Struggle for Power, Subpoenas, Taxes, China, and Iran

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Will and Alexandra open the show discussing the contempt charges brought against Attorney General Barr and their possible impact. Will argues this is little more than political theater while Alexandra points to the parallels and differences between this and when Republicans found Eric Holder in contempt during the Obama Administration. Both believe the struggle for power between Congress and the President is far from over with Will especially noting how John Roberts must feel watching this while trying to ensure his Court remains politically neutral. They also discuss the subpoena of Donald Trump Jr. by the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Republican Richard Burr and whether it signals more than just a simple subpoena.

Next, they turn to a discussion of Trump’s taxes and efforts in California and Illinois to keep candidates off the ballot who don’t publicly release tax records. Alexandra notes how the numbers released this week show that Trump has been a failed businessman while Will counters that his supporters never chose him for his business acumen. Both believe there’s nothing inherently wrong with sharing tax records, but that there is a question of privacy expectations to be considered. Will strongly notes that Republicans likely could care less about being on the ballot in Democratic states. He does point out possible down-ballot concerns, though. Alexandra, on the other hand, points to the impact if states opt to award their Electoral votes to nation-wide winners. This could change the Republican response.

Will and Alexandra then turn to discussing the economic showdown between the United States and China. Alexandra points to the deep impact tariffs can have on American citizens–especially those with less spending power today. Will points to the disconnect between IP concerns and increased costs of goods, which seems to be the point we have reached. Both believe this will have an impact on the Democratic primaries and 2020 in general–especially for Republican Senators facing re-elections who must navigate between Trump support and their constituents’ economic needs.

Lastly, Will and Alexandra discuss recent actions toward Iran. Will argues that while Iran is a concern that Alexandra is right in asserting they are not an immediate threat. Moreover, Will questions why North Korea is treated differently than Iran given who has ready nuclear weapons and who doesn’t in the relationship. Alexandra worries about the regional impact of our actions and the general tendency of the Trump Administration to bounce from threat to threat without much explained reason. Both Will and Alexandra point to concerns about broader strategy and implications.

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