House kills resolution to impeach Donald Trump – as it happened

Last modified: 12: 36 AM GMT+0

A busy day for the House of Representatives

Here’s a summary of where things stand:

  • Lawmakers killed an attempt to impeach Donald Trump. The articles of impeachment brought by the representative Al Green of Texas accused Trump of bringing the presidency “in contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute”.
  • The House of Representatives also voted to hold attorney general William Barr and commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross – in criminal contempt.
  • And Congress voted to slash a key feature of Obama’s healthcare plan, by repealing a tax on high-cost insurance plans.
  • In an interview with PBS, the US Middle East envoy said the Trump administration “does not contemplate one state” as an option to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Trump continued to attack four progressive members of Congress throughout the day, including at a rally in North Carolina.
  • He indicated that he thought the backlash to his racist attack on them amounted to a political victory, saying, “I’m not unhappy,” with the scandal.
  • A majority of Americans in a poll said Trump’s comments were offensive, while a growing majority of Republicans in a separate poll saw immigration as an existential threat to the US.


At his rally in North Carolina, Trump carried on with his attacks the “Squad,” falsely accusing representative Ilhan Omar of praising Al Quaeda.

And we have a new chant: When Trump begins attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, the crowd began shouting, “SEND HER BACK! SEND HER BACK!”

— Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) July 17, 2019

The rally crowd is chanting "send her back" about Ilhan Omar as Trump reads a list of her past remarks.

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 17, 2019

What a moment in America.

President Trump goes on minutes long attack of Rep. Omar as crowd in North Carolina chants "send her back."

— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) July 17, 2019

Prior to the rally, Trump called the House effort to impeach him earlier “most ridiculous project I’ve ever been involved in,” according to the AP.

He also tweeted that the issue of impeachment “is now OVER”.

There is still a chance Trump could be impeached, even if he’s elected to a second term.


In an interview with PBS, the US special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt revealed that Trump’s Middle East plan “does not contemplate one state” as a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

When asked by Judy Woodruff what rights Palestinians deserve to have, he responded: “Rights is a big word. I mean, I think our hope is to give Palestinians as great a life as the Israelis have, with everybody in the region being as secure as possible.”

More on this q: "I think that one of the challenges of this file is people speak about the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, as being occupied. I would argue that the land is disputed."

— Ali Rogin (@AliRogin) July 17, 2019

Watch here:


Another bit of news from the House of Representatives (which has had a busy, busy day): Lawmakers voted today to repeal a so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health insurance plans.

The tax was a key feature of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, as the AP explains:

House Democrats and Republicans joined in a rare show of unity Wednesday, voting overwhelmingly to repeal an unpopular tax on generous health insurance that’s a symbol of former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The so-called “Cadillac tax” never went into effect, since lawmakers kept delaying it. Wednesday’s 419-6 vote increases chances that the Senate will follow the House, going for full repeal.

Beginning in 2022, the tax would slap a 40% levy on the value of health insurance plans above $11,200 for single coverage and $30,100 for family policies. The idea was to help control costs by putting a brake on the value of health insurance plans. To avoid the tax, insurers and employers might have to shift more costs to policyholders.

Based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, repeal would add $193 billion to the federal deficit from 2022-2029, by scratching projected revenues off the government’s books. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation expects that about 1 in 5 employers offering health insurance would have at least one insurance plan subject to the tax in 2022, and the share would grow quickly over time.

Here’s some analysis of Bernie Sanders’ healthcare proposal, from the Guardian’s Lauren Gambino in Washington:

Bernie Sanders offered a robust defense of his Medicare for All proposal, vowing to end the “international embarrassment” of the US being the only major, wealthy country in the world without a universal healthcare system as the issue takes center stage in the race to capture the Democratic nomination.

The Vermont senator’s speech escalated an ongoing war of words with the former vice-president Joe Biden, who has embraced a plan that would establish a “public option” and would not eliminate private health insurance.

“The current debate over Medicare for All has nothing to do with healthcare,” Sanders told a friendly crowd at George Washington University in Washington. “We are not in a debate about which healthcare system is working well or which is better. What the debate that we are currently having in this campaign and all over this country has nothing to do with healthcare, but it has everything to do with the greed and profits of the healthcare industry.”

In the speech, Sanders also pledged to reject all campaign donations from lobbyists, executives and political action committees of health insurance and pharmaceutical companies and challenged his rivals to follow suit.

