TRUMP AGENDA: Deal or no deal?
What happened on immigration over the last 12 or so hours? Here's the latest on what Trump and leading Democrats are saying about DACA.
Leigh Ann Caldwell, with the latest on tax reform: "Republican leaders in Congress are moving forward with their vision of tax reform, planning to release a framework of a proposal in the next two weeks. At the same time, President Donald Trump has been holding meetings with Democrats about how to tackle the issue, opening up the door for a more bipartisan approach to the legislation. How all the planning and discussions play out in a divided Congress is a big unknown but Republicans leading the tax talks are beginning to brief their rank-and-file members on where negotiations stand on reforming the country's tax system, and they feel like they are making progress."
An exclusive from NBC's Suzy Khimm: "President Donald Trump's nominee for the No. 2 spot at the Federal Emergency Management Agency withdrew from consideration on Wednesday after NBC News raised questions about a federal investigation that found he had falsified government travel and timekeeping records when he served in the Bush administration in 2005."
The Washington Post: "President Trump on Wednesday vowed not to cut taxes for the wealthy, extolled the virtues of bipartisanship as leading to "some of the greatest legislation ever passed" and then — in a surprise move announced deep into the night — agreed to cut a deal with Democrats saving hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from deportation. That Trump did all of that while declaring himself "a conservative" only heightened the sense of surrealism that has wafted through the nation's capital over the past eight days, as the president has expressed a newfound, if tentative, willingness to work across the aisle — a development that has left many Republicans chagrined and some Democrats cautiously optimistic."
POLITICO notes that Nancy Pelosi is rising again — because of Trump. "Both friends and critics of Pelosi within the caucus say her rising leverage is a good thing. Pelosi, who bills herself as a "master legislator," may be able to broker some wins for her caucus that she likely wouldn't be able to achieve with a more traditional Republican president, they say."
From ABC News: "Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an "inquiry" by the Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General, sources tell ABC News. Officials familiar with the matter say the highly unusual ask for a U.S. Air Force jet, which according to an Air Force spokesman could cost roughly $25,000 per hour to operate, was put in writing by the secretary's office but eventually deemed unnecessary after further consideration of by Treasury Department officials."
"As President Donald Trump's national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn promoted a controversial private-sector nuclear power plan in the Middle East that had once involved Russian companies, according to former security-council staffers and others familiar with the effort," reports the Wall Street Journal.
"The Senate on Wednesday voted down an amendment that would have forced Congress to pass a new law authorizing the U.S. to wage war against ISIS and combat threats overseas," notes NBC's Andrew Rafferty. "Sixty-one senators voted to reject Sen. Rand Paul's, R-Ky., amendment to the annual defense spending bill that would have repealed the military authorization passed in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the 2002 authorization for the Iraq war within six months. The six month window, Paul argued, would be more than enough for Congress to craft a new military authorization."
An op-ed by Joe Biden in the New York Times: "Rather than building from a narrative of freedom and democracy that inspires nations to rally together, this White House casts global affairs as a zero-sum competition — for the United States to succeed, others must lose. Among the many problems that plague the Trump administration's foreign policy, this line of thinking is perhaps the most disturbing… Mr. Trump's shameful defense of the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who unleashed hatred and violence in Charlottesville, Va., further abnegated America's moral leadership. Not since the Jim Crow era has an American president so misunderstood and misrepresented our values."
The Washington Post, on how Jared Kushner's move to the White House spiked efforts to bring on investors for a New York City tower: ""They were crushed by this," said Thomas Barrack, a friend of Trump and Kushner's and former project investor. Kushner's move to the White House "just about completely chilled the market, and [potential investors] just said, 'No way — can't be associated with any appearances of conflict of interest,' even though there was none.'"
The New York Times looks at whether this year's storms could change the conversation around climate change.
From the AP, traveling with Defense Secretary Mattis on a visit to a North Dakota nuclear weapons base: "He inspected a mock-up nuclear warhead, but there was no Kim Jong Un lookalike posing for photographs. He chatted with nuclear missile launch officers in their underground command post, but there was no talk of unleashing nuclear hell on North Korea. A subtle, unspoken message of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' visit to this nuclear weapons base Wednesday was that America is a mature nuclear power not intimidated by threats from an upstart North Korean leader who flaunts his emerging nuclear muscle."
OFF TO THE RACES: Democrats hold a big lead in NJ GOV race
Alex Seitz-Wald looks at how Democratic rising stars are hitching their wagons to single-payer health care.
AL-SEN: Luther Strange and Roy Moore have agreed to a debate without a moderator, reports AL.com.
ND-SEN: Heidi Heitkamp has officially announced her run for re-election.
NJ-GOV: A new poll shows Phil Murphy with a huge lead — and it appears to have a lot to do with Chris Christie's unpopularity.
TN-SEN: The Times Free Press: "Political troubles from the hard right may be multiplying at home for U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., with a sitting Republican state senator nominated earlier this year by President Donald Trump for U.S. Army Secretary as well as a one-time state lawmaker both taking a hard look at challenging the former Chattanooga mayor."
VA-GOV: The AP notes that immigration is becoming a hot-button issue in the governors' race.