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The Rushmore Report – President Trump’s Message to Democrats

President Trump went on a Twitter rage on Saturday night. His subject was mostly the shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida, that took 17 lives. While addressing the shooting and expressing his opinions on what could be done in the future, the president had a very direct message to Democrats – one they don’t want to hear.

This was the president’s message:

“Just like they don’t want to solve the DACA problem, why didn’t the Democrats pass gun control legislation when they had both the House & Senate during the Obama Administration? Because they didn’t want to, and now they just talk!”

As is usually the case, Mr. Trump’s tweet could have been toned down. But does he have a point? Sure he does. Under former president Barack Obama, Democrats passed the most sweeping reform to health care in American history – without a single Republican vote. They could do this because they had a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60-40, plus the majority of the House.

For two years, the Democrats passed every single law they introduced. But what was missing? Gun control.

On the heels of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, which left 26 dead, the Democratic Congress did nothing. They could have passed a ban on assault weapons, but they didn’t. They could have passed universal background checks, but they didn’t.

Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich (who is running for president in 2020 – ignore his statements to the contrary) said on Sunday that he has no confidence in Congress to do anything on guns.

“Do I think they can do something on guns? I hope they prove me wrong, but I have no confidence in them,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

This Congress can act, but it won’t be easy, as neither party can get what they want without buy-in from across the aisle. But there was a day – not that long ago – when Democrats had the votes to do whatever they wanted (as they did with Obamacare). They had a chance to pass gun legislation, and they whiffed.

On this point, President Trump is right.

The Rushmore Report – Trump Tweets the Real Reason He Refused to Release Democratic Memo

The mainstream media got all fired up to see the 10-page Democratic rebuttal to the Republican memo that was released two weeks ago. The GOP memo showed that President Obama’s Justice Department abused its surveillance program to spy on Republicans. The Democrats tried to get their memo out. Trump blocked it. Why?

The president tweeted: “The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods, would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!”

Right on cue, the Democrats played their already-exposed card.

“Mr. President, what you call ‘political’ are actually called facts, and your concern for sources and methods would be more convincing if you hadn’t decided to release the GOP memo before even reading it and over the objections of the FBI,” Rep. Adam Schiff said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Trump for his “hypocrisy.”

There’s just one problem with Schiff’s and Schumer’s argument. Of the 11 Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, all 11 voted to release the Democratic memo – after the FBI redacts sensitive material that would endanger national security.

Meanwhile, of the nine Democrats on the committee, not a single one voted to release the Republican memo.

Let’s review. How many Republicans voted to release the Democratic memo? All of them.

How many Democrats voted to release the Republican memo? None of them.

For Rep. Schiff and Sen. Schumer, the issue is obviously not one of transparency. It’s all a game – called politics. And it’s getting old.

The Rushmore Report – Kellyanne Conway Defies White House, Says ‘No Reason to Not Believe’ Rob Porter’s Accusers

One of the president’s closest advisers, Kellyanne Conway, broke with President Trump on Sunday morning, telling CNN “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper that there is no reason to not believe Rob Porter’s ex-wives, who claim the former White House aide violently abused them.

“In this case, you have contemporaneous police reports, you have women speaking to the FBI under threat of perjury. You have photographs, and when you look at all of that pulled together, Rob Porter did the right thing by resigning,” Conway told Tapper. “I have no reason to not believe the women,” she added.

This marks a clear departure for Conway from the president’s thoughts on the issue. On Friday, Trump suggested that Porter had not been given a fair shake, and that he was an asset to the White House, rather than addressing the allegations directly. On Saturday, Trump tweeted that men accused of sexual harassment and abuse should be given “due process.”

Conway did assure Tapper that the president is “very disturbed” by the allegations against Porter.

