Speaker Pelosi isn’t playing games. This morning, she essentially disinvited the President of the United States from delivering the State of the Union address during the #TrumpShutdown.
Why? Let’s think.
- It’s day 26 of the shutdown, and President Trump and Republicans are still whining (and tweeting) about not getting their ineffective, offensive border wall.
- White House economists are estimating that the shutdown will do twice as much economic damage as they originally thought.
- Pelosi cited security concerns—rightly so, given that the shutdown impacts the Secret Service. The Secret Service agents protecting Trump have been working without pay since the shutdown began.
- Leader McConnell blamed Democrats for Trump’s shutdown again today. He conveniently ignored the fact that the Senate already passed a unanimous measure to fund the government. All it would take to end the shutdown is McConnell allowing a new vote on the same legislation.
- Meanwhile, as of yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Schumer said he hadn’t even heard from Trump since the President’s temper tantrum a week ago.
- Americans don’t want the wall, and they certainly don’t think the wall fight warrants a government shutdown. 63% of American voters in a recent poll “oppose using the shutdown to force wall funding.”
Pelosi is sending a message to Trump: You don’t get a free platform to spout lies about the border while 800,000 federal employees aren’t receiving paychecks.
TRUMP/RUSSIA: 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW.
The evidence of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia gets stronger by the day. In just the last week, we learned that:
- President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort reportedly shared internal polling data with an alleged Russian operative—which, according to The New York Times, he wanted passed along to two oligarchs with a history of doing the Kremlin’s bidding.
- The FBI was just as shocked as the rest of us when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, and reportedly opened a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was secretly working on Russia’s behalf—an allegation Trump denies.
- The president has gone to great lengths to conceal details of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his own administration, even confiscating notes from the translator at one of those meetings.
- Trump spent 2018 badgering his advisers to let him pull the U.S. out of NATO, which would have delivered on one of Russia’s top goals by dividing the transatlantic alliance that keeps the Kremlin in check.
- To top it all off, the Moscow Project’s official count of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia broke 100.
That means it’s more important than ever that William Barr, Trump’s nominee to be the next attorney general, pledge to defend the Mueller investigation from the president’s continuing attacks.