The Note: How will Trump meet terror in his hometown – uniter or divider?

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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It happened here – in President Trump’s hometown, and under circumstances that would seem to confirm his worldview.

How Trump handles the deadly terror attack in New York becomes an intriguing test case for the president, who has had some of his best and some of his not-so-great moments in responding to moments of national tragedy.

It provides a rare moment of political quiet for Trump to operate in, a chance to unite rather than divide. The Mueller investigation, the tax rolloutit all seems small at this moment, though moments like this tend to fade fast.

Early indications suggest a return to campaign-era Trump, division or not. He claimed – with no details – to have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to “step up our already Extreme Vetting Program,” a political response coupled with a claim that he won’t be “politically correct.”

(Remember what laws and policies Trump wanted to change in the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas, just a month ago? Hint: “It would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts or what took place last night,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the day after that tragedy.)

Trump went all caps in responding to the Manhattan incident that he immediately labeled terrorism: “NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”

Nobody wants terrorism on these shores, of course.

But even that tweet is a loaded sentence – loaded with a campaign full of polarizing promises and nine months’ worth of policy pushes.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

After promising to finally release a real-life tax reform bill today, Republicans late last night whiffed and changed their plans. Now they say, the public may see a version tomorrow.

In a statement released just before 10 p.m., the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee confirmed his team met late into the night.

“We are pleased with the progress we are making and we remain on schedule to take action and approve a bill at our committee beginning next week,” the statement by Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, read.

But the clock is ticking.

The president has said for months that he wants a legislative win on taxes wrapped up by the end of the year. It was always a radical and rather unrealistic timeline for such an ambitious plan that will arguably impact every American and every American business.

Still, the late-night punt was surprising given the fact that just hours before, House Speaker Paul Ryan emerged from a meeting with the president at the White House sounding confident in the status of the legislation.

The remaining sticking points largely center on how to pay for the expensive wish list.

The White House and plenty of rank-and-file Republicans have expressed opposition to lowering the caps on 401K pre-tax contributions, for example, as a possible way to bring in some cash and offset the other changes they want to make in the tax code.

The idea of scrapping state and local tax deductions to make up some revenue is also controversial. But in the end something will have to give.

The TIP with Veronica Stracqualursi

The president’s eldest son marked Halloween with a joke that he would take away his daughter’s trick-or-treating candy to “teach her about socialism.”

“I’m going to take half of Chloe’s candy tonight and give it to some kid who sat at home,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “It’s never [too] early to teach her about socialism.”

Some Twitter users quickly jumped on Trump Jr.’s post.

“You mean the candy that she got for free out of the goodness of strangers’ hearts?” One user replied.

It’s not the first candy-related tweet Trump Jr. has taken some heat for. During the election last year, Trump Jr. posted an image that read, “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Trump Jr. also took a dig Tuesday at Hillary Clinton in response to her joke on Monday at a book signing that she would dress up as the president for Halloween.

“That’s cute. She can borrow my @realDonaldTrump mask,” Trump Jr. tweeted.


  • Looks like another attack by very sick and deranged person.” President Trump tweeted a rebuke of a New York City attack in which a man driving a rental truck struck and killed eight people on Tuesday.
  • The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis plans to submit its final findings and recommendations to President Trump.
  • Thae Yong-ho, a high-ranking North Korean defector, will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee at 10 a.m. ET.
  • Trump holds a cabinet meeting today followed by lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis. He later meets with Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee Ronna Romney McDaniel.
  • Day 2: Lawyers from top U.S. tech companies, including Facebook, Twitter and Google, will be back on Capitol Hill to discuss what they knew, if anything, about Russia’s attempt to influence American voters.
  • The open enrollment period begins for health insurance coverage starting in Jan. 2018 under health insurance marketplaces. This was initially introduced by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, giving people the opportunity to sign up for insurance or to change plans.

    “My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims of and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!” –Trump on the deadly attack in Manhattan on Tuesday.


  • Trump responds to NYC attack: Suspect is ‘a very sick and deranged person.’ President Donald Trump called the driver who killed at least eight people in New York City this afternoon a “sick and deranged person.” (Adam Kelsey)
  • Bannon advised Trump to be more aggressive in slowing down Mueller investigation: Sources. President Donald Trump’s former political strategist advised him in a phone call on Monday to be more aggressive about slowing down special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russians, according to three sources close to Bannon. (Tara Palmeri)
  • George Papadopoulos emailed powerful Trump campaign figures about Russian contacts. Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski and Sam Clovis are among the Trump campaign officials who were contacted by George Papadopoulos, the low-level campaign adviser who lied to the FBI about his dealings with suspected Russian agents, a source familiar with the emails has told ABC News. (John Santucci, Brian Ross, Justin Fishel and Tara Palmeri)
  • Facebook, Twitter, Google officials testify on Russian election interference. Senators pressed officials from Facebook, Google and Twitter for answers Tuesday about the steps the social media companies have taken to address Russian use of social media to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Benjamin Siegel)
  • New documents outline why Manafort, Gates were feared as flight risks. Newly disclosed documents filed in the case against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates lay out the government’s reasons for treating the indicted men as flight risks. (Jack Date)
  • Fellow soldiers, intelligence analyst testify in Bergdahl’s defense: He’s a ‘gold mine.’ After days of emotional testimony about fellow soldiers who were injured or killed in the aftermath of his disappearance, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s defense team brought in its own troops to describe the man who walked off his base and the man who came home. (Christi Lowe and Conor Finnegan)
  • President Trump will not visit Korean demilitarized zone, official says. President Trump will not visit the heavily fortified demilitarized zone on the North Korean and South Korean border amid heightened tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear program during his upcoming Asia trip, a senior administration official told reporters during a background briefing on Tuesday morning. (Katherine Faulders)
  • Trump tries to distance himself from George Papadopoulos. In his first response to Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, President Trump tweeted “Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar,” Tuesday. (Veronica Stracqualursi)
  • The Washington Post writes that GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore had a hard time fitting in with Senate Republicans during a visit to the Hill.
  • FiveThirtyEight tracked which GOP senators kept mum on the indictment of President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and campaign official Rick Gates, and the guilty plea entered by former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.
  • Source.