Category Archives: Donald Trump

Colorado’s AG-Elect Phil Weiser Says He Will Sue To Protect Women’s Access To Birth Control

By Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado’s newly elected Attorney General Phil Weiser is already making good on a campaign promise to serve as a check on the Trump Administration.

“When the federal government does things that are illegal and hurts Coloradans, I’m going to be a lawyer for the people of Colorado,” said Weiser.

He plans to join other Democratic AGs in suing the federal government, after the White House announced new rules that roll back a provision of Obamacare.

The law mandates employers cover birth control unless they’re religiously affiliated. The new rules allow employers to deny coverage if they have a moral objection.

“The Trump administration decided to create something out of whole cloth. It wasn’t based in law. It was a threat to the rule of law that they would make up this moral objection; a moral objection that would give any employer the right to say, ‘I’m not going to cover birth control.’ The attack on birth control goes against any sense of common sense. If people don’t want abortions, we should be making access to birth control easier.” says Weiser.

The Trump administration is also making abortion coverage more difficult by requiring private insurers that offer it as a benefit to create separate monthly bills for it, “When rules come down that are frankly anti-women’s health care, that are trying to make it harder to get access to abortion services, I’ll fight for women, I’ll fight for equal rights and I’ll fight for access abortion services.”

Weiser says not only are the rules arbitrary and capricious, they violate equal protection under the law, “To be equal women need to control their bodies, have access to birth control, access to the choice of an abortion.”

With a gridlocked Congress, state Attorneys General have evolved into a powerful force, shaping and even stopping federal policy. After he’s sworn in, Weiser says he will also join lawsuits that Democratic Attorneys General have filed over the separation of families at the border, protections for pre-existing conditions and attempts to overturn the methane rule.

“For at least the next two years, where we have a presidency and an administration willing to do things like this birth control issue, that is illegal and hurts people, an important check is going to be the Attorney General of the state of Colorado and other states that are committed to fighting for the rule of law and protecting people.”

Shaun Boyd is CBS4’s political specialist. She’s a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.

Colorado Adopts California Emissions Standards

DENVER (AP) — Colorado has adopted vehicle emission rules that incorporate California standards, joining several other states in moving pre-emptively to avoid any weakening of federal standards by the Trump administration.

Friday’s vote by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission enacts a June executive order by Gov. John Hickenlooper, whose administration is seeking to reduce greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2025.

Under the rules, new vehicles sold in Colorado must average 36 mpg by 2025. That’s about 10 mpg over the existing standard.

72 Colorado Adopts California Emissions Standards

The Jetta being tested with State of Colorado testing equipment (credit: CBS)

Automobile dealers and industry officials argued the rules will add thousands of dollars to new vehicle prices — especially pickups, SUVs and all-wheel-drive vehicles that burn more gasoline and are widely used in Colorado’s rugged mountain areas, The Colorado Sun reported.

“Forcing our state’s small businesses to comply with and live under rules made by regulators in another state, where conditions are so much different, does not make sense,” Tony Gagliardi, Colorado director of the National Federation of Independent Business, testified on Thursday.

Currently, California’s standards are the same as the federal ones. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering freezing the federal standards, adopted by the Obama administration, at 2020 levels. Trump administration officials argue current rules will raise the price of vehicles by an average of more than $2,000.

California has a waiver under the federal Clean Air Act allowing it to impose tougher standards.

Steven Douglas, director of environmental affairs for the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers, urged Colorado regulators to delay any decision until the EPA decides what to do.

Hickenlooper cited the threat climate change poses to Colorado, including its multibillion-dollar outdoor recreation industry. He noted that Colorado’s elevation worsens pollution.

Metropolitan Denver, at 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) in altitude, routinely experiences ozone levels deemed to be unhealthy. Ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog, can cause serious breathing problems for some people.

Under the new rule, state officials say, the average price of a model year 2025 vehicle would increase by $1,138. But they also contend that car owners would save up to $1,682 on fuel and other maintenance costs.

The move would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 tons through 2030, according to state officials.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Judge: White House Must Return Press Pass To CNN Reporter Jim Acosta

(CBS) — A federal judge ruled Friday that CNN correspondent Jim Acosta can keep his White House credential for now, handing a victory to CNN in its lawsuit against President Trump and top White House officials.

Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump-appointed judge, granted CNN its request for a temporary restraining order to force the White House to return Acosta’s credential.

