As Mueller’s Next Move Looms, The Trump Administration Is Unraveling
Here are today’s top stories:
1. In recent days, anticipation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s next move has reached a fever pitch. There has been speculation surrounding whether former Trump adviser Roger Stone will be indicted for perjury and/or his contacts with Wikileaks (he claimed he was next was next and he was an unnamed Wikileaks contact in Mueller’s last round of Russian indictments). Then this week, Stone’s associate and O.G. birther Jerome Corsi publicly stated that he thinks Mueller is about to indict him for perjury. Corsi was forced to cancel an interview with NBC News due to the fact his lawyers were on the phone with the Special Counsel’s office. Some believe Corsi may be negotiating with Mueller, like Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Flynn before him. This all comes as Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen was in DC this week meeting with the Special Counsel.
These aren’t the only indictments reportedly in the pipeline. There has reportedly been fear in the Trump administration that Donald Trump Jr. may be indicted for perjury. All of this comes on top of the Wall Street Journal report that indicated President Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator with Michael Cohen in campaign finance crimes. Needless to say, this is weighing down on the president.
2. After his failure to honor veterans and his embarrassing display in France, there have been multiple reports indicating President Trump is furiously lashing out at his aides in the White House. Angry about the midterms, nervous about Robert Mueller, and unhappy with the trip to France, Trump is directing his ire at his staff. Chief of Staff John Kelly is reportedly seeking to resign soon amid his beef with First Lady Melania Trump and her East Wing staff. Meanwhile, Trump is reportedly looking to fire Kelly’s protege, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Finally, Melania Trump called for the firing of National Security Adviser John Bolton’s deputy Mira Ricardel (reportedly over a dispute over airplane seating arrangements).
3. As Republican Senate candidate in Arizona Martha McSally gracefully conceded to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, Republicans in other parts of the country are not conducting themselves with the same level of dignity. Florida Governor and Senate candidate Rick Scott is still filing lawsuits as the national GOP, including the President and Marco Rubio, spread conspiracy theories. As the Florida recounts continue, remember to ask yourself why one party is so hell-bent on making sure as few people as possible are able to have their voices heard.
4. The UK and EU have reached a draft agreement on Brexit. Negotiators from both sides have broadly agreed on most of the technical details on the issue. The largest hurdle was over how to handle the border between Ireland, an EU country, and Northern Ireland, a bordering part of the UK. Assurances were made that no hard borders would be imposed; should a forthcoming trade deal not come to fruition, Northern Ireland will, for the most part, still remain in the single market.
This, however, does not sit well with many of the backers of Brexit, both within Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet and in Parliament. They see this as a way to delay the breakup from the EU, and will want adjustments. On the other hand, the Northern Irish coalition partners of Mrs. May’s Tory party will probably not accept any backing off of the border agreement. Ms. May will need to convince all of them to ensure parliamentary support for approval of a deal. It does not help that calls for a second referendum are growing. A deal needs to be finalized by March of next year, so the clock is not in Mrs. May’s favor.
5. Stock markets again dipped over the last few days, as a sell-off of shares continues in the US. The Dow dropped more than 600 points on Monday, almost erasing gains made at the beginning of the month. Apple was the biggest culprit, as its share price dropped about 5 percent over concerns its new iPhone sales will not hit expected sales figures during the holidays. The market looked to be rebounding in this morning, but a fall in oil prices brought things into the red again. President Trump has not helped matters, as a statement of disapproval over Saudi production cuts on Monday and continued worries over a trade war with China, in general, may have impacted figures. Some investors are beginning to be worried about a potential economic slowdown.
Ahmed Baba contributed to this report.