Tuesday, July 11, 2017 -- At The White House, Dangerous Delays, More Emails, A Bad Day For The Military

At The White House

Yesterday, I was honored to join several leaders of the Values Voter movement at the White House. We spent all day interacting with top administration officials on a variety of critical issues, including the sanctity of life, Obamacare and judicial nominations.

While it wasn't on the official schedule, we also spent significant time in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Perhaps the most important thing was the opportunity we had to encourage everyone at the White House, including President Trump, to stand firm in the good fight for faith and family.

For example, I commended the president for his incredible speech in Warsaw last week. I urge you to watch the speech if you have not yet done so. It was the best defense of Western Civilization that we have heard in at least a decade.

Your continued friendship, prayers and support make these important opportunities possible. Thank you for standing with me!

Dangerous Delays

As I noted, judicial nominations were a critical part of our discussions yesterday at the White House. While we were there, Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, held a press briefing in which he blasted Senate Democrats for waging an "unprecedented campaign of obstruction" against President Trump's nominees.

Short said that the Senate has confirmed only 50 Trump nominees to date, while at this point in 2009 the Senate had confirmed 202 Obama appointees.

How bad is it? Even though former Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid effectively eliminated the filibuster for executive nominees, a White House statement noted that Senate Democrats have forced needless extra votes on 90% of Trump's nominees simply to slow down the process as much as they can.

Meanwhile, critical positions at the Pentagon and the Justice Department remain unfilled because of the Democrats' dangerous delaying tactics.

When it comes to filling judicial vacancies, the Senate has confirmed just two of President Trump's 23 judicial nominees. Like the filibuster, Senate Democrats are abusing another of their "grand traditions" -- the blue slip.

As a conservative, I am all for preserving traditions, but not stupid ones like the blue slip. This tradition seeks input from a judicial nominee's home state senators and delays the work of the Judiciary Committee. It affords individual senators too much deference in the nomination process and usurps the president's power to make appointments.

I am a great admirer of Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley. His work in shepherding Neil Gorsuch's confirmation was masterful. But it is time for the GOP majority to start filling these crucial lower court vacancies, which currently stand at 136 seats or 15% of the entire federal judiciary.

I am pleased to report that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that he is cutting the Senate's August recess in half.

More Emails

There was a new twist in the saga of Donald Trump, Jr., and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Responding to the latest attack by the New York Times, Donald Trump Jr. this morning publicly released emails from a third party contact -- Rob Goldstone -- who arranged the meeting between Trump and Ms. Veselnitskaya.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, the IRS or the State Department, at least Donald Trump Jr. can find his emails!

While Goldstone clearly suggests that Ms. Veselnitskaya has damaging information on Hillary Clinton, she vehemently denied it. She said their meeting was brief and that Jared Kushner left after five or seven minutes, presumably after realizing that she was really there to discuss sanctions and adoptions.

The left and its media allies say these emails are evidence of collusion. Senator Tim Kaine says they are evidence of "treason."

But everyone in the meeting says it had nothing to do with the campaign. So where is the collusion exactly? Donald Trump, Jr. briefly spoke to a Russian lawyer about a dispute over international adoptions. And Senator Kaine thinks that is treason?!

Did someone in Russia tell the Trump campaign that Hillary Clinton was behind a sweetheart deal to sell our uranium to Russia? No. We already knew that.

Did someone in Russia tell the Trump campaign about Hillary Clinton's speeches to big Wall Street banks? No. We already knew that.

The only thing in the campaign that was potentially new information from Russia were the hacked DNC emails. And there is no evidence anyone voted on those emails. Instead, voters were more concerned about Hillary's "extremely careless" handling of her own emails containing our national security secrets.

By the way, if the media are so upset about collusion, why are we not talking about Hillary's collusion with foreign countries? Special Counsel Mueller, call your office!

Bad Day For The Military

While the left is accusing Donald Trump Jr. of treason, we are seeing plenty of evidence of treason stemming from Obama's legacy. NSA leaker Reality Winner was no doubt emboldened by the celebrity status of traitors Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.

Meanwhile, a former CIA officer was recently arrested for spying for the Chinese. Last night, there was breaking news that an Army officer in Hawaii has been charged with spying for ISIS.

We are also learning of what appears to be a terrorist attack against an Air Force recruiting office near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thankfully, no one was injured. But other attacks on military recruiting offices in Little Rock and Chattanooga proved deadly.

These very real examples of treason are getting almost no coverage compared to the media's hype over Russia's alleged meddling in the election.

In addition, there was a horrible crash yesterday involving a KC-130 transport plane. Sixteen service personnel were killed. An investigation is underway to determine what caused the crash. While accidents do happen, we have reported that the military has been cannibalizing aircraft for parts due to insufficient funding over the past eight years.

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