Playbook: “Republican leadership seems intent on pushing the narrative that they are going to start a formal conference negotiation between the House and Senate bills. But some tell us it would be much easier if the House just swallowed the Senate’s legislation.”
Archives for November 2017
“Former Trump adviser and longtime political troublemaker Roger Stone has been asked repeatedly how he knew, seemingly in advance, that WikiLeaks was going to publish damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And he has repeatedly refused to answer, saying he had a ‘go-between’ who did not wish to be named,” ABC News reports.
“On Tuesday, however, Randy Credico, a New York comedian and political activist who hosts his own radio show, tweeted a picture of a congressional subpoena compelling him to appear on Dec. 15 before the House Intelligence Committee… Credico has been identified as the intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and will face questions from investigators about those relationships.”
“President Trump this week disseminated on social media three inflammatory and unverified anti-Muslim videos, took glee in the firing of a news anchor for sexual harassment allegations despite facing more than a dozen of his own accusers and used a ceremony honoring Navajo war heroes to malign a senator with a derogatory nickname, ‘Pocahontas,'” the Washington Post reports.
“Again and again, Trump veered far past the guardrails of presidential behavior. But despite the now-routine condemnations, the president is acting emboldened, as if he were impervious to the uproar he causes.”
“If there are consequences for his actions, Trump does not seem to feel their burden personally.”
“Jared Kushner met earlier this month with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election,” CNN reports.
“Mueller’s team specifically asked Kushner about former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who is under investigation by the special counsel… Flynn was the dominant topic of the conversation.”
“Staffers for Senate Republicans’ campaign arm seized information on more than 200,000 donors from the House GOP campaign committee over several months this year by breaking into its computer system,” Politico reports.
“Something is unleashed with him lately. I don’t know what is causing it. I don’t know how to describe it.”
— New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, talking on CNN about President Trump’s recent behavior.
President Trump “has told associates he feels good about the way he has navigated the Alabama Senate race that has riven the Republican Party and is confident he will come out fine no matter what happens in the contest,” the Washington Post reports.
“Trump has said privately that if Republican nominee Roy Moore wins, he would reject any move by Republican leadership to expel him from the Senate and would welcome his support on legislation… And if Moore loses, Trump will simply distance himself and remind people that he backed the current senator, Luther Strange, in the primary.”
Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore (R) “co-authored a study course, published in 2011 and recently obtained by ThinkProgress, that instructs students that women should not be permitted to run for elected office.”
“If women do run for office, the course argues, people have a moral obligation not to vote for them. The course is also critical of the women’s suffrage movement, which in 1920 secured some American women the right to vote.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that pollster Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to President Trump, would oversee White House efforts to combat the opioid overdose epidemic, BuzzFeed News reports.
However: The White House has not yet released a strategy on how to approach the crisis, nor has a head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy been appointed.
The U.S. Senate voted to proceed with debate on the Republican tax bill, 52 to 48, in a party line vote, the New York Times reports.
Axios: “Republican leadership wants to pass the bill by the end of the week. There will be up to 20 hours of debate and votes on a series of amendments prior to the final vote. The House has already passed a different tax bill and, should the Senate pass its bill, they will have to agree on a compromise package.”
For members: How the GOP Tax Bill Might Still Be Derailed
“He’s one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.”
— Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), quoted by MSNBC, on President Trump.
Sources told WDIV that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) “will not seek re-election for a new term in the wake of the scandal, which continues to grow.”
However, Conyers won’t resign and will instead announce in January that he won’t run for re-election in 2018.
Greg Sargent: “But such incredulity misses the deeper significance of this stuff. The brazenness of it is the whole point — his utter shamelessness itself is meant to achieve his goal. In any given case, Trump is not trying to persuade anyone of anything as much as he is trying to render reality irrelevant, and reduce the pursuit of agreement on it to just another part of the circus. He’s asserting a species of power — the power to evade constraints normally imposed by empirically verifiable facts, by expectations of consistency, and even by what reasoned inquiry deems merely credible. The more brazen or shameless, the more potent is the assertion of power.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has postponed an anticipated grand jury testimony linked to his investigation into Michael Flynn amid growing indications of possible plea deal discussions, CNN reports.
Speaker Paul Ryan “scratched plans for a fund-raiser on Wednesday that was to benefit the re-election campaign of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), after Mr. Zeldin voted against the sweeping tax overhaul that cleared the House earlier this month,” the New York Times reports.
“Several people familiar with the planning for the fund-raiser said the cancellation was designed to punish Mr. Zeldin, who not only voted against the bill but was outspoken about one aspect: the elimination of the federal deduction for state and local taxes, which particularly impacts high-tax states like New York.”
A must-read: Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O’Donnell.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who announced this week that he will not run for re-election, told Politico that he is not retiring and is thinking about running for president in 2020.
Said Gutierrez: “I will be reaching out to people across the country. I am going to take the steps to guarantee FEC regulations and rules about campaign financing, first and foremost, make sure I’m following the law… I want to build something national.”
Gutiérrez said he and his wife plan to tour the country over the next six months.
Out next week: The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg.