Axios reported Monday that former AG Barr reportedly pushed back strongly on President Trump when discussing claims about the election being rigged. Barr, during a meeting with Trump in early Dec., is reported to have told him that such theories were ’bullshit.’ ’These things aren’t panning out’ and ’the stuff that these people are filling your ear with just isn’t true,’ Barr added.
Rudy Giuliani has declined to be part of President Trump’s defense team in the Senate trial for his second impeachment. ’Because I gave an earlier speech, I am a witness and therefore unable to participate in court or in the Senate chamber,’ Giuliani said. Giuliani was one of several speakers who appeared at the Trump rally before the Capitol riot. ’Let’s have trial by combat,’ he told the crowd.
Senators Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell are still to decide on how they plan on running an evenly split Senate. Mr. Schumer is set to become the Senate Majority Leader, and will wield an effective 51-50 majority after his new Democratic senators are sworn in and Kamala Harris becomes vice president and Senate tie-breaker. The Senate will need to pass an organizing resolution, however.
Sources close to President-elect Joe Biden have said that the incoming president is reportedly mulling cancelling the permit for the $9bn Keystone XL pipeline project as one of his first acts as president, perhaps as soon as his first day in office. Biden had previously vowed to scrap the oil pipeline’s presidential permit if he became President of the United States.
A recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has found that 68% of respondents said the economy was a top priority they would like the government to work on in 2021. 53% of the respondents said that they would like the incoming administration to work on the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Americans have been affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Reacting to a call by a migrant caravan moving from Honduras, calling on the Biden administration to honor their ’commitments’ to the migrants, a Biden official issued a warning saying ’Now is not the time’ to come to US. An unnamed transition official said that migrants ’need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the United States immediately,’ adding ’there’s help on the way.’
President Trump is planning an early morning sendoff event for himself at a military airfield in Maryland on Wednesday. The event comes hours before his successor, Joe Biden, is inaugurated as the 46th US president. Invitees to Trump’s event have been told to arrive by 7:15 a.m. at Joint Base Andrews, from where he is expected to fly to his Mar-A-Lago resort aboard Air Force One around 8 am.
In her final message to Americans as their first lady, Melania Trump urged ’love over hatred’ and ’peace over violence.’ In a 7-minute video, Trump called on Americans to ’be best to one another.’ She urged ’to focus on what unites us, to raise above what divides us, to always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself.’ President Donald Trump leaves office Wednesday.
According to media reports, President Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday. The White House held a meeting on Sunday to finalize the list of pardons. The actions are expected to include white-collar criminals and political allies, along with some reform-minded pardons.
Former Texas congressman Ron Paul said Facebook has suspended his account for unspecified reasons. Paul, a libertarian leader, tweeted: ’With no explanation other than ’repeatedly going against our community standards,’ @Facebook has blocked me from managing my page. Never have we received notice of violating community standards in the past and nowhere is the offending post identified.’
According to AP, members of President Trump’s failed reelection campaign had key roles in orchestrating the rally that resulted in the Capitol attack. A pro-Trump organization, Women for America, hosted the ’Save America Rally’ on Jan. 6. Megan Powers, listed as operations managers for the event, has a LinkedIn profile claiming she was the Trump campaign’s director of operations into January 2021.
Twitter on Sunday suspended the account of Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, for 12 hours. A Twitter spokesperson said that her account was ’temporarily locked out for multiple violations of our civic integrity policy’. Her account’s last tweet included a video in which she is claiming voter fraud, and blaming the elected state leaders for failing to act ahead of the Senate runoffs
House Intelligence Committee Chair Schiff said Sunday that President Trump should no longer receive daily intel briefings. Schiff, in an interview, agreed with calls from Susan Gordon, Trump’s ex-principal deputy director of national intelligence, to cease providing Trump with intelligence. ’I don’t think he can be trusted with it now, and in the future he certainly can’t be trusted,’ Schiff said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), in a letter to the incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), urged him to not hold an impeachment trial in the chamber once President Trump leaves office because it would only ’incite further division’ and delay the nation’s ’healing.’ ’We will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great nation if we do otherwise,’ warned Graham.
VP-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before she and President-elect Joe Biden are inaugurated. This clears the way for Gov. Newsom to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term.
Former Rep. Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma said Thursday that he is leaving the Republican Party because it has ’become a cult’ under Trump. ’It’s the kind of a cult that when the leader of the cult does anything, no matter what it is, or how awful it is, they voted,’ he said, adding that party leaders are still questioning the results of the election even after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Senator Cory Booker said that he expects the Senate to hold a trial relatively soon, after the House voted to impeach President Trump last week. He further said that the Republican leadership needs to be on board for the initiation of the process, and that he is confident this will happen. With Trump’s rule ending soon, Senate rules prevent a trial from starting until after he is out of office.
According to a Pew Research poll released Friday, President Trump’s approval rating has plunged to an all-time low of 29% in the wake of the Capitol riots. Growing GOP disenchantment has driven the decline, with 60% of Republicans now rating Trump’s job performance positively (77% in August). Overall 52% said Trump bears ’a lot’ of responsibility for the riot.
A migrant caravan moving from Honduras toward the US border is calling on Biden administration to honor what it says are ’commitments’ to the migrants moving north. More than 1,000 Honduran migrants moved into Guatemala on Friday, hoping for a warmer reception when they reach the US border. Biden has promised to reverse many of Trump’s policies on border security and immigration.
Asa Hutchinson, the Governor of Arkansas has said that he believes it was wrong for the House to impeach President Trump for a second time. Mr. Hutchinson, who was a House impeachment manager during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, criticized both President Trump’s rhetoric about November’s election as well as the House’s decision to impeach him.
Reports have suggested that the early days of Joe Biden’s presidency will see a deluge of executive orders which will be aimed at reversing President Donald Trump’s travel bans and rejoining the Paris climate accord. Mr. Biden is also widely expected to focus on reuniting children separated from families at the border and issue mandates on Covid-19 and mask-wearing.
Post the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, authorities called for a lockdown in Washington DC and prepared its forces to potentially meet with more pro-Trump protests in the other 50 state capitals. Armed forces have been deployed in the said capitals who will stay in position from Saturday through President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony which is to be held on January 20.
On Saturday, President-elect, Joe Biden along with Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, announced that the new team of science and technology in the White House will ’always going to lead with science and truth.’ Biden is set to nominate Eric S. Lander as the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, ’ a position that will for the first time hold cabinet rank.’
President-elect Joe Biden is planning on scrapping Trump’s vision of ’America First’ in favor of ’diplomacy first’. However, the success of this will depend on whether or not the incoming President is able to regain the trust of allies and convince them that Trumpism is just a blip in the annals of U.S. foreign policy. This could be tough since Trump’s policies have reportedly alienated allies.