On Thursday evening, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the week — dealing a blow to a small group of Republicans who had been hoping to force such a confrontation as a political statement.
Shutdown officially thwarted \n\nSenate passes the CR, 69-28. \n\nHappy stopgap to all those who celebrate.— Caitlin Emma (@Caitlin Emma) 1638498287
The shutdown effort, led by Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, was an attempt to "defund" enforcement of President Joe Biden's civilian vaccine mandate for most businesses over 100 employees, which is currently the subject of litigation on multiple fronts.
Cruz was famously also at the forefront of the 2013 government shutdown, where Republicans sought to defund implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
In the House, some Republicans like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia also encouraged a shutdown.
Passage of the resolution keeps the government fully funded for the short term, and prevents a potential protracted fight that could slow down economy recovery.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Thursday night played a clip of then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany discussing former President Donald Trump's timeline of COVID-19 test results after he was diagnosed with the virus last year.
Hayes played the clip during a report on former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows's claim that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 26, prior to his first debate with President Joe Biden.
"All of the evidence points to Trump having COVID, knowing he had COVID, and spending a week spreading it around while covering it up and refusing to admit he's sick," Hayes concluded.
He went on to recall that after Trump finally announced he had COVID on Oct. 2, White House officials were "so sketchy" about when he had last tested negative -- and then he played the clip of McEnany "trying to evade this simple question" on Oct. 4.
McEnany was responding to a reporter's question about whether Trump had been tested prior to the debate on Sept. 29, or before a fundraiser in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Oct. 1.
"I'm not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps of every time the president is tested," McEnany said. "He's tested regularly, and the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster."
"Again, I'm not giving a detailed readout of his testing, but it's safe to say his first positive test was upon return, or at least after, Bedminster, that trip," McEnany added.
"That's a lie. We now know, that's a lie. That clip there is a lie," Hayes said, recalling that at the time, "the squirrelliness around this was hard to ignore."
PBS News White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor agreed, saying, "When I watched Kayleigh lie there, it just reminded me of all the different times she lied, so many times, from the podium, from the White House lawn, from the stakeout location where she is in that clip."
"It really just underscores that this was an administration that was never really playing it straight with the American people," Alcindor said.
Chris Hayes on Trump's COVID tests www.youtube.com
Mark Meadows was 'mission control' for Trump's 'wingnut' election schemes and must be forced to testify: CNN analyst
On CNN Thursday, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig weighed in on the new allegations against former President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows — and what he could offer the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack.
"Now we know Mark Meadows was calling the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon and others and, among other things, wanted to look into an alleged plot by China to change the thermostats in voting machines and change the vote totals," said anchor Erin Burnett. "Meadows at one point was an elected member of Congress, and this stuff happened."
"My first reaction is just, wow," said Honig. "As a human being, a sane, rational human being, wow, how can this be? When you step back, though, this is really why Mark Meadows is the single most important witness to the January 6 investigation other than Trump himself, and he's never going to realistically testify."
Honig went on to say that Meadows was "running point" for the election theft operation, and thus must be compelled to appear before the committee.
"He was mission control for a whole of government effort to try to steal this election," he said. "This wasn't some one-off or something he did once. He was reaching out to our most serious agencies, to the Pentagon, the FBI, DOJ, the National Security Advisers, to try to get them to put their stamp on this craziness. The fact is it sounds like wild conspiracy wingnut stuff, but it was coming from the chief of staff of the White House, that is incredibly dangerous. I think it tells you exactly why Meadows is such a key focal point here."
"So Meadows is giving over those emails, but making it clear he's going to exert executive privilege over a lot of stuff," said Burnett. "So is he really cooperating or not?"
"I'm a little bit skeptical here, Erin," said Honig. "When I was a prosecutor, we used to say, there are cooperators and then there are cooperators. I know on paper maybe it looks good and sounds good, Meadows is cooperating, but is he really? What did you do, Mark Meadows, in relation to the FBI and DOJ? What was Donald Trump's involvement? If Mark Meadows gets to say no, guys, not answering that, then this is a bogus deal. What are they going to talk about, what color were the drapes in the Oval Office? What did you eat for lunch January 6? This is what they need to know. So if this is out of bounds, the committee got played here. We'll see if they're able to get it out of Mark Meadows."
Elie Honig on Mark Meadows' conspiracy theories and cooperation www.youtube.com