Rahm Emanuel, who served as Barack Obama’s chief of staff as well as Chicago mayor, says Donald Trump will be out for revenge against Republicans who have crossed him.
He told ABC’s This Week that Trump “won’t run [for president in 2024], but he is going to spend the next two years on retribution … He is going after every Republican that either said something bad, or voted against them.”
Rahm also suggested Republicans’ decision to ignore Trump’s flaws contributed to their loss of power in Congress.
“[Republicans] didn’t want to cut him off. He made a Faustian bargain with them. And that’s what’s coming to the Republican Party,” Emanuel added. “1932 … was the last time a party – that is the Republicans – lost the presidency, the Senate and the House. That’s how far back you go for this moment in time to have a corresponding point in history.”
Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the US, says that schools need more financial help before they can reopen fully. Fauci was appearing on ABC’s This Week and said that a new stimulus bill was crucial to give schools the resources they need to ensure the safety of pupils and teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think that the schools really do need more resources and that’s the reason why the national relief act that we’re talking about getting passed – we need that”, Fauci said during his appearance on Sunday morning. “The schools need more resources.”
Fauci has been keen for schools to reopen when it is safe to do so, citing the negative effects on children’s development from studying at home.
“I think it can be done. I mean, obviously it’s not a perfect situation, but it’s really important to get the children back to school in a safest way as possible. Safe for the children, but also safe for the teachers and the other educators,” Fauci said.
There has been concern in the US – and around the world – that some vaccines may be less effective against new strains, such as the South African variant. However, Fauci expressed confidence in vaccines, even against new strains of the virus.
“We do know that it evades the protection from some of the monoclonal antibodies and it diminishes somewhat the capability and the effectiveness of the vaccine to block it. It doesn’t eliminate it but it diminishes it by multiple fold. There’s still some cushion left so that the vaccine does provide some protection against it,” Fauci said.
Illinois senator Dick Durbin is the latest of a number of Democrats to say Mitch McConnell’s decision to vote against convicting Donald Trump in his impeachment trial was crucial.
“We were never going to reach 67 votes in the Senate without Mitch McConnell voting guilty. So he went up on the floor afterwards, he basically gave the speech that [lead impeachment manager] Jamie Raskin would have given to the Senate, and then tried to justify his vote for acquittal,” Durbin told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. Despite his decision not to convict, McConnell gave a withering speech after the trial condemning Trump’s conduct.
Durbin said the trial meant that Trump’s conduct around the riots would be recorded forever. “I think Jamie Raskin and the House managers made that record with clarity, even, let’s be honest with you, even Mitch McConnell acknowledged that last night, in his speech,” Durbin added. “So we have that record and that’s the important historic record to show this generation of doubters and any future generation.”
Some have suggested Democrats were keen to speed up the trial so they can push through Joe Biden’s Covid-19 relief bill as soon as possible.
“That wasn’t the element here. And I do want to make this point: we are working with President Biden on the priorities of the American people, dealing with this pandemic, dealing with the economy, providing cash payments to American citizens to help them through this tough period,” Durbin said. “So what we did with this impeachment trial was not at the expense of President Biden’s priorities. We’ll be returning to them quickly when we come back to Washington.”
It was always unlikely that enough Republican senators would join Democrats to convict Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. But Democratic senator Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager in Trump’s trial, insists the process was still worth the effort, calling it “a dramatic success in historical terms.”
“We have no regrets at all. We left it totally out there on the floor of the US Senate, and every senator knew exactly what happened. And just go back and listen to McConnell’s speech,” Raskin said on Sunday during an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press.
“Everybody was convinced of the case we put forward, but, you know, as the defense lawyer said, just pick any one of these phony constitutional defenses, and then you can justify it,” he added.
“It could be first amendment, it could be bill of attainder, it could be due process. I mean all of them are nonsense. I thought that I successfully demolished them at the trial but, you know, there’s no reasoning with people who basically are, you know, acting like members of a religious cult and when they leave office should be selling flowers at Dulles Airport.”
Raskin believes that Trump will continue to influence US politics, despite his loss in November’s election. “He’s obviously a major political problem for the Republican Party, and as long as he’s out there, attempting to wage war on American constitutional democracy, he’s a problem for all of us,” he said.
