Donald Trump | St. Louis Public Radio

Donald Trump

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine told Congress on Friday she was recalled after a smear campaign led by President Trump's allies — and Trump criticized her on Twitter even as she testified live on television.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch appeared at Democrats' second open impeachment hearing to discuss her career and the circumstances under which her posting to Kyiv was prematurely halted earlier this year.

Updated at 5:21 p.m. ET

A State Department staffer overheard President Trump asking a top diplomat about "investigations" he wanted Ukraine to pursue that he believed might help him in the 2020 election, another senior diplomat told Congress.

That staffer is expected to tell his story directly to House investigators at a closed-door deposition on Friday.

The new subplot about the overheard phone conversation was one of a small number of new details to emerge from Democrats' first open hearing in their impeachment inquiry into Trump on Wednesday.

President Ronald Reagan delivers his famous "tear down this wall" speech in June 1987 at the Brandenburg Gate. | Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library
Ronald Reagan Library

Peter Robinson had just turned 30 years old when, as Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter in 1987, he was tasked with crafting what would become one of the world’s most famous presidential speeches.

“I spent six years in the Reagan White House and I wrote tens of thousands of words, and nobody remembers anything except six of them — and one of them is ‘mister,’” said Robinson, referring to the memorable “tear down this wall” line that Reagan directed at Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev before a crowd of thousands at the Berlin Wall.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
File photo |Tim Bommell | Missouri House Communications

In this week’s Political Speaking news roundup, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Jo Mannies discuss Sen. Roy Blunt’s reaction to the Democratic House’s move toward impeaching President Trump and the Ukraine controversy.

We also chat about the ongoing discussion over new gambling machines that have popped up in gas stations, fraternal lodges and convenience stores across the state. House lawmakers held a hearing in Jefferson City on Thursday regarding whether the new machines are legal and the challenges with regulating them.

Most farmers haven't had a single good year since President Trump took office, and Trump’s policies on trade, immigration and ethanol are part of the problem.

Yet farmers, who broadly supported Trump in 2016, are sticking with him as the impeachment inquiry moves forward.

“You see everyone circling their wagons now, and the farm community is no different in that,” says John Herath, the news director at Farm Journal.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt mingles with Republican supporters at state party's Lincoln Days festivities, held this weekend in Kansas City.
File photo I Jo Mannies I St. Louis Public Radio

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is in the eye of the political storm over President Donald Trump.

The Missouri Republican is part of a committee that’s gathering facts about Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president. He told reporters on Wednesday in St. Louis that “putting the facts together on the most recent House allegation is important — and then reaching conclusions.”

President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse on July 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the Missouri and Illinois congressional delegations are reacting to the escalating threat of impeachment against President Donald Trump along party lines.

At issue is Trump’s request for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, which was confirmed in a memorandum that the White House released on Wednesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the Democratic-controlled chamber would launch an impeachment inquiry. 

Trump has denied any impropriety. 

Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry Into President Trump

Sep 24, 2019

Updated at 7:48 p.m. ET

After months of expressing caution on a push for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump Tuesday.

"The president must be held accountable," Pelosi said. "No one is above the law."

The landmark move comes after controversy over a phone call Trump had with the newly elected Ukranian leader in July and reporting that the president pressured him to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

Bost And Others Influenced Trump Into Backing Off Commuting Blagojevich’s Sentence

Aug 14, 2019
Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for trying to personally gain when appointing someone to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat after the 2008 election.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, confirmed he spoke with President Donald Trump and his acting chief of staff just before the president backed off of his consideration of commuting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich' prison sentence.

Trump had brought up the idea while speaking to reporters on Air Force One while returning from a trip to El Paso, Texas last week.

CNN reported, Trump decided to back off after conversations with Bost and U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria. They also spoke with Trump's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

Missouri Republican Party Excecutive Director Jean Evans
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Jean Evans is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where she talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about the state of her party going into next year’s election cycle.

Evans served one term in the Missouri House before resigning earlier this year to take on the executive director position in the state party. She’s in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Missouri GOP, including helping organize the process to select state delegates for next year’s Republican National Convention.

Saturday marks the 100th day that U.S Sen. Josh Hawley has been in the United States Senate.
Courtesy of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley's office

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum spoke with U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley about his first few months in the U.S. Senate.

The Republican senator was elected to a six-year term last November. Saturday will mark his 100th day in office, which has been jam-packed with some big debates over President Donald Trump’s agenda and administration.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's work is done, but the Russia imbroglio likely has a few more encores before the curtain closes.

Attorney General William Barr notified Congress on Sunday of a huge milestone in the saga: Mueller has submitted a report that did not find that President Trump's campaign conspired with the Russians who interfered in the 2016 election.

Mueller Report Doesn't Find Russian Collusion, But Can't 'Exonerate' On Obstruction

Mar 24, 2019

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that President Trump's campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election, according to a summary of findings submitted to Congress by Attorney General William Barr.

"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election," Barr wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees on Sunday afternoon.

The US Senate voted 59-41 Thursday to reject President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri was among the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats to go against the president on what some are calling an historic vote.

The Republican-led Senate sent a firm message to the White House, with several Republicans saying they could not support the president because they felt he did not have the authority to take such steps.

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, speaks at a congressional forum hosted by the League of Women Voters at Christ Church Cathedral in July of 2016.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

As a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, St. Louis Congressman Lacy Clay had a prominent place in the nationally televised hearings of Michael Cohen.

