March 19, 2019

"Democracy in the United Kingdom is all but dead." That's according to Donald Trump Jr., at least.

The Telegraph published a scathing op-ed on the Brexit chaos in the U.K. written by President Trump's eldest son on Tuesday.

In the piece, Trump Jr. criticizes Prime Minister Theresa May for ignoring advice from his father, who expressed a similar, though less dramatic, sentiment about the withdrawal process last week. "I gave the Prime Minister my ideas on how to negotiate it," the president said last Thursday. "She didn't listen to that and that's fine."

Trump Jr. wrote that Brexit was akin to his father's 2016 presidential election victory, which he argues was followed not by a peaceful transition of power, but instead by attempts by Democrats and "deep state" operatives to subvert the will of the American people.

Both Brexit and the 2016 election, Trump Jr. writes, were votes "to uproot the establishment for the sake of individual freedom and independence, only to see the establishment try to silence their voices and overturn their mandates." He added that what is happening in Washington and between London and the EU is "the desperate, last-gasp attempt by those previously in power to cling on to what was once theirs."

He ended the piece by declaring "the battle for independence" has only just begun. Read the op-ed at The Telegraph. Tim O'Donnell

9:40 p.m.

The New York Times has obtained tax return data for President Trump covering more than two decades, which shows that Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years, primarily because he reported losing more money than he made.

Trump has not made his tax filings public, and the information made its way to the Times via sources with legal access to it. The filings contain information Trump disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service, but do not reveal his net worth. Trump has said his tax returns aren't as important as the annual financial disclosures he must submit as president, and comparing the two, the Times found that in 2018, Trump put in his disclosure he made at least $434.9 million, while the tax records show he incurred $47.4 million in losses.

During Trump's first two years in the White House, he received $73 million from overseas operations. Most of this came from his golf properties in Ireland and Scotland, but it also included millions in licensing fees: $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India, and $1 million from Turkey. In 2017, the same year he paid $750 in U.S. income taxes, Trump paid $156,824 in taxes in the Philippines and $145,000 in taxes in India, the Times reports.

The tax returns show that since 2010, Trump has failed to pay back $287 million to lenders, and within the next four years, more than $300 million in loans that he is personally responsible for will come due. Trump Tower in Manhattan is what is helping keep Trump afloat, the Times reports — the retail and commercial space has delivered $336.3 million in profits since 2000.

Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told the Times "most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate" in the newspaper's report, adding that over the last decade, Trump "has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015." The Times notes when Garten says "personal taxes," he seems to be conflating income taxes with other federal taxes Trump has paid, like Medicare and Social Security. Read more at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

3:22 p.m.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday, during an appearance on CBS News' Face the Nation, addressed reports about how he demanded the Food and Drug Administration justify, in detail, its reasoning for preparing to unveil new standards for a coronavirus vaccine.

Meadows told host Margaret Brennan that he wants to know "why would that new guidance come out after we've already spent $30 billion" on vaccine development. "And my challenge to the FDA is just to make sure it's based on science," rather than politics, he said.

But former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who appeared on Face the Nation after Meadows, suggested the whole debate has been misinterpreted on all sides. Gottlieb said the agency's guidance as discussed in the press isn't technically new, but "an articulation of the principles and standards the FDA has been using for a long time." As Gottlieb put it, the companies involved with clinical trials weren't surprised by the standards, which are in line with what the FDA has communicated to them since the vaccine development process began earlier this year. Tim O'Donnell

2:31 p.m.

With former Vice President Joe Biden maintaining a steady lead in the polls, most of the pressure for the first presidential debate on Tuesday seems to be shifting to President Trump.

During Sunday's edition of This Week on ABC, panelists Rahm Emanuel and Sarah Isgur agreed that Trump has to do more on the debate stage Tuesday since he has to "change people's minds," which is a lot harder than Biden's job of reassuring voters. Isgur did note that the Trump campaign will likely be waiting to take advantage of any potential slip up from Biden, but, generally, the former vice president has a little more breathing room than Trump.

