At first blush, it would appear that ethically challenged House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, hasn’t a prayer in getting his hands on First Daughter’s White House correspondents along with her personal email and phone records, simply because of “executive privilege.”
Regardless of the 23 to 16 vote resolution passed on Thursday by the House to subpoena those documents from Ivanka Trump.
The resolution authorizes House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings to subpoena “records relating to the Committee’s investigation into the use of non-official electronic messaging accounts by non-career officials at the White House.”
The Washington Post reported in 2018 that Ivanka Trump inadvertently sent hundreds of emails regarding government business over the course of 2017 using her own personal email account rather than her work account.
Which she had acknowledged to White House counsel in 2018, who had reviewed the issue with Ivanka, and noted within a lengthy statement that the First Daughter at the time did not understand the rules governing private email use during the beginning of her tenure in the administration.
“While transitioning into government, after she was given an official account but until the White House provided her the same guidance they had given others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family,” the White House counsel concluded.
Fast forward three days after the embarrassing Mueller hearings and another corrupt Democratic leader namely Elijah Cummings. is once again attempting to harass another Trump, with a bogus demand for documents.
The embattled Maryland congressmen who’s currently facing his own ethics probe regarding allegations stemming from the congressmen’s wife regarding a charity and a for-profit consulting firm she owns and her alleged financial dealings that has drawn the attention of the IRS, along with a potential perjury charge, and the congressmen’s potential “pay for play” malfeasance mixing those chartable donations with the same individuals Cummings currently does business with in congress…which is both a conflict of interest along with an ethics violation
However that hasn’t stopped Cummings from harassing the First Daughter stating in a Thursday statement that the Committee “obtained direct evidence that multiple high-level White House officials have been violating the Presidential Records Act.”
Adding, that the Presidential Records Act “establishes public ownership of all presidential records and defines the term presidential records” and “requires that the President and his staff take all practical steps to file personal records separately from presidential records.”
Then in an ironic twist, considering what awaits Cummings the corrupt politician states “What we do not yet know is why these White House officials were attempting to conceal these communications.”
Adding “I don’t know how to say this any differently: We have laws, and the laws say we keep official records.”
“The Democrats are no closer to their goal of impeaching the President — in fact; I think they’re farther away. … But they don’t waste any time. … Now they’re going to go after the emails of the first family in an attempt to create an appearance of some type of controversy,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, said Thursday.
What’s seems clear is that the Mueller hearings although they proved disastrous for Democrats, hasn’t curtailed their insatiable appetite to impeach the President, regardless of what the latest polls say.
Democrats will lick their wounds, and press forward waiting for another controversy to once again gin up their radical base of malcontents to demand impeachment hearings, right up until they lose the White House, the Senate, and the House in 2020.
Democrats and their media allies spent the better part of two years falsely convincing much of the American public that Trump was guilty of criminal collusion with Russia and subsequently, obstruction of justice. You may recall how Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stated that he had seen the evidence among the documents that were provided to the Congress – although he was prohibited from sharing the details and the documents.
Democrats predicted – as fact – that Special Counsel would present the evidence. He did not – neither in his long-anticipated Report, his one and only press conference nor during his testimony before two committees of Congress.
Coming off the much hyped but ultimately disastrous congressional hearings with Mueller, Democrats are already looking for yet another bite at the apple. They are hoping to get former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify. They are now claiming that he will provide the evidence that failed to surface in the Mueller Report, the press conference and the hearings. They simply cannot accept that there is no there, there – at least in terms of criminal culpability.
What can be added that has not already been reported in the media ad infinitum?
Of course, the answer is “not much.” Many Democrats have long ago lost all hope of finding some smoking gun that will have the public clamoring for impeachment. But they have made some progress. Various polls suggest that public sentiment has shifted from 60 percent against impeachment to approximately 53 percent.
Democrats seem to believe that the more they can stage political performances with the same old script and the same characters, there is a chance that the public will bite on their stale bait.
So, how does McGahn fit into that strategy? A bit of retrospective will help.
As counsel to President Trump, McGahn was privy to Trump’s legal issues – official and personal. His more important role, however, was selecting all those conservative judges that Trump has been putting on the federal courts in record numbers – including two Supreme Court justices. But that is another story.
