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Schiff: There’s An Issue With Trump’s “Capability,” Premature To Invoke 25th Amendment


In an interview with Jake Tapper, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) reacted to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)'s tweeting it's "time to invoke the 25th Amendment" because President Trump is mentally unstable. The tweet received 24,000 likes and more than 10,000 retweets. "POTUS is showing signs of erratic behavior and mental instability that place the country in grave danger. Time to invoke the 25th Amendment," Speier tweeted last week. From Sunday's broadcast of CNN's State of the Union: TAPPER: After President Trump's comments appearing to equate white supremacists and the counterprotesters, your fellow Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Jackie Speier, tweeted, quote, POTUS is showing signs of erratic behavior and mental instability that places the country in grave danger. Time to invoke the 25th amendment — that's the amendment that would allow the removal of the president. Do you agree that President Trump is mentally unstable? SCHIFF: Well, I certainly think that there's an issue with the president's capability. There's some attribute of his character that makes him seemingly incapable of introspection and a broad understanding of what the country really needs. And I think it's a question that people are asking, you know, what is going on with this president? What could explain this kind of behavior? You know, it began at the very beginning, Jake. I remember when he had won the election and, within days, seemed to suggest that the only reason he didn't win the popular vote was that millions of people illegally came to the country and voted. And I thought to myself, oh, my god, this man is not only going to not grow with the job, but is willing to state things that are just patently untrue. I'm convinced if you took somebody off the street of America and said you've just become president, but here is the deal, you didn't win the popular vote, they would have the common sense to say, look, I'm going to do everything I can to win over everyone. I realize that many people, indeed, most people, didn't vote for me. But he didn't do that. He's not capable of doing that. And I don't understand why. But I do recognize what a serious problem it is. And I think more than when I say it or when Jackie Speier says it, the fact that Bob Corker now says things along the same lines, shows a broadening recognition that there are some serious issues with our president that aren't going to go away, that aren't going to get better. And indeed, with the pressures of the job, may very well get worse. And I think for that reason, at a minimum, we need the very best people around him in the White House, and that means not people like Bannon, not people like Miller, not people like Gorka, but rather some more adults in the room. TAPPER: It sounds like you're saying that you don't disagree with Jackie Speier, who said that President Trump is showing signs of erratic behavior, mental instability. So it sounds like you're not disagreeing with that. What about the 25th amendment part, which would call for the removal of the president? Are you — do you agree with that? SCHIFF: You know, I don't think we're at a point of thinking about the 25th amendment. For one thing, this is something that the vice president and cabinet would need to come together on. I think what the authors of that amendment principally had in mind was some kind of physical incapacitation, or serious mental illness, or a breakdown, an inability to function in office. And I think we're still far from concluding that that's the case, even though we find, many of us, his conduct anathema and there to be a serious problem here. But I don't think it, particularly at this point in time, makes a lot of sense to focus on the 25th amendment. I do think it means we have to put real constraints on this president. We have to make sure our system of checks and balances in Congress work. I think frankly the most powerful thing we could do, rather than pursue the 25th amendment at this point, is make sure that one house or the other, and ideally both, are in Democratic hands, frankly, the hands of a party not in the White House, to be a more effective check on some of the damage this president can do.

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‘This Week’ Roundtable: Taking Stock Of Trump’s Presidency


Republican strategist and ABC News contributor Alex Castellanos; "Washington Post" chief correspondent Dan Balz; Republican strategist and pollster and ABC News contributor, Kristen Soltis Anderson; and FiveThirtyEight senior political writer Perry Bacon, Jr.

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Jeh Johnson: Removing Confederate Statues A Matter Of “Public Safety And Security”


Obama administration DHS secretary Jeh Johnson weighs in on the issue of removing statues of historical figures deemed to be racist or oppressive. What alarms so many of us, from a security perspective, is that so many of the statues, the Confederate monuments, are now, modern-day, becoming symbols and rallying points for white nationalism, for neo-Nazis, for the KKK. And this is most alarming. We fought a world war against Nazism. The KKK rained terror on African-Americans for generations. And so a number of Americans, rightly, Republican and Democrat, are very concerned and very alarmed. And I salute those in cities and states who are taking down a lot of these monuments for reasons of public safety and security.