“If we are going to break the stranglehold of corporate interests over the healthcare needs of the American people, we have got to confront a Washington culture that is corrupt, that puts profits before people,” Sanders said, adding: “Candidates who are not willing to take that pledge should explain to the American people why those corporate interests believe their campaigns are a good investment.

Sanders’s Medicare for All proposal would transform the current healthcare system into one operated by the government that covers “every man, woman and child in this country”. Under his plan, no one would pay deductibles, premiums and copays and there would be no private insurance. He proposes a four-year transition period by gradually reducing the eligibility rate of the Medicare program.

Several candidates in the primary have signed onto Sanders legislation, but in his speech the senator sought to remind voters who popularized the issue. But he’s facing increasing pushback from Biden and other more moderate candidates who prefer to build on the Affordable Care Act, which was passed by nine years ago under the Obama administration. At an event in Iowa, Biden said Medicare for All was “risky” while lower-tier candidates like Senator Michael Bennet and former congressman John Delaney warned that the party would lose to Trump if the nominee embraces his ideas.

“Let me make a prediction,” Sanders said. “In order to defeat the Medicare for All movement, powerful special interests will be spending millions on 30-second television ads, full-page magazine ads and corporate-sponsored ‘studies’ to frighten the American people about Medicare for All – which is exactly what happened before the passage of Medicare in the 1960s. They failed then and they’re going to fail now.”


Meanwhile, in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump is about to speak at a rally.

I have arrived at the Trump rally in #Greenville, NC and the first thing I see is a MAGA teen band playing a song called “CNN sucks”

— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) July 17, 2019


And a statement from the Department of Justice echoes the White House’s line:

Here's DOJ spox Kerri Kupec on today's contempt vote: "Holding the Attorney General in contempt for working in good-faith with Congress marks a new low for Speaker Pelosi’s House of Representatives. This vote is nothing more than a political stunt."

— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) July 17, 2019

A statement from the press secretary called the vote “another lawless attempt to harass the President and his Administration”

Statement by @PressSec on House vote to hold Barr and Ross in contempt

— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) July 17, 2019

House votes to hold William Barr and Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress

Lawmakers voted 230-198 to hold the attorney general and the commerce secretary in criminal contempt for obstructing a probe into Trump’s failed efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

All Republicans and four Democrats voted ‘no.’

The AP explains:

The vote is largely symbolic because the Justice Department is unlikely to prosecute them.

The action marks an escalation of Democratic efforts to use their House majority to aggressively investigate the inner workings of the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump last week abandoned his bid to inject a citizenship question into the census, after the Supreme Court said the administration’s justification for the question “seems to have been contrived.” Trump directed agencies to try to compile the information using existing databases.


In other news from the House, they’ve voted to block certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Washington Post reports:

The House voted Wednesday to undo President Trump’s attempt to sidestep Congress and complete several arms sales benefiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, sending the measures to the Oval Office where they are expected to be met with a veto.

The Trump administration announced in May that they would invoke emergency authority to push through 22 arms sales worth over $8 billion, including missiles, munitions and surveillance aircraft for Saudi Arabia. A bipartisan majority — but not a veto-proof majority — of both the Senate and the House objected to the move, which would replenish part of the Saudi arsenal that lawmakers believe have been used against civilians in Yemen’s long-running war.

Lawmakers in both parties also object to the idea of seemingly rewarding Saudi leaders with hefty arms deals, at a time when most members want to punish them for their alleged role in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


CNN has announced the list of Democratic candidates who will be participating in the upcoming debate on 30 and 31 July.

They are:

1) Colorado senator Michael Bennet

2) Former vice-president Joe Biden

3) New Jersey senator Cory Booker

4) Montana governor Steve Bullock

5) South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg

6) Former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro

7) New York mayor Bill de Blasio

8) Former Maryland representative John Delaney

9) Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard

10) New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand

11) California senator Kamala Harris

12) Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper

13) Washington governor Jay Inslee

14) Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar

15) Former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke

16) Ohio representative Tim Ryan

17) Vermont senator Bernie Sanders

18) Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren

19) Author Marianne Williamson

20) Businessman Andrew Yang


US House tables impeachment resolution against Trump

The House voted 332 to 95 in favor of tabling the impeachment resolution. 137 Democrats voted with Republicans to kill the resolution, whereas 95 Democrats voted to consider the issue of impeachment.

