Trump Told to Stay Out of Speaker’s Race

President Trump wanted to endorse House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to succeed outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan but is being advised not to back a candidate in the race, ABC News reports.

“A source close to the White House said Trump’s advisors are concerned that the endorsement could complicate the contest, and Trump’s future relationship with the next GOP leader should his preferred candidate lose or decide not to run.”

The Democratic ‘Civil War’ Is More Civil Than War

Francis Wilkinson: “Some civil war talk is likely a product of bothsidesism — the desire of pundits and reporters to find symmetry in increasingly asymmetrical political parties. Republicans have accommodated themselves to chaos and corruption so surely the Democrats must be ready to combust, too.”

“Except that the Democratic Party is not much like the Republican Party. As Lara Putnam and Theda Skocpol wrote in a much-discussed article about surging grassroots Democratic action in suburbs and small cities, sightings of a Democratic Tea Party, let alone a smash-everything Trumpist-style rampage, are largely chimerical. The movement against Trump is led by plenty of level-headed people, especially women.”

“The chaotic divider of America will remain a uniter of Democrats as long as he is in office. If there is a Democratic civil war to come, it is off in the distance — hopefully a brighter place — in which Trump and his coterie have met whatever fate awaits them.”

Hawley Says Greitens Likely Committed Felony

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) announce that his office has uncovered potential criminal wrongdoing by Gov. Eric Greitens (R) and he has turned that evidence over to the St. Louis prosecutor, the Kansas City Star reports.

Hawley said that during the course of an investigation into a charity founded by Greitens, his office “uncovered evidence of wrongdoing that goes beyond Missouri’s charity laws” and indicates “potentially criminal acts were committed by Gov. Eric Greitens.”

Espy and Hyde-Smith Running Even In Mississippi

A new Triumph Campaigns poll in Mississippi finds Mike Espy (D) and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) neck and neck in the special election to replace Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), 33% to 33%. They are followed by Chris McDaniel (R) at 13% and Jason Shelton (D) at 6%.

The special election will not have party primaries and is likely to go to a runoff.

In head-to-head matchups, Hyde-Smith leads Espy, 42% to 36%, while Espy leads McDaniel, 43% to 24%.

Pruitt Upgraded to SUV with Bullet-Proof Seat Covers

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “upgraded his official car last year to a costlier, larger vehicle with bullet-resistant covers over bucket seats,” the Washington Post reports.

“One former EPA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation, said that Pruitt remarked that he wanted the larger car because it was similar to ones in which some other Cabinet officials rode.”

Gorsuch Votes Against Deporting Immigrant

Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s selection last year for the Supreme Court, cast the deciding vote in a decision released Tuesday that sided with an immigrant fighting his deportation, The Hill reports.

“Gorsuch ruled with the court’s four liberal justices in favor of the immigrant, James Garcia Dimaya, who argued that his convictions on two burglary charges did not represent a violent crime.”

Ryan Zinke Falsely Claims He’s a Geologist

CNN: “Since becoming leader of the 70,000-employee agency, Zinke has suggested that he was a geologist or former geologist at least 40 times in public settings, including many under oath before Congress.
He uses it as a credential booster… He also uses it while discussing coal revenue, seismic activity, climate change, national monuments, precious metals, endangered species, fracking and drilling.”

“Zinke, however, has never held a job as a geologist.”

Being the Anti-Clinton Won’t Work In 2018

First Read: “One of the keys to President Trump’s victory in 2016 — and to his overall political survival — has been to claim, essentially: ‘Hey, I’m not Hillary Clinton.’ Indeed, voters who disliked BOTH Clinton and him ended up siding with the Republican in 2016.”

“But that talking point doesn’t work for Trump anymore, even as Clinton remains highly unpopular, according to the latest NBC/WSJ poll… voters who dislike both Hillary and Trump make up 15 percent of voters, and they are more Democratic and prefer the Dems to control Congress.”

“NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R) says that the bipartisan disapprovers are clearly different voters between 2016 and now, but it’s also clear that they won’t be Republican voters in 2018 – and maybe beyond.”