U.S. officials have “verified” a key claim in a report about Kremlin involvement in Donald Trump’s election — that a Russian diplomat in Washington was in fact a spy, the BBC reports.
Washington Post: Who is “Source D”?
Just out: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco.
The book will will debut at number 10 this week on the New York Times bestseller list.
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“The digital vendor for President Donald Trump’s political campaign has hired a new senior consultant: the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump,” the AP reports.
“Eric Trump’s wife, will serve as a liaison for San Antonio, Texas-based Giles-Parscale to Trump’s ongoing campaign, based at Trump Tower in Manhattan.”
“The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”
— Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, quoted by E&E News, suggesting a border wall could be placed on the Mexican side of the U.S. border.
“North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature and its Democratic governor announced late Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to repeal the controversial state law that curbs legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and sets rules that affect transgender bathroom use in public buildings,” the New York Times reports.
“But gay rights advocates raised objections, arguing that the compromise would continue to allow discrimination. And it was unclear late Wednesday whether the deal, if approved, would end the boycotts by sports leagues, businesses and others that have harmed the state’s reputation and economy.”
Washington Post: “This week, lawmakers are facing a clear deadline imposed by the NCAA, which gave North Carolina until Thursday to change the law if it wants to host any college sports championships through 2022.”
“The Senate is careening toward a historic change to its filibuster rules that takes it one step closer to a version of the majority-rule House of Representatives,” Politico reports.
“But no one seems to care enough to save the Senate from itself.”
“Unlike past institutional crises, there’s no bipartisan ‘gang’ stepping up to force a truce between the warring armies led by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Acrimony between the two parties has become so routine that invoking the so-called nuclear option to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court is almost a ho-hum affair, assumed to be a done deal.”
“A federal judge in Hawaii decided Wednesday to extend his order blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban, preventing the government from suspending new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and halting the U.S. refugee program,” the AP reports.
“The Trump administration is signaling to Congress it would seek mostly modest changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement in upcoming negotiations with Mexico and Canada, a deal President Donald Trump called a ‘disaster’ during the campaign,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
As Politico notes, most of what Trump wants changed in NAFTA is what was already negotiated in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement he already rejected.
Politico: “The heat has left some of the remaining members of the group questioning whether the Freedom Caucus did the right thing in delivering an embarrassing rebuke to their new Republican president. Some hope that Speaker Paul Ryan’s move this week to re-open negotiations on health care will give them another chance to get to ‘yes’ — and save them from being faulted for the collapse of the GOP’s campaign to end Obamacare.”
“It’s unclear how prevalent buyer’s remorse is within the group, which has roughly three dozen members.”
“Republican and Democratic veterans of Washington’s messy policymaking process have a vehement response to the idea that the White House, fresh from its failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, will take the lead on drafting legislation to reform the nation’s tax system: good luck with that,” Politico reports.
“Traditionally, the White House has stumbled when trying to craft major new legislation. Writing laws is, after all, what Congress gets paid to do — and lawmakers don’t like being big-footed by staffers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., even when they come from the same party.”
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Rich Lowry: “In light of all this, the product of the Ryan-Trump partnership on health care was a bill bizarrely at odds with a national election Republicans had just won on the strength of working-class voters. Under the GOP replacement, fewer people would have had coverage, and workers further down the income scale would have been particularly hard hit. For whatever reason, neither of these facts seemed to exercise the White House, at least not enough to try to do anything to fix them.”
“His energies were taken up trying to placate the conservative House Freedom Caucus. The supposed affinity between Trump and the Freedom Caucus is one of the great ideological misunderstandings of our time. Just because Trump and the conservative caucus are both ‘anti-establishment’ doesn’t mean they have anything else in common. Trump is more naturally an ally of the moderate Tuesday Group, except with a flame-throwing Twitter feed.”
“A President Trump acting more in keeping with his free-floating reflex to take care of people, as expressed in speeches and interviews, would have pushed the health bill to the left. But Trump so far hasn’t followed the logic of his own politics in dealing with Congress.”
“Congressional Republicans are working aggressively to craft an agreement intended to keep the government open past April 28, but their bid to avert a shutdown hinges on courting Democrats wary of President Trump and skirting the wrath of both hardline conservatives and Trump himself,” the Washington Post reports.
“The murky path forward on government funding sparked widespread unease Wednesday within the business community and at the Capitol, where Republicans speculated that Trump’s request for money to build a wall along the border with Mexico and $30 billion in new defense spending may need to be delayed to avoid a shutdown.”
“That was some weird shit.”
— Former President George W. Bush, quoted by New York Magazine, at Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.
A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told Politico.
Goddard spent more than a decade as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he was a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won - Now What? (Scribner, 1998), a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties. In addition, Goddard's essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University. He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.
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