Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai would like to know what, exactly, is going on in the Trump administration.
"Honestly, I've been talking to ambassadors of other countries in Washington, D.C., and this is also part of their problem," Cui said on Fox News Sunday of dealing with President Trump's team. "They don't know who is the final decision-maker. Of course, presumably, the president will take the final decision, but who is playing what role? Sometimes it could be very confusing."
Cui also addressed the escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing. "It's important to notice who started this trade war. We never wanted a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests," he said. Cui argued trade has been mutually beneficial for China and the United States, concluding, "You have to look at the whole picture."
Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian
President Trump sought to downplay the record rate of turnover in his administration in a preview clip of his Sunday evening 60 Minutes interview, but he also suggested Defense Secretary James Mattis might soon leave his post.
"I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is [leaving]," Trump said. "I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth," he continued. "But Gen. Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington."
Watch the preview clip below. The full interview will air Sunday on CBS at 7:30 p.m. Eastern and 7:00 p.m. Pacific. Bonnie Kristian
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is delighted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process is complete. He was less delighted Sunday when Fox News host Chris Wallace suggested the Senate is "broken."
"The Senate's not broken, and we didn't attack Merrick Garland’s background and try to destroy him," McConnell averred. He was referring to his Senate's refusal to hold hearings for former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick in 2016, and drawing a contrast between that and the sexual assault allegations and subsequent investigation brought against Kavanaugh.
"We simply followed the tradition in America, which is that if you have a Senate of a different party than the president, you don’t fill a vacancy created in a presidential year," McConnell continued. "So what we did was follow tradition, but we didn't attack the nominee. We didn't go on a search and destroy mission."
When asked by NBC's Chuck Todd if he'd like to make this "tradition" a binding rule, McConnell declined. Per Politifact, only four of 25 presidential election cycles in the last century involved an open Supreme Court seat, and in "three of those instances, the Senate confirmed the president’s nominee, and just once — the only election-year court opening in the past 80 years — did the Senate refuse a nominee."
Watch a clip of McConnell's comments below. Bonnie Kristian
.@senatemajldr: We didn’t attack Merrick Garland’s background and try to destroy him. We simply followed the tradition in America, which is that if you have a Senate of a different party than the president, you don’t fill a vacancy created in a presidential year. pic.twitter.com/u1jm36EEbC
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) October 7, 2018
A petition to impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh began circulating immediately after his swearing in on Saturday, and some congressional Democrats have already signaled their interest in such a proposal should they retake the House in November.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Sunday urged a more patient approach, arguing impeachment talk at this stage is "premature." "Frankly, we are just less than a month away from an election. Folks who feel very strongly one way or the other about the issues in front of us should get out and vote and participate," he said on NBC's Meet the Press.
"There's only ever been one justice that's been impeached, and I think talking about it, at this point, isn't necessarily healing us and moving us forward," Coons added. "The Senate's role in our politics is not to just reflect the country, but to help heal and lead the country. And that's the course we should be on."
Watch a clip of Coons' remarks below. Bonnie Kristian
THIS MORNING: Sen. @chriscoons tells Chuck that it's "premature" for House Democrats to be talking about re-investigating or impeaching Kavanaugh if they gain control of the House in November. #MTP pic.twitter.com/BDN6xrUYIo
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 7, 2018
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's testimony gave the impression of someone who was rightfully angry, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said in a preview released Sunday of a 60 Minutes appearance he made with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). Flake, who is not seeking re-election, was instrumental in ensuring there would be a week-long FBI investigation, beginning this past Friday, into the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
"To see his family behind him, as Chris said, it was anger — but if I were unjustly accused, that's how I would feel as well," Flake said. "As it went on, I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp. But the statement in the beginning I thought was pretty raw, but in keeping with someone who had been unjustly accused."
Coons had a different impression. "[Kavanaugh] was clearly belligerent, aggressive, angry," he said. "And I thought there was a tough dynamic there. As I watched him, part of me thought, 'This is a man who believes that he did nothing wrong, and he's completely unjustly accused. And he's being railroaded. And he's furious about it.'"
Both senators condemned the partisanship in Kavanaugh's self-defense, though Flake was willing to allow him "a little leeway."
Watch a preview of the 60 Minutes interview below. The full interview airs at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Sunday on CBS. Bonnie Kristian
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, where host Jake Tapper attempted to nail down exactly what President Trump believes about the sexual assault allegations made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
After watching Thursday's testimony from Kavanaugh's primary accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, Trump called her a "very fine woman" and a "credible witness" with a "compelling" testimony. "'Credible' means 'believable.' That's the definition of credible," Tapper said. "Does President Trump believe her?"
Conway responded in typically sly style, noting that "'credible' and 'compelling' are words many of us have used to describe her testimony" before pivoting to reiterate Kavanaugh's denials. The conversation drifted, and when Tapper brought it back around, Conway suggested both Ford and Kavanaugh may be speaking honestly, albeit in her case misinformed by faulty memory.
Later in the conversation, Conway revealed she too is a victim of sexual assault. "I feel very empathetic for victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape," she said. "I'm a victim of sexual assault."
Watch Conway's full interview below. The Trump segment begins about five minutes in, and Conway's personal comments around the 11-minute mark. Bonnie Kristian
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham seems to have made up his mind about Christine Ford's testimony before it even happens
Christine Ford isn't expected to testify about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until Thursday — but Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) already seems to have made up his mind.
"You can't bring [her allegation] in a criminal court; you would never sue civilly; you couldn't even get a warrant," Graham said on Fox News Sunday. "What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation?"
"Unless there's something more, no I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this," Graham continued, before adding that Ford "should have her say" and will be "respectfully treated." Watch Graham's full interview below. Bonnie Kristian
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley broke with President Trump and many of his supporters Sunday to argue that Christine Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, "deserves respect and deserves to be heard."
"Accusers go through a lot of trauma. Some handle it one way and some handle it another way," she said on CNN's State of the Union, answering a question about Trump's tweeted response to Ford. "Regardless, it's not something we want to do to blame the accuser or try and second-guess the accuser. We don't know the situation she was going through 35 years ago. We don't know the circumstances."
Haley argued for a responsible but swift examination of Ford's claim by the Senate for the sake of both families involved. Watch an excerpt of her comments below, or read them in full here. Bonnie Kristian