Trump Privately Tries to Mend Fences with GOP Senators

CNN: “The private outreach is part of a more concerted White House effort to repair relations Trump damaged with his own party over a tumultuous August, following the failure of the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare and a slew of White House controversies, including the President’s controversial handling of a deadly protest in Charlottesville.”

“And it now comes at a critical time: The White House is desperately trying to revive its health care push before a September 30 deadline — and needs senators like Murkowski to salvage the President’s agenda. But of course, it hasn’t always been smooth — especially as Trump has tried to circumvent Republicans and cut deals with Democratic leaders — over the GOP leadership’s objections.”

McConnell’s Mortal Enemy Might Soon Be in His Caucus

Politico: “Three words are striking fear in Senate Republicans these days: ‘Senator Roy Moore.’ The bomb-throwing former Alabama Supreme Court justice has vaulted to a hefty lead in Alabama’s Senate special election, lambasting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell every step of the way. A Moore victory promises to make McConnell’s tenuous 52-seat majority even more precarious, allies of the majority leader warn, potentially imperiling tax reform, raising the risk of default on the nation’s debt or even derailing routine Senate business.”

How Democrats Are Still Blocking Judge Appointments

New York Times: “Though the Senate has virtually eliminated the ability of the minority party to block appointments to the bench from the Supreme Court on down, individual senators can still thwart nominees from their home states by refusing to sign off on a form popularly known for its color — the blue slip.”

“Now, with some Democrats refusing to consent as the Trump administration moves to fill scores of judicial vacancies, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, is for the first time publicly advocating that the blue slip be made strictly advisory when it comes to appeals court nominees — the most powerful judges after those on the Supreme Court.”

Cruz No Longer ‘Likes’ Pornographic Post

A spokeswoman for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced that a “like” on a pornographic post on the Texas lawmaker’s Twitter account has been undone and reported to the social media site, Politico reports.

The Verge: “t’s unclear if Cruz liked the video himself, or if it was the late-night work of an aid that manages his social media presence. Nevertheless, Ted Cruz quickly became a trending topic and the butt of a raging internet joke machine. The last time Cruz reached this level of popularity on Twitter was when the internet wondered aloud if Cruz was the unidentified Zodiac Killer.”

McCain Admits His Fight for Health Will Be Tough

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) acknowledged the severity of his cancer prognosis, saying in his first national interview since receiving the diagnosis that it is the latest test in a lifetime of tough fights, CNN reports.

Said McCain: “I’m facing a challenge, but I’ve faced other challenges. And I’m very confident about getting through this one as well.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I realize that I come to Italy at a time when many are questioning whether America is still committed to remaining engaged in the world, to upholding our traditional alliances, and standing up for the values we share. I also realize — and there is no point in avoiding a little straight talk here — that this doubt has much to do with some of the actions and statements of our President.”

— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), quoted by Time magazine, at an international economic and policy conference in Lake Como, Italy.

McCain Says Trump is ‘Poorly Informed’ and ‘Impulsive’

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) writes in the Washington Post that Congress must return to “regular order” and compromise.

“That has never been truer than today, when Congress must govern with a president who has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct.”

He adds: “We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities. We must, where we can, cooperate with him. But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people. We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power. And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation.”

Trump Son to Testify Before Senate Panel

“President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has agreed to sit down for a transcribed interview with the Senate judiciary committee, as investigators continue to dig into his attendance at a 2016 meeting where he was promised Russian dirt on the Clinton campaign,” CNN reports.

“After weeks of discussions, Trump Jr. has agreed on a date to be interviewed by the panel in private.”

Menendez Will Miss Votes During Corruption Trial

“When the 115th Congress returns to Washington on September 5, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will likely be absent: His federal corruption trial is set to begin here the following day,” the New York Times reports.

“But when the Senate moves to vote on major bills during the fall – including on the debt ceiling, his plan to overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program, even an unpredictable major foreign policy decision – Senator Menendez will be caught between his desire to remain in front of jurors and his congressional obligation to fight for his constituents.”