"Of course the president can lead on this and should lead on this, and Mr. President, I ask you to do this," Kasich said on CNN's State of the Union. "You don't have to boil the ocean, but take some steps now," he continued. "I believe those who are Second Amendment advocates realize that common-sense, real reforms can happen in this country to answer the cries and the anguish of people all across this country who have lost loved ones."
Kasich specifically recommended more extensive background checks as well as "local law enforcement or the FBI" monitoring those believed to suffer from mental illness or emotional distress. Watch an excerpt of his CNN interview below. Bonnie Kristian
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 18, 2018
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on Wednesday, on Sunday announced "March for Our Lives," a demonstration for new gun control legislation scheduled for Saturday, March 24, in Washington, D.C., and cities around the country.
"People are saying that it's not time to talk about gun control. And we can respect that," said Cameron Kasky, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas junior who explained the event on ABC's This Week. "Here's a time: March 24 in every single city. We are going to be marching together as students begging for our lives," Kasky continued. "At this point, you're either with us or against us."
Kasky and four fellow Stoneman Douglas students — Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Alex Wind, and Jaclyn Corin — made a similar appearance on Fox News Sunday. Watch a clip of that interview below. Bonnie Kristian
Stoneman Douglas students announce March for Our Lives on March 24. "One of the things we've been hearing is that it's not the yet time to talk about gun control... so here's the time we're going to talk about gun control." pic.twitter.com/CLUf6JM9fs
— Axios (@axios) February 18, 2018
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday offered a qualified defense of President Trump's claim that he has been vindicated by the evidence revealed in federal investigations of Russian election meddling.
Friday's indictment of Russian nationals and entities by Special Counsel Robert Mueller "proves there’s no collusion to this point," Christie said on ABC's This Week. "There's no collusion in terms of the Facebook ads, the other social media activity."
"Director Mueller made it very clear in the indictment that any participation by anybody — whether it was in the Trump campaign or the [Bernie] Sanders campaign, which they said was also being assisted by this effort by Russia — that all of that was done unwittingly," Christie continued. "No one participated in a knowing fashion. Now, we have to see where [Mueller] goes next, but certainly at this point, there is no allegation by Director Mueller and his team of collusion."
Watch a clip of Christie's comments below, or read his full interview here. Bonnie Kristian
Does @GovChristie believe the new Russia indictments prove there was no collusion by the Trump campaign? He tells @MarthaRaddatz “Well, it proves there’s no collusion to this point… we have to see where [the special counsel] goes next.” pic.twitter.com/Qtvbse9G9R
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 18, 2018
President Trump posted a pair of tweets Sunday morning aimed at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), whom he dubbed "Liddle' [sic] Adam Schiff, the leakin' monster of no control." The president was pleased with Schiff's Friday statement that Russian meddling in U.S. politics should have been addressed sooner and more forcefully by the Obama administration. However, he also suggested Schiff's true motive was excusing Hillary Clinton's election loss.
Later Sunday, on CNN's State of the Union, Schiff hit back. Friday's indictment of Russian nationals "ought to put to rest for anyone, including the president who continues to call this a 'witch hunt,' that the evidence is now overwhelming and unequivocal and we need to move to protect ourselves from Russian interference in elections that are coming up," Schiff said.
Asked whether he concurs with Trump's frequent claim that his campaign has been proven innocent of collusion with Russian election meddling, Schiff disagreed. "No, of course not," he said. "This is a president who claims vindication anytime someone sneezes."
Watch an excerpt of the interview below. Bonnie Kristian
Rep. Adam Schiff on the Russia indictment: “The evidence is now overwhelming and unequivocal and we need to move to protect ourselves from Russian interference in elections that are coming up” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/RHY23eupjK
— CNN (@CNN) February 18, 2018
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney appeared on CBS News' Face the Nation Sunday to tout President Trump's continued confidence in Chief of Staff John Kelly. This comes amid reports the president is unhappy with Kelly's handling of this week's resignation of two White House staffers, Rob Porter and David Sorensen, who were accused of domestic abuse by their ex-wives.