President Donald Trump’s former lawyer spent most of Wednesday making a series of accusations against his former boss. And the issue the University City Democrat zeroed in on were claims that Trump inflated his net worth numerous times — including on loan documents as part of his effort to try to buy a professional football team.

Michael Cohen Calls Trump A 'Racist' And A 'Con Man' In Scathing Testimony

Feb 27, 2019

Updated at 11:49 p.m. ET

Donald Trump apparently blessed the meeting his son held with a Russian delegation to get dirt on opponents in 2016 and welcomed advance word of efforts by WikiLeaks to disrupt the election, his former lawyer told Congress.

This story has been updated to include statements from Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Rep. Sam Graves.

For the most part, the reactions of Kansas' and Missouri's congressional delegation to President Donald Trump's emergency declaration Friday fell along party lines.

President Trump delivered a wide-ranging State of the Union address Tuesday night that went an hour and 21 minutes. That's the third-longest ever.

So what should we make of Trump's third address to Congress, and in a year when Democrats are gearing up for a crowded primary to decide who will face Trump in 2020?

1. Trump did not acknowledge the new political reality in Washington

Illustration of President Trump
Chelsea Beck | NPR

President Trump is delivering his State of the Union address, which the White House says will outline a "policy agenda both parties can rally behind." Yet the speech follows the longest shutdown in U.S. history, and the deadline to avoid another one is in less than two weeks. NPR reporters covering the White House, Congress, immigration, national security and more are annotating his remarks live, adding context and analysis.

Republican politician Jeb Bush, pictured here at a 2015 event, joined "St. Louis on the Air" for a conversation ahead of his Jan. 22 St. Louis Speakers Series appearance at Powell Hall.
Gage Skidmore

When St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Monday asked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush if he was glad to see the end of 2018 – which marked the passing of both of his parents – Bush acknowledged it had been a difficult year but focused on the celebration of what he called “purposeful lives.”

“It was a sad time,” Bush said, “but at the same time it was a wonderful time to be able to celebrate the life of my mom and dad and to see the outpouring of love and incredible support to our family.”

He joined the talk show ahead of a visit to St. Louis set for Jan. 22, when he’ll be giving an evening talk at Powell Hall as part of the St. Louis Speakers Series. He said he plans to “paint a picture of where we are as a country.”

President Donald J. Trump’s midterm campaign visit at the Columbia Regional Airport Thursday night was marked by the presence of numerous local and state-level GOP politicians, all appearing to boost Senate hopeful Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s campaign in its final days.

Jonah Goldberg
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Conservative writer Jonah Goldberg is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. He joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about his book Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy.

Goldberg is a syndicated columnist and a senior editor for National Review. He was intimately involved in the start of National Review Online, one of the most enduring political sites devoted to conservative politics.

Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Both of Missouri’s senators want their colleagues to investigate allegations of sexual assault against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

It comes as Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court was expected to get a key vote later this week.

Onlookers watch as Air Force One lands at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in March 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

There’s one person who will affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate race more than a pointed attack ad or dumptrucks full of money: President Donald Trump.

Both U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley believe he’ll make an impact in their nationally-watched contest.

The question, though, is who will benefit?

Attendees listen as President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse. July 26, 2018
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann round up some of the week’s biggest developments in the 2018 elections.

One of the topics Rosenbaum and Lippmann take a look at this week is President Donald Trump’s aluminum and steel tariffs — and how they may affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate contest.

Granite City steel plant on July 20, 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Steel is facing a labor issue in Granite City just months after restarting production at the Metro East plant. The company’s current national contract with the United Steelworkers is set to expire Saturday, and workers are holding a rally Thursday to draw attention to the negotiations.

President Donald Trump arrives at St. Louis Lambert International Airport to attend a fundraiser for GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Hawley.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s Politically Speaking zeroes in on how President Donald Trump will affect Missouri’s election cycle — particularly U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid against Attorney General Josh Hawley.

On the surface, Trump should benefit Hawley — especially because the GOP chief executive won Missouri by nearly 19 percentage points in 2016. Missouri’s public opinion polls show his approval ratings hovering around 50 percent. But Trump has faced a torrent of controversy this week with the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen court proceedings.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday, August 17, 2018, in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Friday’s edition of Politically Speaking explores three different storylines to watch as candidates and campaigns ramp up for the November election.

The first one that St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies tackle is U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s upcoming meeting with Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Both sides of the political spectrum are pressuring McCaskill on how to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which comes as she runs against GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Provided | VICE on HBO

A documentary from the HBO series "Vice" features two Missouri plants that have been affected by President Donald Trump’s trade policies and tariffs.

For one plant, the tariffs have been a lifeline; for the other, it’s driving a nail into the business. “Trump’s Trade War” explores the reality in both those plants and others across the U.S.

President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse on July 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated July 27 at 2:37 p.m. - STLPR journalist Jason Rosenbaum joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to provide further analysis and a behind-the-scenes look at the president's visit.

Original story from July 26:

President Donald Trump offered up a passionate defense of his trade policy during a visit Thursday to Granite City, and predicted that Friday’s economic numbers will back him up.

“The days of plundering American jobs and wealth, those days are over,’’ Trump said, touching off cheers from an enthusiastic crowd of about 500 invited guests gathered in a warehouse that’s part of a steel mill complex being reopened by US Steel.

Pages