Guardian columnist Lloyd Green has written about the future of the Republican party after Donald Trump’s acquittal on Saturday:
What was once the proud party of Lincoln and Reagan is now a Trump family rag – something to be used and abused by the 45th president like his bankrupt companies, namesake university and hapless vice-president, Mike Pence.
If the impeachment trial established anything, it is that Trump risked turning Pence into a corpse and ultimately went unpunished. That hangman’s noose was built to be used.
Yet even the former vice-president has remained mum and his brother, Greg Pence, a congressman from Indiana, voted against impeachment. Talk about taking one for the team.
In the end, devotion to a former reality show host literally trumped life itself. The mob belongs to Trump – as the Capitol police can attest. So much for the GOP’s embrace of “law and order”. When it mattered most, it counted least.
You can read the full column below:
Delaware’s Democrat senator Chris Coons suggested fear of backlash from voters stopped more of his Republican colleagues from voting to convict Donald Trump at his latest impeachment trial.
“I’m fairly certain there would have been a vote to convict with a secret ballot,” he said on Sunday during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “Ultimately it’s in the hands of the American people. But I do think the Republican Party is deeply divided right now. And I’m grateful for the seven Republican senators and 10 Republican House members who stood up for the Constitution and stood up to President Trump.”
He also said that senate minority leader Mitch McConnell influence was crucial in influencing his Republican colleagues. “Once Mitch McConnell made it clear he intended to acquit, even despite the compelling evidence, what the House managers needed wasn’t more witnesses or more evidence, what we all needed was more Republican courage,” said Coons.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson has characterised Donald Trump’s impeachment and acquittal on a charge of inciting insurrection against his own government as “toings and froings and all the kerfuffle”.
Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, Johnson was asked what signal the acquittal of a president who stoked violence while casting doubt on a free election would send to the rest of the world.
“The clear message that we get from the proceedings in America,” the prime minister said, “is that after all the toings and froings and all the kerfuffle, American democracy is strong and the American constitution is strong and robust.”
Five people died as a direct result of the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters, who the president told to “fight like hell” in his attempt to overturn election defeat by Joe Biden, on 6 January.
In the former president’s second impeachment trial, House prosecutors showed chilling footage of lawmakers being hustled to safety by Capitol police.
Members of the pro-Trump mob chanted “hang Mike Pence” as they searched for Trump’s vice-president. Some erected a gallows outside the Capitol.
Constitutional experts have not been as sure as Johnson that the episode painted America’s 233-year-old system of government in such a positive light.
Andrew Rudalevige of Bowdoin College told Axios: “Congress not even pushing back against a physical assault suggests that there’s a lot they will put up with.”
While Trump was in office, Johnson cleaved so close to the president and his populist policies and style that Biden was reported to have called the prime minister “the physical and emotional clone of Donald Trump”.
Asked on Sunday if he was concerned he and the new president might “start off on the wrong foot”, Johnson avoided the question.
“I’ve had,” he said, “I think, already two long and very good conversations with the president and we had a really good exchange, particularly about climate change and what he wants to do.”
Johnson also said the UK was “delighted now, I’m very delighted, to have a good relationship with the White House, which is an important part of any UK prime minister’s mission.”
Read the full story below:
Barack Obama has marked Valentine’s Day by paying tribute to his wife and daughters: “Happy Valentine’s Day to the three who never fail to make me smile. Your dazzling light makes everything brighter.” Meanwhile, his successor, Donald Trump, issued his own Valentine’s Day message on Twit… Ah.
Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator who once predicted Donald Trump would “destroy” the Republican party before becoming one of his closest allies, says Trump is “excited” about the GOP’s future.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Graham said that Trump “was grateful to his lawyers, he appreciated the help that all of us have provided”. He added that Trump is “ready to move on and rebuild the Republican party, he’s excited about 2022 and I’m going to go down to talk with him next week.”
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell did not vote to convict Trump at the impeachment trial, but gave a withering speech afterwards, condemning the former president. Graham insisted on Sunday that McConnell’s speech was “an outlier regarding how Republicans feel about all this”.