"To believe the media that [the White House is in] complete disarray, that there's a bunch of infighting — it's simply not the case," Mulvaney said. "The West Wing continues to function. It functions well. I hear that I'm being considered ... for replacing the chief of staff, and you'd think that someone would have mentioned it to me," he continued, averring that Trump believes Kelly is doing a "great job."
Mulvaney also addressed the situation with Porter and Sorensen, denying there is a "lax attitude toward domestic abuse" in the White House. Watch the full CBS interview below; the remarks about Kelly begin around the three-minute mark. Bonnie Kristian
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday defended President Trump's tweet — apparently posted in response to domestic abuse accusations made against two White House staffers, Rob Porter and David Sorensen — lamenting that "Peoples [sic] lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation." As critics noted, Trump consistently defends men accused of abuse or assault on women but displays no such concern for due process in other cases.
Speaking on ABC's This Week, Conway said Trump believes "you have to consider all sides" in abuse allegations, including "incidents that relate to him as well." Later in the interview, she declared Trump "a man who shows great compassion and understanding for women on many different issues," repeatedly pivoting to the president's record on women's employment rates.
Does Pres. Trump believe Rob Porter was falsely accused of domestic abuse? White House Counselor to the President @KellyannePolls says he believes "you have to consider all sides. He has said this in the past about incidents that relate to him as well." #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/kPZSf88SJl
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 11, 2018
On CNN's State of the Union, Conway said she personally has "no reason not to believe the women" accusing Porter and Sorensen. Pressed by host Jake Tapper on Trump's view, Conway said the "president is very disturbed by what he sees," and his positive comments about Porter were exclusively about his "work product." The tweet, she claimed, is not about Porter specifically or even the #MeToo movement. Then, again, she pivoted to women's employment.
Watch an excerpt of that conversation below. Bonnie Kristian
— CNN (@CNN) February 11, 2018
Leon Panetta claims FISA court 'judges are no pushovers.' They approve 99.97 percent of spying requests.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (D) — who has also served as director of the CIA, White House chief of staff, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and more — on Sunday sought to defend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (also called the FISA court) from President Trump's charge that it was used to manipulate the 2016 election. The Nunes memo, released Friday, says the court granted the FBI an application to spy on Carter Page, a Trump campaign aide who is an American citizen, based significantly on opposition research partially funded by a Clinton campaign lawyer.
Panetta's strategy was to talk up the FISA court's standards. "The FISA process was designed in order to make sure that we could do surveillance against potential terrorists and those who would undermine our country," Panetta said on Fox News Sunday. "It works. It has worked," he continued. "The FISA judges are no pushovers."
The important question now is how Leon Panetta defines "pushover," because the FISA judges are infamously generous with their surveillance grants. They approved 99.97 percent of spying requests in 2013 and 100 percent in 2014 and 2015. The court is widely accused of being a rubber stamp, ready to sign off on whatever snooping power federal agencies desire.
Watch Panetta's full interview below; his FISA court comments begin around the seven-minute mark. Bonnie Kristian
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci followed in former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's footsteps on Sunday by recommending President Trump decline to testify for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. But where Christie claimed presidential exceptionalism as his rationale, Scaramucci was more practical.
"I actually don't want him to testify because, as a lawyer, I don't want him caught in a 'gotcha' moment where someone accuses him of lying where he may not remember something or something like that," Scaramucci said. "I don't know what his legal team's gonna say to him. I'm just giving you my personal opinion."
The president's legal team is reportedly of the same mind, arguing this past week that Mueller has not demonstrated the necessity of an interrogation. Watch an excerpt of Scaramucci's remarks below. Bonnie Kristian
.@Scaramucci says “I hope [President Trump] doesn’t testify” to special counsel Robert Mueller because “as a lawyer, I don’t want him caught in a gotcha moment where someone accuses him of lying where he may not remember something.” #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/aUSc1RtEro
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 4, 2018