In terms of the Mueller investigation, McGahn is the person who advised Trump not to fire Mueller, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the chef at the Trump Tower.
Now this is where the plot thickens. Democrats contend that Trump ordered McGahn to fire Mueller– and they allege that such a command would constitute obstruction of justice. A more benign explanation is that Trump discussed such a possibility to gain McGahn’s legal advice. At any rate, despite every effort by Democrats to put words into Mueller’s mouth, the Special Counsel has refused — again, refused – to say that Trump is guilty of criminal obstruction. He left that decision to the Department of Justice.
The only thing that can be said for sure – factually – is that no one got fired. Mueller stated in his Report and subsequently testified that no one had hindered his investigation. In fact, Trump allowed McGahn to be interviewed by Mueller for more than 30 hours even though he could have claimed executive privilege to prevent such interrogation.
McGahn is mentioned 72 times in the Mueller Report – which in and of itself is not damning. To Democrats, that alone makes him an important witness. On the other hand, with so many references, it is unlikely that there is anything that McGahn can tell the Congress that has not already been summarized in the Report.
McGahn has shown no desire to testify and it is not certain that even a subpoena will get him before the committees of Congress. Even though McGahn is now a private citizen, Trump can exert executive privilege on information relating to McGahn’s days in the White House.
So far, McGahn is not responding to the congressional subpoena. Whether he will eventually be compelled to testify will have to be decided by the courts – and that could take months, even years to determine. But for now, McGahn appears to be the Democrats best chance to regurgitate the collusion and obstruction issues.
Maybe McGahn will testify before Congress. Maybe not. But in pursuing yet another staged event to put on the same production may be wearing thin with the public. It is starting to look like … excuse the expression … a witch-hunt.
So, there ’tis.
A newly released study of the electoral preferences of members of the French military and the gendarmes has demonstrated an increasing tendency to support national populist Marine Le Pen and her Rassemblement National (RN) or National Rally party.
An Ifop study which was conducted for the Jean Jaurès Foundation, examined communes with large amounts of soldiers living there compared to the average population and discovered that some, like Mailly-le-Camp, saw 50.4 percent voting for National Rally in this year’s European Parliament election, according to a report from Le Figaro.
The commune in Suippes where members of the French 40th Artillery regiment reside also had many more people voting for the National Rally with 45.5 percent support in 2019’s European election.
Additionally, the study examined locations with polling sites in urban areas close to gendarme barracks. Again, it was discovered that these locations had higher percentages of voters for Marine Le Pen and the RN than other parts of the city where polling sites were located.
In the town of Hyères in southern France, the difference between the gendarme vote for the National Rally and the city average was over 20 percent. In Toulouse and Dijon, the difference was 17.4 percent.
France’s police force has strongly supported Le Pen for years now. A 2017 Ifop study carried out just before the first round of presidential elections estimated that about 51 percent of gendarmes were likely to vote for Le Pen.
Although large numbers of rank and file police officers support Le Pen and her party, in 2017 the police union ‘Alliance’ made it clear that they were not backing. They also urged other police officers not to back the nationalist-populist politician for president.
But despite the call from the top, many officers mentioned at the time that they would go ahead and vote for Le Pen and the RN anyway.
Hungary has reached an agreement with Poland and Estonia to establish a warning mechanism against the UN Global Compact on Migration, enabling the countries to “move against such pro-migration proposals in their early phases, whether they are drawn up in the UN or in Brussels”.
Peter Szijarto, Hungary’s Foreign Minister, confirmed to Hungary’s MTI that the agreement had been reached with his Polish and Estonian counterparts, About Hungary reports.
On Monday, Szijarto said, “It has once again been made clear that pro-migration forces want to make the United Nations’ global migration compact, the world’s most dangerous migration document, mandatory.”
Last December, at the UN General Assembly, 152 countries voted in favor of the Global Migration Compact while five voted against it, 13 countries abstained, and 57 didn’t vote at all.
Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, the United States, and Israel – who all rejected the document last December – were also joined by Estonia in the most recent vote. Not one of the Visegrád countries backed the compact, with Slovakia choosing not to vote in the most recent vote.