The interview marks yet another strange turn in the story of a high-placed White House aide – Porter – apparently forced to resign after his ex-wives brought evidence of abuse, including photographs and police reports, to the Daily Mail last week. As the story drew national attention, reporters questioned how much Trump administration officials, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, knew about Porter’s past. By Friday, it became clear that Kelly, at least, knew that Porter was having difficulty obtaining a security clearance necessary to work in or near the Oval Office because of the accusations of abuse. Rumors also began to swirl that Hope Hicks, Trump’s communications director, had run interference with Trump for Porter, with whom she has a romantic relationship.

Kelly has since said that he would gladly resign if asked to by Trump. Conway told Tapper on Sunday that the president still has “faith” in Kelly and has not asked his Chief of Staff to resign.

About the Author

Emily Zanotti writes for The Daily Wire.

The Rushmore Report – Will Trump Meet with Mueller?

As the Mueller investigation crawls to its eventual conclusion, there seems to be one more significant witness Mr. Mueller will want to sit down with. He happens to be the President of the United States. Mr. Trump has said it several times. He “wants” to meet with Mr. Mueller, as he says he has nothing to hide. But will he really sit down with Mueller and his team of lawyers? Will Trump testify under oath? His own legal team is divided on their counsel. But it’s really a no-brainer. Will Trump meet with Mueller? Here’s the answer . . .

No.

Sort of.

Trump’s lawyers seem concerned that the Mueller investigation is setting a perjury trap for the President. A report from The New York Times concludes that Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip communication style is the very thing that would get him into trouble – potentially big trouble. Even Trump’s most ardent supporters admit he often contradicts himself. Citing “four people briefed on the matter,” the Times report claims there is friction brewing between the president and his attorneys, as he sincerely wants to meet with Mueller.

The Times reports, “But John Dowd, the longtime Washington defense lawyer hired last summer to represent Mr. Trump in the investigation, wants to rebuff an interview request, as do Mr. Dowd’s deputy, Jay Sekulow, and many West Wing advisers, according to the four people. The lawyers and aides believe the special counsel might be unwilling to subpoena the president and set off a showdown with the White House that Mr. Mueller could lose in court.”

Others have cautioned Trump against meeting with Mueller, including Marc E. Kasowitz, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer who initially dealt with Mueller’s Russia investigation last May. Former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich agree.

Christie told ABC News, “I don’t think the president of the United States, unless there are credible allegations – which I don’t believe there are – should be sitting across from a special counsel.”

Gingrich told Fox & Friends, “The idea of putting Trump in a room with five or six hardened, very clever lawyers, all of whom are trying to trick him and trap him, would be a very, very bad idea.”

But notice I added, “Sort of.”

I suggest Trump will not appear before Mr. Mueller – “sort of.” By that I mean, he might be willing to answer questions in writing. If Mueller is willing to submit questions in writing, and Trump can consult with his attorneys in answering those questions, he might agree to do so.

One thing is certain. If Trump sits down with Mueller, even the slightest exaggeration or misstatement will be blown up as grounds for impeachment by his enemies on the Democratic side.

It has become sadly apparent that many Democrats would rather see America fail than succeed under Trump. They will stop at nothing to drive him from office. Sitting down with Mueller and his team of lawyers would only fuel the fire and postpone any chance Trump has of getting his agenda back as the lead story of his presidency.

The Rushmore Report – Evangelical Leader Explains Why Evangelicals Still Support Trump

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council and has been an ardent supporter of President Trump. This has brought him under fire, due to some of Trump’s past indiscretions and his comment that evangelicals had given Trump a “mulligan.” Perkins recognizes Trump’s shortcomings. Still, he remains a strong supporter – for one reason.

Trump has kept his promises.

Perkins admits that supporting Trump is not always easy. He says evangelicals have forgiven the president for his past behavior, but don’t want to see him repeat himself now that he is in office.

“Nothing has changed since the evangelical community agreed to support President Trump,” he said, noting that he wasn’t an early Trump supporter, but that he came around once the general election came down to Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

In the end, Perkins said that many evangelical leaders decided to come around Trump so long as he abided by a few requests: nominating pro-life judges, having a sold running mate, and not diminishing the Republican Party platform. Perkins said that Trump has kept his promises; he has abided by all of those pledges and continues to keep his promises.

