The Note: Trump’s silence on Roy Moore accusations speaks volumes

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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His stand is to take no stand. A man who doesn’t hold back his opinions has found a reason to go all but silent.

That reason is named Roy Moore. His candidacy has been enough to force some discipline on President Donald Trump, with a refusal to comment that speaks louder than the contradictions among his own White House staffers.

Political motivations are the obvious explanation, as Kellyanne Conway’s attack on Democrat Doug Jones makes clear.

But the president has hurt his own political fortunes more often than not with ill-timed or unfortunately directed tweets.

It’s also plausible that the fear of the Trump base extends to Trump himself. Moore wants Trump’s support, but he could survive even without it – as his primary victory made clear.

As for the president, he wants the votes in Congress, yes. But he also wants those voters.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

It was a rhetorical response,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said yesterday as she tried to dismiss and explain away the president’s recent comment that he regretted advocating for the expedited release of UCLA basketball players from a Chinese jail.

Of course President Trump’s tweet was just a “rhetorical response.” A physical or legal response to criticism from one of the athlete’s fathers would have been even weirder.

What raised eyebrows in the first place was that the president seemed to have demands for helping a group of U.S. citizens — he said the players better be “grateful” — and that he bothered to engage with a father online who wasn’t heaping praise on the president’s handling of the situation.

This could have been a quiet win for President Trump, a nice end to his trip to Asia.

Instead, a few tweets that read like stream-of-consciousness venting resulted in West Wing staff, once again, insisting to the country that the president does not mean what he says.

The TIP with Elizabeth McLaughlin and Luis Martinez

What are U.S. troops eating for Thanksgiving? Nearly 100,000 pounds of turkey!

The Defense Logistics Agency is providing the following Thanksgiving meals to U.S. service members in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan this year:

  • 98,820 pounds of turkey
  • 47,880 pounds of beef
  • 31,650 pounds of ham
  • 30,384 pounds of shrimp
  • 10,173 pounds of stuffing mix
  • 6,588 pounds of marshmallows
  • 21,651 pounds of various nuts
  • 918 gallons of eggnog
  • 3,110 gallons of grape juice
  • 6,288 pies
  • 9,378 cakes (which includes 382 cheese cakes)
  • 76,032 cookies
  • WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY:

  • President Donald Trump pardons the national Thanksgiving turkey for the 70th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden at 1:00 p.m. ET.
  • President Trump departs Washington D.C. around 3:45 p.m. ET to head to Mar-a-Lago, where he’ll spend the holiday.
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets Peruvian Foreign Minister Victor Ricardo Luna Mendoza at the State Department at 8:55 am ET.
  • QUOTE OF THE DAY

    The position of the White House hasn’t changed and we feel the people of Alabama should make a determination on who the next senator should be.” — White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in response to a question asked about the Alabama Senate race.

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