“Margaret Brennan, the senior foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News, will be the next moderator of Face the Nation, the network’s prestige Sunday morning public affairs show and one of the most influential venues in American politics,” the New York Times reports.
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U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden — who was appointed by President Trump, donated to his campaign and worked on his presidential transition team — has rejected requests to recuse himself from overseeing a legal battle involving Fusion GPS, the research firm that commissioned the so-called “dossier” of unverified intelligence that contains claims about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, ABC News reports.
“I did not know that Russian bots were promoting my campaign… I would say that the real question to be asked is: What was the Clinton campaign doing about Russian interference — they had more information about this than we had.”
— Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in an interview with Vermont Public Radio.
Matt Lewis: “The organizers of CPAC apparently searched the four corners of the globe to assemble a ‘legion of doom’-style roster — a collection of some of the worst ‘conservative’ supervillains who generally share a populist, ethno-nationalist brand of politics (and some, I assume, are good people). Of course, it’s not just Le Pen. The lineup is a veritable murderer’s row of nationalists, including UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Jeanine Pirro, and Seb Gorka—and a panel titled: ‘Kim Jong Un-iversity: How College Campuses are Turning into Reeducation Camps.’”
Jonathan Swan: “Every few months, friends, family and advisers like Ivanka Trump, Rupert Murdoch and Gary Cohn fantasize Trump will tap his superpower as a force for good — to pass a big infrastructure bill, fight global warming, strike an epic immigration deal. Now, they dream of new gun controls to protect schools, kids and the innocent. He could, but he almost certainly won’t.”
“He may not fully understand the cultural significance of guns in middle America. But he believes that it’s cultural, not political, issues that truly move the needle.”
Politico: “The mass shootings in Newtown, Orlando, Las Vegas and even Fort Lauderdale didn’t get Marco Rubio to seriously reconsider his position on guns. But Rubio shifted on firearms Wednesday night as he weathered the righteous anger of a parent and of the students who survived the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School and who then faced him onstage at a CNN town hall in purple Florida’s liberal bastion of Broward County.”
“Jeered and booed by the crowd, buffeted by tough questions, Rubio stood alone as the only Republican onstage, in purple Florida’s liberal bastion of Broward County. He broke with President Trump on whether to arm teachers. Rubio said it was a bad idea. He said he would favor raising the minimum age to purchase an assault rifle from 18 to 21. And he said he would consider restricting the size of magazines for firearms.”
CNN: 6 things Rubio said on guns at the town hall.
Ron Brownstein: “The shifting geography of the electoral battlefield is providing gun-control advocates their best opportunity in years to tilt the balance on the issue in Congress.”
“Since the early 1990s, the National Rifle Association has sustained an impregnable congressional blockade against new gun-control measures. But the weakest link in that chain has always been the Republican-held suburban seats in the House of Representatives, where many voters support reasonable limits on gun access.”
Politico: “The past year in Congress has been a lowlight reel of nonstop unethical — and, in some cases, potentially illegal — behavior. Three House members resigned over alleged misconduct. Four others announced they won’t seek reelection, an option they took to head off party leaders forcing them out.”
“With tensions flaring between President Trump and national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the Pentagon is considering options that would allow the President to potentially move the three-star general out of his current role and back into the military,” CNN reports.
“A search is quietly being conducted by the Pentagon to see if there is a four-star military job suited for McMaster… Several sources told CNN that the push for a replacement comes after months of personal tension between McMaster and Trump.”
Wall Street Journal: “President Trump’s nominee to lead the Indian Health Service has withdrawn from consideration for the job… The move by Robert Weaver, a former insurance broker, comes after the Wall Street Journal published two articles earlier this year in which former colleagues alleged he had in some cases exaggerated his work experience and left a former employer in financial disarray.”
“Whenever there is a mass shooting, the National Rifle Association has a well-rehearsed response: Say very little until the inevitable discussion about gun control cools down,” the New York Times reports.
“But as the leaders of the country’s most influential gun advocacy group kept quiet after the school shooting last week in Parkland, Fla., that claimed 17 lives, a furious debate played out on NRATV, the organization’s online video channel.”
“Its hosts spoke chillingly of leftist plots to confiscate weapons, media conspiracies to brainwash Americans into supporting gun control and a ‘deep state’ campaign to undermine President Trump.”