Note: in the House of Representatives, to table a resolution something means to kill it without a debate or a vote.


Meanwhile, the attorney general, William Barr, and the commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, have sent a letter to House speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking her to postpone a vote holding them in contempt of Congress for withholding information about the Trump administration’s bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

NEW: Barr and Ross send letter to @SpeakerPelosi ahead of the House vote to hold them in criminal contempt.

— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) July 17, 2019


Maanvi Singh, here – taking over in San Francisco.

The House is currently voting to table the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.

The results should be in soon, in about 10 minutes...

Even though this vote to table articles of impeachment by Dem TX Rep Green, this vote will give us the first metric as to where Democrats stand on impeachment. Look for how many Dems vote AGAINST tabling.

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 17, 2019

The voting begins on tabling the impeachment resolution and Kevin McCarthy walks right over to the desk and votes by card.

Members usually vote by electronic device, but McCarthy wanted to more formally register his vote. (Or maybe he wants to give this vote card to someone...)

— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) July 17, 2019



Here’s a summary of where things stand:

  • Articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were expected to reach the House floor late Wednesday, but the Democratic leadership was expected to table or otherwise defer a vote.
  • The articles, brought by the representative Al Green of Texas, accuse Trump of bringing the presidency “in contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute”.
  • The House was expected to vote on a resolution finding two members of Trump’s cabinet – the attorney general, William Barr, and the commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross – in contempt.
  • Trump continued to attack four progressive members of Congress and indicated that he thought the backlash to his racist attack on them amounted to a political victory.
  • “I’m not unhappy,” with the scandal, Trump said.
  • A majority of Americans in a poll said Trump’s comments were offensive, while a growing majority of Republicans in a separate poll saw immigration as an existential threat to the US.


Donald Trump is meeting today with survivors of religious persecution from 17 countries, the White House advises, “to reaffirm his Administration’s commitment to religious liberty.”

A list of attendees provided by the White House:

Reverend Hkalam Samson, Christian, Burma

Wai Wai Nu, Rohingya, Burma

Farid Ahmed, Muslim, New Zealand

Rabbi Faiz Algaradi, Jewish, Yemen

Yuhua Zhang, Falun Gong, China

Reverend Mario Félix Lleonart Barroso, Christian, Cuba

Helen Berhane, Christian, Eritrea

Esther Bitrus, Christian, Nigeria

Pastor Andrew Brunson, Christian, Turkey

Luong Xuan Duong, Cao Dai, Vietnam

Badreldin Yousif Elsimat, Muslim, Sudan

Pastor A Ga, Montagnard Christian, Vietnam

Pastor Langjaw Gam Seng, Kachin Christian, Burma

Father Thabet Habeb, Christian, Iraq

Mariam Ibraheem, Christian, Sudan

Farahnaz Ikhtiari, Hazara Shia, Afghanistan

Jewher Ilham, Uigher Muslim, China

Illyong Ju, Christian, North Korea

Nyima Lhamo, Tibetan Buddhist, China

Manping Ouyang, Christian, China

Nadia Murad, Yezidi, Iraq

Yamini Ravindran, Advocate, Sri Lanka

Shaan Taseer, Advocate, Pakistan

Abdul Shakoor, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Pakistan

Dabrina Bet-Tamraz, Christian, Iran

Mohib Ullah, Rohingya (Sunni), Burma

Irene Weiss, Jewish, Germany


The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, appears to be backtracking on his previous statement that he had “ruled out” a Senate bid in Kansas. The former Republican congressman’s name had been circulating among GOP insiders earlier this year as a potential replacement for outgoing Senator Pat Roberts, but Pompeo said he did not intend to leave the Trump administration.

Pompeo during a cabinet meeting this month.
Pompeo during a cabinet meeting this month. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

But now – just a week after Kris Kobach, best known for spewing hateful comments about undocumented immigrants, announced his own bid – Pompeo seems to be changing his tune. “Yeah, I would have never dreamed that I’d be the secretary of state even a year before I became the director of the CIA, a year before that,” he told a Kansas City radio station. “And so I always leave open the possibility that something will change and my path in life will change too, but my mission set ... is really very clear.”


Republicans increasingly see immigration as an existential threat – Pew

A 62% majority of Americans say the country’s openness to people from around the world is “essential to who we are as a nation,” according to new data from the Pew Research Center.

