Base Politics, Pence Angry with Times
Monday, August 7, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 208
Base Politics: President Trump was up on Twitter this morning to convince the nation that he’s just as popular as ever. “The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling). Look at rallies in Penn, Iowa, Ohio,” he wrote. “And West Virginia. The fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record Stock Market, border security, military strength, jobs….. … Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation & so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together. Will never change!”
Trump’s approval ratings are at about 38 percent and his disapproval is approaching 60.
2020 Vision: Vice President Mike Pence issued an angry denial of a NY Times story that said he’s maneuvering to run for president in 2020 if President Trump is out or chooses not to run.
“The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration,” Pence said in a statement.
He said, “Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the president’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.”
The Times reported that Pence is one of a number of Republicans positioning themselves to run in the wake of the troubled Trump presidency. That’s how politics work and it doesn’t stretch credibility at all. The Times issued a statement saying the paper is comfortable with its reporting.
After the Fall: With Congress on break and the President ensconced in his New Jersey golf club, Jonathan Swan writes for Axios that the Republicans have a difficult season ahead of them; passing a spending bill, avoiding a government shutdown, and contending with Trump’s drive to build his promised southern border wall.
Congress doesn’t want to pay for it. “The wall is no metaphor to Trump,” Swan writes. “He will accept no substitutes to a huge, long, physical wall, which he believes his voters viscerally want. He told GOP Hill leaders in June he wants it to be 40 to 50 feet high and covered with solar panels. Hill Republicans privately mocked that idea, but some of those same people now recognize that Trump’s big, beautiful — and in their minds, ridiculous — wall could be the thing that brings the U.S. government to its knees.”
Hermit Kingdom: China stepped into the North Korea situation yesterday urging the North to “be smart” and stop its ballistic missile tests. The US has been pressuring China to lean on North Korea.
Chinese Foreign Minister Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned, “Do not violate the U.N.’s decision or provoke international society’s goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests.” With an elbow shot in the other direction, he also said, “Of course, we would like to urge other parties like the US and South Korea to stop increasing tensions.”
Banana Republic: Militant dissidents attacked an army base in Venezuela and issued a video declaring themselves in open rebellion against the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
The attack was repulsed with one man killed, but the assailants got away with some weapons.
A man on the video identified as a fugitive National Guard army captain said, “We declare ourselves in legitimate rebellion, united more than ever with the valiant state of Venezuela, to disavow the murderous tyranny of Nicolás Maduro.”
Maduro, who has taken complete control of the government in a one-sided election, said, “This was an act of total desperation.”
Working Vacation: From yesterday’s White House press pool report:
The pool (again) is once based out of a conference room at the Marriott in Bridgewater, N.J., where ABC News is playing on a large flatscreen TV to the right of a podium and a roughly 10-foot-tall American flag. More than a dozen journalists in the pool were provided tea and coffee, jars of hard candies, and kits of office supplies equipped with scissors, tape, permanent markers and Liquid Paper white-out.
The hotel is located about 12 miles southeast of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster — a 20-minute drive with no traffic.
The White House has called a lunch lid until 6 p.m.
A White House official declined to give details on POTUS’ agenda for the day.”