WASHINGTON -- The head of the D.C. National Guard, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, said Friday that he has been ordered removed from his command effective Jan. 20, 12:01 p.m., just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
Schwartz's forced departure will come in the midst of the presidential inauguration that he has spent months helping plan alongside D.C. police, the U.S. Secret Service and other top District of Columbia officials. He will turn over command to an interim as power transfers from one president to the next, and just before the inaugural parade marches down Pennsylvania Avenue.
With three of his grown-up children, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and members of his senior staff looking on from the sides, Trump framed the anticipated barrage of questions about his connections to the Russians as a referendum, instead, on the untrustworthy media, seated in seven rows of plastic folding chairs in front of him.
The Greek chorus of loyal, paid staffers in the back of the room boosting Trump with their hoots and cheers also served as a reminder, of sorts, of the movement of Trump backers happy to take him at his word and jeer the media as the out-of-touch liars.
Worried about the corporate gazillionaires whom Donald Trump is naming to his cabinet? Don't fret -- it could be months, if ever, before these people set foot inside the federal government. Mr. Trump's transition team is seriously behind -- some in Washington say they've gotten nowhere -- on vetting his nominees for potential conflicts of interest. Whatever one thinks of his choices, this does not bode well for a smooth transfer of power. read more
Russia said it was in contact with President-elect Donald Trump's team during the U.S. election campaign, despite repeated denials by the Republican candidate's advisers that any links existed. Of course all those little denials from before Election Day were just for show. Now that America has committed itself to a term in Bizarro World, Russia is eager to deliver a warm, hearty "fooled you!" Michael Flynn, Carter Page, Steve Bannon, Trump himself -- none of them worked all that hard to hide their fondness for Russia and devotion to Putin. Since last summer, it was clear that this was the one story Trump didn't want examined. read more
Objectively, Trump is in big trouble; master handicapper Stuart Rothenberg wrote for The Washington Post online on Tuesday that Trump's path to Electoral College victory is "nonexistent" and said he could win fewer than 200 electoral votes.
But I spent a couple of hours before the rally in this indoor show ring talking to many Trump supporters and found them in states of denial and fury. I didn't find one who expects Trump to lose. To varying degrees, most agreed with Trump that the election process is rigged. And some predicted ominous things if Trump loses -- if not violence, a mass rejection of the legitimacy of the democratic process. read more