A New Crisis for Donald Trump; Elizabeth Warren, Treasury Secretary?
Author: Greg Valliere
June 30, 2020
STILL ANOTHER RUSSIA CRISIS: We’re not sure that the Kremlin offered bounties to Taliban soldiers for killing U.S. troops, but U.S. intelligence agencies took the threat seriously and included the allegation in intelligence briefings that went to the White House. We’re also not sure Donald Trump read these briefings; he usually doesn’t.
SO, ONCE AGAIN, THE FOG OF WAR has enveloped U.S.-Russia relations. There will be more briefings, hearings, new allegations — and no clear resolution. Only one thing appears certain: this will gobble up several days, and with Trump trailing badly against Joe Biden, the president can’t afford to get dragged into still another Russia conflict.
WHAT’S TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN MESSAGE? In a shocking exchange with Sean Hannity on Fox last week, Trump couldn’t articulate a second-term agenda. He seems to be playing defense on the pandemic, the protests, race relations — and now on Russia, once again. Trump’s top aides want a re-set, with a staff shakeup and a clear agenda.
WE’VE TALKED RECENTLY with Washington insiders who are beginning to wonder whether Trump really wants a second term; he’s clearly frustrated, probably is not enjoying the job, and he surely must know that he’s the underdog (betting sites have him with less than a 40% chance of winning,).
BIDEN STILL LOOKS BEATABLE, but only if Trump can break out of his slump. The president only has four months to make a compelling case for re-election, and has little time to get bogged down on Russia, or re-tweeting racially inflammatory videos, or dismissing the pandemic. And his increasingly vocal GOP critics worry that the Senate will fall. “He must be asking himself whether he wants four more years of this,” an insider tells us.
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ELIZABETH WARREN, TREASURY SECRETARY? We agree with the consensus that Joe Biden will pick an African-American woman (probably Kamala Harris) as his running mate. But activists within the party are making a strong push for Elizabeth Warren, asserting that she would boost turnout of progressives.
IF WARREN DOESN’T GET THE NOD, we’re hearing that she and her supporters have a fallback — Treasury Secretary. A woman has never held the post, and we’ve heard that in private Warren has made her interest clear.
THIS PROSPECT WOULD GENERATE HUGE ANXIETY in the financial markets, which she regularly blasts as greedy and corrupt. Theoretically, Biden would be warned by moderates on Wall Street that Warren is provocative, but we put her on the short list if Biden wins the election — which would raise the threat of much more aggressive oversight and regulation of the financial services industry.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Tomorrow is Canada Day, celebrating the formation of the Dominion in 1867. So we won’t publish; probably won’t on Friday either.
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