As President Trump meets with an actual, intelligence community-certified geopolitical foe Monday, his combative rhetoric may be costing America one of its closest allies.
In an interview with CBS News that aired Sunday, anchor Jeff Glor asked Trump to name the U.S.'s "biggest foe globally right now." In response, Trump named Russia, China, and the European Union, for "what they do to us in trade." "You wouldn't think of the European Union [as a foe]," he said, "but they're a foe."
The comments prompted pushback from Germany on Monday, as Trump was meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin behind closed doors. "We can no longer completely rely on the White House," German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass told reporters Monday, per Reuters. "To maintain our partnership with the U.S.A. we must readjust it." German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been considered the de facto head of the EU since becoming chancellor in 2005.
Trump has threatened steep tariffs on auto imports from the EU, and his "foe" comments additionally follow the highly contentious NATO summit last week, where he threatened to withdraw American support from the alliance and pressed treaty members to rapidly and substantially increase their defense spending. Merkel called the summit "very intense" at the time, though she did call for Germany to up its defense contributions to the alliance. Kimberly Alters
It's unclear what prompted President Trump's mean tweet about former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman on Tuesday morning, but he sent this short diatribe exactly 18 minutes after CBS This Morning posted a new recording from Manigault Newman that purports to lend credence to her claim that the president was recorded saying the N-word.
When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2018
Trump's new attacks on Omarosa — "crazed, crying lowlife" and "dog" — follow earlier tweets in which he called her a "loser" and "not smart." In other words, as author Isaac Fitzgerald noted in response to Trump's tweet, the president's not doing much to undermine Manigault Newman's assertion that he's a racist. Peter Weber
Who needs tapes? https://t.co/cyABHGVyO9
— Isaac Fitzgerald (@IsaacFitzgerald) August 14, 2018
Omarosa drops a new tape purportedly proving the Trump campaign knew about Trump's rumored N-word video
On Monday night, former Trump campaign officials Lynne Patton and Katrina Pierson unequivocally denied a claim in Omarosa Manigault Newman's White House tell-all, Unhinged, that they participated in an October 2016 conference call to discuss the potential fallout from a video of then-candidate Trump saying the N-word. On Tuesday morning, Manigault Newman dropped a new tape.
"CBS has not been able to verify the authenticity of the tape, but it does appear to confirm Omarosa's claims that Trump campaign officials were aware of this tape, in which then-candidate Trump used a racial slur, and they talked about how to handle it," CBS's Weijia Jiang said on This Morning. Then she played the tape, which features Patton — now a top Housing and Urban Development official — Pierson, and former campaign communications director Jason Miller.
POTUS says former White House staffer @Omarosa lied when she called him a racist who has said the N-word on tape. But a new recording, obtained by @CBSNews overnight, seems to back up Omarosa's story that several Trump advisers discussed an alleged tape during the 2016 campaign. pic.twitter.com/tV3R6P2TvE
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 14, 2018
This doesn't look great for Patton and especially Pierson, but the conversation could theoretically be about some other potential Trump scandal caught on tape, or perhaps Manigault Newman doctored the recordings. Also, none of the three claims to have heard the tape, though none of them seem overly surprised that their boss used a terrible racial slur, either. Peter Weber
Aretha Franklin, the legendary soul and pop singer, is in hospice care at her home, gravely ill and surrounded by family, a source close to Franklin tells CNN's Don Lemon. A friend of Franklin, 76, tells People she has "been ill for a long time" and her friends and family have been warned that her "death is imminent." But nephew Tim Franklin was more positive. "She's alert, laughing, teasing, able to recognize people," he told People. "Family is there with her" at home, he said, adding: "She's watching TV, so God forbid she sees all of this 'Aretha's dead,' so I don't want to dampen her spirits on that. ... We believe she'll pull through it, she believes she'll pull through it, and that's the important thing."
Franklin's professional singing career goes back to her first record deal in 1960, and by 1968 she had sealed her fame with hits like "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." She released her final album, A Brand New Me, last year, right after announcing her retirement, and her last known performance was at a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in November 2017. Peter Weber
These are the races to watch in Tuesday's primaries in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Vermont
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Vermont are holding primary elections on Tuesday. Republicans in key races in the upper Midwest have been battling over who can most forcefully renounce their former criticisms of President Trump, while Democrats are fighting to reverse recent losses in Wisconsin and hold off a Republican challenge in the race to replace outgoing, unpopular Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D).