But a growing number of Republicans say that if the United States is too open to people from around the world, “we risk losing our identity as a nation,” according to Pew:

Currently, 57% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say that if the United States is too open to people from around the world, “we risk losing our identity as a nation.” Fewer (37%) say America’s openness to those from other countries is essential to who we are as a nation, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted July 10-15 among 1,502 adults.

Both last fall and in 2017, Republicans’ opinions on this question were divided. Since October, the share of Republicans who say America risks losing its identity if it is too open has increased 13 percentage points, while the number who view the nation’s openness to others as essential has declined 10 points.

Over the past two years, there has been virtually no change in Democrats’ attitudes, Pew report: “Today, an overwhelming majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (86%) say America’s openness is essential to who we are as a nation; 85% said this last October.”

Read further.

Trump on 'racism' row: 'I'm not unhappy'

In an exclusive phone interview with the Daily Mail online, Donald Trump suggested once again that he sees the backlash over his racist attack on four Democratic congresswoman as a political win.

Asked “if he planned that sequence of events and the one that followed yesterday, which ended with the passage of a resolution condemning him” – a preposterous proposition, both in its assumption that Trump has scored a political victory and in its failure to recognize the impulsive quality of Trump’s tweets – Trump said: “Well, let’s put it this way. I’m not unhappy.”

After only four Republicans voted in favor of a House resolution Tuesday night condemning racist tweets sent by Trump telling the four members of congress, all women of color, to “go home” to other countries, Trump boasted on Twitter that he had unified Republicans while raising the profile of the four congresswomen.

“So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat Congresswomen...” Trump tweeted. “They are now the top, most visible members of the House Democrats, who are now wedded to this bitterness and hate.”

But it was far from clear that Trump’s political genius lived up to his estimation of it. Two-thirds of Americans found his “go home” comments to be offensive, according to a major poll released Wednesday.

Past big political plays by Trump, such as his fearmongering about migrant “caravans”, to the point of deploying US troops to the southern border, as a tactic for boosting Republicans in the 2018 election were, in retrospect, ineffective at best and possibly self-defeating.

This can’t be said enough. People are conditioned to assume that presidents — and politicians generally — are the best judges of their own political interests. That’s not always the case, and with Trump, often clearly so.

— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) July 17, 2019

There’s this general idea that the guy who won 46% of the vote has ineffable instincts and uhhhhh

— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 17, 2019

Kentucky Sen Rand Paul has blocked an attempt to pass an extension of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund in the Senate, arguing that any new spending should be offset by cuts to other spending.

The deficit-hawk routinely votes for tax-cuts which are not paid for by spending cuts, like the 2017 Trump tax reform package, which analysts suggest may cost $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years.

Biden: if Trump doesn't have a racist bone 'that means he has no bones'

A zinger from the former vicepresident, in response to Trump’s claim Tuesday he “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body”.

Biden blasts Trump tweets: "If Trump doesn't have a racist bone 'that means he has no bones'"

— The Hill (@thehill) July 17, 2019


Donald Trump took yet another jab, albeit a much lighter one at “the Squad” via Twitter Wednesday with a 1:15-long patriotic video clip.

Set to the tune of God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood, the clip is almost exclusively footage of Trump greeting armed service and law enforcement members, but the end caption reads: “One squad under God.”


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2019


White House officials and congressional leaders are drawing closer to a two-year budget agreement that would raise the debt ceiling, although both sides caution that some serious obstacles remain to a deal, Politico reports.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer emerged from a 45-minute meeting on Wednesday sharing optimism that they might reach an agreement this week. If Congress does nothing, the government will run out of money sometime in early September, potentially prompting another shutdown.

From Politico:

Pelosi and Schumer spoke on the phone with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the session. Mnuchin, who is leading the budget talks for the White House, is attending a G7 finance ministerial meeting in France.

“If we’re going to act by next Thursday, which is what we’d like to do to honor regular order, we have to get something soon so we can post with enough time,” Pelosi told reporters. The House is scheduled to adjourn next week for the August recess.


President Trump has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

President Trump orders U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

— Gregory Korte (@gregorykorte) July 17, 2019

Mayor of Trump's ancestral hometown wonders if a visit would bring president 'down to earth'

In the aftermath of Trump urging four Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the “crime-infested places from which they came,” the mayor of the German town where Trump’s grandfather was born has a message for the president.

