March 18, 2018

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Fox News Sunday chastised President Trump's personal attorney, John Dowd, for saying Saturday it is time for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation to end.

"If you look at the jurisdiction for Robert Mueller, first and foremost [it is] what did Russia do to this country in 2016. That is supremely important, and it has nothing to do with collusion," Gowdy said. "So to suggest that Mueller should shut down and that all he's looking at is collusion — if you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it."

The GOP congressman also offered a warning to Trump himself. "When you are innocent ... act like it," Gowdy said to the president. "If you've done nothing wrong, you should want the investigation to be as fulsome and thorough as possible." Watch a clip of Gowdy's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

March 18, 2018

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on CNN's State of the Union Sunday sought to distinguish between Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and the circumstances surrounding the firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the latter including the allegation, as President Trump once put it, that the FBI became "a tool of anti-Trump political actors" in 2016.

McCabe's actions have "absolutely nothing to do with the Mueller investigation," Graham said, arguing that a new special counsel should be appointed to investigate the FBI.

He warned Trump against firing Mueller, suggesting that to do so "would be the beginning of the end of his presidency." Graham added that he believes Mueller is "doing a good job," pledging "to make sure that Mr. Mueller can continue to do his job without any interference — and there are many Republicans who share my view."

Watch an excerpt of Graham's interview below. Bonnie Kristian

March 11, 2018

President Trump still plans to talk to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, White House principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said Sunday on ABC's This Week.

"The president has told me twice now, once last year and once this year, that he will meet and talk to the special counsel, answer questions under oath," said host Jonathan Karl. "I assume the president plans to keep his word on that?"

"Well, look, he's also said that that will be in consultation with his attorneys. They have been in touch with the special counsel and they're going to be communicating back and forth," Shah answered. "I'm sure [Trump] intends to [talk]. But what I'm saying is that his attorneys are communicating with the special counsel on the specifics."

Below, watch Shah's interview, which also addresses Trump's upcoming meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, and read yours truly on why Trump's lawyers would want him to keep quiet, guilty or not. Bonnie Kristian

March 11, 2018

Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) conceded on Meet the Press Sunday it would be difficult to mount a primary challenge to President Trump in 2020, but he argued it must be done.

Trump is "running for re-election already," said host Chuck Todd. "He announced that last night basically. Do you think he needs to be challenged from somebody who espouses your views?"

"Yes, I do. I do," Flake replied. "I mean, it would be a tough go in a Republican primary. The Republican Party is the Trump party right now. But that's not to say it will stay that way."

Flake also addressed Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, including the possibility of exemptions for close allies. "The problem is, when you say, 'Alright, let's have tariffs. But let's couple that with uncertainty,' that's almost worse," the senator said. "I mean, those are dual poisons to the economy. You know, tariffs are awful. Tariffs married to uncertainty is probably even worse."

Watch an excerpt of Flake's comments below, or read the full transcript of his interview at NBC. Bonnie Kristian

March 4, 2018

President Trump made up his mind about tariffs by telling two of his economic advisers to argue about it in front of him, former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday, casting this decision-making process as dramatic but effective.

"I think what the president does — and he writes about it even in his own books — is he puts rivals around him, intellectually," Priebus said on ABC's This Week. "You have people like [Commerce Secretary] Wilbur Ross ... and [top economic adviser] Gary Cohn, and he puts those two guys in front of him and says, 'Okay, fight out tariffs in front of me.' And they fight it out; the media covers the fight, but ultimately the decision is made."

Ross is supportive of Trump's surprise announcement of heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports; Cohn is not. The commerce secretary said Sunday the president has no plans to permit any exemptions for friendly nations. Cohn, meanwhile, is expected by many to resign now that he has lost the tariffs fight.

Watch a clip of the Priebus interview below. Bonnie Kristian

March 4, 2018

President Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, should resign from their jobs at the White House, Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) suggested Sunday in an interview on ABC's This Week.

Trump will ultimately "have to make [the] judgment" about whether his family members are still an asset to the administration, Christie said. "And there were many of us who counseled the president" not to hire family, he continued, "not because they weren't competent or qualified or that the president didn't trust them, but because when circumstances come up that the president couldn't have been aware of — and in a normal situation, you might terminate a staff member for that reason — it becomes a lot more difficult if you're going to be sitting at Thanksgiving dinner with that person."

Christie brought up the recent resignation announcement from Hope Hicks, the White House communications director who was long a Trump aide and confidante. He praised Hicks as a model for other administration staff, Kushner and Ivanka Trump included, because she left her post when she became "a distraction for the president and less of an asset."

Read The Week's Ryan Cooper on the corruption case against Kushner, and watch an excerpt of Christie's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

February 25, 2018
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Sunday posited the United States may soon develop a multi-party system because the Democratic and Republican parties are not satisfying voters.

"We may be beginning to see the end of the two-party system," he mused in an interview on ABC's This Week. "I'm starting to really wonder if we're going to see a multi-party system at some point in the future in this country. Because I don't think either party is answering people's deepest concerns and needs."

Kasich appeared with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), with whom, as host George Stephanopoulos noted, some speculate he may try to form a unity ticket to challenge President Trump in 2020. Neither governor would say whether he intends to mount a presidential campaign, and Kasich offered mixed messaging on where his partisan loyalties would be should he choose to run. He said the GOP is "is [his] vehicle, not [his] master," but demurred at the ideas of endorsing Hickenlooper as a Democratic nominee or running as an independent himself.

As for the multi-party idea, read yours truly here at The Week on why it would require major structural change to our voting system. Bonnie Kristian

February 25, 2018

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union that he will not resign despite allegations that multiple deputies under his command did not enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, "when they should have" during the Valentine's Day mass shooting.

Israel previously said one deputy assigned to the school was suspended without pay and then resigned because he never entered the school to protect students or confront the shooter. Now the Coral Springs Police Department has accused other deputies of delaying their entry.

"Deputies make mistakes, police officers make mistakes, we all make mistakes," Israel argued. "But it's not the responsibility of the general or the president if you have a deserter."

Israel also addressed the warnings his department received about the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, before the attack. "I can only take responsibility for what I knew about," the sheriff told host Jake Tapper Sunday. "I exercised my due diligence. I provided amazing leadership to this agency." Tapper was unconvinced, countering that "you measure somebody's leadership by the way they protect the community" and suggesting Israel failed to protect Parkland.

Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

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