TRUMP AGENDA: Yes, Ivanka is now a government employee
Ivanka Trump will become a government employee. NBC's Ali Vitali explains.
From NBC's Phil Helsel: "A federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday extended his previous ruling blocking President Donald Trump's so-called "travel ban" that would have restricted entry to the United States by refugees and people from some predominantly Muslim countries."
Who would actually build the wall? The Wall Street Journal writes that builders and designers are raising their hands.
The Washington Post looks at "Source D" — the man said to be the source of information in the Trump dossier.
The AP: "Some tactics Russia used to meddle in last year's presidential election would give shivers to anyone who believes in American democracy, the Senate intelligence committee's top Democrat says. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia spoke ahead of a committee session Thursday that will address how the Kremlin allegedly uses technology to spread disinformation in the U.S. and Europe. Warner and the panel's chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., provided an update the committee's investigation into activities Russia might have taken to alter or influence the 2016 elections and whether there were any campaign contacts with Russian government officials that might have interfered with the election process."
Democrats and Republicans agree on one thing: Their parties are far from unified.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says the Trump administration is still aiming to dismantle parts of Obamacare.
Is there really a "Trump bump"? The New York Times takes a look.
The Wall Street Journal: "Expectations that President Donald Trump's election would lead to a rapid U.S. rapprochement with Russia are fading, as the White House pushes off the Kremlin's proposals for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin and takes an increasingly skeptical view of reaching a grand bargain with Moscow."
The New York Times: "Two months after the inauguration of President Trump, indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames."
"The Trump administration is signaling to Congress it would seek mostly modest changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement in upcoming negotiations with Mexico and Canada, a deal President Donald Trump called a "disaster" during the campaign," writes the Wall Street Journal. "According to an administration draft proposal being circulated in Congress by the U.S. trade representative's office, the U.S. would keep some of Nafta's most controversial provisions, including an arbitration panel that lets investors in the three nations circumvent local courts to resolve civil claims. Critics of these panels say they impinge on national sovereignty."
CONGRESS: Desperately trying to avert a government shutdown
The Washington Post: "Congressional Republicans are working aggressively to craft an agreement intended to keep the government open past April 28, but their bid to avert a shutdown hinges on courting Democrats wary of President Trump and skirting the wrath of hard-line conservatives and Trump himself."
More, from the Post: "After the GOP's humiliating health-care defeat in the House last week, the Senate majority leader is under heavy pressure to put President Trump's to-do list back on track by confirming his Supreme Court nominee and averting a late-April federal government shutdown — all in the face of intensifying Democratic resistance."
Reuters: "U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said he does not want President Donald Trump to work with Democrats on new legislation for revamping the country's health insurance system, commonly called Obamacare. In an interview with "CBS This Morning" that will air on Thursday, Ryan said he fears the Republican Party, which failed last week to come together and agree on a healthcare overhaul, is pushing the president to the other side of the aisle so he can make good on campaign promises to redo Obamacare."
POLITICO: "Unlike past institutional crises, there's no bipartisan "gang" stepping up to force a truce between the warring armies led by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Acrimony between the two parties has become so routine that invoking the so-called nuclear option to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court is almost a ho-hum affair, assumed to be a done deal."
OFF TO THE RACES: Handel's up with a response ad in GA-6
GA-6: From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Facing a wave of attacks from a conservative group, Republican Karen Handel countered with a debut TV ad that slams her opponents in the race to succeed Tom Price as "politicians who talk a big game and never deliver." The former Georgia secretary of state has come under increasing fire from other Republicans in the April 18 special election for what could be a sole spot in a runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff. She is the top Republican in most of the polls for weeks despite little spending on advertising."
Sean Spicer said Thursday that Trump will help the GOP in the Georgia special election "if needed."
The crowded field was on display at an event Wednesday that featured all 18 contenders. "The BrandBank forum was the first major gathering of all the candidates in the race, and it underscored how jumbled the contest is. Eleven Republicans, five Democrats and two independents will all share the same ballot, and they're scrambling to land what would likely be a single spot on the ballot in a runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff."
MT-AL: Some trouble for Rob Quist, via the Billings Gazette: "Musician turned U.S. House candidate, Rob Quist, who has claimed that not being able to work kept him from paying his mortgage in 2011, actually performed at least 35 concerts that year. Quist and the Mission Mountain Wood Band went on a 25th anniversary tour during 2011. The performer also performed shows with two other groups. His work schedule began in April and finished in December, a longer stretch than in other performance years, according to cached scheduling information on Quist's business website."
VA GOV:Via the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart attacked his GOP primary rival Ed Gillespie in a new, Confederate-themed ad that included an altered newspaper headline the Gillespie campaign has denounced as blatantly false. The one-minute ad — which the Stewart campaign said will cost in the "mid five digits" and run in an online video and on radio statewide — includes the same altered headline, meant to appear as if it was published by The Washington Post, that has already been pulled from Facebook after complaints by the Gillespie campaign."