“Seeing the not-so-imposing homes of his ancestors might bring him back to earth,” said Thomas Jaworek, the conservative mayor of Kallstadt, where Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, was born and then left as a teenager.

The comments were reported by the Washington Post, who spoke with other local residents. Many had similar remarks to share:

“Everyone has his or her roots somewhere — and to demand of others to simply leave the country is paradoxical for him,” said Beatrix Riede, 61, who heads an association for women in the town.

“I can only wish Americans that they will elect someone who turns on his mind before saying something,” Riede added.


Former Kansas Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach was asked a simple question on CNN and his non-answer was fairly revealing.

Chris Cuomo: "What would you do if the President said, 'I am a racist'?"

Kris Kobach: "Then I would not defend him b/c there's no excuse for racism in America."

Cuomo: "Would you still support him as President?"

Kobach: "Um, I don't know. That'd be a really tough question."

— The Hill (@thehill) July 17, 2019

'Contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute': Read full text of Trump impeachment articles

Here is the full text of the impeachment articles against Donald Trump for “high misdemeanors” expected to receive a vote later Wednesday:

Mr. GREEN of Texas: Madam Speaker, pursuant to clause 2(a)(1) of rule IX, I rise to give notice of my intention to raise a question of the privileges of the House.

The form of the resolution is as follows: Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, of high misdemeanors. Resolved, that Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is unfit to be President, unfit to represent the American values of decency and morality, respectability and civility, honesty and propriety, reputability and integrity, is unfit to defend the ideals that have made America great, unfit to defend liberty and justice for all as extolled in the Pledge of Allegiance, is unfit to defend the American ideal of all persons being created equal as exalted in the Declaration of Independence, is unfit to ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare and to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity as lauded in the preamble to the United States Constitution, is unfit to protect the government of the people, by the people, for the people as elucidated in the Gettysburg Address, and is impeached for high misdemeanors that the following Article of Impeachment be exhibited to the Senate:

Article of Impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States, in the name of itself, of the people of the United States, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high misdemeanors committed as President constituting harm to American society to the manifest injury of the people of the United States:

Article I.

The House of Representatives on July 16, 2019, strongly condemned President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back’’ to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,’’ and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants, or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants, do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America. In all of this, the aforementioned Donald John Trump has, by his statements, brought the high office of the President of the United States in contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute, has sown seeds of discord among the people of the United States, has demonstrated that he is unfit to be President, and has betrayed his trust as President of the United States to the manifest injury of the people of the United States, and has committed a high misdemeanor in office. Therefore, Donald John Trump by causing such harm to the society of the United States is unfit to be President and warrants impeachment, trial, and removal from office. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under rule IX, a resolution offered from the floor by a Member other than the majority leader or the minority leader as a question of the privileges of the House has immediate precedence only at a time designated by the Chair within 2 legislative days after the resolution is properly noticed.

Pending that designation, the form of the resolution noticed by the gentleman from Texas will appear in the Record at this point. The Chair will not at this point determine whether the resolution constitutes a question of privilege. That determination will be made at the time designated for consideration of the resolution.


The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging the administration’s new rule that effectively bans asylum protections for most people crossing the southern border. The new rule prohibits anyone from applying for asylum if they have passed through another country and didn’t seek asylum there first.

In a statement, the ACLU said: “the Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger.”

The statement continued:

It’s patently unlawful under U.S. law as well as international human rights law – and it’s an unacceptable assault on our country’s values. Our team has been working around the clock to file this suit and stop the new rule in its tracks.

The Trump administration has been tearing apart families and stoking fear and racism across the country for over two years now. Last weekend, the president reminded us of what fuels his anti-immigrant agenda when he told Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – four women of color and new members of Congress – to “go back” to where they came from. This is racism, plain and simple.

Bernie Sanders is weighing in on the Department of Justice decision Tuesday not to bring charges against the officer who killed Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold in 2014.

Eric Garner was killed 5 years ago. The officer who killed him is still on the force. That is unacceptable.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 17, 2019

Former Trump officials believe the president would like to strike a nuclear deal with Iran that “essentially mirrors” the one Barack Obama and John Kerry negotiated in 2015, according to a new report from Politico.

