Happy Tuesday Morning.
Here’s what is on the President’s agenda today:
- In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
- The President will then meet with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.
- Later in the morning, the President will speak with Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman by telephone.
- In the afternoon, the President will have lunch with service members.
- The President will then attend a Cabinet Affairs meeting.
Trump, McConnell call for full repeal of Obamacare
Remember almost all these folks voted to repeal Obamacare entirely in 2015 when Obama was president and they knew it would never be signed by its namesake.
“Regretfully, it’s now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” McConnell said in a statement. “So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.”
Now we can all see who is really on board with the effort to end the travesty of government-mandated healthcare and who is in the pocket of the healthcare industrial complex interested in perpetuating a taxpayer-dollar windfall.
McConnell’s announcement came as two more senators came forward with issues about the “replace” part of the package.
In messages posted to Twitter, Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Ks., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, became the third and fourth GOP senators to say they would not support their party’s Obamacare replacement plan as written. They said they would not even back a motion to proceed — a procedural vote that would start debate on the bill. The GOP, which holds 52 seats in the Senate, had already seen two defections and could not afford a third.
Iran is in compliance
The U.S. has certified with Congress that Iran is legally in compliance on the nuclear deal, but senior Trump administration officials said both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump will couch that certification with an accusation that Iran is “unquestionably in default of the spirit of the [agreement].”
This announcement was due to take place in the early afternoon yesterday, but was made in the later evening and embargoed until 10:30 p.m. last night. Sources tell PJ Media there was a heated, last-minute debate about whether to certify. Heated.
The officials said that moving forward the administration will “employ a strategy” that seeks to address Iran’s aggressive behavior in the region.
They did not specifically outline any measures they would press for but said they expect to implement new sanctions in the near future targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program and other “misbehavior” in the region.
In addition, the officials said they would seek to strengthen their relationships with partners in the region to “identify areas of ambiguity” that Iran has sought to take advantage of to potentially skirt parts of the deal.
The U.S. needs to certify every 90 days that Iran is complying with the deal that Obama brokered, a secret deal as only part of the agreement is actually public.
The foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, took questions about the certification earlier in the evening at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting.
“I think our compliance is rather straightforward because it’s not for guessing whether we have complied or not,” Zarif said. “That is very clear, in black and white in the reports of the [International Atomic Energy Agency] which is hardly a sympathizer of Iran. That’s so you don’t need to ask me whether we’ve complied.”
Zarif also said that it is “more important to maintain the sanctions that remain rather than remove the sanctions.”
And he went to on to argue “Let me tell you something, the United States should reconsider its approach to sanctions. Sanctions have never been an asset for the United States … When the U.S. government started to impose nuclear sanctions on Iran we only had 200 centrifuges. When they started negotiating with us in order to remove those sanctions, we had 20,000 centrifuges. So if you want to see the result of sanctions – just 19,800 centrifuges is the net result of sanctions. So sanctions do not produce outcome.”
Of course. I’m sure Iran is putting that pile of cash shipped over secretly in the dead of night to good use.
Susan Rice testimony is delayed
Classified testimony expected this week from former national security advisor Susan Rice has reportedly been delayed, CNN reported Monday.
The delay comes as the House Intelligence Committee seeks to get former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power to appear as well.
CNN said Power has agreed to speak to the committee, an appearance that could happen before the August recess.
The delay came from the committee.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Rice had been scheduled to speak to the panel Tuesday, but the committee has delayed her testimony for a later date. Rice, who has strongly denied any wrongdoing, declined to comment through a spokesperson, but is still expected to come before the panel at some point. Power has repeatedly called for an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election, and has expressed a willingness to cooperate.
The delay of Rice’s testimony would amount to at least the third time the panel has pushed back a scheduled witness’ testimony. It also delayed hearing from Trump associate Roger Stone and former adviser J.D. Gordon. The GOP leader of the House Russia probe, Mike Conaway, said last week that the investigation is going “frustratingly slow.”
Power’s lawyer said she plans to fully cooperate with the investigation into unmasking.
“Ambassador Power strongly supports any bipartisan effort to investigate and address Russia’s interference in our electoral process and she wanted to engage both the House and Senate Committees charged with investigating it,” Pressman said. “Long before receiving an invitation to engage the congressional committees, Ambassador Power stressed the importance of determining the full extent of this threat to our national security and learning lessons from what has happened.”
“Journalism dies at the Washington Post”
The NRA published a video response to the recent attack on the gun rights group and subsequent “rights” march organized by progressives. The dispute started when various political progressive personalities criticized a video hosted by Dana Loesch articulating the violence of the left’s political
protests riots. The anti-gun left claimed the video criticizing their violence was itself violent. The video below is the NRA response to that attack.
— NRATV (@NRATV) July 17, 2017
“You people do more to damage our country with a keyboard than every NRA member combined has ever done with a firearm,” NRA talk show host Grant Stinchfield said in the video. “Your paper’s new slogan may read ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.’ It should say ‘Journalism Dies at The Washington Post.‘”
“For years, The Washington Post has tarnished gun owners in an effort to take away our Second Amendment freedoms,” Stinchfield alleged. “But The Washington Post isn’t mad about the lack of guns, it’s upset about the abundance of truth.”
Picture of the day
DC burger chain to offer free ‘Nothing Burgers’ (Skip the “nothing burger” and get a cheese steak; Z Burger has great cheese steaks)
And that’s all I’ve got, now beat back the angry mob!