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September 16, 2018

President Trump on Twitter last week repeatedly denied study results which found about 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico in connection to Hurricane Maria and its aftermath last year, and NBC's Chuck Todd is on the case.

He grilled Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Brock Long on the subject Sunday, asking whether FEMA accepts that estimate or if Brock believes the president's claim that Democrats commissioned the study to make him look bad. Long gave a scattershot of answers, including:

  • "So, the numbers are all over the place."
  • "FEMA doesn't count deaths."
  • "The deaths that are verified by the local county coroners are the ones that we take."
  • "One death is a death too many."
  • "[O]ne thing about President Trump is, is that he is probably the one president that has had more support for what goes on back here."
  • "I don't know why the studies were done."

In perhaps his most unfortunate turn of phrase, Long noted that "spousal abuse goes through the roof" after a natural disaster," and added, "You can't blame spousal abuse, you know, after a disaster on anybody." Well, anybody except the spousal abuser.

Watch an excerpt of Long's comments below, and read his full remarks in context here. Bonnie Kristian

September 16, 2018

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) — who won his seat in a special election against Republican Roy Moore, who was credibly accused of sexual misconduct toward multiple women and girls as young as 14 — does not expect the anonymous sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh to derail his Supreme Court confirmation.

Speaking on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, Jones told host Jake Tapper he thinks Kavanaugh's nomination process will proceed. "There's really not much that can be done," he said, "unless this person comes forward, and you can see this and talk to the person who wrote that letter."

Tapper pressed Jones for his thoughts on fellow Senate Democrats' two-month delay in bringing the allegation to light, as the accuser first contacted lawmakers including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in July. "Well, I think it should have been brought up, at least behind closed doors," Jones replied. "I mean, it's a really serious allegation," he continued. "I wish someone had talked about it early on. It could have maybe been cleared up."

Watch Jones' comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian

September 16, 2018

President Trump's diplomatic overtures are "the last best chance for peace" between the United States and North Korea, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Face the Nation Sunday.

The hawkish senator was responding to a question from CBS host John Dickerson, who asked about the accuracy of a passage in Bob Woodward's new book. Per Woodward, Dickerson said, Trump "was one tweet away from suggesting moving [military] dependents out [of South Korea], and that was read at the Pentagon, that if he sent that tweet out it would've look like an act of war."

"[O]nce you start moving dependents out of South Korea, that's a signal to everybody that we're running out of time," Graham said. "We're not out of the woods yet when it comes to North Korea ... [but] we have some time. Are they playing us? I don't know. If they're playing Trump, we're going to be in a world of hurt, because he's going to have no options left. This is the last best chance for peace right here."

While U.S.-North Korea talks are at something of a standstill at present, North and South Korea have continued to build a more positive relationship. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is again meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this coming week.

Watch Graham's comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian

September 9, 2018

"Do you think when the entire [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller investigation is finished that they will demonstrate that there was collusion between the Trump campaign, Trump advisers, and the Russians?" ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos on This Week Sunday.

"You know what, George, I have no idea," Papadopoulos replied. "All I can say is that my testimony might have helped move something towards that, but I have no idea." He was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison, a $9,500 fine, and 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

Stephanopoulos also pressed his interviewee on the question of allegiance, as Papadopoulos in court filings blamed his behavior on "a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master," President Trump. "I'm loyal to my country first and foremost, and that's actually why I decided to cooperate with the special counsel," Papadopoulos said, before adding his hope that Trump has "all the luck in the world."

Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

September 9, 2018

"What are your plans to sit for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller?" CBS host Margaret Brennan asked Vice President Mike Pence on Face the Nation Sunday. "I would be more than willing to continue to provide any and all support in that," Pence said, "and we have outside counsel that will advise me accordingly."

The vice president reported Mueller has asked his office for other information already but has not requested an interview. Mueller's investigation is "not the president's focus," Pence continued, a difficult claim to credit given President Trump's regular all-caps tweets on the subject.

Watch a clip of Pence's remarks below. Bonnie Kristian

September 2, 2018

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) visited CNN's State of the Union Sunday to reminisce about the third of their "three amigos," the late Sen. John McCain, and to discuss the impassioned eulogy and implicit critique of President Trump delivered by his daughter Meghan.

"She is her father's daughter," Graham said. "If you say something bad about her dad, you will know it, whether you're the janitor or the president of the United States. She is grieving for the father she adored. I think most Americans understand that, and I am just so proud of the young lady she has become."

"Yesterday, I was a very proud 'uncle.' ... By the nature of his life, she is called on to make a very public, global statement," Lieberman argued. "She did it magnificently, and she did it the way her dad would want her to do it. And, you know what, she was direct — the way John was."

Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

September 2, 2018

Senate Democrats on Sunday slammed the Trump administration's decision to withhold more than 100,000 pages on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's record, citing executive privilege.

"If we're lucky, we will see 6 percent of all of the documents that could be produced to reflect on Kavanaugh's position on issues," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Fox News Sunday. "[President Trump] is saying and the White House is saying, 'The American people have no right to know.'"

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) likewise said on Meet the Press that it "isn't normal [that] we are not able to see 100,000 documents ... because the administration has said we can't see them."

Klobuchar noted that there are an additional 148,000 documents that have been shared with senators but not made public, adding that "you could ask some very interesting questions about these documents, that I'm unable to even say because I'm not able to make them public." Watch a clip of her comments below. Bonnie Kristian

August 26, 2018

The late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "had an outsized impact on Congress his entire time there, particularly in the last several years," McCain's fellow Arizonan, Sen. Jeff Flake (R), said on Face the Nation Sunday.

"He was the conscience of the Senate," Flake continued. "He really was. And so I don't think you can overstate the importance or impact."

Flake said McCain's invitation to two former campaign rivals — former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — to speak at his funeral "says all you need to know about John McCain." "He was quick to forgive," Flake said, and "certainly put the good of the country above himself."

See a clip of Flake's Face the Nation comments below, as well as an excerpt of his appearance, also discussing McCain's life and death, on Meet the Press. Bonnie Kristian

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