President Donald Trump not to break streak in solo news conference
Washington,July26:President Donald Trump has given just one solo news conference since he was sworn in as president on January 20.
He won’t break that streak on Tuesday but he will take a few questions — as part of a joint presser with the prime minister of Lebanon — this afternoon at the White House.
There’s no shortage of news — between Trump’s bullying of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the drama over whether Senate Republicans can get the votes to start debate on health care, it’s a massive week for the President and his party.
Below are six of the most pressing questions worth asking Trump. (Note: This is by no means a comprehensive list.)
1. Are you going to fire Jeff Sessions? Why or why not?
Trump is doing everything he can to push Sessions out the door. He runs him down, repeatedly, via Twitter. He tells The New York Times that he would have never hired Sessions if he knew the AG would recuse himself on the Russia investigation. And yet, he won’t sit down and talk to Sessions about it all. Why? And, if he’s not going to fire Sessions — or has no immediate plans to — why hammer him so much?
2. See question #1.
3. Can you rule out the possibility of firing special counsel Bob Mueller?
Trump has attacked the special counsel’s investigation as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” The Washington Post and New York Times reported last week that he and his inner circle were aggressively looking into the background of the former FBI director and the people who work on the special counsel’s team. This week, we get word from Trump — and others — that it might be better if Sessions left. So … this all seems like Trump laying the groundwork for potentially getting rid of Mueller. Is that something he would consider?
4. Will you campaign against Republicans who don’t vote for the Obamacare replacement bill? What about recruit primary challengers against them?
Trump has overtly threatened one on-the-fence Republican already over health care.
“Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?” Trump “joked” to Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, at a White House meeting last week. Trump has also had conversations with at least three people who are considering running in a primary against Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, a frequent critic.
He promised on Monday that “any senator who votes against starting debate is telling America you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare.” Given that, how will he punish — or will he punish? — senators who do just that.
5. Do you agree with your intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to aid you and hurt Hillary Clinton? If not, why not?
This isn’t a new one but it’s one that’s needs to keep being asked. Trump continues to be the lone dissenter — among people in a position to know — on the conclusion drawn by the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency that Russian meddled in the election with the goal of helping Trump and hurting Clinton. It isn’t a debate. It’s Trump vs everyone else — including virtually every elected Republican. So, given the lack of support for Trump’s position, why does he hold it still? What’s his evidence beyond “you never know …”? Related bonus question: “Do you support the Russia sanctions bill approved by Congress?”
6. What specific crime do you believe Hillary Clinton committed in regard to her emails in the 2016 election? And why did you say you wouldn’t prosecute her right after the election?
In a tweet Tuesday morning bashing Sessions, Trump also suggested Clinton had committed a criminal act. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!,” Trump tweeted. What specifically about Clinton’s decision to set up a private email server was illegal? And what law did she break? You can’t just call people criminals and not, you know, elaborate.