The Trump administration has expanded the definition of “essential” to just about any government service that would cause the public great discomfort (and therefore affect Trump’s poll numbers)—like tax refunds or air passenger transport.
Exceptions are also made when the administration’s favorite industries face hardship as a result of the shutdown. For example, federal employees who work to support the onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling industry, forest management (timber sales) and the mortgage industry have also been deemed “essential” after their lobbyists complained about how the shutdown was harming their business.
“Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Fox News host Jeanine Pirro asked Trump when he called into her Saturday night show.
Joy Reid, for Rachel Maddow
Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence department, talks with Joy Reid about the part of the Trump-Russia “iceberg” the public can’t see that likely formed the basis of the FBI’s concerns about whether Donald Trump was working for Russia.