President Donald Trump is being very sensitive about the crowd size at his inauguration, and his political opponents are wasting no time rubbing it in.
During the confirmation hearing for Rep. Mike Mulvaney (R-SC), President Trump’s pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) held up a comparison photo that showed the two inaugurations of former President Barack Obama in 2009 and Trump in 2017.
Merkley then asked Mulvaney to comment on whether the crowd shown in the Obama inauguration was bigger than the crowd showed in the Trump inauguration.
Mulvaney conceded that, from the photos shown, it appeared that Obama had the bigger inauguration crowd size.
Merkley then went on to explain that there was a real point behind this apparent trolling of the president.
“The reason I’m raising this is because budgets often contain varied deceptions,” Merkley explained. “You and I talked in my office about the ‘magic asterisk.’ This is an example of something where the president’s team, on something very simple and straightforward, wants to embrace a fantasy rather than a reality.”
To reemphasize his point, Merkley then went on Twitter to implore Mulvaney to deliver actual budgets with real numbers — and not fantasy papers filled with “alternative facts.”
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) January 24, 2017
Watch Merkley grill Mulvaney in the Senate below.
Trump advisors futilely trying to get him to stop ranting about statues as his re-election prospects collapse: report
According to a report focusing on Donald Trump's rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president ate attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.
As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.
With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, "decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. "
Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw
The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.
This article first appeared in Salon.
GOP scrambling to pay for Jacksonville convention after Trump yanked it from North Carolina: report
According to a report from the New York Times, Republican officials are having difficulties getting donors to pay for the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville, Florida after Donald Trump yanked the gathering out of Charlotte, North Carolina in a fit of pique over COVID-19 health restrictions.
At issue, the report notes, is that millions of dollars were spent in North Carolina where a smaller event will now be held, and now the party is, in essence, forced to pay for a second convention.