Former Secretary of State John Kerry hasn't held his tongue when it comes to criticizing President Trump. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has kept quiet, if he has criticism at all.
But both of these political veterans had sharp words for the president after he said that Germany is "totally controlled by Russia" at a Wednesday breakfast meeting during this week's NATO summit in Brussels. When asked if he agreed that Germany is "captive to Russia," as Trump said Wednesday, Hatch told reporters that the president "can be a little too critical of the other [NATO] counterparts, and I don't think he should be critical." Hatch added that he has met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and has "the highest opinion of her," Politico reports.
Kerry, who served as America's chief diplomat under former President Barack Obama, opted to completely tear Trump apart in a statement he shared on Twitter. In it, Kerry savages Trump's remarks as "strange," "counterproductive," "disgraceful," and "destructive," among a slew of other insults. "The president set America back this morning," Kerry wrote. "He is steadily destroying our reputation in the word." Read his full statement below. Kathryn Krawczyk
My thoughts on President Trump's remarks in Brussels this morning: pic.twitter.com/x0k3k0lOkA
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) July 11, 2018
The Trump administration's candidate to head the United Nations' migration agency has been rejected in a blow to the United States, which has held the post since 1951. "The American is out," Senegalese diplomat Youssoupha Ndiaye told The Associated Press after voting in Geneva.
The American candidate, Ken Isaacs, is the vice president of an evangelical charity, with his only relevant experience being a short stint as a political appointee in charge of overseas disaster relief under former President George W. Bush. Isaacs' candidacy was called into question after his old tweets surfaced, containing messages calling Muslims violent and insisting that "Christians" be the "first priority" when it came to the Syrian refugee crisis.
The race to lead the migration agency is now between Portuguese Socialist Party member Antonio Vitorino and Costa Rica's Laura Thompson, the deputy director-general of the International Organization for Migration.
"The person who leads this needs to be a symbol of the international community's support for humanity," the president of Refugees International, Eric Schwartz, told The Washington Post. "And that means that dark-skin people and Muslim people have the same inherent worth as any other people." Jeva Lange
Rep. Joe Crowley lost the Democratic primary Tuesday night in New York's 14th congressional district. Key word: Democratic.
The winner, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is a 28-year-old member of the Democratic Socialists of America who is calling for universal health care and the end of ICE. President Trump was quick to kick Crowley while he was down (well, singing), tweeting that the 10-term congressman was a "Big Trump Hater" and insinuating that had Crowley been "nicer, and more respectful, to his president," he would have won.
Seeing as how it was a Democratic primary in New York City, it's doubtful any negative comments Crowley may have made about Trump pushed anyone to vote for his opponents, especially someone to his left. That didn't stop Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany from retweeting Trump's remarks, and adding her own head-scratching commentary. "STUNNING!" she wrote. "That so-called blue wave? More like a red tsunami ..."
Many people, including Politico's Jake Sherman, were confused as to how Crowley — from a heavily Democratic district — losing in his Democratic primary to a more progressive candidate was a win for the GOP. "What are you talking about," he asked. More tweets started rolling in, with most certain that McEnany thought Crowley lost to a Republican and had no idea this was a primary, and others pretty sure she doesn't even know what a primary is.
McEnany never clarified if she did, in fact, understand that this was a primary, instead declaring that the GOP is "celebrating this if you haven't noticed. As Democrats lurch toward the failed socialist platform of Bernie Sanders, our party's prospects of electoral success are secured for many years to come." Catherine Garcia
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was pushed out of the White House on Tuesday, with President Trump tapping CIA Director Mike Pompeo to succeed him. Trump's firing of Tillerson was reportedly rather unceremonious, as the president apparently never called Tillerson himself and the State Department said that Tillerson was "unaware of the reason" for his own dismissal.
Tillerson had been publicly at odds with Trump for months — and was also reportedly never close with Nikki Haley, the U.S.'s ambassador to the U.N. To that end, Haley's tweet congratulating Pompeo on his pending promotion is telling:
Congratulations to my friend and soon to be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo! Great decision by the President.
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) March 13, 2018
It's not yet clear whether tweeting shade at former colleagues is also a "great decision." Kimberly Alters
In her first television appearance since announcing she is running for Congress in California's 44th district, Clueless star and conservative commentator Stacey Dash didn't reveal too much about her platform, beyond President Trump being good and hate being bad.
