Right Turn

Morning Bits: Republicans are in retreat.


Rep. Mark Meadows (left) speaks with fellow Republican Jim Jordan in the Rayburn House Office Building. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Opinion writer

The resolution was never credible. Radical Republicans already are in retreat. “Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) says he is tabling his efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after having several meetings with Republican leadership, stating that he would instead pursue contempt if the Justice Department (DOJ) does not turn over documents Congress is seeking.” They look downright foolish.

The stock is in retreat. “Facebook shares fell 19% to $176.26, erasing about $99 billion in the company’s public market value. The loss in market cap is among the biggest-ever single-day drops. Including all shares outstanding, such as those owned by company officers and controlling interests, the drop represents a nearly $120 billion loss in value.”

Too bad the rest of his network has retreated from real journalism. “Shepard Smith Delivers Powerful Rebuke of Trump’s Attacks: ‘Journalists are NOT the Enemies of the People.’” Maybe Fox shouldn’t be featuring hosts who cheer the president’s attacks on the free press?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions beats a hasty retreat. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he should have mentioned that people are innocent until proved guilty before echoing a group of conservative high school students chanting ‘Lock her up!’ earlier this week.” He also defended Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. Better late than never to start acting like the country’s chief law enforcement official.

Despite the president’s barbs, special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III doesn’t retreat an inch. “The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter. Several of the remarks came as Mr. Trump was also privately pressuring the men — both key witnesses in the inquiry — about the investigation, and Mr. Mueller is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.” We’ve got a long way to go in this investigation.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) doesn’t retreat from his pointed criticism of the administration’s foreign policy. “Unfortunately, the environment that is created by the administration causes folks to have to know that always the President is going to watch everything that takes place and if there’s an ounce of daylight shown between them and him, they begin to be marginalized and over time, terminated, right? So, [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo knows that. He’s a smart guy and so his audience yesterday was not the committee. It was Trump. That was very apparent.” In doing so, he failed the country.

Trump is in retreat across the board. “The president moved to de-escalate his unpopular trade war, signaled that he’s no longer committed to shut down the federal government in October if the border wall isn’t fully funded and reluctantly relented on his rapprochement with Russia. . . .  Taken together, these developments reflect the degree to which official Washington has begun shifting into full-on campaign mode with just over 100 days left until the fall elections and the palpable fear among top Republicans that they will lose the House unless the current trajectory changes.” The GOP’s poll numbers must be dreadful.

Read more:

Jennifer Rubin: Maybe starting a trade war wasn’t the ‘greatest’ idea

Jennifer Rubin: If Republicans lose big, this will be why 

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