TPM News

President Donald Trump has postponed a dinner planned for Thursday with justices on the Supreme Court.

The Hill first reported Sunday night that Trump would no longer have dinner with the justices on Thursday due to scheduling conflicts. ABC News’ Jonathan Karl confirmed Monday morning that the dinner is not on the President’s schedule anymore.

The White House said earlier on Sunday that Trump would dine with justices on the Supreme Court this week. The Trump administration did not confirm which members planned to attend, but the newest member of the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was expected to attend, according to the Huffington Post.

It’s unusual for a president to dine with members of the Supreme Court, but it’s not entirely unprecedented. But the Trump administration faced criticism Sunday for the planned dinner.

President Donald Trump has said that he will not fire White House Press Secretary because the spokesman “gets great ratings” for his daily press briefings, the Washington Post reported on Sunday evening.

“I’m not firing Sean Spicer,” Trump said last month when asked if Spicer’s job was in jeopardy, a person “familiar with the encounter” told the Post. “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.”

Spicer is often under intense scrutiny as he attempts to answer for Trump’s policy proposals and tweets. The White House in March had to apologize to Great Britain after Spicer cited an unsubstantiated claim from a Fox News analyst that British intelligence spied on Trump for President Barack Obama.

In April, Spicer had to apologize after falsely claiming that Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons.

After a two-weeks of being berated by their constituents at raucous town halls—and watching Democrats come close to flipping two solidly red districts in Kansas and Georgia—members of Congress return to DC Monday. With few legislative accomplishments under their belts so far, they now face a government funding deadline, a debt ceiling increase, demands from the White House to take another swing at repealing Obamacare, and the daunting, likely impossible task of overhauling the tax code by August.

Read More →

President Donald Trump on Sunday claimed that his approval numbers are “very good,” though a poll released the same day shows that Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president approaching their 100-day mark in office since 1945.

“New polls out today are very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Trump cited an ABC News-Washington Post poll released on Sunday as proof of his standing. That poll found that 96 percent of respondents who voted for Trump in November said it was the right thing to do, while only 2 percent of Trump voters regretted their decision.

According to ABC’s writeup, however, Trump also has “the lowest approval rating at this point of any president in polls since 1945.”

Just 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s performance as he approaches his 100th day in office, according to the national survey, while 53 percent disapprove.

The ABC-Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone from April 17–20 among a national sample of 1,004 adults. Respondents were interviewed in both English and Spanish, and the margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

President Donald Trump appeared to downplay expectations for the 100th day of his presidency in an interview with the Associated Press published on Sunday.

“It’s an artificial barrier. It’s not very meaningful,” Trump told the Associated Press.

In the interview, Trump also appeared to suggest that the “100-day action plan” he unveiled in the last days before the election was not actually his idea.

“Somebody put out the concept of a 100-day plan,” he told the Associated Press.

Trump will likely reach the 100-day mark of his own presidency without a single notable piece of legislation under his belt.


PARIS (AP) — Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen advanced Sunday to a runoff in France’s presidential election, remaking the country’s political landscape and setting up a showdown over its participation in the European Union.

French politicians on the left and right immediately urged voters to block Le Pen’s path to power in the May 7 runoff, saying her virulently nationalist anti-EU and anti-immigration politics would spell disaster for France.

“Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France,” defeated conservative candidate Francois Fillon said. “As such, there is no other choice than to vote against the extreme right.”

The selection of Le Pen and Macron presented voters with the starkest possible choice between two diametrically opposed visions of the EU’s future and France’s place in it. It set up a battle between Macron’s optimistic vision of a tolerant France, a united Europe with open borders against Le Pen’s darker, inward-looking platform that called for closed borders, tougher security, less immigration and dropping the shared euro currency to return to the French franc.

With Le Pen wanting France to leave the EU and Macron wanting even closer cooperation between the bloc’s 28 nations, Sunday’s outcome meant the May 7 runoff will have undertones of a referendum on France’s EU membership.

The absence in the runoff of candidates from either the mainstream left Socialists or the right-wing Republicans party — the two main groups that have governed post-war France — also marked a seismic shift in French politics. Macron, a 39-year-old investment banker, made the runoff on the back of a grassroots campaign without the support of a major political party.

With 50 percent of the vote counted, the Interior Ministry said Sunday night that Le Pen had 24 percent of the vote, Macron had 22 percent, Fillon had 20 percent and far-right Jean-Luc Melenchon had 18 percent.

Melenchon refused to cede defeat. In a defiant speech to supporters, he said he would continue to await the results from France’s cities. The early vote count includes primarily rural constituencies that lean to the right.

Le Pen, in a chest-thumping speech to cheering supporters Sunday night, declared that she embodies “the great alternative” for French voters. She portrayed her duel with Macron as a battle between “patriots” and “wild deregulation” — warning of job losses overseas, mass migration straining resources at home and “the free circulation of terrorists.”

“The time has come to free the French people,” she said at her election day headquarters in the northern French town of Henin-Beaumont, adding that nothing short of “the survival of France” will be at stake in the presidential runoff.

Her supporters burst into a rendition of the French national anthem, chanted “We will win!” and waved French flags and blue flags with “Marine President” inscribed on them.

In Paris, protesters angry at Le Pen’s advance — some from anarchist and anti-fascist groups — scuffled with police. Officers fired tear gas to disperse the rowdy crowd.

Macron supporters at his election day headquarters in Paris went wild as polling agency projections showed the ex-finance minister making the runoff, cheering, singing “La Marseillaise” anthem, waving French tricolor and European flags and shouting “Macron, president!”

Mathilde Jullien, 23, said she is convinced Macron will beat Le Pen and become France’s next president.