Speaking to MSNBC's Ari Melber Thursday evening, Dash, a Republican, said she would be a "catalyst for change," but wouldn't say how — when asked, for example, her thoughts on ObamaCare, she said it should be fully repealed and "there will be another solution," but she wouldn't say what it is. Pressed about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' harsh stance on so-called sanctuary cities in California, Dash said, "We have to respect law enforcement, we have to respect laws." "Go on," Melber urged, but Dash was done. "That's it," she said.
When it comes to gun control, "I support the Bill of Rights," she said, and Trump was "absolutely right" to say there was "blame on both sides" at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year. "There were two extreme sides," she said. "Here's what it boiled down to: our right, they had a right to assemble, both sides had a right, but they were both extremes."
Hate is "not the answer for anything," she added, but don't think about asking her to condemn anyone. "I'm not here to judge," Dash said. "The only one who can judge is God. Do I know every person in the Neo-Nazi party, if they have a good heart or not? No, I don't. Do I know every member of a gang, if they have a good heart or not? No, I don't." Watch the interview in its awkward entirety below. Catherine Garcia
In 2015, after a sexually explicit, mainly online relationship with a woman ended, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) threatened to report the woman to the Capitol Police, according to a recording obtained by The Washington Post. Barton had reportedly sent the woman sexually explicit photos, videos, and messages over the course of their relationship, which began on Facebook in 2011.
The woman, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, recorded the 2015 conversation in which Barton confronted her about communications she had with other women connected to Barton. "I am ready if I have to, I don't want to, but I should take all this crap to the Capitol Hill Police and have them launch an investigation," he said, according to the recording.
On Wednesday, Barton apologized to his constituents after naked photos of him circulated on social media. In a statement, Barton, who is the longest-serving member of Congress from Texas, said he had sexual relationships "with other mature adult women" while separated from his second wife, before their divorce in 2015. "I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days," he said. But Barton, who has reportedly hired a crisis communications firm, also said that he had suffered a potential crime over the released lewd photos. In Texas, it is a misdemeanor to intentionally publicize images or videos of someone's genitals or sexual activity without consent. Barton said the Capitol Police may be launching an investigation. Lauren Hansen
On Wednesday, former Republican Sen. Gordon Humphrey (N.H.) sent a letter to several lawmakers urging President Trump's prompt removal from office. In light of Trump's recent threat to meet continued North Korean nuclear threats with "fury and fire," which Humphrey likened to "pouring gasoline on fire," Humphrey argued that the "system of checks and balances" is not enough.
"The president alone has the authority to launch nuclear weapons, the only restraint being the advice of senior advisers who might be present at the time of crisis, and Donald Trump has shown repeated contempt for informed and wise counsel," wrote Humphrey, a former member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "He is sick of mind, impetuous, arrogant, belligerent, and dangerous."
Humphrey, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump, called for Trump to be "relieved of the powers of the presidency" as soon as possible. He advised that a commission be established to determine whether Trump is "mentally fit" to serve. If Trump and his "seriously sick psyche" remain in office, Humphrey warned, the president's "reckless conduct could consume the lives of millions."
Read Humphrey's letter, which he sent to New Hampshire lawmakers Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan, Carol Shea-Porter, and Annie Kuster, below. Becca Stanek
— John DiStaso (@jdistaso) August 9, 2017
Just days after the congressional baseball practice shooting, Brad Carver, the Republican Party chairman in Georgia's 11th congressional district, predicted that the attack would boost Republicans' chances of winning the upcoming special election in the Peach State.
"I'll tell you what: I think the shooting is going to win this election for us," Carver told The Washington Post on Saturday after a get-out-the vote rally for Republican candidate Karen Handel, who is running against Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia's 6th congressional district. The two are vying for the seat vacated by Tom Price, who left to become the Trump administration's health secretary.
Carver explained that he thinks the shooting will help Handel win because "moderates and independents" are "tired of left-wing extremism." "I get that there's extremists on both sides, but we are not seeing them," Carver said. "We're seeing absolute resistance to everything this president does. Moderates and independents out there want to give him a chance. Democrats have never given this president a chance."
Carver said he thinks "it'll be close," but that Republicans will "win it." "And I really do think the congressional baseball shooting is going to decide the election," he reiterated.
Voters head to the polls Tuesday. Becca Stanek