Szijarto argued that anything approved by the United Nations essentially becomes part of international law and judicial practice. He also emphasized the need to fight “pro-migration proposals.”
The Visegrád (V4) countries have recently asserted their political will in ways that haven’t in the past. As an example, the Head of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office said last Thursday that Germany’s Ursula von der Leven couldn’t have been nominated as European Commission President without the support of the Visegrád countries.
In what is today a very rare show of bipartisanship – last week the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution opposing an international effort to boycott Israel as Democrats try to tamp down increasingly heated political rhetoric over differences with the longtime U.S. ally.
The resolution passed on a vote of 398-17.
Not surprisingly however, three high-profile members of “The Squad — Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., were among the 16 Democrats who voted against the resolution.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., was the only Republican to vote “no.”
Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., was one of five lawmakers who voted “present.”
The resolution puts the American lawmakers on record opposing the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and its efforts to target U.S. companies that do business with Israel. The movement has grown in recent years, and Israel sees it as a threat. Supporters of Israel view BDS as an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state.
Ilhan Omar has in the past displayed public support or BDS.
A Rare Bipartisan Resolution
In a House that many have called “dysfunctional” the resolution condemning BDS was a rare bipartisan moment. The resolution was introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill.; Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.; Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.; and Ann Wagner, R-Mo.
“A two-state solution remains the best way to justly resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ensure a future for two peoples living side-by-side in peace, security and prosperity,” the resolution said. “By denying the Jewish claim to a homeland, the BDS Movement is fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and pushes the cause of peace for both Israel and the Palestinians further out of reach. This resolution makes clear that Congress remains committed to a two-state solution and opposes zero-sum efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel.”
“We must reject the blatant anti-Semitics injected throughout BDS,” said Zeldin.
Omar Voting Against the Bill Should Surprise No One
According to the Associate Press, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., had promised lawmakers the bill would come up for a vote before the August recess in a bid to shield House Democrats from continued Republican efforts to attack them around the issue of Israel. Liberal lawmakers, most notably Omar and Tlaib, both newly elected Muslim-Americans, have spoken out in support of the BDS movement, as they criticize Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Omar, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, was among the only lawmakers to voice objection when the bill was included in a package the panel approved last week.
“What are we doing to bring peace? I believe that simple question should guide every vote we take in this committee,” said the freshman lawmaker, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia when she was a child and became a U.S. citizen.
Omar is known to be outspoken against Israel. She has made tweets and statements that were deemed to be anti-sematic. Omar once tweeted that lawmakers were supportive of the Jewish state because they were essentially being paid to do so. It was widely considered a slur that relied on a trope against Jewish people, and she later “unequivocally” apologized.
President Trump called her apology “lame” and Republicans have continued to stoke opposition to her views as part of the “squad” of liberal freshmen lawmakers. Trump stood by last week at a campaign rally as the crowd chanted about Omar, “Send her back” and has been targeting Omar and “The Squad” for their ultra-left, socialist beliefs of late.`
Over the last weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that there are “no indications” that Iran is willing to change its “malign behavior” as the Iranian regime continues to act aggressively on the world stage.
“In the end, the Iranians, the regime, has to make a decision that it wants to behave like a normal nation,” Pompeo told reporters during a press conference with Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno. “And if they do that, we’re prepared to negotiate across a broad spectrum of issues with no preconditions and I hope that they will do that.”
Pompeo added that the U.S. has tried to de-escalate the situation and create the space for negotiations, but added that “we have seen no indications that the Iranians are prepared to fundamentally change the direction of their nation, to do the things we’ve asked them to do with their nuclear program, their missile program, their malign behavior around the world.”
Seizure of UK Oil Tanker
The secretary of state’s remarks came one day after Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. Senior Iranian officials said that the seizure of the Stena Impero as well as the brief detainment of a second UK-flagged vessel were a “reciprocal” measure for the July 4 seizure of an Iranian tanker by British Royal Marines off the island of Gibraltar.
That official statement was in stark contrast to the message that was put out by the state-run news agency IRNA which claimed the British vessel was seized because it had “rammed an Iranian fishing boat.”