Plus, Trump may have a built-in disadvantage. The New York Times' Peter Baker told NBC's Chuck Todd that incumbents have historically struggled in the opening debate because of over-confidence, noting that Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan were among the former presidents who fell into the trap. The good news for Trump is that both Reagan and Obama went on to win re-election rather easily. While it seems unlikely Trump will cruise to a victory, it does suggest that the first debate is not make or break. Tim O'Donnell

1:57 p.m.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who sits on the upper chamber's judiciary committee, told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday that he does intend to meet with President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, in the lead up to her confirmation hearing, even as some of his Democratic colleagues consider skipping out on the standard courtesy visits. Booker added that he primarily plans to ask Barrett if, should she be confirmed, she will recuse herself from any election-related cases.

Booker's reasoning is that Trump has suggested he may not accept the results of the election, which could push it to the high court. Since Trump just nominated Barrett, Booker believes she could tilt the court toward an illegitimate decision.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) also said he wishes Barrett will recuse herself under such a scenario. On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said that judges have a "well-defined set of rules that helps guide their determination in making recusal decisions." Lee said that if Barrett is confirmed, she'll be no less of a justice than any of her colleagues on the bench, so the decision will be "up to her." Tim O'Donnell

1:05 p.m.

It wasn't that long ago that it seemed like the 2020 Major League Baseball season might get cut short because of coronavirus outbreaks within the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals clubhouses. But now, about two months later, baseball is at the regular season finish line. Things are still a bit chaotic as teams prepare to play game 60, but in a much more positive way.

ESPN's Jeff Passan broke down how Sunday's results could affect the expanded postseason picture, and he discovered there are 44 different scenarios in play for the National League alone.

Ultimately, baseball fans will be better served simply by watching Sunday's slate of games, all of which — save for one meaningless game between the eliminated Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers — will start during the 3 p.m. ET hour to increase competitiveness and intrigue, rather than trying to decipher the math. But Passan did the dirty work for his readers, so anyone really curious about how things can shake out can check out his column at ESPN.

The easiest way to understand things, though, is that there are four teams fighting for two spots in the National League: the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, who will play each other, as well as the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies, who are facing the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively. The American League, on the other hand, is set in terms of qualified teams, but seeding can still vary wildly. Read more at ESPN. Tim O'Donnell

11:27 a.m.

While Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee reportedly do not intend to boycott the confirmation hearing for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, the party's senators will likely do whatever they can to slow the process, Politico reports.

Some of the tactics available for Democrats, who believe Republicans set a precedent for blocking Supreme Court nominations in the lead up to a presidential election in 2016, that Politico lists include: invoking the "two-hour" rule — which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has already done — slowing down legislative business, objecting to recess, denying a quorum, raising points of order, enlisting the aid of the Democratic-controlled House, and delaying the final committee vote. Politico goes into more detail about each tactic here.

Politico also reports that there is broad, overwhelming support for pulling out all the stops among Democrats, including those, like Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who face tough re-elections and may get pulled off the campaign trail during a potentially lengthy process, as well as typically more conservative lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).

Jones accused Republicans of a "power grab," so even though Democrats don't have the votes to block the confirmation, "you do what you can to call attention to it." As Manchin put it, since "we don't do anything around here anyway, we've got plenty of time to do meetings." Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

10:56 a.m.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation process may be motivating Democrats more than Republicans, at least in North Carolina and Georgia, both of which are in play for the upcoming presidential election.

In both states, a new CBS News/YouGov poll shows, 60 percent of Democrats say the polarizing Supreme Court debate has made them more motivated to vote compared to 46 and 47 percent of Republicans in Georgia and North Carolina, respectively. As CBS News points out, the court battle probably won't change many votes, since polls are suggesting that the majority of voters have their minds set, but it could increase turnout.

That said, it hasn't made a huge difference in North Carolina and Georgia so far, as both states remain quite competitive and relatively unchanged. Biden leads Trump by two points in North Carolina, which is down slightly from his four point edge this summer. Georgia is closer still, more or less a straight toss up at this point. Trump leads by a point, a statistically insignificant change from Biden's previous one point advantage.

The CBS News/YouGov polls were conducted in North Carolina and Georgia between Sept. 22-25 online. In Georgia, 1,164 registered voters were surveyed and the margin of error was 3.3 percentage points. In North Carolina, 1,213 registered voters were surveyed and the margin of error was 3.6 percentage points. Read the full results at CBS News. Tim O'Donnell

See More Speed Reads