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Alex Castellanos: This Week, Trump Supporters Saw Democrats “Paint Us All As Nazis” Instead Of Listening


GOP strategist Alex Castellanos gives the view of a Trump supporter after another chaotic week in politics: ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Resentful dependency. Resentful dependency is when you have no choice — gee, I've got to stick with the cable company, they're the only one. Boy, they treat me lousy and I'm really frustrated and I hate it. Trump supporters have to stick with Donald Trump because the Democrats have not changed. It's still Nancy Pelosi who's the alternative? Really? A limp Republican Party that's indistinguishable from Democrats. Trump is their only finger in the dike stopping Washington from flooding them and overpowering them. So they stick with their president. But on a different here, what I think a lot of Trump supporters heard this week was the Democrats are just painting us, Trump supporters, with a Nazi brush. We're all white supremacists. That's their excuse for why they lost the election. No. White working class America, death rates among white men, they're up 20 percent. They're unemployed. Gwen Ifill said no wonder they're resentful. And the Democrats, as opposed to looking in the mirror and saying the Washington establishment failed white working America, no, they're painting us all as Nazis. That's why we voted for Trump… CASTELLANOS: But this president is giving his supporters political Viagra every four hours. He's wearing them out. He is at — he is never giving them a rest. And they can't remain this intense and aroused forever. . His supporters — he needs to give his supporters a break. He's having — they're having to defend him constantly. And eventually, they get frustrated. That resentment is building up in the pressure cooker. If there is ever an alternative, it could collapse like that. RADDATZ: But is that really ever going to change?

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Scaramucci: “Political Establishment Class” Trying To “Eject” Trump; Close Door For CEOs Entering Washington System


Former White House Communicatons Director Anthony Scaramucci discusses the effort being made by "the political establishment class" to close the door opened by President Trump "for America's CEOs and America's billionaires to enter the Washington political system." Scaramucci added: "The members of that political class do not like that, and it's not just an opening for President Trump, but it could be for a Mark Zuckerberg or a Bob Iger." STEPHANOPOULOS: But it sounds like, and from your characterization now, that you really think this White House is something of a hornet's nets right now. You talk about leakers. You talk people inside the White House who are there to protect the country from President Trump. Who did you have in mind there? SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think that, listen, I mean, you could agree with me or disagree with me, even the president could disagree with me. But I think what happens in Washington, this is any general observation, is the president is not a representative of the political establishment class. And so for whatever reason, people have made a decision that they want to eject him. It's almost like he's opened up the door now for America's CEOs and America's billionaires to enter the Washington political system. The members of that political class do not like that, and it's not just an opening for President Trump, but it could be for a Mark Zuckerberg or a Bob Iger. STEPHANOPOULOS: So, he's fighting an enemy within the White House? SCARAMUCCI: I think that there are elements inside of Washington, also inclusive in the White House, that are not necessarily abetting the president's interests or his agenda. I absolutely believe that, yes. STEPHANOPOULOS: Name names. SCARAMUCCI: Well, I named some names. And there has been some strategic changes. And my guess is there will be more strategic changes. I think the president is getting his arms around the fact that if he wants to prosecute his agenda, he has got to bring in loyalists to him, and he's got to bring in, I think, a different strategy than the one they've been deploying, because you've got seven months now, he's done a tremendous amount. I think he's done way better in terms of progress as president than has been prominently displayed. And you know, one of my heartbreaks is I wasn't able to effectively communicate that to the American people. STEPHANOPOULOS: Reince Priebus is out. Sean Spicer is out. You think, it appears, that Steve Bannon is going to be out as well. You are out as well. That's led a lot of people, including Roger Stone, to characterize you as a political suicide bomber. SCARAMUCCI: Yeah, I heard that, yeah. Listen, I saw it more as like Mr. Wolf from Pulp Fiction. You know, I really did get a directive from the president. I had a mutual understanding with him. And I was probably running too hard and acting more like a corporate CEO than I was say a political operative, and that is my mistake. And I have to own that. But, you know, listen, I have embraced the agenda. I grew up in a middle class family. I grew up in a working class neighborhood. I see the economic desperation and struggle of those people. The president has appropriately identified that. The reason why he won the presidency is that he wants his agenda to include and to lift up those people, George. And so for me, I was — I went in there with my heart and soul. I'm a straight-talking person. Did I make mistakes, absolutely. But I enjoy being a straight-up guy today and in the future.

