Tony Perkins -- president of the ultra-conservative Family Research Council -- said that President Donald Trump gets "a mulligan" from evangelical voters on his extensive history of, let's say, impious behavior. Perkins spoke with Politico about the claims that Trump cheated on his pregnant wife Melania with porn star Stormy Daniels at a golf tournament in 2006, and then had his lawyer pay Stormy $130k to keep quiet about the affair. "He knows about the cursing, the lewdness and the litany of questionable behavior over the past year of Trump's life or the 70 that came before it," Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote about his interview with Perkins. "We kind of gave him -- All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,'" Perkins told Politico of during a discussion of Trump's alleged tryst.
Former President George W. Bush continues to reap the benefits of Donald Trump's dumpster fire presidency, with a majority of the American people now viewing the 43rd president favorably. According to a new CNN poll, a stunning 61 percent of the country view Bush favorably, and just 33 percent view him unfavorably. Even among Democrats, Bush's favorability is above water, with 54 percent saying they view him positively. This is one of the most under-discussed impacts of the Trump presidency: the fact that an increasing number of Americans are excusing the myriad of failures under the second Bush presidency simply because the current commander-in-chief is so blatantly unfit. But as the Washington Post pointed out at the end of last year, just because Trump is worse than Bush, doesn't mean the 43rd president deserves praise.
Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele says that the GOP is to blame for the government shutdown after lawmakers missed the deadline to pass a funding bill late Friday. "Despite the rhetorical effort to paste Democrats with 'Schumer's Shutdown' and to redefine what constitutes majority control of the Senate ('60'? Really?), the fact remains that this shutdown rests at the feet of the GOP and it appears a majority of Americans agree," Steele told Politico. Steele, who chaired the RNC from 2009-2011, before former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, called the shutdown "pitiful" and said it "certainly could have been avoided."
The Air Force Academy has canceled all athletic events due to a federal government shutdown that began overnight. "Due to the government shutdown, all Air Force Academy home and away intercollegiate athletic events have been cancelled until further notice," the academy said in a statement. "In the event a solution is reached, the Academy will work to reschedule as many missed events as possible." Among the events scheduled for Saturday were men's and women's basketball games against Fresno State. The Falcons also had been set for competition in men's swimming, women's swimming, men's ice hockey, men's gymnastics and rifle.
Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), a member of the House Ethics Committee who has positioned himself as a leader in fighting sexual harassment, used taxpayer money to settle his own sexual misconduct case, according to a report in the New York Times on Saturday. Meehan, a Pennsylvania Republican, used thousands of dollars from an office account to settle a complaint from a former aide who said he made unwanted romantic overtures to her. The aide, who was decades younger than the now 62-year-old Meehan, said that he professed his romantic desires for her in person and in a letter; when she did not reciprocate, he grew hostile. Meehan, who is married and a father of three, is currently serving his third term in Congress and is a member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee.