The Note: Trump pushing away what few allies he has left

President Trump returns to Camp David today.

ByABC News
August 18, 2017, 7:21 AM


  • President Trump hunkers down at Camp David today with his National Security Council, Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis to discuss strategy in Afghanistan.
  • After about four hours at Camp David, Trump travels back to Bedminster, New Jersey, tonight.
  • After Charlottesville, three Democratic House members want to censure the president and plan to introduce a formal resolution of censure today.
  • Barcelona held a moment of silence this morning for two terrorist attacks in Spain Thursday that left 14 dead and more than 100 injured. Trump responded Thursday by condemning the attack in Barcelona but also spreading a debunked story about World War I-era Gen. John Pershing.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News' MaryAlice Parks

    Left alone and shunned this week, President Trump has taken to screaming and lobbing insults at folks from his Twitter account as they turn their backs and head for the door. Isolated, he has retreated to extreme nativist and racially charged language. He began Thursday, verbally spitting on two Republican lawmakers, an astounding move considering that, despite their rebuke of his recent comments, party members remain some of the only potential allies he has left. Hours later, Trump doubled-down on his defense for Confederate statues, echoing phrases used by white nationalists over the weekend about the country's "culture" being under attack. He ended the day tweeting a discredited legend about a World War I-era U.S. general's killing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood. The timing appeared to be in reference to the attack in Barcelona, begging the question: Was the president of the United States suggesting that tactic? This week has arguably been the worst in his presidency and has left members of his party unsure how to pick up the pieces. The often soft-spoken chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, R-Tenn., even questioned Trump's fitness for the job, telling reporters, "The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful."


    "If they choose to take those statues down, fine ... Maybe it's appropriate to have them in museums or to put them in some sort of historical context in that regard." -- Robert Lee, great-great grandson of Gen. Robert E. Lee [CNN]


    Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., joins the "Powerhouse Politics" podcast this week. Carson, who is one of two Muslims in Congress and a House Intelligence committee member, sits down with ABC News' Mary Bruce and MaryAlice Parks.

    NEED TO READ with ABC News' Daksha Sthipam

    Trump tweets reference to inaccurate anecdote about Gen. Pershing. In a tweet seemingly responding to the terror attack in Barcelona, President Donald Trump referenced a factually inaccurate anecdote about combating Muslim enemies that he often repeated on the campaign trail. The president's post was in reference to a legend about World War I-era Army Gen. John J. Pershing's dipping the bullets used to execute Muslim terrorists in pig's blood.

    What to know about presidential retreat Camp David, where Trump travels today. President Donald Trump is headed back to the rustic presidential retreat Camp David, the site of many historic discussions and private meetings between presidents and foreign dignitaries. The president today will meet with his national security team at Camp David, along with Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence.

    What is censure and how does it work? In response to Donald Trump's controversial remarks about Charlottesville, three Democrats want to censure the president. Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., announced their intent to introduce a formal resolution of censure when the House is back in session.

    COLUMN from ABC News' Matthew Dowd: Eclipses have come in dark times of U.S. history but we can find the light. ABC News

    James Murdoch, rebuking Trump, pledges $1 million to anti-defamation group. The New York Times

    A Nazi salute, KKK hoods and Trump: Magazine covers after Charlottesville are jarring. The Washington Post

    Artist Jon Berkeley explains his stunning, KKK-tinged Economist cover. The Huff Post

    Circling the square of President Trump's relationship with race. The New York Times

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.

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