The day began with news of the latest horrific turn in Syria’s civil war and speculation over whether the United States would enter the fray bombing. But the bombshell that dominated at the end of the day was the FBI’s raid of Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s office and hotel room. The Washington Post speculates that Cohen is being investigated for illegal campaign donations (relating to the Stormy Daniels payout) and bank fraud.
The President is PISSED, calling it a “disgraceful situation and a total witch hunt,” characterizing the FBI action as a “break-in,” when it was a police action with a warrant, requested by the NY attorney who was a Trump appointee and former partner of Rudy Giuliani. And there are new fears for the Mueller investigation.
Economic Warning: The Impending Debt Crisis
In the Washington Post this morning, a quartet of former chairs of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (including Janet Yellen) warned that we are careening towards a major debt crisis — and that despite what we are all going to hear from the likes of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, it has NOTHING to do with so-called “entitlements”:
It is dishonest to single out entitlements for blame. The federal budget was in surplus from 1998 through 2001, but large tax cuts and unfunded wars have been huge contributors to our current deficit problem. The primary reason the deficit in coming years will now be higher than had been expected is the reduction in tax revenue from last year’s tax cuts, not an increase in spending. This year, revenue is expected to fall below 17 percent of gross domestic product — the lowest it has been in the past 50 years with the exception of the aftermath of the past two recessions.
What Damage Control?
Politico reported today that with James Comey’s book coming out next week, the White House has no talking points — because when the boss just throws out the script, why bother writing one? Instead, they’re sending him out of the country to South America (where’s he’s certain to be greeted with admiring crowds, heh) and then back to Mar-a-Lago for a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Brace yourself for the barrage of angry tweets.
Finally: Congratulations, Senator Duckworth
Today Tammy Duckworth became the first sitting Senator to give birth, welcoming another daughter, Maile Pearl, to their family. Senate rules will not allow her to nurse the baby on the Senate floor — we shall see if she can get those rules updated for the 21st century. In the meantime, we are all happy for Senator Duckworth.