“Trump got rid of the Iran nuclear deal because it was Barack Obama’s agreement,” Jarrett Blanc, a former State Department official who helped oversee the 2015 deal’s implementation, told Politico. “If you were to present to Trump the same deal and call it Trump’s deal, he’d be thrilled.”

Trump quit the nuclear deal in May 2018, reimposing sanctions the U.S. had lifted on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

This comes as Rand Paul is apparently offering his services to Trump, as an emissary to the Islamic republic.

Also from Politico:

Over a round of golf this past weekend, Sen. Rand Paul asked President Donald Trump’s blessing for a sensitive diplomatic mission.

Paul proposed sitting down with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to extend a fresh olive branch on the president’s behalf, according to four U.S. officials. The aim: to reduce tensions between the two countries. Trump signed off on the idea.

Donald Trump’s approval rating with Republicans rose in a USA Today/Ipsos poll conducted entirely after his racist tweets on Sunday attacking four Democratic congresswomen of color.

Trump’s net approval with Republicans in the new poll rose 5 percentage points, to 72%, from a similar poll conducted last week.

The Washington Post is reporting that the Trump campaign is planning to roll out a new mobile application in the coming weeks “aimed at engaging its most loyal supporters. Known internally as the ‘Trump app’ and set to be released as early as within the next month, the app is part of an effort by campaign manager Brad Parscale to juice enthusiasm among Trump supporters and capitalize on the energy at Trump’s rallies.”

The Post continues:

Trump loyalists who download the app will be able to use it to get registered to vote, recruit additional supporters and stay up to date on what Trump is doing, said one campaign official familiar with the development who was not authorized to discuss it publicly. It will include incentives for supporters who actively volunteer to help the campaign, and facilitate neighborhood watch parties and other volunteer work, the official said. For instance, supporters waiting in line to attend a rally who get a dozen friends to download the app might earn VIP seats once inside.

According to NBC News, JT Lewis, the 19-year-old brother of a Sandy Hook shooting victim, has announced that he is running for state Senate in Connecticut.

Lewis is challenging an incumbent who he said never returned a phone call his grieving mother made after the shooting.

Majority of Americans say Trump comments offensive – poll

Two-thirds of Americans say Trump’s comments on “the squad” were offensive in a new poll from USA Today/Ipsos.

From USA Today:

A clear majority of Americans say President Trump’s tweets targeting four minority congresswomen were “un-American,” according to a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll. But most Republicans say they agreed with his comments, an illustration of the nation’s sharp partisan divide on issues of patriotism and race.

More than two-thirds of those aware of the controversy, 68%, called Trump’s tweets offensive. Among Republicans alone, however, 57% said they agreed with tweets that told the congresswomen to go back to their “original” countries, and a third “strongly” agreed with them.


New York governor Andrew Cuomo says his state, along with New Jersey and Connecticut is suing the Trump Administration over the so-called Salt (State and Local Tax deduction) policy in a 2017 tax overhaul, calling the law an “economic civil war”.

The changes lowered the deductions taxpayers could claim for taxes paid to state and local governments, and functioned to raise taxes on many in higher-tax, Democratic-leaning places like New York.

#BREAKING: New York just filed a joint lawsuit with N.J. and Connecticut challenging the Trump Administration's politically motivated SALT policy and its blocking of charitable tax deductions.

My message to Mr. Trump and the IRS is simple: we look forward to seeing you in court.

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 17, 2019

Four progressive democrats known as “The Squad” have revealed the source of their militaristic moniker – they gave it to themselves at a photo shoot.

“Someone said, `Oh you should do a hashtag or something #squadgoals and then it morphed into whole other thing,” Congressmember Ayanna Pressley told Gayle King Wednesday on CBS This Morning.

“It’s not just about dismantling – we’re also intentional about building and fostering,” the Massachusetts congresswoman explained. “The reality is anyone who is interested in building a more equitable and just world is a part of The Squad.”

Airplane giant Boeing is the focus of a House hearing on aviation safety
today that will include testimony from family members of victims of the deadly Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash.

All of the manufacturer’s 737 MAX jets have remained grounded since March when a fatal flaw in the plane’s software was implicated in two separate crashes.

You can watch live below:

House hearing on aviation safety after deadly Boeing crashes.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is looking on the bright side of Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric this morning.

The good news in getting Trump to explicitly vocalize his racism, instead of hiding it behind vague suggestions, is that his words can be used by courts as evidence of his motivation.

