Talking Points: Did You See What They Said?

"The president has one of two choices, either retract or provide the information that the American people deserve. I have no reason to believe that the charge is true, but I also believe that the president of the United States could clear this up in a minute."— Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama bugged his telephone (The Huffington Post, Sunday)"He doesn't really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally."— White House spokesman Sean Spicer, walking back his boss' claim that the former president tapped his phones (Politico, Monday)"We don't have any evidence that that took place and in fact I don't believe -- just in the last week of time, the people we've talked to -- I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower."-- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. (, Wednesday)"If we can't crack Facebook, how are we supposed to be able to confront Russian aggression and cyber-hacking throughout our military?"—Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D, N.Y., blasting a Marine Corps general who tried to explain why no one has yet been held accountable for the military's nude photo sharing scandal (NewYork Daily News, Tuesday)"Punishment is the most effective when it happens consistently and swiftly. Neither describes the death penalty in this state."—Aramis Ayala, chief prosecutor in Orlando, Fla., announcing that her office would no longer seek the death penalty, shortly before Florida Gov. Rick Scott removed her from the case of an accused cop killer (, Thursday)"Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."— Iowa Rep. Steve King tweeting praise for Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who openly opposes Islam and immigration (@SteveKingIA, Sunday) "And as a Christian myself, I believe we are all descended from the same place. His comments stand in direct contradiction to those ideas and beliefs, and I firmly reject them."— South Carolina's Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, condemning a tweet from GOP colleague Steve King that has been interpreted as thinly veiled white nationalism (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Monday) "If you have news, Rachel please tell us. Soon. I'm not young"— ESPN anchor Bob Ley, on MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow's elongated windup to revealing two pages of Donald Trump's 2005 federal tax return (@BobLeyESPN, Tuesday)"Kind of like looking at the gates of hell."—Orvis Melvin, the director of sales and marketing for the Scarborough Renaissance Festival, on a fire at the festival site in Waxahachie (Dallas Morning News, Tuesday)"We do not want to get flowers and head scarves. Instead, respect us as humans."—Zubaida Akbar, a women's rights activist in Afghanistan, referring to traditional gifts on International Women's Day (New York Times, Wednesday) "Fuel efficiency technology pays for itself and is a boon to car and truck buyers that benefit from the savings greater efficiency offers."— Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union decrying Trump's plan to review auto fuel efficiency standards (The New York Times, Wednesday) "BTW, Republicans lied about wanting tax cuts. Can we get our votes back?"— Matt Drudge, founder of the conservative Drudge Report, in a tweet (@drudge, Tuesday)"At a time where so many people wonder whether our institutions still work, whether members of Congress still listen to the people they represent, whether a Republican and a Democrat can get along and work together. I thought let's try to prove the concept."— Congressman Beto O'Rourke D-El Paso, who joined House colleague Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, to beat the blizzards by driving and live streaming the trip from San Antonio to Washington (Dallas Morning News, Tuesday)"He deserves a chance and in fairness to him, this is a man in my view, who understandably like all the press thought, didn't think he was gonna win."—Former Vice President Joe Biden, urging Americans to give President Donald Trump a chance to lead the country (Washington Times, Tuesday)"We have established, traditional, effective methods of feral-hog control: trapping and hunting," — Eydin Hansen, president of Don't Poison Texas, a coalition opposed to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's plan to poison the state's feral hog population (Dallas Morning News, Sunday) "Snoop shouldn't have done that. We've had presidents assassinated before in this country, so anything like that is really something people should be very careful about."— Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., disapproving of Snoop Dogg's new music video showing the rapper pretending to shoot President Trump (Washington Times, Tuesday)  Continue reading...

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