“He represents France’s future, a future within Europe,” she said. “He will win because he is able to unite people from the right and the left against the threat of the National Front and he proposes real solutions for France’s economy.”

Fillon said he would vote for Macron on May 7 because Le Pen’s program “would bankrupt France” and throw the EU into chaos. He also cited the history of “violence and intolerance” of Le Pen’s far-right National Front party, founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was trounced in the presidential runoff in 2002.

In a brief televised message after the last polling stations closed, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urged voters to back Macron to beat the National Front’s “funereal project of regression for France and of division of the French.”

Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon, who was far behind in Sunday’s results, quickly conceded defeat. Declaring “the left is not dead!” he also urged supporters to back Macron.

Voting took place amid heightened security in the first election under France’s state of emergency, which has been in place since gun-and-bomb attacks in Paris in 2015.

Polling agency projections for the overall race showed Macron in the lead with between 23 and 24 percent support, followed by Le Pen with between 21 and 23 percent.


Elaine Ganley and Alex Turnbull in Henin-Beaumont, Chris den Hond in Le Touquet, Angela Charlton, Raphael Satter, Samuel Petrequin, Nicolas Vaux-Montagny, Sylvie Corbet, Nadine Achoui-Lesage and Philippe Sotto in Paris and Brian Rohan in Cairo contributed to this report.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Sunday on Sunday brushed off backlash to his comments referring “an island in the Pacific” — known to most as Hawaii — by complaining that “nobody has a sense of humor anymore.”

“Why not just call it the state of Hawaii?” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Sessions on “This Week.”

“Nobody has a sense of humor anymore,” Sessions said.

Sessions said he thought a federal judge from Hawaii made “a mistake” by blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from a handful of majority-Muslim countries.

“This order is lawful. It’s within his authority constitutionally and explicit statutory authority,” Sessions said. “And so you do have a situation in which one judge out of 700 in America has stopped this order.”

In March, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson blocked a revised version of the order hours before it was set to go into effect.

Sessions on Wednesday said he was “amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States.”

The state’s Democratic senators quickly hit back. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on Thursday called Session’s remarks “ignorant & dangerous” and noted that Hawaii “has been the 50th state for going on 58 years.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) urged Sessions to “have some respect.”

Hawaii state Attorney General Doug Chin on Thursday called Sessions’ remarks “disappointing” and said Sessions appeared “to dismiss a federal judge in Hawaii as just a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific.”

In a statement released Thursday, the Justice Department said that “Hawaii is, in fact, an island in the Pacific.”

On Friday, Sessions defended his remarks as “perfectly correct.”

“I wasn’t diminishing the judge or the island of Hawaii, that beautiful place,” he said. “Give me a break.”

CNN host and former Fox News reporter Alisyn Camerota on Sunday said that former Fox chairman Roger Ailes sexually harassed her when she worked for the network.

“Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me,” Camerota said in an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

She said Ailes “was often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say.”

“I think that many of us experienced that,” she said. “He would talk about body parts. He would say ‘Give me a spin.’ He would want to be greeted with a hug.”

Camerota said that when she began working at Fox News, she met with Ailes in his office.

“I was saying that I wanted more opportunity,” she said. “He said ‘Well, I would have to work with you. I would have to work with you on that case. I would have to work with you really closely, and it may require us getting to know each other better, and that might have to happen away from here, and it might have to happen at a hotel. Do you know what I’m saying?'”

Camerota said she replied to Ailes: “Yeah, I think I do know what you’re saying.”

“I knew, in my head at that moment, I’m never going to that hotel under any circumstances,” she said.

After that exchange, Camerota said, Ailes “targeted” her and said she “wasn’t reflecting the conservative agenda.” She called it “emotional harassment.”

“He and I had a lot of interaction, and sometimes arguments. Sometimes he would lecture me. Sometimes he would insult me,” she said. “Towards the end, I started refusing to go to Roger’s office.”

Ailes left Fox News in July 2016 amid a corporate probe into several sexual harassment claims against him. In January, the network’s parent company 21st Century Fox announced it had agreed to pay $20 million to former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson to settle her sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes.

Camerota said that former Fox host Bill O’Reilly’s ouster last week amid sexual harassment allegations against him was one of the reasons she decided to come forward.

“If I take the Murdochs at their word, they really want to know what was wrong there and what the culture was like,” she said. “I don’t know how you get that from silence, so it feels like this might be the right time to just have this conversation and let some daylight in.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Sunday dodged questions about whether he wants President Donald Trump to campaign for his re-election in 2018.

“You’re in a tough seat,” Dana Bash asked Issa on “State of the Union,” per CNN’s transcript. “Would you want President Trump to come to your district and campaign for you?”

“I was with Secretary Kelly,” Issa replied, referring to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

“But the President?” Bash pressed.

“I was with Secretary Kelly, who is one of his greater appointments,” Issa said. “And I was happy to have him.”

President Donald Trump on Sunday took a vague tack to explaining how exactly he plans to get Mexico to pay for his proposed wall along the United States’ southern border.

On the campaign trail, Trump often pledged to crowds at his rallies that he would “build a great great wall” and “have Mexico pay for that wall.”

On Sunday, however, Trump tweeted that Mexico would pay “eventually,” “at a later date” and “in some form” for his proposed wall. He did not specify a specific date or schedule for that payment, and did not say what kind of remuneration it would entail.

In March, the White House requested more than $1 billion from Congress to begin construction.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Sunday nevertheless insisted that Trump will get the wall “paid for one way or the other.”

“There are a lot of ways we can find money to help pay for this,” Sessions said. “There’s no doubt about that.”