Last week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Acosta’s hard pass — the White House access pass granted to some journalists after a rigorous background check process — was being revoked after Acosta had a testy exchange with the president in last week’s press conference. The White House initially justified revoking Acosta’s access because they said he placed hands on an intern in the televised news conference. But their arguments submitted to court didn’t mention that as a reason for revoking the pass.

gettyimages 1058671866 Judge: White House Must Return Press Pass To CNN Reporter Jim Acosta

US President Donald Trump (R) gets into a heated exchange with CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (C) as NBC correspondent Peter Alexander (L) looks on during a post-election press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on November 7, 2018. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Kelly found that since the president did not inform Acosta at the press conference that he would or could have his credential taken, that Acosta’s due process rights under the Fifth Amendment had been violated. Therefore, Kelly said, Acosta was never given a meaningful opportunity to rebut the White House’s decision.

“The need for the opportunity to be heard seems especially important in this case,” Kelly said.

Kelly also held that Acosta suffered “irreparable harm” as a result the revocation. This has to do with “the liberties of the individual journalists themselves,” Kelly said, and told the court that “each day he is deprived of that interest,” Acosta suffers a harm that cannot be remedied.

At this point, Kelly said, “I have not determined the First Amendment was violated here.”

The White House credential, known as a hard pass, gives journalists access to the White House briefing room, to press conferences and White House events. The hard pass enables journalists to be quite close to the president at times. President Trump often makes himself available to the press, speaking with them during photo opportunities and as he is leaving for trips. He has so far, CBS News’ Mark Knoller notes, had more press availabilities than his two predecessors combined at this point.

After the court proceeding, Acosta emerged from the courtroom and briefly thanked his colleagues in the press for their support this week. “Let’s go back to work,” Acosta said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement in response to the ruling, affirming that the White House would “temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass.” She added that the White House will also “further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House.”

The plaintiffs are expected to return to the court next week.

On Wednesday, Kelly heard from both sides’ lawyers, with the attorney representing CNN arguing the White House is infringing on Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights, and the attorney representing Mr. Trump and others named in the suit claiming White House access is up to the president’s discretion.

“If the president wants to exclude all reporters from the White House grounds, he clearly has the discretion to do that,” James Burnham, the lawyer for the government, argued.

Theodore Boutrous, Jr., the lawyer for the plaintiffs, pointed out that the White House has “come up with four different reasons” for revoking Acosta’s access.

Fox News, CBS News, and other media outlets have signed onto an amicus brief in support of CNN and Acosta.

“We do not believe that revoking White House press credentials is an appropriate remedy for a disagreement the White House may have with a particular reporter,” CBS News said in a statement. “We intend to file a friend of the court brief in support of CNN’s lawsuit to defend its constitutional rights.”

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tim Weiner, Author Behind New Showtime Political Series, Touts Robert Mueller: ‘He Will Not Bend Or Break’

(CBS Local)– On Sunday, Showtime will release part one of a four part docu-series called “Enemies: The President, Justice & The FBI.”

The series is inspired by the book “Enemies: The FBI,” written by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Tim Weiner.  With executive producer and Oscar winner Alex Gibney guiding its vision, the series dives into the history of presidents from President Richard Nixon to President Donald Trump and their battles with law enforcement. The series culminates with a finale of President Donald Trump firing former FBI Director James Comey.

Weiner recently dropped by the CBS Local Studios to discuss the show, along with his thoughts on the ongoing saga with President Trump and Robert Mueller.

“The FBI is the most powerful force and I think the only force that is able to go up against the president when he breaks the law or bends the Constitution,” says Weiner. “In the spring of last year, the series came into place when President Trump fired Director Comey. We knew we were in the midst of an epic confrontation between the president and the FBI.”

While Weiner says the president’s lawyers fear he would perjure himself if he ever sat down with Mueller, the Pulitzer-Prize winner believes there is a responsibility from Trump and his lawyers to answer the questions they’re presented.

“The President and his lawyers are struggling to answer Robert Mueller’s questions about whether he fired Jim Comey with a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation that the FBI was conducting into the Russia hacks,” said Weiner. “It had been a counter-intelligence investigation about the attack on our election. When the President fired Jim Comey, it became a criminal investigation.”

While the firing of former attorney general Jeff Sessions topped the headlines recently, Weiner wants to remind everyone that President Trump doesn’t directly have the power to fire Mueller.

