Author: Philip Bump

Whether Trump has financial interests ‘in’ Saudi Arabia, he has plenty ‘with’ the country

President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud arrive at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh, on May 20, 2017. (Bandar Al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP) Philip Bump National correspondent focused largely on the numbers behind politics October 16 at 10:26 AM The Trump Organization is largely a black box. A privately held company now one step removed from President Trump, its finances are mostly hidden from public view. To figure out what web of financial connections exists within its corporate walls, we’re left examining its fingerprints: the publicly announced deals, sales and connections. That...

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The president’s objective economic advisory team dumps deeply misleading numbers on the public

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders smiles as she speaks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) by Philip Bump August 15 at 9:13 AM Email the author The Council of Economic Advisers, a three-person team near the center of the executive branch, was created in 1948 to, among other things, “gather timely and authoritative information concerning economic developments and economic trends” and to “analyze and interpret such information” to assess how policy affects the economy. Its members were meant to be “exceptionally qualified to...

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It seems like maybe the White House doesn’t really want to talk to the press

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during a briefing at the White House on May 1, 2018. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) In the last 10 days of his tenure as President Barack Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest spent more than seven hours in five daily press briefings answering questions from the media. His last words to the press corps before he left the White House? “It’s been a genuine pleasure.” It seems that the most recent person to occupy that position doesn’t share Earnest’s assessment of holding press briefings. Over the past two months, press secretary Sarah...

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Trump again smears a large immigrant community with the violent actions of a few people

President Trump speaks during a roundtable on immigration policy at Morrelly Homeland Security Center, Wednesday, in Bethpage, N.Y. (Evan Vucci/AP) For the second time in his presidency, President Trump traveled to Long Island to talk about immigrants and crime. While the event in Bethpage, N.Y. was described as a “roundtable on immigration,” the chosen location, Trump’s opening comments and the assembled guests made clear that the focus was more specifically on the criminal gang MS-13 and tying their actions to immigrants more broadly. In that sense, the event was perfectly fitting. The conversation was supposed to be about immigration...

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About 3 in 10 new senators have been closer to the age of Baby Duckworth than the oldest senator

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) with her baby, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, goes to the Senate floor to vote on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 19, 2018. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP) There was a mini-kerfuffle Thursday as something new happened in a place where new things don’t happen very often. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) brought her newborn daughter Maile to the floor of the Senate for a vote. There was some question about whether older, male-r senators were totally clear on what a diaper bag was, but in the end, Maile and the senator cast the vote and the republic remained intact....

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People keep going on Fox to tell Trump to do things – but does he listen?

President Trump speaks during a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in the Oval Office at the White House on April 10, 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) President Trump spends many mornings — most mornings? — watching “Fox and Friends” on Fox News Channel. He regularly tunes into Fox News’ prime-time programming, too, and even sometimes plugs them on Twitter. Fox News airs things and Trump reacts to or repeats them. Sometimes Fox then reacts to Trump and so on down the line. An orange-blond fox eating its own tail. Savvy Fox News guests...

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Firing Rosenstein would pose a major threat to Mueller's investigation

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee June, 13, 2017. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post) White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders casually stated during the daily press briefing Tuesday that President Trump believes he has the authority to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. That opinion isn’t shared by most legal experts, who argue, convincingly, that the only person who has such authority is Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed him. Trump’s reportedly tried to pressure his White House counsel, Donald McGahn, to have Rosenstein ax Mueller, but McGahn pushed back....

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Who is Trump’s recent anti-immigrant rhetoric meant to convince?

President Trump speaks during a tour of border-wall prototypes in San Diego. (Evan Vucci/AP) It’s hard to ignore the connection. On Friday night, President Trump has dinner with Fox News’s Sean Hannity at Mar-a-Lago. The next morning, he tweets a condemnation of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s handling of immigrants in California, using language taken directly from Fox News. On Saturday, he meets with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, with CNN reporting that she, like Hannity, insisted to Trump that “his party’s successes in upcoming midterm elections will depend on him being able to tout successes on the border wall.” Trump,...

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