Morning Bits: Trump in deep trouble

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US President Donald Trump holds a meeting on the opioid epidemic in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 12, 2019. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Opinion writer

June 13 at 7:45 AM

More Cabinet officials face legal trouble. “The House Oversight and Reform Committee’s contempt recommendation for Attorney General William P. Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sets up a possible vote on the House floor in the coming weeks. It was the culmination of a monthslong dispute with the administration over the panel’s efforts to compel testimony from top officials and documents related to the census question. The vote was mostly along party lines, with only one Republican, Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, the sole member of his party to call for Mr. Trump’s impeachment, supporting it.”

Trump walks back his troubling pledge not to spy on North Korea, and sounds incoherent in the process. “No, it’s not what I meant. It’s what I said and I think it’s different, maybe, than your interpretation. . . . I think we’re going to do very well with North Korea over a period of time.” I have no idea what that means.

Even the most sycophantic aide would have trouble figuring this out. “Jake Tapper Baffled by Trump North Korea Comments: ‘Do You Have Any Idea What He’s Saying?’ ” No.

Trouble for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): “Elizabeth Warren leaped ahead of Bernie Sanders into second place in a pair of Democratic presidential primary polls released Wednesday.” I think he has an electability problem.

No wonder he’s in trouble. “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is leaning into the term socialism in a way no other 2020 candidate is willing to do. He gave a speech Wednesday attempting to define his brand of socialism, invoking Harry S. Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to make his case that Americans have always supported socialist-style programs without realizing it. (Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, civil rights protections.) . . . Less than half of Americans say they’d vote for a socialist for president. More say they’d vote for an atheist or Muslim, according to a Gallup survey in May.” It’s not even accurate; FDR never considered himself a socialist.

Now we’re really in trouble. “President Donald Trump said he had no deadline for China to return to trade talks, other than the one in his head. ‘I have no deadline,’ Trump told reporters at a news conference Wednesday at the White House. ‘My deadline is what’s up here,’ he added, pointing to his head.”

Some trouble for the White House’s stonewall tactic: “Now, committee chairs have the ability to go to court on behalf of their committees to try to force compliance with subpoenas they’ve issued without first receiving approval of the full House. . . . The House’s decision to make it easier for committees to pursue litigation represents another step in Democrats’ efforts to use their powers to investigate the executive branch without — yet — moving to a full impeachment inquiry.”