President Donald Trump’s decision to appoint John Bolton as national security adviser may be having its desired effect: Democrats are fearful about what it means and everyone is puzzling over how it will shake up the White House’s priorities.
In tandem with the appointment of a fellow hawk, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, to lead the State Department Bolton’s appointment could signal a tough new rhetorical line on “radical Islam,” POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi reports.
“Both Bolton and Pompeo will now be working for a president who has alleged, with no evidence, that American Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks, and who has proposed banning all foreign Muslims from U.S. shores. Critics say the personnel moves suggest Trump’s worst instincts on how to approach the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims will find receptive ears among his foreign policy aides.”
Democrats aren’t exactly taking a wait-and-see approach. They’re freaking out.
POLITICO’s Susan Glasser talked with Jake Sullivan, a former top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who put it this way: “I don’t think we should reach a point of fever pitch or hysteria, but I do think that it is very difficult to overestimate the potential danger that John Bolton could put us in.”
Then there’s former President Jimmy Carter: Bolton’s appointment he said, is a “disaster for our country.”
Elsewhere in President Trump’s orbit:
GATES KEEPER: It’s assumed that former Trump campaign aide and Paul Manafort business partner Rick Gates will flip on Manafort after agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors. Less known is what he can say about the Trump campaign — and that’s a source of continuing unease.
STORM CLOUDS: White House spokesman Raj Shah said today that President Trump does not believe Stormy Daniels’ claim that she was threatened when she first spoke out about an alleged affair with Trump.
STORM COVERAGE: Working for 60 Minutes, CNN’s Anderson Cooper placed a big bet that Stormy Daniels’ claims about President Trump were serious news.
TOUGH SEL: Darin Selnick, a White House aide who has been sharply critical of Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin, has left the White House to return to the VA amid speculation about Shulkin’s future.
ANALYTICA ANALYZED: The Federal Trade Commission confirmed that it is investigating the Trump-linked firm Cambridge Analytica, for improperly obtaining data on Facebook users.
REST IN PEACE: Linda Brown, who as a Kansas girl fought to integrate an all-white school in Topeka leading to the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court, has died. She was 76.
There you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. That’s Monday in the books.