Prime-time Trump faces credibility crisis

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump will face one huge obstacle when he appeals to Americans in a prime-time Oval Office address Tuesday to unite behind his crusade for a border wall: Himself. On Tuesday night, Trump will commandeer the symbolic might of his office in an effort to bolster a political approach that has failed to force Democrats to cave to his demand for $5 billion in wall funding amid a government shutdown now in its third week. He will hold forth on a deeply contentious issue from the spot where President Ronald Reagan eulogized the Challenger space shuttle crew and where other predecessors gave notice of the start or ends of wars. The historically resonant stagecraft represents an attempt to …

Russian lawyer at Trump Tower meeting charged in separate case

(CNN)The Russian lawyer who attended a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with members of the Trump campaign was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with obstruction of justice in connection with a money-laundering case, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday that highlighted her ties to the Russian government. There is little expectation, however, that Veselnitskaya will face the obstruction charge in a US courtroom. A 43-year-old Russian citizen and resident, she is not in the US, and it’s unlikely that she’ll ever be taken into custody unless she leaves Russia. Reached by phone Tuesday, she told CNN that she would “defend her professional honor” in the case and declined to comment further about the matter, saying she just learned …

Go ahead, Mitt Romney: Utah Republicans are the most anti-Trump

(CNN)Mitt Romney is the latest Republican to go after President Donald Trump. But there’s one major difference between Romney and most other Trump critics: Romney’s home state. Romney did much better in his Senate bid in Utah than Trump did in his presidential bid in the state. Even after his anti-Trump rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, Romney won 71% of the vote in a primary against Republican Mike Kennedy in 2018. That’s 57 points higher than Trump did in the 2016 caucuses. (I should note Trump endorsed Romney’s 2018 Senate bid.) The general election shows the same picture of Romney outperforming Trump in Utah. Trump won only 45% of the vote in the 2016 general election. Romney won 63% of …