White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel sat down on 60 Minutes to discuss the Obama administration’s efforts to pass health care reform, Congressional elections later this year, and the influence of the Tea Party on Republicans.
The Tea Party loves to talk about voting out Democrats who voted for health care reform come November, but Emanuel said that allowing a “fringe group” to exert such influence over the GOP will ultimately backfire.
Asked by Katie Couric if worrying about the midterm elections keeps him up at night, Emanuel suggested the GOP’s aggressive bid to retake Congress is overrated.
“I think the Republicans have a level of energy but inside that energy they have their own problem and fissures,” Emanuel said. “They’re basically at the behest of a fringe group that’s taken control of their own party and their own leaders are scared of it.”
When Couric asked if he was referring to the Tea Party movement, Emanual said, “I can give a more pertinent, a more informed answer in June and July.”
His comments may have been somewhat prophetic. According to Talking Points Memo, the Tea Party showed its “true colors” Saturday when protesters launched racial epithets and abusive language at Democrats, including words like ‘ni**er’ and ‘fa**ot’.
Emanuel also managed to apologize for his own abusive language of fellow Democrats. He had been frequently criticized for harsh words, especially when he stirred up controversy by referring to progressives as “fucking retarded.”
Emanuel: “I don’t think I can pull back from being hard-charging or whatever. But you got to understand and be sensitive to what people are saying—especially if you don’t want to offend anybody and I clearly did and I was wrong.”
Couric: “So have you taken another look at the way you communicate at all?”
Emanuel: “Yes. See? I’ve gone five minutes without a single swear word. How am I doing?”
Couric: “Doing ok.”
Emanuel: “All right.”
Emanuel, who has been an important part of the Obama administration’s push for health care reform, dismissed the idea that Obama had been stretched too thin between health care and other issues.
“Not at all,” he said. “We’re in the final stages of getting a comprehensive bill finally passed and onto the president’s desk,” Emanuel said. “We’re on the last leg of the legislative process.”
David Holmes opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report
Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.
"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.
""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"
‘Rudy has got to be looking at handcuffs’: Ex-prosecutor says Giuliani will have a tough time in prison
Another Donald Trump attorney is looking at serving prison time, a former federal prosecutor predicted on MSNBC on Friday.
MSNBC "Meet the Press Daily" host Chuck Todd asked former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner if prosecutors would be tougher on Giuliania because he had once been a prosecutor himself.
"It’s tough to figure out, first of all, how Rudy is going to play it because based on what we’ve seen and particularly if [Lev] Parnas flips, Rudy has got to be looking at handcuffs sometime soon," Kirschner replied.
"And Chuck, what does he do? As a former U.S. Attorney, does he want to run the risk of ending up in the bureau of prisons where he will not find a lot of friends in the inmate population," he explained.
Key moments from Day Two of Trump impeachment hearing
Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, delivered more than five hours of dramatic testimony on Friday before the congressional committee holding impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.
Here are key moments from the second day of public hearings in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives:
- Trump tweet -
One hour after Yovanovitch began testifying before a live television audience of millions of Americans, Trump fired off a bombshell tweet attacking the career diplomat, a 33-year veteran of the State Department.
"Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," the president tweeted. "She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him.