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said last week that he had spoken with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, and “it’s clear from talking to him and also statements made by Iran that they see this as a tit-for-tat situation … Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Hunt said the Iranian tanker that Britain had captured, the Grace1, was in clear violation of the European Union sanctions imposed on Iran, by carrying oil to Syria, making its detention in the waters of a Gibraltar, which is a British territory, perfectly legal.
On the other hand, “The Stena Impero was seized in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law,” Hunt said. “It was then forced to sail into Iran. This is totally and utterly unacceptable…”
“Our priority continues to be to find a way to de-escalate the situation,” the foreign secretary went on. ” … But, we need to see due process happening in Iran as well. We need to see the illegal seizing of a British-flagged vessel reversed, we need that ship released, and we continue to be very concerned about the safety and welfare of the 23 crew members.”
Maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz has deteriorated in recent weeks after six attacks on oil tankers that the U.S. has blamed on Iran – an allegation the Tehran government denies. The U.S. pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year and has imposed waves of economic sanctions on Tehran as part of an effort to curb Iranian aggression in the region.
President Trump said Friday that Iran is “nothing but trouble” shortly after the news broke of the seized tankers, though he remained hopeful the standoff will work out “very nicely.”
Trump added, Iran “is showing their true colors” by seizing the tankers and that it’s in “big trouble right now” due to the crushing sanctions imposed by the U.S.
Pompeo on Saturday said the administration holds out hope that Tehran will come to the negotiating table and further escalation of tensions can be avoided.
Schools in the U.K. will somehow need to find around 420,000 extra school places over the next ten years, thanks – at least in part – to a large baby boom among migrant mothers.
The Department of Education’s newest projections suggest that although “Direct immigration of pupils born outside the U.K. has a very small effect on the school-age population” in comparison to the birth rate, the birth rate “is in turn affected by any increase in the number of children born to non-U.K. born women (who overall tend to have higher fertility rates).”
A report which explains the fundamental methodology of the new figures describes that “Changes in the population who are of school age is largely driven by an increase in the birth rate rather than direct immigration,” but “that birth rate is in turn affected by any increase in the number of children born to non-UK born women (compared to those born to U.K.-born women).”
The government report also states, “The number of children born to non-U.K. born women increased by around 75 percent between 2002 and 2013 (the years in which many children currently in schools were born).” Writers of the report seem to attempt to downplay the significance of these figures by proposing that “this was a period of increased births generally.”
Some individuals like Neil Anderson, the executive director of Migration Watch U.K., seemed to suggest that the Department of Education was downplaying the extent of the problem, telling journalists at Breitbart that “Thousands of schools in England are bursting at the seams in the wake of the population boom, four-fifths of which has been driven since 2001 by massive levels of immigration.”
Mr. Anderson went on to tell journalists that it was apparent that “The net arrival of 250,000 people per year cannot but have a huge impact on school capacity.”
He added that it was “high time the Government started to deal with the problem by delivering on their promise to reduce immigration.”
In front of the last three election cycles, the Conservatives have promised the British people to reduce the net flow of non-E.U. immigration – the only kind of immigration that the U.K. government can actually control en masse – “from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands”
But over the years, Tory Party promises have continually proved to be empty. In fact, migration levels have now reached a 15-year high.
For a long time now many have suspected that the Conservatives are secretly opposed to reducing immigration.
In an editorial piece he wrote for the Evening Standard, former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had this to say: None of [the Cabinet’s] senior members supports the pledge [to drastically reduce net immigration] in private and all would be glad to see the back of something that has caused the Conservative Party such public grief.”
When the Internet went public 30 years ago, its key purpose was to help people access and share information.
“The World Wide Web project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system,” wrote Internet creator Tim Berner-Lee.
The Internet was always intended to facilitate the free exchange of information and ideas. Before Tim decided on the name “World Wide Web,” he considered titles such as “The Mine of Information” and “The Information Mesh.”
While the Internet has long since evolved past its original purpose, the World Wide Web continues to function as an invaluable source of information for the public. And while the government has long shied away from regulating that source, the public is now demanding the government step in to stop Big Tech’s censorship of conservative thought.
While the media has long since abandoned objective reporting for partisan reporting, all one must to do learn the other side of the story is switch the television from CNN to Fox.
