MIDTERM MADNESS: Meehan won’t run for re-election
2020: John Kasich is heading to New Hampshire, Paul Steinhauser reports.
AZ-8: The Republicans vying to replace Trent Franks are trying to outdo each other on support for border security.
AZ-SEN: One of Martha McSally’s big fundraisers also founded a Never Trump super PAC.
CA-49: Darrell Issa has endorsed in the race to replace him.
CA-GOV: Oof. A debate between Villaraigosa and Newsom got testy over issues of personal wealth.
CO-6: Mike Coffman is returning donations from Pat Meehan.
IN-SEN: Joe Biden will raise money for Joe Donnelly.
KS-GOV: Kansas Democrats have a new frontrunner in the gubernatorial race.
MA-GOV: Charlie Baker has a lot of money in the bank How much? Sixty-one times as much as all of his Democratic opponents combined.
MN: Keith Ellison may run for attorney general in Minnesota.
MO-SEN: Courtland Sykes, a candidate for Senate, wrote in a Facebook post that he wants his daughters to be homemakers rather than “career obsessed banshees” or “nailbiting manophobic feminist she devils.”
PA-7: Rep. Pat Meehan will not seek reelection. “After consultation with my wife, Carolyn, and with my three sons, and after prayerful reflection, I write to inform you that I will not seek re-election to the United States Congress for the Seventh Congressional District in 2018,” Meehan, a Delaware County Republican, wrote Thursday in a letter to his campaign chairman. “Today I communicated the same to the office of Speaker Paul Ryan.”
TN-SEN: Phil Bredesen has named his campaign team.
UT-4:A new poll shows Mia Love with a narrow five point lead over Democrat Ben McAdams.
UT-SEN: Mitt Romney is getting closer to launching his Senate bid.
WI-SEN: Look who’s distancing himself from Steve Bannon… “Responding to criticism about being endorsed by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson has tried to find a way to turn it to his advantage. According to Nicholson, he really has the backing of Ed Rollins,” per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“‘The endorsement that I received is actually from the Great America PAC, and guess who runs it: Ed Rollins, one of the architects of the Reagan revolution,’ said Nicholson, a former Democrat.”
TRUMP AGENDA: The war over LEGAL immigration
The big story overnight, broken by the New York Times and confirmed by NBC: “President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.”
Benjy Sarlin notes that Trump is dragging the GOP into a war over legal immigration.
What does Trump actually want from an immigration deal? The details, from Leigh Ann Caldwell: “President Donald Trump said he will support a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, according to a telephone briefing by the White House for Republican congressional staff members. His remarks could move negotiations on an immigration deal that is stalled in Congress but Democrats have signaled that his proposal is a non-starter. The call, hosted by White House adviser Stephen Miller, outlined the demands for any deal on DACA, which includes a $25 billion "trust fund" for a border wall, an end to family reunification, also called "chain migration" by conservatives, and an end to the diversity visa lottery.”
Trump sort of, maybe, possibly apologized for retweeting a far-right British political group, saying he’d do so “if you’d like me to do that.”
The Washington Post writes that Trump has “openly chafed at the idea that Kelly, not he, is effectively running the business of the White House.”
And from the New York Times: “Names of prospective replacements for Mr. Kelly, including members of Congress and the cabinet, have been bandied about outside the White House. Mr. Trump has not engaged in the speculation — at least, not yet.”
Joe Kennedy III will give the State of the Union response.