TRUMP AGENDA: Previewing today’s big health care vote
The big health care news from last night, from Leigh Ann Caldwell: John McCain is coming back for today’s health care vote. More: “Still, less than 24 hours before an expected vote to begin debate on health care, Senate Republicans still haven’t been told exactly what kind of reform they will ultimately be voting on, creating even more uncertainty about the chances of gaining a majority of Republicans needed to proceed.”
Benjy Sarlin and Jane Timm fact-check Trump’s remarks on health care.
In a closed-door event in Las Vegas, John Boehner said Republicans are “not going to repeal and replace Obamacare” because “the American people have gotten accustomed to it,” the Washington Post reports.
The AP has a summary of Trump’s strikingly political rhetoric at last night’s Scout Jamboree.
The New York Times: “After six months in office, Mr. Trump has crossed so many lines, discarded so many conventions, said and done so many things that other presidents would not have, that he has radically shifted the understanding of what is standard in the White House. He has moved the bar for outrage. He has a taste for provocation and relishes challenging Washington taboos. If the propriety police tut tut, he shows no sign of concern.”
Trump is ripping into Jeff Sessions again this morning on Twitter.
The Washington Post, on how Trump has left Sessions twisting in the wind: “President Trump and his advisers are privately discussing the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and some confidants are floating prospects who could take his place were he to resign or be fired, according to people familiar with the talks. Members of Trump’s circle, including White House officials, have increasingly raised the question among themselves in recent days as the president has continued to vent his frustration with the attorney general, the people said. Replacing Sessions is viewed by some Trump associates as potentially being part of a strategy to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and end his investigation of whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.”
“Anthony Scaramucci’s appointment as White House communications director presents a sensitive situation for the planned sale of his investment company to a Chinese conglomerate—a deal that is now under government review,” writes the Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Scaramucci’s appointment to a White House position last week gives the review new significance. The committee, which reviews deals for national security concerns, is made up of top officials in the administration of President Donald Trump, and is led by the Treasury.”
Reuters: “Frustration is mounting among leading foreign policy officials in President Donald Trump's administration as they chafe at some policy and bureaucratic defeats and complain they lack independence to do their jobs, officials say… Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told friends he will be lucky to last a year in his job, according to a friend, while two officials said national security adviser H.R. McMaster was frustrated by what he sees as disorganization and indiscipline on key policy issues inside the White House.”
And in POLITICO: “One source familiar with conversations Tillerson has had recently with associates said Trump’s top diplomat feels he is “not being allowed to do his job” and is reconsidering how long he is willing to stay. Tillerson initially planned to stay for at least a year, the source said, but now “he’s no longer wedded to that idea.” Some Tillerson allies believe that, like McMaster, he is the target of a whisper campaign intended to undermine his stature.”
The Washington Post: “Cooperation with Russia is becoming a central part of the Trump administration’s counter-Islamic State strategy in Syria, with U.S. military planners counting on Moscow to try to prevent Syrian government forces and their allies on the ground from interfering in coalition-backed operations against the militants.”
OFF TO THE RACES: All tied up in Virginia
Alex Seitz-Wald, in Berryville, VA, lays out Democrats’ new pocketbook-based pitch — one made for the age of Trump.
AL-SEN: Mo Brooks is defending his use of audio from the Congressional baseball practice shooting in a new campaign ad.
Meanwhile, Roy Moore called Islam “a false religion.”
CA-GOV: The LA Times looks at how the battle over affirmative action is playing out in the race for governor.
MD-GOV: A former policy director for former first lady Michelle Obama is considering a run for governor in Maryland.
MO-SEN: From the Kansas City Star: “Missouri state Rep. Marsha Haefner says she’s weighing a run for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s seat after being encouraged by U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner. Haefner, a St. Louis Republican, said she plans to travel to Washington, D.C., in the near future to meet with national party officials about her interest in a run.”
OH-GOV: The Columbus Dispatch profiles Lt. Gov Mary Taylor, a Republican running to be the state’s first elected female governor.
VA-GOV: It’s all tied up in the race between Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie, according to a Monmouth poll.