AKA his tweets may be used to dismantle his own immigration policies 😇

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 17, 2019

The Washington Post report Ocasio-Cortez shared notes that in multiple federal cases, Trump’s own words on Twitter have been used by judges to discredit the administration’s racially or ethnically neutral rationale for a policy.

In 2017, for example, “Judge Derrick K. Watson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii viewed Trump’s comments as evidence of the real reason for travel restrictions — religious animus rather than national security.”

It happened again during the administration’s failed quest to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Vote on articles of impeachment against Trump scheduled for Wednesday

Texas representative Al Green will force a vote in the House on articles of impeachment for Donald Trump later this afternoon.

Green’s move does not enjoy the support of party leadership or very many members-even those who support impeachment- and will necessarily fail.

Green is bringing the vote using a procedural mechanism Tuesday known as a privileged resolution which allows any member of the House to try and force an impeachment vote.

Green has attempted this twice before, unsuccessfully. Republicans controlled the House both times and tabled the measures.

It just seemed to me that we should bring these articles before the House of Representatives, so that we could not only condemn him, but impeach him, so that he will understand that there are some boundaries because, as we speak now, there don’t appear to be boundaries, or at least it appears that the president doesn’t perceive any boundaries,” -Rep Al Green

NEWS: Al Green says a vote on his articles of impeachment is expected between 4:30-5pm today.

— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) July 17, 2019

Footage of Epstein and Trump together emerges

MSNBC’s Morning Joe revealed old footage Wednesday morning of Donald Trump partying with accused human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein that’s sure to dial up the cringe factor on your day.

Morning Joe dug up footage of Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein at Mar-a-Lago in 1992

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 17, 2019

While their discussion is mostly inaudible, at one point Trump is seen pointing toward the women and appears to say in Epstein’s ear: “Look at her, back there. She’s hot.” Epstein appears to agree, then Trump says something else that makes Epstein double up with laughter.

Wow. Trump can be seen getting handsy with women in this footage of him partying with Epstein at Mar-a-Lago.

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 17, 2019

The video is from the same year in which Trump hosted a party with a guest list of himself, Epstein, and “28 girls,” according to reporting from The New York Times.

Trump said of his relationship with Epstein last week: “I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him .. I was not a fan.”

Federal prosecutors indicted Epstein this month, charging him with sex trafficking and accusing him of using his fortune to “create a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit.”


Presidential candidate and California senator Kamala Harris swiped back at Trump for his remarks about the Democratic congresswomen late on CNN Tuesday, saying that the president “needs to go back where he came from and leave that office.”

Harris said also called the comments “un-American” and “unbecoming of the President of the United States.”

”I think it defiles the office of the United States,” Harris said. “It is irresponsible. It is hateful. It is hurtful. And he has taken the presidency to a new low.” -Kamala Harris

Harris is one of the few 2020 challengers to break through at all, according to an analysis from Axios which found that online interest in the candidate field plunged over the past week as attention turned to Jeffrey Epstein, women’s soccer and Trump’s racist tweets.

According to Axios: “In the week ending Sunday, when Trump began his tweet rant, articles about the Democratic candidates generated just 6.5 million combined social media interactions (shares, likes, comments) — the fewest since mid-January.”

Good Morning and welcome to the politics live blog for 17 July. We’ll kick off this morning with the ongoing skirmish between Donald Trump and four progressive Democratic congresswomen, which has consumed the political news cycle for the better part of the week now, with no signs of dying down soon.

“The Squad” – as congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – have come to be known, was on CBS This Morning for an interview with Gayle King early Wednesday.

In the interview, Tlaib called Trump the “the biggest bully [she’s] ever had to deal with”. Ocasio-Cortez joined her colleague in condemning Republicans for not standing up to the president over his social media posts.

America has always been about the triumph of people who fight for everyone versus those who want to preserve rights for just a select few... There is no bottom to the barrel of vitriol that will be used and weaponized to stifle those who want to advance rights for all people in the United States.” – Ocasio-Cortez

The interview comes a day after the US House voted to condemn Trump for the remarks that sparked the conflict, in which the president suggested the four non-white US citizens “go back” to where they “came from”. Just four Republicans joined Democrats in approving the resolution.


Maanvi Singh in San Francisco (now), Tom McCarthy , Joan E Greve and Jamiles Lartey (earlier)

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