One of the Friday afternoon breakout sessions at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference featured Paul Teller, a long-time right-wing activist who now serves as a liaison between the White House and the conservative movement, including right-wing members of Congress. FFC’s Tim Head said that Teller’s hiring during the Trump transition period was “a breath of fresh air” and a clear message to the conservative movement “that this was going to be a very serious policy-driven administration.”
Teller said Trump’s appointment of so many “great constitutional conservatives” to the federal courts will still be creating a ripple effect 25 years from now. In addition to reveling in the administration’s victories, Teller described ongoing projects, including an effort to prevent moderate Republicans and Democrats from using a discharge petition to force a House floor vote on what Teller characterized as an “amnesty-type” immigration bill.
Teller said it has been “amazing” to work in the Trump White House, where “you literally can’t turn a corner without bumping into some other movement conservative.” Teller cited cabinet members, media figures like Kellyanne Conway, and others. “It’s not just some of the famous people,” he said, “It’s deep down.”
As an example, Teller cited Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who people think of as a “budget guy.” But, said Teller, “Let me tell you–this is a pro-life leader from South Carolina” and an “across-the-board conservative.”
Teller said that in about two weeks, Mulvaney will unveil a plan for a “wholesale reorganization” of the federal government, based on an executive order Trump signed last year. Teller said this isn’t about small changes at the margins, but an effort to “totally redo” the federal government. “Do we need this department? Do we need this agency? Do we need this program? Can this be combined?”
Teller said the plan would be very clear about which changes can be implemented by Trump as head of the executive branch, and which would need to be passed by Congress. Teller said the left had been successful a making incremental but difficult-to-reverse changes and that it is hard to overstate the importance of having someone like Mulvaney “rooting this stuff out in a strategic way.”
In fact, giving “someone like Mulvaney” an assignment to “totally redo” the federal government is a stunning prospect, given Mulvaney’s record as an anti-government founding member of the Freedom Caucus. Politico reported last year that Mulvaney has been “quietly—and radically—trying to dismantle the federal bureaucracy,” including Social Security and Medicare. The same story described Mulvaney as “an ideological bomb-thrower from the congressional fringe who has become an influential player in the Trump administration”:
In the past, he has questioned whether government should fund medical research or student loans, called Social Security a Ponzi scheme, proposed abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency and pushed repeatedly for government shutdowns. In his new gig, he has questioned whether government should fund Meals on Wheels or diabetes treatment for patients who “eat poorly,” called climate action “a waste of your money,” hinted that the Energy and Education departments might be unconstitutional, and suggested he would welcome another shutdown.
None of this is a surprise. Journalist Ed Kilgore responded to Trump’s December 2016 announcement that he was picking Mulvaney to lead OMB “an ominous sign of conservative extremism to come.” After his confirmation hearing, New York Times op-ed contributor Steven Rattner warned against “an extremist holding the purse strings.” Mulvaney was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 51-49 after all Democrats and Sen. John McCain voted against him.
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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Conservative Writer Argues Trump Be Removed by 25th Amendment
Conservative writer Max Boot declared in a Tuesday column for the Washington Post that in light of emerging details about the White House from reporter Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, President Donald Trump should be removed from office using the 25th Amendment.
Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president can take over for a president if he gets the approval from half the Cabinet that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” If the president objects, Congress can overrule this objection with a two-thirds vote in both chambers.
“If you take seriously the revelations in Bob Woodward’s book ‘Fear‘ — and how can you not, given Woodward’s nearly half-century of scoops about Washington’s elite? — then it’s time for President Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment because he is clearly ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,’” Boot writes. “That will never happen, because the Cabinet is packed with Trump toadies who compete with each other to deliver the most fawning praise of their supreme leader. But on the merits, it should happen.”
The new book alleges that many of those closest to Trump think him incompetent and dangerous. Boot noted, however, that Woodward’s book isn’t surprising on this front — evidence of Trump’s unfitness for office has been clear since before the election.
Nevertheless, Boot argued, Woodward “does provide damning new evidence to buttress what we already know — that after more than 18 months in office, Trump is just as unqualified as ever to be president.”
For example, the new book reports that Trump’s aides have diminished his intelligence and his ability to perform his job while actively undermining his efforts to accomplish perilous acts, such as planning a preemptive attack on North Korea.
Most Republicans are in denial of the of fact Trump’s incompetence because of what it would mean for their party and its grip on power.
“We really are in Crazytown,” Boot says, using a word attributed to Chief of Staff John Kelly in the new book. “But Trump is far from the craziest person in town. His defects are no secret — they were obvious before his election. The really crazy people are the Republicans who think we should continue to entrust a man manifestly unfit to be Queens Borough president with the presidency of the United States of America.”
Mueller is Ready to Ask Trump About Obstruction of Justice
Special counsel Robert Mueller is ready to interview Donald Trump about his investigation into obstructions of justice, ABC News reported Wednesday.
Sources close to the White House said that the president learned within the last day that Mueller was prepared to question Trump with a fairly limited scope of both oral and written statements.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said during a quick commentary Wednesday in New Hampshire that he and the special counsel’s office have been going back and forth to negotiate the questioning.
Those familiar with the situation said that it was the reason for Trump’s early morning Twitter tirade about Attorney General Jeff Sessions shutting down the probe.
“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!” Trump tweeted.
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
“We have a list of questions that are fairly narrowed but we are waiting on the special counsel’s response,” Giuliani said last week to ABC News.
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