You can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job. … I’ve probably done more in the first two years than any President, any administration, in the history of our country.
–President Donald Trump
Johnson's impeachement
The House of Representatives’ impeachment resolution against Andrew Johnson, approved February 24, 1868.

What’s reveling here is not just the president’s sense of history and his place in it, which he thinks about on a daily basis; it’s the sense that impeachment is nothing more than politics by other means. That you simply can’t do it if the politics won’t allow it. Is he thinking of Andrew Johnson, impeached in large part because the opposing party did not think he was getting more done than any other president in the history of all time, or Judge John Pickering, impeached in 1803 largely because of drunkenness? Is he taking solace in the idea that Reagan emerged unscathed from Iran-Contra due to his popularity? Or that the effort against Clinton failed because of that president’s association with a surging economy?

Impeachment has a spotty, inconsistent history. Trump is likely filling in the gaps with a hope that his perceived successes are his pardon. And he may of course find enough Republican senators eager to prove him right.

Also in this update, bold statements of historical precedents on the border and in Latin American international relations. And more of Trump saying that many things have never been worse (even as he says no one has ever done a better job).

Donald Trump: “I’ve probably done more in the first two years than any President, any administration, in the history of our country”

Donald TrumpYou can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job. That’s the way I view it. I’ve probably done more in the first two years than any President, any administration, in the history of our country. If you look at tax cuts, you look at regulations, you look at what we’ve done for the vets, you look at the rebuilding of the military and the numbers that we’re talking about, and many other things — I could give you a list that’s pages long. So I think it’s very hard to impeach somebody who’s done a great job.

–President Donald Trump, Remarks by President Trump After Meeting with Congressional Leadership on Border Security, Rose Garden, January 4, 2019

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Secretary Nielsen: For the first time, “the vast majority of the flow” of immigrants “is made up of unaccompanied children and families”

Kirstjen NielsenPart of what’s changed in the 2,000 migrants that we encounter and apprehend each day is that the vast majority of the flow, for the first time, is made up of unaccompanied children and families.

–Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Remarks by Vice President Pence, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and OMB Deputy Director Russell Vought, Press Briefing on Border Security, January 7, 2019

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Statements of Venezuela's neighbors on illegitimacy of its government are “very much different than they did in previous times”

Mike Pompeo QUESTION: Well, you just – you mentioned the Maduro regime as illegitimate, and I’m wondering if you can talk us through a little bit about how you’re thinking on a response. There has – are you considering recognizing the Venezuelan opposition and their leadership as the legitimate government in Venezuela? How are you approaching that problem?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So it’s a continuation of the policy we’ve had now for coming on 18 months, I guess, since the strategy with respect to Venezuela was put into place. It’s a combination of diplomatic efforts, building out the Lima Group and like-minded nations in the region. We’ve been very successful at that. If you see the statements the countries in the region of Venezuela have made about the illegitimacy of the Maduro regime, these are historic statements, very much different than they did in previous times.

–Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Roundtable With Traveling Press, remarks, January 12, 2019

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Donald Trump: Human trafficking “never been worse than now because of the Internet”

Donald TrumpBut it’s not just illegals. It’s criminals. It’s drugs. It’s the new phenomena that’s been age-old, been going on for thousands of years, but it’s never been worse than now because of the Internet. Human trafficking — where they grab women, put tape over their mouth, come through our border, and sell them.

–President Donald Trump, Before Marine One Departure, Remarks , January 6, 2019

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Donald Trump: “There has never been a time when our country was so infested with so many different drugs”

Donald TrumpThere has never been a time when our country was so infested with so many different drugs coming from so many different locations.

–President Donald Trump, Before Marine One Departure, Remarks, January 6, 2019

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Donald Trump: “They say that the surge to come into our country has never been stronger”

Donald TrumpBut a couple in particular, they say that the surge to come into our country has never been stronger. And it’s very unfair to people that want to come in legally. But the surge has never been stronger. And we have to build a wall, or we have to build a barrier.

–President Donald Trump, Before Marine One Departure, Remarks, January 6, 2019

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Secretary Azar: In 2018 “prescription drug costs actually went negative” for the first time in nearly 50 years

Alex AzarSome companies, such as Amgen, Merck, and Gilead, have cut the list price on certain drugs, and early data suggests that the 2019 price increases have been smaller and fewer in number than we saw in 2018. From December 2017 to December 2018, one official measure of inflation in prescription drug costs actually went negative—the first time it has been negative in almost 50 years.

–Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Remarks, Price of Good Health Summit, January 15, 2019

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin: NAFTA's replacement is “unprecedented” in how it addresses “unfair currency practices”

Steve Mnuchin “Additionally, the USMCA includes language on Macroeconomic Policies and Exchange Rate Matters, with new policy and transparency commitments on currency issues. This will address unfair currency practices by requiring high-standard commitments to refrain from competitive devaluations and targeting exchange rates, while significantly increasing transparency and providing mechanisms for accountability. This approach is unprecedented in the context of a trade agreement, and will help reinforce macroeconomic and exchange rate stability.”

–Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on the Signing of the USMCA, statement, November 30, 2018

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Trump administration has “put in place the largest sanctions in history against the Islamic Republic of Iran”

Mike PompeoWe are working to cut off funding for terror groups wherever the source of those funds. We have now put in place the largest sanctions in history against the Islamic Republic of Iran, a place from which much terror is generated.

–Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with Amal Roushdy of Egyptian State Television, interview, January 11, 2019

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Under Secretary of Defense for Policy: The 1972 ABM Treaty created a “legal prohibition” to “not to defend American cities from missile attack”

John RoodNow, there was a time in 1972 where the United States policy was different, and the United States signed a treaty called the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, in which we took a legal prohibition in that treaty, not to defend American cities from missile attack. What’s stated here is that we will not accept those type of limitations, going forward, given the threat that we face and the type of security environment we’re in.

Of course, the United States signed the 1972 ABM Treaty in — in 1972, but we later withdrew from that treaty. President Bush announced that in — the end of 2001 and it took effect in 2002.–Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood, Off-Camera Press Briefing on the 2019 Missile Defense Review, Department of Defense, January 17, 2019

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “Christians have been central to Middle East,” and “all you got to do is grab a Bible” to see that

Mike PompeoQUESTION: Two final questions, one about the Christians in the region: They have an appeal that they won’t be eradicated, that Christianity won’t be eradicated. What’s your message to those Christians?

SECRETARY POMPEO: That America is with them. Christianity is at the heart of the history of this place here in the Middle East. All you got to do is grab a Bible and read the places and the names. Christians have been central to Middle East.

–Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with Chris Mitchell of Christian Broadcast Network, interview, January 11, 2019

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