In Wisconsin, eight Democrats are fighting to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R), with state schools chief Tony Evers the best known of the candidates. Two Republicans, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) and Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson, are battling to face Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D), and both parties have competitive races to replace House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) — Democrats will chose between iron worker Randy "Iron Stache" Bryce and Janesville school board member Cathy Myers, while former Ryan staffer Bryan Steil faces off against four lesser-known Republicans.
Vermont Democrats have four choices to challenge Gov. Phil Scott (R), including a transgender woman, former energy executive Christine Hallquist, and 14-year-old Ethan Sonneborn. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is expected to win the Democratic primary, then renounce the nomination and run as an independent.
In Minnesota, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is vying for a shot at his old seat against Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, and the Democrats running to replace outgoing Gov. Mark Dayton (D) include Rep. Tim Walz (D), Attorney General Lori Swanson, and state Rep. Erin Murphy. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), appointed to replace former Sen. Al Franken (D), is running to finish Franken's term, and she will face Richard Painter, former ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush. The winner's likely Republican challenger will be state Sen. Karin Housley. The race for state attorney general has been roiled by a domestic abuse allegation against Democratic frontrunner Rep. Keith Ellison. Peter Weber
At a little after 7:30 Tuesday morning in London, a car crashed into a security barrier outside Britain's Parliament building, injuring at least two pedestrians, neither seriously. There was a large and rapid response from armed police officers, and the male driver was arrested without incident. "While we are keeping an open mind," Scotland Yard said in a statement, "the Met's Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation into the Westminster incident." Parliament is not in session, but the area around Parliament Square and subway stations in the area were closed to the public.
BBC staffer Barry Williams told BBC News he witnessed the crash. "The car went onto the wrong side of the road to where cyclists were waiting at lights and ploughed into them," he said. "Then it swerved back across the road and accelerated as fast as possible and hit the barrier at full pelt. It was a small silver car and he hit it at such speed the car actually lifted off the ground and bounced. Then the police just jumped. Two officers managed to leap over the security barriers and then the armed police vehicles all sped towards the scene." Security barriers around Parliament were beefed up after a driver deliberately plowed into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge in March 2017, killing four people. Peter Weber
"We know that diplomacy isn't President Trump's 'thing,'" Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, but neither, apparently, is geography or the concept of time zones. That means, according to a former National Security Council official, Trump wants to call world leaders at all hours, not grasping that noon in Washington is 1 a.m. in Tokyo. And when he finally learned that Bhutan and Nepal were the "stuff" between India and China, "Trump referred to Bhutan as 'button' and mispronounced Nepal as 'nipple,'" Colbert said, laughing. "Then, word is, he then touched the map without its consent."
Trump looks at these mistakes as just doing things his way, according to one aide. "But it is important that the most powerful man in the world knows what countries are in that world," Colbert said, "so tonight we're here to help." He brought out a world map and tried to rename the world in a way he thought Trump might remember. And he didn't even have to change the name Djibouti. Watch below. Peter Weber
In pushing back against damaging new claims by former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman, the Trump administration confirmed reports that President Trump had White House staffers sign nondisclosure agreement (NDAs). On Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told ABC News that NDAs are "typical" in offices and "we've all signed them in the West Wing," and Trump tweeted Monday: "Wacky Omarosa already has a fully signed Non-Disclosure Agreement!" This raises a lot of questions. Here are five:
1. What does the White House NDA say? Several Trump aides told The Washington Post it prohibits sharing any confidential or nonpublic information outside of the White House at any time. It specifically "prohibited top aides from disclosing confidential information in any form including books, without the express permission of the president," a former administration official tells Politico. And violators "would have to forfeit to the U.S. government any royalties, advances, or book earnings."
2. Are these NDAs enforceable? Most legal experts say no, because muzzling government employees would violate the First Amendment. Also, public employees "are supposed to serve the public and the institution of the president, not any one particular person," Politico explains.
3. Did Manigault Newman sign one? She says she refused. She did, however, apparently sign a stricter NDA to work on the Trump campaign and, according to The Daily Mail, the Trump 2020 campaign plans to sue her for breach of that agreement.
4. So which White House employees did? Conway suggests she was one of the "dozens of seniors aides" who signed the NDA, some after being told it was unenforceable, The Washington Post reports. Still, any officials who did sign away the right to say anything negative about Trump for years or forever "probably shouldn't be given a platform — on, say, a cable news channel — to opine about Trump," notes The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last, "because you're not allowed to say what you really think."
5. If the NDA is toothless, does it matter? Yes, Last argues, because "the purpose of an NDA isn't to be enforced — it's to obstruct the revelation of information by making such revelations costly." Peter Weber