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 rollout – it 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.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY:
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“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.
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