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Scaramucci: “The President Knows What He’s Going To Do With Steve Bannon”


Former White House Communicatons Director Anthony Scaramucci suggests that "Bannon-bart nonsense" from former Breitbart head and current WH staffer Steve Bannon is "not serving the president's interests." "This sort of Bannon-bart influence in there, which I think is a snag on the president. If the president really wants to execute that legislative agenda that I think is so promising for the American people," he added. STEPHANOPOULOS: But is there anyone in the White House who said, boy, you just made a real mistake there? SCARAMUCCI: I think people are probably reluctant to tell him the truth. Maybe Ivanka would do that. You saw her tweet this morning. Maybe Jared would do that. But you also got this sort of Bannon-bart influence in there, which I think is a snag on the president. If the president really wants to execute that legislative agenda that I think is so promising for the American people, the lower-middle class people and the middle class people, then he has to move away from that sort of Bannon-bart nonsense. STEPHANOPOULOS: You mean Bannon and Breitbart? Steve Bannon. SCARAMUCCI: Yes. The whole thing is nonsensical. It's not serving the president's interests. He's got to move more into the mainstream, he's got to be more into where the moderates are and the independents are, George, that love the president. And so if he does that, he'll have a very successful legislative agenda that he'll be able to execute. And if he doesn't do that, you're going to see inertia and you're going to see this resistance from more of the establishment senators that he needs to curry favor with. STEPHANOPOULOS: You have been tough on Steve Bannon, does he have to go? SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think the president knows what he's going to do with Steve Bannon. STEPHANOPOULOS: Which is what? SCARAMUCCI: Well, let's leave it up to the president. It's his decision. But I mean, at the end of the day, I think the president has a very good idea of who the leakers are inside the White House. The president has a very good idea of the people that are undermining his agenda that are serving their own interests. STEPHANOPOULOS: They include Steve Bannon? SCARAMUCCI: Well, yes. Look, I mean, we're not on a phone call, and a taped phone call. And so we're on live television, and so I would prefer to let the president make the decisions that the president needs to make.

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Sen. Thom Tillis on Russia Probe: Wait To Uncover Facts On “Whether Or Not it Was A Hoax”


Sens. Chris Coons and Thom Tillis discuss their bipartisan bill allowing any special counsel to challenge their firing and the president's accusation that Congress is responsible for the U.S.'s poor relations with Russia. Regarding the bill protecting the special counsel, Tillis said: STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Tillis… You just heard Kellyanne Conway. No commitment from the president not to fire Robert Mueller. She says you're going to have to go to his lawyer for that, although she says it's not being discussed. Your legislation would give a judge the ability to review any decision by the president to fire Robert Mueller. Why do you think it's so necessary? SEN. THOM TILLIS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Well, I think it's a necessary part of just continuing to improve the reputation of independence for the Department of Justice. This is something that lives beyond this special counsel. It provides the president with the opportunity to consult with the AG and the Department of Justice, potentially have one removed, but have that subject to a judicial review so that we make sure it's done for proper cause. STEPHANOPOULOS: And the president is calling and you just heard Kellyanne Conway repeat it again, the entire Russia story, a fabrication, a witch hunt and a hoax. Do you agree? TILLIS: I'm not sure that I agree with the witch hunt, and we'll let the facts lead us to whether or not it was a hoax or a distraction. But we are where we are and I want to see this investigation concluded so that we can get on to doing the good work the president has already started with regulatory reform, health care and tax reform. This is a distraction I would like to get passed so that I can do as I have, go back to supporting the president's agenda.