It doesn’t work the same way online, where search engines and social media sites can push conservative stories out of view without consequence.
Roughly 66% of Americans get their news through social media.
“By almost any measure the giant tech companies today are larger, and more powerful, than Standard Oil was when it was broken up,” says Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R). “And if we have tech companies using the powers of monopoly to censor political speech, I think that raises real antitrust issues.”
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act allows social media companies to remove any content they consider “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.”
But based on court rulings, Section 230 is giving social media companies the power to remove users and content for any reason.
Critics argue that sites like Facebook and Twitter should not be covered by Section 230 because they are not behaving as neutral forums.
“Both Facebook and Twitter are currently considered to be open ‘publishers’ under Section 230…which exempts them from legal liability for the content posted on their websites,” explains conservative magazine Human Events. “However, it’s hard to argue that they are acting merely as bystanding ‘publishers’ when they are in fact operating as the exact opposite – promoting the ideas, posts, and people they agree with by allowing them to be viewed on their platforms and censoring the ideas, posts, and people with whom they do not agree.”
Conservatives’ fight with Big Tech exploded in 2016 when social media companies were accused of filtering content related to the presidential election.
A key example is Google, which was caught prioritizing negative search results for Donald Trump and prioritizing positive search results for Hillary Clinton. Last month, an investigation by the Daily Caller revealed a Google “blacklist” that keeps ‘inappropriate’ content from appearing in special search features. The blacklist includes conservative websites Breitbart, American Spectator, and The Gateway Pundit.
This sort of speech suppression is the ultimate fall from grace for the World Wide Web, which should be doing its best to preserve the First Amendment.
As Daily Caller contributor Alex Sears explains, conservatives are faced with a seemingly unsolvable problem: “How do we, as conservatives, handle a group of corporations – whose rules we agreed to – who are now stepping on our right to free speech?”
Of the few solutions to be presented, most favor a big government approach that is out of line with conservative principles. That leaves us with an impossible choice: Do we argue for zero regulation (thus paving the way for increased hate content and pornography) or do we swallow the pill and submit to terms and conditions that threaten freedom of speech?
Mr. Sears has an idea that falls somewhere in the middle.
Social media companies rely on their users to generate profit, so it makes sense for those users to be compensated. What Sears has proposed is legislation that requires tech companies to compensate individuals who are banned from their platforms.
“Any person who is banned from a platform must be paid whatever money that platform made from their activity, and the banned user must also be provided with a list of places their data was sold,” writes Sears.
In May, Facebook expelled conservative users Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Paul Nehlen.
“Reports are true. I have been banned by Facebook,” tweeted Watson, a right-leaning YouTube personality. “Was given no reason. I broke none of their rules. In an authoritarian society controlled by a handful of Silicon Valley giants, all dissent must be purged.”
The same month, Twitter banned a handful of conservatives including actor James Woods.
“How is it that James Woods is currently being banned on Twitter, but Jim Carrey is not? It’s certainly not any standard based on “hate,” wrote Senator Cruz. “Carrey’s latest Twitter ‘art’ shows Bill Barr drowning in a sea of vomit…How ‘bout we let everybody speak and the People decide?”
Under Sears’s proposal, Watson and Woods would receive compensation based on the money generated by their activity on Facebook and Twitter.
“This legislation would circumvent any terms document and give users more insight into the money-making aspect of social media,” explains Sears. “It would also allow companies to continue banning users but at a tangible cost.”
Sears’s proposal is bipartisan by its very nature and would likely kick-start a campaign to introduce better solutions. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is releasing quarterly reports of illegal aliens who’ve been arrested after local police denied detainer requests from ICE in an attempt to underline the dangers imposed on American communities by leftist ‘sanctuary city’ policies.
Recently, ICE released its first ‘Declined Detainer Report’, which includes an exhaustive list of illegal immigrants who were arrested on criminal charges after local jail facilities refused to honor ICE detainers and released them back into local communities instead. This detainer report pertains to those issued during the second quarter of the 2018 fiscal year – between January 1st and March 31st.
In an interview with Fox News, former acting ICE Director Ron Vitiello said, “So you have murders, you have people who did property crime, spousal abuse, driving under the influence, possession of narcotics — they came into the custody of local authorities and were released after ICE filed a detainer.”