“The President can’t fire Mueller. Under the law, he has to get someone at the Justice Department to do it,” says Weiner. “If this guy Matthew Whitaker tries to fire Mueller, Mueller’s grand jury is going to put him in their crosshairs on obstruction. Bottom line, Trump can’t fire the FBI.”

Speaking of Mueller, Weiner had the opportunity to spend a few hours with the former FBI director two years ago. The author says the leader of the investigation into Trump and his affairs is one of the most important people in 21st century American history.

“I interviewed Mueller at an international security and law enforcement conference two years ago and we hung out afterward,” says Weiner. “This is a guy who represents an old school public service. He came out of Princeton and signed up to join the Marines at the height of the Vietnam War. If you are a lieutenant as Mueller was, and you order your men to go up the hill, you go up the hill first. Mueller has spent his life working for the greater good of the United States. There are very few people like him in the government of the United States today. He will not bend or break under political pressure.”

There is certainly a lot to focus on with this story in the present, but Weiner is already starting to think about the future. The author believes that things will ultimately end badly for President Trump once he becomes a citizen again.

“Some day, President Trump will be citizen Trump and he will not be protected by the immunity granted to presidents from indictment,” says Weiner. “He will be, I predict, in a world of pain.”

Watch “Enemies: The President, Justice & FBI” Sunday, Nov 18 at 8pm EST on Showtime.

Tim Weiner, Author Behind New Showtime Political Series, Touts Robert Mueller: ‘He Will Not Bend Or Break’

(CBS Local)– On Sunday, Showtime will release part one of a four part docu-series called “Enemies: The President, Justice & The FBI.”

The series is inspired by the book “Enemies: The FBI,” written by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Tim Weiner.  With executive producer and Oscar winner Alex Gibney guiding its vision, the series dives into the history of presidents from President Richard Nixon to President Donald Trump and their battles with law enforcement. The series culminates with a finale of President Donald Trump firing former FBI Director James Comey.

Weiner recently dropped by the CBS Local Studios to discuss the show, along with his thoughts on the ongoing saga with President Trump and Robert Mueller.

“The FBI is the most powerful force and I think the only force that is able to go up against the president when he breaks the law or bends the Constitution,” says Weiner. “In the spring of last year, the series came into place when President Trump fired Director Comey. We knew we were in the midst of an epic confrontation between the president and the FBI.”

While Weiner says the president’s lawyers fear he would perjure himself if he ever sat down with Mueller, the Pulitzer-Prize winner believes there is a responsibility from Trump and his lawyers to answer the questions they’re presented.

“The President and his lawyers are struggling to answer Robert Mueller’s questions about whether he fired Jim Comey with a corrupt intent to obstruct the investigation that the FBI was conducting into the Russia hacks,” said Weiner. “It had been a counter-intelligence investigation about the attack on our election. When the President fired Jim Comey, it became a criminal investigation.”

While the firing of former attorney general Jeff Sessions topped the headlines recently, Weiner wants to remind everyone that President Trump doesn’t directly have the power to fire Mueller.

“The President can’t fire Mueller. Under the law, he has to get someone at the Justice Department to do it,” says Weiner. “If this guy Matthew Whitaker tries to fire Mueller, Mueller’s grand jury is going to put him in their crosshairs on obstruction. Bottom line, Trump can’t fire the FBI.”

Speaking of Mueller, Weiner had the opportunity to spend a few hours with the former FBI director two years ago. The author says the leader of the investigation into Trump and his affairs is one of the most important people in 21st century American history.

“I interviewed Mueller at an international security and law enforcement conference two years ago and we hung out afterward,” says Weiner. “This is a guy who represents an old school public service. He came out of Princeton and signed up to join the Marines at the height of the Vietnam War. If you are a lieutenant as Mueller was, and you order your men to go up the hill, you go up the hill first. Mueller has spent his life working for the greater good of the United States. There are very few people like him in the government of the United States today. He will not bend or break under political pressure.”

There is certainly a lot to focus on with this story in the present, but Weiner is already starting to think about the future. The author believes that things will ultimately end badly for President Trump once he becomes a citizen again.

“Some day, President Trump will be citizen Trump and he will not be protected by the immunity granted to presidents from indictment,” says Weiner. “He will be, I predict, in a world of pain.”

Watch “Enemies: The President, Justice & FBI” Sunday, Nov 18 at 8pm EST on Showtime.