May 18, 2017

Trump: appointment of special counsel 'divides the country'

Susan Walsh / AP

President Trump held a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Thursday, and faced a series of questions on the White House's ties to Russia:

  • Was the appointment of a special prosecutor the right move, or part of a witch hunt? "I respect the move but the entire thing has been a witch hunt and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can only speak for myself, the Russians- zero. I think it divides the country."
  • Did you do anything to impede the investigation into Michael Flynn? "No, no next question."
  • Do you think you've done anything criminal? "I think it's totally ridiculous, everybody says so."
  • On firing Comey: "Director Comey was very unpopular with most people... I also got a very, very strong recommendation form the Deputy Attorney General... when I made that decision I thought it would be a very bipartisan decision."
  • Border wall effectiveness: "Walls work, just ask Israel.... and we have no choice."

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Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

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Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

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Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.