He added that it may come back to haunt Republicans: “I think Senator McConnell’s speech, he got a load off his chest, but unfortunately put a load on the back of Republicans,” Graham said. “That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns, I would imagine if you’re a Republican running in Georgia, Arizona, New Hampshire where we have a chance to take back the Senate, they may be playing Senator McConnell’s speech and asking you about it if you’re a candidate.”
As for Trump’s baseless claims that the presidential election was fixed, Graham said they “are not sound and not true” but were also part of “politically protected speech”.
Bill Cassidy was one of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Donald Trump at his impeachment travel. On Sunday, the Louisiana senator appeared on ABC’s This Week and was asked why he voted to convict Trump.
“If you describe insurrection, as I did, it’s an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, we can see the president for two months after the election promoting that the election was stolen, people still tell me they think Dominion rigged those machines, with Hugo Chavez from Venezuela, that is not true, and all the news organizations that promoted that have retracted.
“He then scheduled the rally for January 6th, just when the transfer of power was to take place. And he brought together a crowd, but a portion of that was transformed into a mob. And when they went into the Capitol, it was clear that he wished that lawmakers be intimidated. And even after he knew there was violence taking place, he continued to basically sanction the mob being there. And not until later did he actually ask them to leave.
“All of that points to a motive and a method and that is wrong, he should be held accountable.”
Cassidy, like all seven of the Republican senators who voted to convict Trump, received backlash in his home state. He said that many people in Louisiana agreed with his decision, adding “I was elected to uphold an oath to support and defend the Constitution. The majority of the people in Louisiana want that to be the case. And I have respected that trust. I have voted to support and defend the Constitution.”
Maryland’s governor Larry Hogan has been on Meet The Press this morning, and has been pretty vocal about how he feels he would have voted if he had been in the Senate, and what the future holds for the Republican party post-Trump trial. He told NBC:
I think the argument was pretty convincing. I’m not in the Senate but I think I probably would have voted with some of my colleagues that were on the losing side. I was very proud of some of the folks who stood up and did the right thing. It’s not always easy. In fact, it’s sometimes really hard to go against your base and your colleagues to do what you think is right for the country.
On the “hostile takeover” of the Republican party, and whether it can be a force without distancing themselves from Trump and his supporters, Hogan said:
I don’t think they can. I think that if they really want to win competitive seats and in purple states and if they want to win suburban districts, if we want to somehow get back the House and the Senate, if we want to win a presidential election. They’re going to have to start building coalitions like we’ve done here in one of the bluest states in the country, where you can have a message that appeals to more people.
Hogan said, however, that he was not ready to abandon the party he said he had spent his whole life working for. Hogan’s father Lawrence was the only Republican in the House to vote for all three articles of impeachment against then-president Richard Nixon in 1974.
Emma Brockes writes for us this morning that it is hard to know what to be most angry about:
It should have helped, perhaps, that the result was anticipated before the trial even got under way. There was no suspense, no surprise; the votes needed to convict were never there. Nor, seemingly, was the appetite for investigation: both sides agreed at the 11th hour not to call witnesses and draw this thing out.
There is a point, of course, which is to enter into public record a detailed, forensic account of what happened at the Capitol on 6 January, even if it didn’t result in conviction. This hurried process and hasty conclusion instead felt like a shrug, an afterthought, leaving us with little more than a flat sense of disgust and latent fury with nowhere to go.
What to be angry about most? Perhaps it was the absurdity of Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader who led a blistering attack on Trump minutes after voting to acquit him. This vote, said McConnell, was a result of what he labelled a period of “intense reflection”, which is certainly one way to describe political cowardice.
Or perhaps the most galling figure was Mitt Romney. He was one of the seven Republicans voting against Trump, a stance less evident four years ago when he sucked up to him for a place in the cabinet, or more recently, when he voted to rush through confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court.
If anything, the Republicans who voted with the Democrats on Saturday seemed worse than their Trump-supporting counterparts: these were the people who, one understood, had always had the measure of the man, but while it suited them had gone happily along with him.
Read more of Emma Brockes’ column here: With Trump’s acquittal, it’s hard to know what to be most angry about