“Evangelicals kind of gave him a mulligan,” he said. “They said, ‘Look, we know your past, we don’t agree with it, we don’t like it – it’s reprehensible to us, but we’re going to start fresh and work forward.'”

As for evangelicals not addressing moral concerns with the president, that is not true, Perkins asserts.

“They are wrong in saying that evangelical leaders are not addressing it. If I can talk to you, if you will allow me to express my concern about things, I will do so privately. These things are being communicated.”

And it seems Perkins has had that opportunity with the president. He says evangelicals have had more access to Trump and a better relationship with him than they did with George W. Bush during the entirety of his presidency.

“This president has more aligned with and shown concern about the issues that matter to pro-life Americans, those who advocate for religious freedom, than any other president in my lifetime,” he said.

Despite all of this, Perkins said that evangelical leaders’ support for Trump isn’t unconditional and that it really hinges on him keeping his promises and not falling into bad patterns of past behavior.

 

The Rushmore Report – Great Speech, Mr. President! This Is What You Should Do Next

Last night, President Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address. And he did a remarkable job. While touting the economy, advances against terrorism, and his immigration plans, he did what some thought was impossible. He looked the part; he was presidential. Mr. Trump deserves credit, not for delivering a speech written by someone else, but for delivering on his promises. He deserves credit for his tax cuts, plunging unemployment, and more. But the speech last night will be forgotten by tomorrow night. What will be remembered – and what really matters – is what he does next. I suggest five things. Do this, Mr. President, and 2018 will be a successful year.

1. Keep selling the tax cut.

While Democrats continue to ridicule $1,000 bonus checks as “crumbs,” keep telling the truth. Millions are better off because of the tax cuts. So keep beating that drum, through the 2018 election and beyond. Make Democrats answer for why not a single one of them voted for the tax cuts.

2. Keep talking about ISIS.

Stay on track. When the media/Democrats try to refocus your attention on Russia (every day), talk ISIS. When you are asked about North Korea, talk ISIS. When they ask you about the wall, talk ISIS. When you are asked where you buy your suits, say, “ISIS.” Keep saying it – the world is a better place because of what you have done about ISIS.

3. Keep pushing immigration.

Your plan legalizes about 2 million non-whites, which explains, of course, why the Left calls this an act of white supremacy. Huh? That’s okay. The extreme Left and Right were never with you, anyway. You have a sensible, balanced immigration plan. Stick with it. Push the plan hard.

4. Keep at it with health care.

Don’t give up. Go small. Go incremental. Take what you can get and then go for more. Last time you did it the wrong way and lost. If you do it the right way, you can win.

5. Keep your mobile devices out of reach.

By “out of reach,” I mean, memorize the nuclear code, but forget the password to your iPhone. When you are criticized (every day), let it go. When you are misrepresented by the media (every day), look the other way. When under attack, let someone else do your fighting. Leave Twitter behind. Twitter is not your friend. Instead, reach out to the more centrist Congressional Democrats you can find and work with them. You need ten Senate Democrats to get anything done. So if there are ten Senate Democrats who choose to not run for president in 2020 – it will be a close call – work with them.

Bonus Idea

In summary, it is not what you do that will determine whether you get a second term or not, but how you do it. For eight years, polls found President Obama’s policies to be largely unpopular, while he was personally popular. You, Mr. President, are the mirror opposite. People like your tax cuts. They like your America-first message. They are for reasonable immigration reform. They like your ideas. It’s you they aren’t so crazy about. So become a bit more likable and less defensive. Pop in some old videos of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton; watch how they did it. If you can do this – and that’s a choice you will need to make every day – what comes after the big speech will be better than the speech itself.

That would be good for you, for your presidency, and most of all, for America.

The Rushmore Report – Reagan or Trump: Who Had the More Conservative First Year?

