Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that the leaked release of a document from President Trump’s 2005 tax return is wholly insufficient to answering questions about the president’s business interests.
“It’s two pages of one year. What happened over ten years? There might have been a year he was good,” he said, “But much more importantly, where’s he getting all this money from? The key question here is are there Russian sources, and might those have affected or will affect President Trump?”
Schumer went on to say that Trump’s behavior toward Russian president Vladimir Putin has been “much softer” than that of other Republican politicians.
“The question is why? When he makes a deal with Russia, whatever it is, you don’t want anyone suspecting it’s done because he has hotels there,” he said.
Laura Ingraham said on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Tuesday she thinks President Donald Trump is not fully behind the Republican plan to revise the Affordable Care Act since the bill is not “popular” among conservatives and moderates alike.
“I think he’s given orders to fix this if possible,” Ingraham argued. “The fact that he doesn’t want his name on this from the very beginning… he’s a brand guy and if this brand is going down he doesn’t want to be tagged with it, and that’s why you see the shift over to this is going to be Ryan’s game to fix or to start over.”
In an intensive effort, the White House is trying to salvage support for the GOP plan a day after the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis showing 14 million fewer Americans would be insured next year under the GOP plan.
“He [Vice President Pence] is making the rounds in conservative media and it’s not popular and I think Donald Trump wants this to be popular and I don’t blame him,” added Ingraham. “I think he’s seeing the threads are slowly coming unraveled.”
Mollie Hemingway told viewers Monday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that new figures about the American Health Care Act come from an office that is “notoriously bad” when it comes to such estimates.
Earlier, the Congressional Budget Office released its estimate that the GOP health care plan would decrease the budget deficit by $337 billion over a 10 year period. It also estimated that under the plan, 14 million people would lose health care coverage next year – a number that would grow to 24 million people in the next decade.
Hemingway cited previous examples of CBO problems.
“Think back to 2010 when they said that under Obamacare you would have 23 million Americans insured. It is actually 12 million this year,” she said. “They also made a forecasting error so they dramatically underestimated the cost of Medicaid. So we need to keep these things in mind as we are talking about this scoring as well.”
The Congressional Budget Office released their score of the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – the Republican placement is called the American Health Care Act.
The CBO projects the AHCA will reduce the federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period. The CBO writes “the largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidies for nongroup health insurance.”
The Republican replacement would increase the number of uninsured people by 14 million by 2018 and 24 million by 2026 – “an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law” – according to the new report.
Under the Republican’s American Health Care Act, by 2026 “premiums in the nongroup market would be 20 percent to 25 percent lower for a 21-year-old and 8 percent to 10 percent lower for a 40-year-old – but 20 percent to 25 percent higher for a 64-year old.”
The average premiums for single policyholders would also increase by 15 percent to 20 percent due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalties.
Additionally, the CBO estimates an 18 percent increase in premiums under the new GOP healthcare bill.
The Congressional Budget Office’s new score projects a reduction in the deficit, but this new score will be tough to sell to conservative Republicans and Democrats because of the increase in uninsured and rising premiums.
(Video above from Bret Baier's interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan following release of CBO report)
Conservative Author, Laura Ingraham said Thursday on "Special Report with Bret Baier" that many conservatives like Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas want the Health Care Replacement to be done right. "Tom Cotton says why the rush, you kind of get the sense it's a bum's rush to push this thing through as fast as they are."
Ingraham said most conservatives just want "get this right and really do it right." She continued by saying "the longer this thing goes on the harder it's going to be for them to pass it."
President Donald Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare when he got in office but Ingraham said that as it stands now many conservatives think it doesn't bring costs down and for fiscal conservatives "this doesn't do it for them."
Senior White House officials say the health care bill is open for negotiation and could possibly be changed along the way to passage. And when the final bill is presented, the administration and the congressional leadership will make it a binary choice if you vote for it or you watch Obamacare collapse and insurance companies flee this year.
The question now is does President Trump have any leverage on skeptical Republicans or even some Democrats to push the health care bill across the finish line? Senior officials say the President will make a number of trips to push the healthcare bill. The White House is not yet confirming a trip Saturday but the "Louisville Courier Journal" is reporting officials there are preparing for a presidential visit to Kentucky.
Kentucky is, of course, home to Senator Rand Paul, one of the most vocal critics of the American Health Care Act as it stands today. Worth noting that candidate Donald Trump won 118 of Kentucky's 120 counties in November, six more counties than sitting Senator Rand Paul won in his reelection bid.
That election math may play out with House members too. For the Conservative Freedom Caucus, candidate Trump overwhelmingly won each member's district and their state as well. And Trump actually got more votes than several of the representatives in the caucus.
In Freedom Caucus Chairman Congressman Mark Meadows district--North Carolina's 11th congressional district-- President Trump won 16 of the 16 counties , 76 of 100 counties in North Carolina, and he came just shy of the congressman's vote total in that district.
In Florida's sixth district, candidate Trump got more votes than Freedom Caucus Congressman Ron DeSantis, winning all four of the four counties in that district, 58 of 67 in Florida.
In West Virginia's second district, candidate Trump got almost 20,000 more votes than Freedom Caucus Congressman Alex Mooney, overwhelmingly winning all 17 counties in that district in West Virginia.
It is not just the leverage on health care, but also on the Judge Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court. The pressure will be on 11 Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 in states where candidate Donald Trump won more than 80 percent of the counties.
In Missouri candidate Trump won 111 out of 114 counties in the state where Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill is running for reelection.
In Montana, Democrat Jon Tester runs in a state where candidate Trump won 50 out of 56 counties.
West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin is running for reelection in the state where all 55 counties voted for the Republican Donald Trump.
And finally in Indiana, Democrat Joe Donnelly is running in a state where 88 of 92 Hoosier counties went to Donald Trump.
There are seven other states just like that which is why outside groups supporting the Trump administration are already running issue ads in many of these 11 states. One can be seen at the top of this post.
On “Special Report with Bret Baier” Monday, Syndicated Columnist Charles Krauthammer told viewers the boost in defense spending as part of President Trump’s budget proposal “may not be enough.”
“Eight years ago, defense spending was at 4.6 percent of GDP. Today it's 3.2 percent,” said Krauthammer. “That is a catastrophic collapse.”
The Administration announced the Defense Department would receive an additional $54 billion dollars. During a National Governors Association meeting at the White House, Trump said the increase would be offset by other savings across the federal government.
Krauthammer called this proposal just a beginning of what is needed to rebuild military spending.
“We are in dire need with Russia, China and Iran rising of correcting that. This is a beginning of a down payment on what's really needed,” said Krauthammer.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that while many Americans are hoping the Republican-led Congress will tackle big ticket items like tax reform and health care this year, legislators in Washington seem incapable of acting on their own.
“Here we have united government, or at least same party controlling everything, with a lot of momentum… And the great irony is that Congress has become so dependent on following the lead of a president, in general, [it is] allowing its powers to be usurped,” he said, adding, “One presidency after another, this is not the product of one party. But it's simply, now that it's in control, [Congress] can't get its act together.”
Instead, Krauthammer said lawmakers will continue to look to the White House for guidance.
“Unless you get strong presidential leadership, the president, say, next week in his quasi-State of the Union address saying this is what I want on tax reform and leading on it, that would be the decisive event,” he said, concluding, “In the absence of that, it's showing how, sort of, weak Congress has become, and how it's become habituated to looking to the White House for leadership. It's not getting it, it's not going anywhere.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley told viewers Friday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that President Donald Trump “was in fine form” at his first press conference as president today.
“This was not Twitter Trump. This was President Trump,” Riley said.
The press conference was a joint appearance with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May. Riley noted that Trump took a more measured tone than usual.
“He was careful with his words. Very measured even when he got a couple of aggressive questions from some foreign media outlets,” commented Riley, adding, “I think we’ll have to see more of this if he wants a successful presidency but today I think he got the job done.”
On “Special Report with Bret Baier” Monday, Fox News Contributor Juan Williams discussed President-elect Donald Trump’s Twitter reaction to Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who said in an interview with NBC that he doesn’t see Trump as a “legitimate President.”
“I think a lot of people, specifically people who know Civil Rights history, but I would say in particular black Americans of a certain age are just turned out, just think, ‘What is he saying? You can't say that about this guy,’” said Williams.
Trump took to Twitter the day after Congressman Lewis’ comments aired, saying in part that Lewis is “All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!” This was seen by critics as an untimely attack against a Civil Rights leader, just days before the federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.
Williams also said the visit by Martin Luther King III to Trump tower on Monday was not a demonstration of reaching out.
“[Trump] didn't take any questions…retreating into the elevator,” said Williams. “I hope he does more on Inauguration Day.”