According to a report from Politico, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is set to battle twice-impeached Donald Trump over who controls the future of the Republican Party after the senator dropped the hammer on the ex-president in a speech after Trump avoided conviction for sedition.
With reports that Trump intends to start going public again after hunkering down at Mar-a-Lago during his Senate impeachment trial, and CNN reporting the ex-president will go on a "retribution tour" against Republicans who voted against him, McConnell wants to put Trump in the rearview mirror and start rebuilding the party.
"McConnell is the de facto leader of the GOP for at least the next two years, as Trump remains exiled in Florida with no real public platform. And though McConnell is done talking about the former president after giving his most critical remarks ever about Trump on Saturday, he's well aware that they may be on a collision course," Politico reports, adding, "McConnell needs to pick up just one Senate seat to become majority leader again, though he's facing perhaps even bigger political headaches than in the Tea Party era. But McConnell made clear in a Saturday evening interview that he will not hesitate to wade into future primary races if a Trump-backed candidate — like, say, Kelli Ward in Arizona or the ex-president's daughter-in-law Lara in North Carolina — threatens his bid to retake the majority."
McConnell made his intentions clear by telling reporters, "I'm not predicting the president would support people who couldn't win. But I do think electability — not who supports who — is the critical point."
One of McConnell's battles -- along with attempting to slow President Joe Biden's agenda -- is reeling in GOP members in the Senate who are still aligning themselves with the twice-impeached ex-president.
"Not everyone listens to the party leader. Just look at Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who challenged the November election results despite McConnell's warnings not to force the issue. Or even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who plans to meet with Trump soon to discuss the future of the party," Politico reports. "Then there's about a half-dozen senators who look to be mulling presidential runs, many under the Trump mantle."
According to one Republican in the House, McConnell's attack on Trump did not sit well at all with every GOP lawmaker.
"A lot of people are frustrated with his comments. I'm not going to sugarcoat it," said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
With that in mind, the report adds, "McConnell and Biggs could very well find themselves on the opposite ends of the spectrum next year in Senate races like the one in Arizona, where a GOP chaired by Ward is struggling to win tough races in what was once a red state. Plus, McConnell said the Senate GOP will stand strongly behind all of its incumbents, including Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Republicans voting to convict Trump."
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President Joe Biden snapped at Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy on Wednesday during a press conference regarding his summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin.
"You have spoken many times about how you have spent perhaps more time with President Xi than any other world leader," Doocy said. "Is there going to become a time where you might called him, old friend to old friend, and ask him to open up China to the World Health Organization investigators who are trying to get to the bottom of COVID-19?"
"Let's get something straight," Biden shot back. "We know each other well -- we're not old friends. It's just pure business."
Doocy noted that the Group of Seven (G7) leaders had called for a full investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus. "But China basically says they don't want to be interfered with anymore, so what happens now?" the Fox News reporter pressed.
Biden said that China was "trying very hard to project itself as a very responsible and very, very forth coming nation."
"They are finding it hard to talk about how they're helping the world in terms of COVID-19, and vaccines, they're trying very hard," the president continued. "Look, certain things you don't have to explain to the people of the world. They see the results. Is China really actually trying to get to the bottom of this?"
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Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday criticized President Joe Biden because he "nodded" when a nearby reporter asked a question about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The so-called nod came after a reporter in a busy room asked if Biden trusts Putin.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed the issue after it became a hot topic among conservative pundits.
"During a chaotic free-for-all with members of the press shouting questions over each other, the president gave a general head nod in the direction of the media," Psaki explained. "He wasn't responding to any question or anything other than the chaos."
Later on Fox News, McEnany asked former Secretary Mike Pompeo about Biden's head movement.
"What we saw 48 hours ago was Biden evolve his language from calling Putin a killer to -- quote -- a worthy adversary and calling him right," McEnany said. "Not only that. This morning, what happened, Jen Psaki had to come out and do some clean-up on aisle five because President Biden, a question was asked of him, do you trust Putin? He nodded."
"Jen Psaki came out and said it was just a general nod," she added. "But the reporter is disputing that, saying, he looked me directly in the eyes and nodded that he trusted Putin ahead of this high stakes meeting."
Pompeo threw cold water on the suggestion that the nod was meaningful.
"Kayleigh, it's hard to know what the nod was," Pompeo said. "I assume he doesn't trust the Russians. I'll give him that much."
McEnany failed to note that former President Donald Trump said that he trusted Putin over the U.S. intelligence community while meeting with the Russian president in 2018.
Watch the video below from Fox News.
Royal Caribbean is pushing back the maiden voyage of a new ship by a month after eight crew members tested positive for Covid-19, the company's chief executive said.
"Two steps forward and one step back!" Chief Executive Michael Bayley said in a Facebook post Tuesday night that announced the delay for the inaugural trip of "Odyssey of the Seas."
"During routine testing, eight crew members received a positive test result for Covid-19," Bayley said.
"The eight crew members, six of whom were asymptomatic and two with mild symptoms, were quarantined and are being closely monitored by our medical team."
All 1,400 crew members were vaccinated on June 4 and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18.
The test results came after the staff was vaccinated but before the shots were fully effective, Bayley said.
The Odyssey voyage, is now set to depart from Port Everglades, Florida on July 31 instead of July 3.
The delay comes just days after Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Millennium trip had two cases of Covid-19.
The trip, which had departed from the Caribbean island of St. Maarten on June 5, was the first by a major cruise ship to depart North America since the pandemic.
Everyone on the cruise had been vaccinated, including all crew, the company said.
Celebrity Edge, another Royal Caribbean ship, is scheduled to undertake the first major voyage from an American port since the pandemic on June 6 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
© 2021 AFP
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