The Heritage Foundation, widely viewed as a leading conservative think tank, has taken a close look at the first year of the Trump Administration, comparing it to that of other Republican administrations of recent memory. Specifically, Heritage has compared Ronald Reagan’s first year, versus Donald Trump’s. Which president has been the most conservative?

Heritage has found that Donald Trump has enacted a more conservative agenda than did President Reagan, as American policymaking has taken a sharp turn to the right. Their assessment, which has not yet been released, was previewed by The New York Times and reportedly shows that Trump had a considerably more conservative first year in office:

“The results, Heritage found in its review, exceeded even the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, whose tenure has long been the conservative gold standard. Heritage said that 64 percent of the items which they support were enacted by the administration either through executive order or another means of enforcement, or included in Mr. Trump’s budget, which has not yet been voted on by Congress.

“In Reagan’s first year, 49 percent  of Heritage’s wish list items were embraced by the president or enacted. At the time, Heritage identified a familiar problem for why the administration’s policies were wanting. In almost every federal agency, Heritage said in November 1981, ‘Delayed appointments, unqualified or misqualified appointments, or the appointment of individuals who are not committed to the President’s goals and policies’ had delayed or thwarted policy changes.'”

Kay Coles James, the new president of the Heritage Foundation, said Trump’s achievements are going largely underreported due to political games being  played by the media and Democrats.

“There is so much noise in this town that I think it obscures the real work that’s being done,” James said. “This administration is doing quite well in terms of advancing a conservative agenda – clearly, quite well.”

Ed Feulner, a Heritage Foundation founder and former president, described Trump’s style as being significantly different from other presidents who have a background in politics.

“Hell, why can’t we do that? Let’s try it. Let’s make it happen,” Faulner said, speaking of Trump’s attitude. “In some respects, Trump the non-politician has an incredible advantage, even over Ronald Reagan, because Reagan knew there were certain things government couldn’t do.”

About the Author

Ryan Saavedra writes for The Daily Wire.

The Rushmore Report – Democrats Abandon Shutdown, Agree to McConnell Plan in Exchange for … Nothing

Democrats caved to pressure to end the shutdown Monday and voted to reopen the federal government, having gained nothing from three days of hostage-holding over immigration reform. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed the fold in a sad press conference held just following the vote.

According to The Hill, Democrats agreed to vote for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s continuing resolution funding the government through early February, on the promise that Senate Republicans will take up an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) sometime between now and February 8.

This means, of course, that Democrats, who held funding the federal government hostage by refusing to end a filibuster Friday night, thus causing the shutdown, gained absolutely nothing in two days of negotiations except a general promise on the part of the GOP to address border issues in the near future.

The Democrats’ plan was, apparently, to force Republicans to extend benefits for DACA recipients as part of a long-term funding bill. But when President Trump refused the “compromise immigration plan” drafted by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and his colleagues – largely over a provision that granted temporary amnesty to DACA parents – the plan seemed to break down. Even typically left-leaning media chastised the Democrats for their misstep and suggested that only Democrats would suffer from negative public opinion surrounding the government shutdown.

On Monday, shortly before the official announcement was made that Democrats were caving, one Senate aide told reporters that Democrats had “miscalculated beyond belief.”

Even those who defended the move did so half-heartedly, claiming that if McConnell reneges on his promise to push a DACA extension along with a more comprehensive immigration reform plan, that Democrats will ultimately win the fight. Schumer warned McConnell that he best live up to his end of the bargain in his concession speech.

But even hardcore activists didn’t seem to believe talk of a grander agenda. And McConnell has already said that if Schumer threatens a second shutdown, immigration will be off the table.

About the Author

Emily Zanotti writes for Daily Wire.

The Rushmore Report – It’s Been a Year; Trump’s Top Ten Accomplishments

We just passed the one-year anniversary of the Trump presidency. While the date was marked by much consternation amid a government shutdown, there is much to celebrate. Even Trump’s staunchest opponents – when confronted by the facts – will have to acknowledge that the past year has brought several major accomplishments both at home and on the world stage. Let’s consider a “Top Ten” list.

