To cap it off, more good economic news kept the already bubbly markets frothing ever higher. CNN Business’ Anneken Tappe reports: “US stocks once again finished at all-time high closing levels on Friday. Throughout the week, the Dow and S&P 500 hit records four times, while the Nasdaq Composite logged seven consecutive days on all-time highs.”
Forced to wait for his acquittal in the Senate, Trump is thrashing in a stew of his own aggression as he heads to his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to celebrate the holidays and wait to see when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will allow a trial to move ahead.
He might use the time to think about his reelection. Trump’s case in 2020 is built on the economy, not impeachment, and it got a big boost this week with help from the same Democrats who voted against him over his Ukraine meddling.
Thank you, Debbie Dingell
- Christian opposition to Trump — An evangelical publication founded by Billy Graham calls for Trump’s removal. Christianity Today’s editor in chief, Mark Galli, wrote in the op-ed: “That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
- Trial prep continues — House Democrats and White House officials are engaged in preparations for the high-stakes Senate trial, the latest indication that it will still occur despite the bitter standoff that has left the proceedings in limbo. CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb have the latest.
- Trump accepts Pelosi’s invitation for State of the Union address — Mark your calendar for the State of the Union address February 4, the day after the Iowa caucuses. Trump will have to stand up there with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, his impeacher. (And we don’t know yet whether his Senate trial will have taken place by then.)
- “I’m never afraid and I’m rarely surprised,” Pelosi said in an interview with Politico.
- Trump’s source could be Putin — Russian President Vladimir Putin himself may have planted or reinforced Trump’s disproven conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, according to a Washington Post report.
- FISA fallout — The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approved the wiretap of 2016 Trump campaign aide Carter Page, now wants to know more about all applications it’s seen from an FBI attorney who allegedly changed a detail in the Page application — a rare step toward accountability for the nation’s most secretive court.
A sense of economic invincibility
Ten straight years of economic growth has helped create a sense of invincibility that fuels Trump’s case even as the opposition party in government tries to use the gravest weapon given to it by the Founding Fathers to declare him unfit for office.
Overall, 76%, including a majority of Democrats, rate economic conditions in the US today as very or somewhat good, significantly more than those who said so at this time last year (67%). This is the highest share to say the economy is good since February 2001.
What can Democrats do?
As Trump seethes, Democrats who want to run against him next year tried to articulate exactly why voters should ask for more from their government.
It’s not good enough and it’s not helping everyone, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said at Thursday’s Democratic debate, jointly hosted by PBS and Politico.
“America’s middle class is being hollowed out and the working families and poor people are being left behind,” Warren said. “What we need to talk about, though, is why that has happened. And the answer is we’ve got a government that works great for those with money and doesn’t work for much of anyone else.”
On the podcast
What are we doing here?
The President has invited foreign powers to interfere in the US presidential election. Democrats have impeached him for it. Next up is a trial in the Senate to decide whether to remove him from office. It is a crossroads for the American system of government as the President tries to change what’s acceptable for US politicians. This newsletter will focus on this consequential moment in US history.