Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney seems to have freaked out after the New York Times revealed he leaned on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to keep President Donald Trump out of the loop about election security preparations for 2020, issuing a swift personal response that showed up in the Washington Post moments afterward.
“Kirstjen Nielsen was trying to get Russian election interference on the president’s radar,” said host Hallie Jackson. “But according to one senior administration official, Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, said ‘it wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below President Trump’s level.’ And now Mick Mulvaney is responding.”
“He is responding on the record,” said reporter Kristen Welker. “This is a swift response, and as you know to get something like this on the record so quickly doesn’t happen every day.”
Mulvaney’s response, probably unsurprisingly, laid the blame for Russia’s meddling at the feet of the Obama administration. But Welker had a fact check.
“Of course, the former Obama Administration did take some steps, we know that Obama pushed President Putin directly and also slapped some sanctions on Russia,” said Welker. “What is the Trump administration doing?”
“They will tell you they have had a robust response,” Welker said of “interagency” collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice “shore up and strengthen” the security of the electoral system.
“But critics would argue, ‘look, it doesn’t go far enough,'” Welker added. “They want to hear President Trump get tougher on this subject himself.”
Watch the video below.
Texas GOP will proceed with in-person state convention in Houston this month
In light of the decision to go forward with an in-person convention with a new mask requirement, two sponsors announced they would drop out. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he was hopeful that the organization would still reconsider.
The Texas GOP's executive committee voted Thursday night to proceed with plans to hold the party’s in-person convention in Houston later this month.
The State Republican Executive Committee, a 64-member body that serves as the governing board of the state party, voted 40-20 to approve the resolution supporting the in-person gathering. Thursday’s vote comes as the state grapples with a surge of coronavirus cases, with Houston serving as one of the country’s hot spots for the virus.
Ron DeSantis threw temper tantrum after Trump hired strategist he ‘exiled’ from Florida GOP: report
On Friday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump has brought back longtime Florida Republican strategist Susie Wiles to try to save his electoral chances in the critical swing state — and that Gov. Ron DeSantis, who worked to cast her out of power in the Florida GOP, is enraged by the move.
"Trump’s decision to reinstate Susie Wiles to his campaign’s good inner circle follows months of behind-the-scenes efforts to bring her back after she was exiled at the demand of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had her cast out of the president’s good graces in September," reported Gary Fineout and Marc Caputo, and it "comes as polls show Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden in Trump's adopted home state. Trump won Florida four years ago by less than 113,000 votes and a loss in the battleground would likely doom his reelection effort."
Mike Pence calls his wife ‘mother’ — and just referred to Trump as ‘my father’
Mike Pence raised eyebrows on Friday when he sent a campaign message referring to President Donald Trump as "my father."
"We need you right now," Pence wrote in a campaign ad. "It's going to take EVERY Patriot stepping up if we want to CRUSH Sleepy Joe's dreams of turning America into a BIG GOVERNMENT SOCIALIST Nation."
"I convinced my father to give you another chance, which is why he's decided to EXTEND your PERSONAL 500%-MATCH OFFER FOR 1 MORE HOUR," Pence wrote.
NBC News reporter Brandy Zadrozny posted a screengrab of the advertisement.
Zadrozny also offered a theory that language could've have resulted from a copy and paste error with language from an ad that was meant to come from one of Trump's children.