1. The economy

The economy is on a roll: productivity is higher than it ever was under President Obama, manufacturing jobs are at a 15-year high, small business confidence is the highest in 23 years, the stock market is hitting new records almost by the day, unemployment has plummeted, and jobless claims are at record lows.

2. ISIS

Just months into the Trump presidency, the caliphate has been crushed by a coalition organized and supported by the U.S. military.

3. The border

Illegal crossings have plunged 60 percent under Trump. ICE is invigorated and border security is being put in place.

4. Taxes

Trump did what hasn’t been done in decades. He cut corporate and individual tax rates. Companies have responded well, and the electorate is already seeing the benefits of lower taxes.

5. Judges

This may be Trump’s greatest legacy. In 2017, he fulfilled a campaign promise by getting conservative judges seated, including Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and a record pace of 12 Circuit Court confirmations.

6. Regulations

President Trump has reduced federal regulations by an impressive 50 percent in just one year.

7. Religious liberty

Trump ended the government war on groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, and ordered exemptions for religious groups that should not pay for practices they reject such as abortion-inducing medications.

8. Trade

The president has put the world on notice that America will no longer be exploited at the bargaining table with pacts that may benefit U.S. corporate chieftains but not American workers.

9. Military buildup

Trump just signed a 2018 defense budget that features large increases overall, including for troop salaries and missile defense.

10. Russia

The president has armed Ukraine, denounced Russian aggression, and slapped new sanctions on Moscow.

The Rushmore Report – Trump’s Biggest 2020 Challenge May Come from This Man

As President Trump looks toward reelection in 2020, he will have his eye on the likes of Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and maybe even Oprah Winfrey. I’m sure the Republican Party is already gathering opposition research on each of these Democratic rivals. But it may be that Trump’s biggest challenge will come from someone else. He may never even get to the general election – because of this man. Trump needs to start looking to his left now, because this man may challenge him for the Republican nomination – and win. Who is it?

Mitt Romney.

I offer three reasons to look out for Mitt Romney if your name is Donald Trump.

1. Romney still wants it.

Mitt Romney has made no secret of his disdain for Donald Trump. He says things that sound more like a future candidate than a supporter of the leader of his own party. Why else would he run for the Senate in Utah, as is his plan for 2018? For Mitt Romney to only want the Senate seat – at this stage of his career – would be like Nick Saban applying to be an assistant coach at the University of Florida. Saban only wants to be on top. Romney has done it all, including serving as Governor of Massachusetts. He has nothing else to prove, or accomplish, short of the White House. He still wants it.

2. The Republican Party wants it.

Nothing would bring a broader collective smile to the faces of the Republican Party leadership than for the epitome of the establishment to run for president. Romney has won his party’s nomination before. He has all the right positions. He is steady. No one worries about him saying something crazy. And if the Democratic Party takes over one or both chambers of Congress in 2018, it is Romney – not Trump – who has the experience necessary to work with the other side. That’s exactly what he did in Massachusetts.

3. Many Americans want it.

People are tired of the uncivil nature of modern politics. Mr. Romney is a true gentleman. The masses would celebrate his demeanor. Independents will especially rally behind his centrist-appearing positions and style.

Just one problem

This all sounds good for the Romney Camp. But there’s just one problem. Donald Trump’s supporters are rabid. They will show up in primaries. The genteel nature of Mitt Romney will actually work against him. While he can afford to fund his campaign all the way to the Convention, he will not excite voters. Trump only needs to muster 35 percent of self-identified Republicans to gain 50 percent of the actual Republican vote. His people will turn out to vote.

So what would happen?

It’s hard to say. My guess is that a Romney run would do to Trump what Ted Kennedy did to President Carter in 1980. it will weaken the incumbent president and erode enough of his base to put his general election bid in jeopardy. I don’t think Romney would win the nomination, but he might cause Trump to lose the general election.

There are those who will suggest that is Romney’s main goal anyway. So either way, he wins.