Trump Is At It Again

Grind for November 23rd, 2018
“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”
– Stephen Hawking

Stay Out Of It

The Headline

Trump promises not to intervene if Whitaker curtails Mueller probe

The Grind

President Trump on Sunday said he would not intervene if Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker decides to restrict Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“It’s going to be up to him,” said Trump. “I think he’s very aware politically. I think he’s astute politically…He’s going to do what’s right.”

Trump added that he had completed written answers for questions required by Mueller. “We gave very, very complete answers to a lot of questions that I shouldn’t have even been asked, and I think that should solve the problem,” he said, reiterating his refusal to sit down with Mueller for an interview.

The Background

Matthew Whitaker took over for Rod Rosenstein in overseeing Mueller’s investigation following the resignation of Jeff Sessions (announced November 7th).

Sessions decided from the onset of the investigation not to be involved.

Democrats have called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation as well based on his past calls to limit the scope of the probe.

“It would create a constitutional crisis if this were a prelude to ending or greatly limiting” the Russia probe, complained Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of Senators is working on a so-called “Mueller protection bill” to ensure the Russia investigation continues.

“I think it’s constitutional, and I’d like to vote on it,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “But, having said all that, I don’t see any indication at all that the Mueller probe is going to be interfered with by Mr. Whitaker or President Trump.”

Stand By Me

The Headline

The US and SA will remain partners despite CIA’s decision on Khashoggi

The Grind

President Trump on Tuesday said the US and Saudi Arabia would remain “steadfast” partners despite the CIA’s conclusion regarding the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Last Friday, the agency reported that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must have ordered the assassination. Days later, Trump claimed the CIA had “nothing definitive” on the prince’s involvement.

The Details

In a statement issued by the White House, Trump confirmed the US would not cancel its military contracts with Saudi Arabia. Doing so would be enormously beneficial to rivals Russia and China, he said.

“I’m not going to destroy the world economy…by being foolish with Saudi Arabia,” he continued. “If we broke with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof.”

Trump in the statement also said the CIA was still assessing the available information and claimed, “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

On Sunday, he told Fox News that he did not plan on listening to audio evidence provided by Turkish officials.

Other than sanctioning a handful of officials, Trump has refused to punish the kingdom for Khashoggi’s death in order to preserve the delicate US-Saudi relationship.

In the meantime, global allies and lawmakers from both parties are demanding a tougher response.

Did you know… Steve Jobs’ annual salary was $1, just enough to keep company health benefits.