Good Thursday morning.
Here’s what is on the president’s agenda today:
- In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will depart the White House en route to the U.S. Capitol, where he will give remarks to the House Republican Conference.
- The president will then return to the White House.
The House’s tax bill is positioned to pass today
House Republicans are set to pass a sweeping rewrite of the tax code Thursday, bringing President Donald Trump and the GOP closer to the major legislative win they so desperately want. And leadership apparently barely lifted a finger to whip votes this week.
Speaker Paul Ryan and his top lieutenants have been working behind the scenes on a few tax reform holdouts in recent days. But House Republicans think they’ve already got enough votes lined up — and have not needed to turn to Trump to flip opponents.
The vote is expected to take place after 11:30 a.m. ET.
The latest on the Roy Moore situation
We have several developments on the Senate candidate Roy Moore/Alabama special election situation. First, the media is frustrated that the president will not weigh in on this hot mess. Good for him, as this isn’t his problem — he runs a different branch of government and it really is a state issue. On Tuesday, Sean Hannity gave Roy Moore 24 hours to clear up the inconsistencies in his story. Moore subsequently penned a letter to the Fox News host and last night on his television show, Hannity said he was unable to pass judgment on Moore.
First daughter Ivanka did choose to weigh in on the mess. “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children. I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts,” she told the AP.
Mitch McConnell is working on a last-minute effort to get rid of Moore. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others are discussing a potential plan to have current Alabama Sen. Luther Strange resign from his seat — which could trigger an entirely new special election, according to Politico.”
And for the record, Attorney General Jeff Session is not interested in getting his Senate seat back.
Moore’s attorney held a press conference yesterday where he speculated that the yearbook signature alleged to be Roy Moore’s is forged and asked that the item be turned over to an expert for analysis. The attorney also mentioned that Moore was the judge in accuser Beverly Young Nelson’s divorce back in 1999. He pointed out that the signature in the yearbook looks suspiciously like the the one on the divorce decree that was signed “Roy Moore, D.A.” The attorney explained that the “D.A.” on the divorce decree indicated that the document was stamped by Moore’s assistant, Delver Adams, not that Moore signed his name with the initials indicating he was the district attorney. (He was an assistant D.A. at the time of the yearbook signing.)
Meanwhile, two more accusers have come forward.
One woman, Gena Richardson, said Moore asked her out on a date when he met her at the Gadsden Mall where she worked. Moore later called Richardson at her school and asked her out once again, she told The Post.
Another woman, 62-year-old Becky Gray, said Moore repeatedly asked her to go out on dates with him when she was 22 years old and working at the Gadsden Mall.
The campaign responded to the latest allegation with a statement: “If you are a liberal and hate Judge Moore, apparently he groped you,” the campaign said to the newspaper. “If you are a conservative and love Judge Moore, you know these allegations are a political farce.”
Name and shame them.
I’m not paying taxes so the degenerates and predators on Capitol Hill have a slush fund to pay off their victims. It’s time to name and shame every last one of them and I don’t care what their political party is. Earlier this week, Rep Jackie Speier (D-CA) revealed that “there is about $15 million that has been paid out by the House on behalf of harassers in the last 10, 15 years.”
Washington Free Beacon’s Elizabeth Harrington pointed out this curious financial arrangement on Fox Business Network yesterday:
“We’re basically paying to cover up this behavior,” Harrington said.
“I think [Republican Sen.] Lindsey Graham is right, he came out and said these members need to be named,” she said. “And I think absolutely they should pay it back, whoever these members were over the past 15 years that have been using taxpayer funding to silence women or young men.”
If the taxpayers are paying for it — and they are because the only money the government has is the money it gets/takes from me and you — then we have a right to know where our money is going. Sadly, Congresswoman Speier is not naming names.
What’s the latest on the Fusion GPS front?
Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee for seven hours yesterday. Sources tell CNN that Simpson told the committee that he “did not pay the sources he used to compile the document.” In other words, he did not pay RUSSIANS for the salacious information that he circulated around the beltway to influence the election. And we all know that the RUSSIANS like to do things for free, so why doubt this leak to CNN?
In nearly seven hours of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Simpson defended the Trump opposition research dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, arguing that nothing from the dossier had been disproven and some of it had been corroborated, the sources said.
Republicans on the committee pushed back during the interview that many details in the dossier have not been verified — they said that it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to prove a negative, according to the sources.
Simpson added that he is still in regular contact with Steele, who has yet to cooperate with congressional investigators.
We also learned that the dossier was leaked to the media because Simpson was angry at former FBI honcho Jim Comey for re-opening the Clinton email case after Hillary’s emails were found on aide Huma Abedin’s pervert husband’s laptop. Despite never talking to the sources or traveling to RUSSIA to investigate for himself, Simpson spread the dossier to the media.
According to The Daily Caller, Steele has revealed in court papers in London that “he was directed by Fusion to brief reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Yahoo! News and The New Yorker in September 2016.”
Steele also gave an interview via Skype to Mother Jones reporter David Corn, who published an article about Steele’s allegations on Oct. 31, 2016.
On a related front, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pushed back on the idea for a special counsel on the Uranium One scandal.
Historical picture of the day:
And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!