SOTU: Trump Says No to Russian Sanctions

The US Treasury report, published shortly before a midnight deadline, listed every senior member of the political administration at the Kremlin, and every Russian oligarch with a net worth of $1 billion or more. Some of those named are already subject to US sanctions. But the administration stopped short of imposing any new punishments, saying the legislation was already doing its job. The report was “not a sanctions list,” it said. [CNN]

THE STATE OF THE UNION finds Donald J. Trump promoting a cherry-picked House memo that the Justice Department does not want released to the public, telling Republicans it would be “extremely reckless” to do so. The Administration shrugs it off because it’s all hands on deck to save the president’s crumbling alternate reality.

It’s the first SOTU for Trump. Sane Donald may show up but it means nothing.

Representative Joe Kennedy III will deliver the Democratic response.

Our petulant president has been busy.

Andrew McCabe became another casualty of the Trump administration’s purge of the upper ranks of the FBI. The disrespect shown by Trump to a career intelligence expert who was the front line after 9/11 is humiliating.

McCabe told the president he hadn’t been asked to authorize Comey’s flight, but if anyone had asked, he would have approved it, three people familiar with the call recounted to NBC News.

The president was silent for a moment and then turned on McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser — an apparent reference to a failed campaign for state office in Virginia that McCabe’s wife made in 2015.

McCabe replied, “OK, sir.” Trump then hung up the phone.

Trump and his minions want to taint Robert Mueller and whatever he reports out the Special Counsel’s office.

The Nunes memo is only the beginning.

The State of Trump’s Union is TURMOIL.

Stephen Walt at Foreign Policy on the SOTU.

And worrisome signs are already piling up. Near the end of Obama’s second term, a survey of 37 countries found that roughly 64 percent of respondents still had confidence in U.S. leadership. After less than six months under Donald Trump, the percentage with “confidence” had fallen to 22 percent, and countries like Japan and South Korea showed especially sharp declines. Even more remarkably, more people around the world believed Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin were more likely to “do the right thing regarding world affairs” than the current president of the United States. A Gallup poll of 134 countries released in January 2018 showed that global “approval of U.S. leadership” had dropped from an average of 48 percent in 2016 to only 30 percent in 2017 — a historic low — with some of the biggest declines occurring in longtime U.S. allies.

I don’t know about you, but I’m already tired of winning this much. And it has only been a year.