Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynnwants immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying about Russian involvement in the 2016 election — and President Donald Trump is endorsing the idea.
“Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!” the president said this morning on his Twitter account.
Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!
Trump’s tweet echoes Flynn attorney Robert Kelner, who also used the “witch hunt” rationale to explain Flynn’s request.
“No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution,” Kelner said.
Flynn and Trump took a less-nuanced view of immunity during the “Lock her up!” days of 2016 after the FBI granted immunity to several witnesses during its probe of Hillary Clinton‘s emails.
“When you are given immunity, that means that you have probably committed a crime,” Flynn said during a Sept. 25 interview with NBC News.
Trump, on Oct. 9, seemed to associate immunity deals with guilt in an Oct. 9 tweet.
“ATTN: @HillaryClinton – Why did five of your staffers need FBI IMMUNITY?! #BigLeagueTruth #Debates,” Trump tweeted.
PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump is hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago next week rather than in Washington.
For a couple heads of state who have never met in person, Trump’s tropical castle could provide a more relaxed atmosphere for quality world leader bonding time than the pomp and protocol of the White House.
But at least one expert thinks the Chinese would have preferred the formalized trappings of a traditional state visit in Washington as a sign of respect on the world stage.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is urging President Donald Trump to bring up political prisoners and human rights in communist China when Chinese President Xi Jinpingvisits Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach next week.
Trump as a candidate frequently slammed China on trade and criticized it for not doing more to rein in North Korean nuclear proliferation.
“It is imperative that the president raise the plight of political prisoners and human rights activists by name in his discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and press for their immediate and unconditional release,” said Rubio in a statement today after The Palm Beach Post asked for his thoughts on the upcoming Trump-Xi summit.
“As those being persecuted have said, this kind of pressure often results in improved conditions and shorter sentences, not to mention the incalculable hope that comes from knowing they have not been forgotten by the United States of America.”
State-run Chinese media is expressing optimism about next week’s superpower summit in Palm Beach between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The U.S. and China confirmed today that Xi will visit Trump’s Mar-a-Lago on April 6 and 7. He’ll be staying at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan. The White House today said Trump and first lady Melania Trump will host Xi at a dinner April 6.
An article today in the Global Times, an English-language Chinese publication, describes the Trump-Xi meeting as “a sign that Sino-US ties have endured and overcome difficulties caused by the US government transition.”
Trump had harsh words for China during the 2016 presidential campaign, primarily on trade.
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world,” Trump said in Indiana on May 1.
He further alarmed the Chinese by taking a congratulatory phone call after the election from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Taiwan split from mainland communist China in 1949 and the U.S. severed formal relations with the island in 1979; the call was seen as casting doubt on the “One China” policy of recognizing only mainland China.
But after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited China this month, the Chinese state-run People’s Daily said relations are improving between the superpowers.
“Despite earlier inappropriate words and actions from the U.S. new administration, which had led to worries worries and doubts about U.S. adherence to the one-China policy, things have gradually come back on track,” the communist party organ said in a March 21 commentary.
Today’s Global Times says: “Since Trump’s election victory, to his inauguration and to the upcoming summit, there has been friction in the Sino-US relationship, including a direct telephone conversation with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, questioning the one-China policy, criticizing China on trade, and blaming China for the Korean Peninsula issue.”
However, the Chinese publication continues, “These bumps in the road have been mitigated due to comprehensive efforts by both sides through official, semi-official and non-official channels, and the Sino-US relationship has avoided conflict and crisis, said An Gang, a member of the academic committee at Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank.”
China Daily also puts an optimistic spin on U.S.-China relations: “Considering the vicissitudes in bilateral ties after Trump took office, including his tough talk and the phone conversation he had with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, the conciliatory tone adopted since, from himself, as well as his secretaries of state and defense, offers optimism the two leaders can use their meeting to eliminate any lingering sense of uncertainty.”
A “Healthcare Panel and Discussion” is part of the agenda, but Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said Wednesday night that Ryan will not be laying out any new plan for reviving the health care overhaul that collapsed in the House last week and that President Donald Trump has predicted will be revived.
“We are not unveiling a new plan in Florida,” Strong said. “It’s a political event and we are not unveiling a plan there.”
In a call with donors this week, The Washington Post reported that Ryan said: “When we’re in Florida, I will lay out the path forward on health care and all the rest of the agenda. I will explain how it all still works, and how we’re still moving forward on health care with other ideas and plans. So please make sure that if you can come, you come — it will be good to look at what can feasibly get done and where things currently stand. But know this: We are not giving up.”
The failure of the Republican-controlled House to bring health care legislation to a vote was a stinging setback for the GOP Trump after years of pledging to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Trump this week voiced optimism on striking a health care deal.
“I know that we are all going to make a deal on health care,” Trump said Tuesday night at a White House gathering for senators and their spouses. “That’s such an easy one. I have no doubt that that’s going to happen very quickly. We have all been promising it — Democrat, Republican — to the public.”
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t in the Sunshine State yet, but gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is already throwing some shade his way.
“When Speaker Paul Ryan comes to Florida later this week, he’ll hear a rallying cry from every corner of our state: Governor Rick Scott should expand Medicaid now, and Obamacare is the law of the land,” Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee, said in a press release. “His continued refusal to expand coverage is a deeply damaging mark on our state’s healthcare system, and the governor should immediately take this long overdue step to save lives. Speaker Ryan should know that healthcare is a right, and any attempt to further hurt Florida’s families will backfire at the ballot box.”
The Miami Herald has reported that Ryan, fresh off the House’s high-profile failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, plans to spend Thursday and Friday at The Breakers on Palm Beach huddling with top financial donors.
A super PAC supporting President Donald Trump has begun running ads in Florida and nine other states, Bloomberg News reports, with the apparent aim of rallying Trump voters against Sen. Bill Nelson and other Democratic senators on the ballot next year.
Making America Great is spending $1 million on TV and $300,000 on digital ads in 10 states and Washington, D.C.
The 30-second spot touts job growth, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and executive orders reducing Environmental Protection Agency regulations and approving the Keystone XL Pipeline as examples of “Results not common in Washington, D.C…And it’s only just begun.”
The ads are appearing in states that Trump carried in 2016 and where a Democratic senator is up for re-election in 2018. Trump beat Hillary Clintonby 1.2 percent last November in Florida; Nelson will seek a fourth Senate term in the Sunshine State next year.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum‘s Democratic campaign for governor has picked up an early endorsement from Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon — a longtime player in local Democratic politics who should help open doors for the little-known Gillum in one of Florida’s bluest counties.
Gannon has held elected office since 2000, when she won the first of three state House terms. She’s won four countywide elections as tax collector and was county chairwoman of Hillary Clinton‘s campaign last year.
“As a local elected official, I know firsthand the challenges facing Floridians, from an economy that has disproportionately led to low-wage jobs, an education system that is overly reliant on high-stakes testing, and a lack of 21st century infrastructure,” Gannon’s endorsement statement says.
“I deal with these problems on a daily basis, and it is my calling to ensure I’m improving on them for my constituents, and not playing politics-as-usual like our Governor and Republican Legislature. I endorse Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum for Governor because he has the experience and vision to make life better for every one of my constituents. Mayor Gillum has made Tallahassee a great place to raise a family, start a business, and put children on the path to success. I enthusiastically endorse him and look forward to sharing his experience and vision with my constituents.”
Central Florida businessman Chris King has also opened a Democratic campaign. Other Democrats eyeing the race include former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and deep-pocketed trial lawyer John Morgan. Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene has also been mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate and hasn’t definitively ruled out running.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is expected to seek the GOP nomination and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-o’-Lakes, is also a potential Republican candidate.