Trump Snub Fear: Government pleads with Prince Harry not to invite Barack Obama to his wedding (The Sun link): Government mandarins are urging Prince Harry not to invite the Obamas to his wedding for fear of infuriating Donald Trump. Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle have told aides they want the former US president and wife Michelle at their big day on May 19.
The 33-year-old prince has become good friends with the Obamas since bonding with them during the Invictus Games. But Britain’s relations with Trump’s White House have sunk to their lowest ebb since his election last year.
The property billionaire does not hide his loathing of Mr. Obama and is expected to be enraged if his predecessor gets the coveted call up when he won’t. The young Royal couple’s dislike of the new president is well known.
Meghan made disparaging comments about him on social media during his election campaign last year.
There are deep fears among senior Foreign Office and No10 officials that another perceived national snub will make it impossible for Theresa May to meaningfully engage with Trump.
A senior government source said: “Harry has made it clear he wants the Obamas at the wedding, so it’s causing a lot of nervousness. Trump could react very badly if the Obamas get to a Royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the Queen."
Russia Wants Americans To Doubt Mueller, Experts Warn (Newsweek link): Russian meddling in the 2016 election was apparently just the prequel. Now America’s former Cold War rival is using social media to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, a former CIA official and a former Republican congressman said Monday night.
Michael Morell, who ran the CIA, and Michael Rogers, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post that Russia is still busy using its social media tools to create doubt across the U.S. about Mueller’s integrity.
“There is a perception among the media and general public that Russia ended its social media operations following last year’s election and that we need worry only about future elections,” the pair wrote. “But that perception is wrong. Russia’s information operations in the United States continued after the election, and they continue to this day.”
During one week in early December, for example, roughly 20 percent of the activity from accounts tied to Russian intelligence for propaganda was focused on undermining faith in Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the successful campaign of Donald Trump, according to research by The Alliance for Securing Democracy.
Russia has also been busy criticizing the plea deal signed by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, with much of that activity focused on undermining Mueller as well.
Others have been warning about the possibility that Russia would attempt to influence the 2018 elections, but Morell and Rogers describe a consistent campaign by Russia to continue to shape U.S. political debate long before the election.
“Russian operatives have frequently targeted Republican politicians who have been critical of Trump, including Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) and Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.),” they wrote.
Graham has been more vocal in his support for Trump, and Corker and Flake have both announced that they would not be seeking re-election in 2018, facing the prospect of primary fights from Trump loyalists.
Trump Sets A Shocking Record For Laziness By Taking 5 Times More Vacation Days Than Obama (PoliticusUSA link): As 2017 draws to a close, Donald Trump has blown the record for presidential first year vacation days out of the water. Trump spent nearly one third (111 days) of his first year in office on vacation. In contrast, Barack Obama took 26 vacation days during the 1st year of his presidency.
According to CBS News’ Mark Knoller, Obama took 26 days of vacation during his first year. Trump took nearly three times more vacation days than Ronald Reagan, who took 42 vacation days during his first year in office. George H.W. Bush spent 40 days on vacation. George W. Bush took 69 days of vacation. On the opposite side of spectrum Democrat Jimmy Carter took just 19 days, and Bill Clinton had 21 days of vacation during their respective first years in office.
Trump claimed on the campaign trail that Hillary Clinton did not have the energy to be president, but now that he is in the White House, Trump is setting records for presidential laziness that may never be touched. George W. Bush set off a national firestorm by vacationing so frequently as president, but W. looks like a workaholic next to Trump.
Donald Trump’s biggest first-year accomplishment as president wasn’t the tax cut bill that was such low hanging fruit for a Republican-controlled Congress that even a trained chimp could have gotten it passed.
Trump’s biggest accomplishment in 2017 was reminding America that not everyone can be president. A President needs to show up for work and lead the country. Trump has failed on both of these measures, and when it is time to elect a president again in 2020 voters will not take for granted that they need to choose a president who will not treat the office like a paid vacation.