible beard growing on Biden’s ear, where his skin was pull back to. It’s pretty clear Joe Biden is not going to make his plastic surgeon the surgeon general. The guy probably has a background as a butcher. According to the Washington Examiner: The scars on the sides of Democratic front-runner… Continue Reading

Trump’s Cool, Rational Approach to Iran

The man who is forever characterized as an irrational hothead is playing Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia cooler than everyone else. He is talking to lots of people, getting advice, assembling information, and then he’ll make a decision – hoping to steer clear of war if possible. It’s not just Lindsey Graham and the usual… Continue Reading

Bolton Bashes Trump

Not very classy. Even if you’re fired, you served the country and the president, at his pleasure. It’s just this kind of self-regard that got John Bolton fired as national security advisor in the first place. From the Washington Examiner: Former White House national security adviser John Bolton slammed President Trump in front of a… Continue Reading