“This is a danger to those communities, and [the detainer report] highlights what happen,” he continued.
Included in the detainer report are sixteen individuals – all illegal immigrants – who were arrested for an alleged crime, but were released into the community after local jails failed to honor detainer requests by ICE officials who believed they were living in the country unlawfully.
Every one of these individuals went on to re-arrested for additional crimes. Some of those crimes included rape and murder.
In the report, ICE officials write, “Cooperation between ICE and state and local law enforcement agencies is critical to the effort to identify and arrest removable aliens and defend the nation’s security. Every day, ICE places detainers on individuals who the agency has probable cause to believe are aliens who are removable from the United States and are currently in federal, state, and local law enforcement agency custody.”
In January of 2018, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) arrested a 30-year-old Mexican national on this list for possession of a controlled substance. That same month, ICE submitted a detainer for the individual, but the request ignored by the police department. After being released back into the community, just one month later, the Mexican citizen was arrested on murder charges.
In December of 2017, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office in California arrested a 28-year-old Mexican national for violating his terms of probation. ICE subsequently submitted a detainer for him, but the man was set free into the community after the sheriff’s department ignored it. The next month authorities arrested him on rape charges and other alleged crimes. Once again, he was able to leave jail and walk right back into the community after the ICE detainer was not honored.
Despite some recent controversy, President Donald J. Trump’s popularity among Republicans is bigger than ever. However, that has not stopped a former South Carolina lawmaker from possible challenging the President for the GOP nomination in 2020.
Former South Carolina congressman Mark Sanford is considering launching a bid for president just months after leaving office following President Trump urging Republican voters in the Palmetto State to reject Sanford’s re-nomination.
Speaking to the local newspaper, The Post and Courier, Sanford said that he is taking the next month to decide whether or not he’ll mount a challenge to Trump’s candidacy in the 2020 presidential election, where he would run on a platform focusing on curtailing the national debt and government spending.
“Sometimes in life you’ve got to say what you’ve got to say, whether there’s an audience or not for that message,” Sanford said.
According to Fox New, Sanford, who previously served as South Carolina’s governor, would still run as a Republican, and not an independent.
“I’m a Republican. I think the Republican Party has lost its way on debt, spending and financial matters,” he said.
An Uphill Battle for Any Republican Who Would Challenge Trump
If he does decide to mount a challenge against Trump for the Republican nomination, Sanford would face a ridiculously uphill battle for many reasons.
First there would be major logistical problems for Sanford. Not only would he run into opposition from the Republican Party for running against an incumbent who enjoys over 90% support within the party, but state Republicans would have to agree to hold primary elections and caucuses to allow Sanford to challenge Trump at the ballot box.
So far, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld is the only Republican to announce a challenge to Trump’s re-election hopes. Sanford said part of his hesitancy in running is that he is waiting to see if other high-profile Republicans – namely former Ohio Gov. John Kasich – plan on challenging Trump in a primary.
Another issue for Sanford is the memory of his extramarital affair – and his almost weeklong disappearance – with an Argentine journalist while he was serving as South Carolina governor in 2009. A spokesperson for Sanford first described his absence by saying the then-governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but he was actually in Buenos Aires.
The scandal led to an official censure by the South Carolina General Assembly and resulted in Sanford’s resignation as chair of the Republican Governors Association, but he did complete his second term as governor.
The scandal served as fodder for some taunting by the President. During his two years in Congress while Trump was president, the two had a rough relationship that culminated in Trump telling voters in South Carolina to vote for his primary challenger Katie Arrington and tweeting that Sanford is “better off in Argentina.” Arrington eventually lost the general election to Democrat Joe Cunningham.
A week after Sanford’s loss, Trump reportedly made fun of him during a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, where some Republicans allegedly booed the President. Trump denied the reports and insisted that those present “applauded and laughed loudly” when he mocked Sanford.
The President was not the only one to use Sanford’s indiscretions against him. “The last time Mark Sanford had an idea this dumb, it killed his Governorship,” Chairman of the South Carolina General Assembly, Drew McKissick said in a statement. “This makes about as much sense as that trip up the Appalachian trail.”