Discussing new polling that shows Donald Trump falling behind in states that are normally Republican strongholds, “Morning Joe” regular John Heilemann said the president’s campaign staff — what is left of it — has no idea how to stop the bleeding as they run out of cash.
Speaking with co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mike Brezinski, the political analyst explained he saw no path for Trump to get the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to remain in office.
“I happened to be in Arizona last week so we can talk more about that but on the two largest questions, first, what does the Trump campaign plan to do?” Heilemann asked. “They have no clue what they plan to do and part of the reason — not part of the reason but the whole reason — for this is you have a campaign that is almost as — has been almost as decimated by COVID-19 as the White House has been, right?”
“So there’s been, you know, this comprehensive meltdown as people learned that much of the senior leadership was infected with the coronavirus,” he added. “You have [campaign manager] Bill Stepien infected. You have a campaign leadership that’s been in just as much disarray in the last ten days and trying to figure out what Jonathan Lemire was talking about a couple of minutes ago: how to handle the fact that the president of the United States all last week was out of his right mind and was — you know, we all observed the notion that the president every time we saw him in a video was clearly not — even by Trump standards, was disassociative and he was taking high doses of steroids so he was not in his right mind.”
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White House Keeping Kellyanne Conway Out of Sight to Avoid Another Mick Mulvaney-Like Debacle
According to a report in Politico, presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway is being kept off the airwaves and made unavailable to reporters over fears of a screw-up talking about impeachment in the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s floundering attempts to defend Donald Trump.
Despite Conway getting a minor scuffle with a Washington Examiner reporters over her relationship with her outspoken husband, conservative lawyer George Conway, the equally-outspoken Kellyanne has rarely been seen since the Democratic-led House began impeachment hearings on the President.
According to the report, the longtime aide’s disappearance is intentional.
“Two days after House Democrats began their formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway went on national television to assure viewers her boss did nothing wrong in his summer phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Then she went silent,” Politico’s Gabby Orr writes.
Noting that the “indefatigable defender of the Republican leader ever since she took over his campaign in August 2016,” has receded into the background, the report points out that it has not gone unnoticed by other White House insiders.
With a Republican close to the White House, admitting, “She’s nowhere to be seen and I think that’s deliberate,” the report suggests Mulvaney’s stunningly bad press conference and equally awful follow-up on Fox News has caused the White House to become more careful about how the president is defended.
“If ever the president’s aides were given a reason to avoid coming to his defense, it likely happened during Mulvaney’s impromptu briefing at the White House last week. Hours after he seemingly confirmed that the White House withheld foreign aid to Ukraine as leverage to get political dirt on Trump’s opponents, Mulvaney was forced to conduct cleanup in a statement,” the reports states. “The episode underscored the risk Trump surrogates face each and every time they publicly defend the president, but it also illuminated how Conway has managed to shield herself from the bipartisan blowback Mulvaney encountered by avoiding the kinds of details that have become fodder for Democrats wielding subpoena power.”
According to a Trump confidante, at this point of the impeachment inquiry, it’s better to remain silent than say the wrong thing and be subpoenaed.
“In times like this, going in front of the media as a Trump surrogate means you can quickly get turned into a pretzel,” the anonymous source confided. “So the best way to deal with these circumstances is to be error-free, or just put your head down.”
According to Orr, Conway’s silence will likely come to the notice of the president soon.
“It’s easy to be a cheerleader when it’s easy, but when you’re the happy warrior and you’re suddenly not on air, it becomes obvious to a lot of folks very quickly,” a former official explained.
You can read more here.
He Called Trump ‘Greatest Hostage Negotiator in History.’ Trump Just Named Him His New National Security Advisor.
‘Remarkably Little DC Experience’
President Donald Trump Wednesday morning named Robert O’Brien as his fourth (sixth, if you count acting) National Security Advisor, after firing John Bolton last week. O’Brien may face challenges as some experts believe he does not have sufficient experience to hold the job.
For example, here’s former top Dept. of Justice spokesperson Matthew Miller, now an MSNBC justice and security analyst:
Today is going to be one of those days everyone pretends the guy no one has ever heard of before is qualified for a critical government job because he at least appears not to be an unhinged lunatic.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) September 18, 2019
Here’s a professor of International Relations and National Security at the U.S. Naval War College:
Compared to NSAs through history, O’Brien has remarkably little DC experience, nor is he a foreign policy wonk — international business lawyer. Nor a long-time confidant of Trump. Relationship with POTUS is what counts so who knows, but resume “thin” by trad measures https://t.co/0DU3OB6fRj
— David Burbach (@dburbach) September 18, 2019
But O’Brien does have one qualification that’s a mandatory prerequisite for any Trump administration nominee.
He has no problem endlessly praising President Donald Trump.
O’Brien currently serves as the Dept.of Homeland Security’s chief hostage negotiator.
CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak reveals what appears to be one of the key reasons O’Brien just got a big promotion: he bowed down to Trump and gave him the ego boost the president unendingly requires.
Trump liked that Robert O’Brien was effusive in his praise. Speaking to reporters on AF1 yesterday, Trump said: “Robert O’Brien said, ‘Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator in history.’ He happens to be right.” He named him national security adviser a day later.
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) September 18, 2019
It’s not the first time Trump has “quoted” O’Brien’s effusive praise.
Back in April the president posted this strange tweet. The Washington Post later confirmed he had been referring to O’Brien.
“President Donald J. Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator that I know of in the history of the United States. 20 hostages, many in impossible circumstances, have been released in last two years. No money was paid.” Cheif Hostage Negotiator, USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2019
“In a March 6 news conference on the return of Danny Burch, a hostage formerly held in Yemen, O’Brien played up Trump’s ‘unparalleled success’ in this area,” The Washington Post adds.
“This wouldn’t happen with all of these hostages and detainees without the support of the president,” O’Brien said. “The president has had unparalleled success in bringing Americans home without paying concessions, without prisoner exchanges, but through force of will and the goodwill that he’s generated around the world.”
Holding the role of National Security Advisor appears to have been on O’Brien’s mind for years. Here he is in December 2016, before Trump was sworn in, praising the president-elect’s incoming national security team, and claiming he didn’t want to be the NSA:
Had O’Brien appeared instead on Fox News praising the president, no doubt John Bolton would have been fired even faster.
Trump Official Who Was Named WH Comms Director Just Admitted to Hiring Prostitutes: Report
Jason Miller, a top Trump campaign official who was named White House Communication Director before resigning just admitted to hiring numerous prostitutes and visiting “hand job” massage parlors, according to an exclusive report by Mediaite.
Miller, who served as chief spokesman for the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team, resigned before ever actually serving in the White House, after acknowledging an affair with another Trump official. He was married at the time, his wife was pregnant, and he reportedly fathered a child with the woman he had the affair with.
“In a written transcript of the deposition obtained by Mediaite, Miller describes the occasions he paid women for sex since 2001. Soliciting prostitution was, and still is, a crime in the cities where Miller admitted to hiring escorts,” Mediaite reports.
“Miller said his most recent visit to a ‘happy ending’ massage parlor came as recently as ‘a couple of months ago.’ He said he recalled having sex with an escort as recently as the spring of 2017 — just a few months after quitting the Trump transition team, where he served as chief spokesman.”
Mediaite reports that the deposition states Miller had another affair with a second woman as well.
Miller seems to not have distanced himself far from the Trump re-election campaign, giving interviews to top news outlets, including “telling Vanity Fair in March [he] ‘spoke with’ Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale ‘this morning’ while describing the president’s strategy to target voters.”
Read the entire report at Mediaite.
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