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Kellyanne Conway: Trump “Plans On Being A Two-Term President”


Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway debates 'This Week' host George Stephanopoulos about a wide range of topics. Selected transcript: CONWAY: The president says privately and publicly often, George, that he'll be there for 7-1/2 more years. So he plans on being a two-term president. I read that article and I want to say a few things about it. First of all, I think that in the Republican Party for many decades, we have suffered from what I call staff infection — people who are rewarded for losses. Most of the people quoted, most involved, I'm sure, have never won a national political campaign like the one I was involved in and you were involved in years ago. Number two, they need a full employment act in Republican consultancy. Some of them are still not supporting their party and their party's main points of view on tax reform, on health reform, on putting ISIS in retreat if not full defeat. And I want to make a remark about Vice President Pence. I've worked with him for ten years as his pollster, as a senior adviser, and certainly work with him daily in the White House. It is absolutely true that the vice president is getting ready for 2020, for reelection as vice president. And he's also getting ready for 2018 — STEPHANOPOULOS: So no concern he's setting up a shadow campaign? CONWAY: Zero concern. That is complete fiction. That is complete fabrication. And I know that his advisers who had comments attributed to them have pushed back strongly, as has the vice president. And as am I right now unequivocally. Vice President Pence is a very loyal, very dutiful, but also incredibly effective vice president, and active vice president, with this president. He is a peer to the president in the West Wing. He just came off a trip in Eastern Europe and he'll go back I believe it was in the next week to South America, to represent the country on his fourth and foreign trip since taking office. But let me make very clear, people meet — Republican consultants, as always, people trying to play the parlor game, they're not on the — they're in the I would say Trump inside — inner circle because they did not believe in him. They totally missed what was happening in America. That the forgotten man and forgotten woman, many of whom had voted for Democrats in the past, many of whom had never voted, or never voted in decade, came forth and made this new Trump coalition in a way that — in a way that frankly, respectfully, the last couple of Republican candidates did not. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan won one state. They lost Wisconsin by 7 points. Donald Trump won Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa. I would tell my Republican brethren: get onboard. Help us with tax reform and health reform and stop looking at 2020. STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's see — we will see what happens with that in September. Meantime, General Kelly wrapping up his first week as chief of staff. We have that picture of him addressing the entire White House staff right there, some 200 people lined up there. I guess that's in the old executive office building. What difference has he made so far? CONWAY: It was quite a week with General Kelly. A few things, George. I know there's much commentary about the order and the discipline. All of that is true. But let me just tell you that General Kelly is someone who wants to empower his staff to succeed. He commands respect and but he also shows respect. And in sitting in different meetings with him and in watching him in action this week, I've been incredibly impressed as to what a great listener, fully engaged General Kelly is. I also believe the world is such a dangerous place, and so much of President Trump's day is filled with intelligence briefings, and new facts and figures about this increasingly dangerous world. It really helps to have a general in his fifth decade of public service going right back in and taking that oath of office again for a new position, so that he is hand in glove with the president. He has been with the president quite a bit this week, but he's been with the rest of us and his senior staff as well. We're very happy to have General Kelly there as well because he, for the first six months of this year, George, has been a member of this president's cabinet. And he knows full well this hand-picked cabinet of talented and engaged and quite successful men and women are superstars in this administration. And also General Kelly, I want to say, has been the chief military aide for two different secretaries of defense in a very bipartisan fashion. In addition, we should mention the biographical point, in addition to running the southern command. So he's very knowledgeable about the hot spots around the world. He of course is a master at unit cohesion. And we feel that coming together in the West Wing. STEPHANOPOULOS: We still seeing — we still are seeing tweets from the president. He insists he's going to keep up that tradition, including this one on Thursday where he said our relationship with Russia is at an all time and very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't even give us health care. How is Congress responsible for relations with Russia being at an all-time low? And who is he talking about? CONWAY: That tweet was likely in reference to the sanctions package that the president signed because it's a good step forward, but that he's also been critical. And also, look, if you're Russia, you can't be happy with President Trump. We're now exporting coal to Eastern Europe– STEPHANOPOULOS: But Kellyanne, wait a second. CONWAY: He's beefing up the military.

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