Brian Bennett
Brian Bennett
@bybrianbennett
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White House Press Secretary prepared to talk to Fox News on the North Lawn of the White House as midterm results came in on Election Day. Later, she spoke with reporters outside the door to the West Wing. She seemed resigned to the possibility Democrats would take the House.
An early November warm spell bloomed more dahlias.
At the White House as President Trump prepares to deliver a primetime address from the Oval Office to make the case for his border wall.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump left Washington to spend the weekend at Trump’s Mar a Lago Club in Florida. Also with them: a surprisingly tall Barron Trump and Melania’s parents. The White House announced today that the theme of Trump’s State of the Union will be “choosing greatness.” Here’s a quote from Trump’s speech provided by a senior administration official: “Together we can break decades of political stalemate, we can bridge old divisions heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.
Link in bio
President Trump arrived back in Washington on April 26 after speaking to the NRA annual convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Air Force One circled for 40 minutes while thunderstorms moved over the runway. From my story on the speech: With Democrats in Congress reluctant to work with him on legislative proposals, President Donald Trump has been casting about for actions he can take on his own. When it comes to guns, he has long promised to do nothing that would restrict the rights of gun owners. But doing nothing isn’t very photogenic for a showman like Trump. So on Friday, in front of the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Indianapolis, the President made a big show of undoing something.

In a nearly hourlong speech, Trump announced he was pulling the U.S. from the Arms Trade Treaty and instructing Congress to stop the ratification process and “return the treaty back to me in the Oval Office where I will dispose of it.” The treaty is designed to limit international sales of conventional arms to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of human rights abusers. In part under pressure from the NRA, Congress had long stalled the Senate on its consideration of the treaty. Trump’s action on Friday brought it to a complete halt but had no immediate practical effect.
Here's my cover story for @time on President Trump's reelection campaign. We spent an hour interviewing him in the Oval Office and visited his campaign headquarters. From the story: Once again, Trump is putting his own instincts at the center of his campaign. The political mercenaries who tried to discipline his impulses in 2016 have been shown the door. The 2020 campaign is unmistakably Trump’s show. 'We all have our meetings,' the President says. 'But I generally do my own thing.' Campaign staff have been hired to follow Trump’s lead, and the President has made it known that when he tweets a new policy or improvises an attack at a rally, everyone had better be ready to follow along. 'He blows the hole and everyone runs into the breach,' says an aide. Searing photos by @paridukovic
On June 25, I spent a day in Jerusalem with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. From my profile of Netanyahu on the cover of this week's magazine: In mid-July, Netanyahu will surpass David Ben-Gurion, the closest thing Israel has to a founding father, to become the longest-serving Prime Minister in the country’s history. Bibi, as he is universally known here, has won five elections and cultivated a U.S. President who appears intent on fulfilling Netanyahu’s every desire. So why isn’t he in a better mood? The unpleasant reality is that Netanyahu approaches the career summit with his personal power arguably at its greatest risk. Prosecutors have threatened indictments on corruption charges. And he has failed to form a government following his most recent election victory, in April. Instead of spending the summer handing out ministries to allies, Bibi is preparing for yet another campaign, a September do-over election that will test yet again whether the Israel that has grown to resemble its Prime Minister—prosperous, powerful and resilient, yet insecure—still wants him. 📷@alexmajoliphoto Link in bio.
In the storied career of America’s most famous mayor, the last five weeks have been quite a chapter. During a shouting match on CNN on Sept. 19, Rudy Giuliani denied and then, 30 seconds later, admitted to playing a central role in President Donald Trump’s efforts to get a foreign country to investigate his top 2020 rival, Joe Biden. Five days later, Giuliani went nuclear on a radio host during a joint TV appearance, shouting, “Shut up, moron, shut up!” as he tried to drown out accusations that he was making things up. Trump’s personal lawyer capped it off on Oct. 16 by pocket–dialing a reporter for NBC News and inadvertently leaving a lengthy message as he talked to an unidentified partner about potentially lucrative business in Turkey and Bahrain.

Some people were worried. Giuliani’s longtime associate Bernard Kerik says he keeps getting asked, “Is he O.K.?” Walter Mack, who ran an organized–crime unit for Giuliani back when they were prosecutors in Manhattan in the 1980s, says he wonders the same. Mack says if he saw him now, “I would talk to him as a friend and a fellow prosecutor, and just be certain he was getting good advice and that he was not losing sight of his own standards and morals.” Kerik, who was Giuliani’s top cop in New York and later served three years in federal prison for tax fraud and other crimes, talks regularly with his old friend. Giuliani, he says, is just “vocal” now that he doesn’t have to worry about “running for office.” .... How much damage will come from Giuliani’s 18-month romp through the swamps of money and power is now the question of the Trump presidency. Current and former senior Administration officials worry that he has been putting unsubstantiated Ukrainian conspiracy theories into Trump’s head and that Trump doesn’t know or understand that Giuliani has business interests that may be served by some of the advice he is giving the President. Most of all, they blame Giuliani for Trump’s push during a July 25 phone call to get the Ukrainian President to investigate Biden, a 2020 political rival. But Giuliani told TIME he is confident Trump won’t turn on him: “He’s 100% in my corner and loyal to me as I am to him.” Link👆
From my cover story in this week's issue of Time: 
That’s not to say Trump wasn’t furious he was being impeached. Trump hates having the I word attached to his legacy. But since it has become all but inevitable that the House will vote to impeach him, even if the GOP-controlled Senate keeps him in office, his campaign has kicked into gear to use the issue. When impeachment news is “whipped up into a frenzy,” campaign officials see a dramatic spike in small-dollar donations, in people clicking on Trump ads, and in voter data collected, the campaign’s director of communications Tim Murtaugh tells TIME. “Every time this happens, the President’s campaign gets bigger and stronger,” Murtaugh claims.

National polls don’t quite back that up, and Democrats have gambled that a high-wattage impeachment trial in the Senate will dampen enthusiasm for the President, ramp up Democratic voter turnout in 2020 and damage Trump’s re-election chances.

Across the country, public support for impeachment is about 5 points higher than opposition in most polls. If anything, polls indicate Republicans and Democrats have dug deeper into a stalemate over impeachment. Following a small dip after the impeachment investigation began in late September, Trump’s job approval has remained virtually unchanged since summer. Gallup polling in the first two weeks of November found that 43% of Americans approve of Trump, identical to his standing before Pelosi’s announcement. Link in bio.
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