messaging

The Donald vs. Very Fake News
The president’s solo news conference went exactly the way he wanted

President Donald Trump, seen here during his press conference Thursday, has the media right where he wants them, Wetherbee writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s first solo press conference as president was a disaster. The 77-minute ramblings of an elderly man has both sides of the aisle worried. Reporters and pundits and supporters and the opposition are confused. What was that? 

It was what the president wanted.

Cory Booker’s Mysterious Mission to Texas
New Jersey senator spent recent weekend visiting a private prison

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has been one of the leading voices of the congressional effort to overhaul the criminal justice system. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As most of his colleagues headed home last weekend, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker spent Friday night on a journey to the center of the country.

After flying from Washington to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Feb. 10, one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party sat unnoticed at a charging station, at the far end of Terminal B, where small regional jets arrive and depart.

Emerging GOP Plan Would Replace Parts of Obamacare as It’s Repealed
Ryan, Walden, Brady present plan that includes provisions that are controversial among some Republicans

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan told reporters Thursday that legislation to repeal the 2010 health care law would be announced after the Presidents Day recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Developing House Republican legislation to repeal the 2010 health care law would also include replacement provisions that are controversial among the GOP rank and file, like a refundable tax credit to help individuals purchase insurance and a plan for dealing with Medicaid expansion.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady on Thursday presented to the House Republican Conference their vision for a “repeal plus” bill that would undo most of the health care law and set up some pieces of a yet undeveloped Republican replacement. 

Georgia Candidates Are Not Afraid to Embrace Donald Trump
But is there room for multiple Trump loyalists in district that only narrowly voted for him?

Several Georgia Republicans are vying to take succeed newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the state’s 6th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump only carried Georgia’s 6th District by a point and a half last fall. But that’s not stopping multiple Republicans from wrapping their arms around him in the upcoming special election to replace newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price

Bruce LeVell, executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, and technology executive Bob Gray are vying to become the first Trump loyalists elected to Congress during his administration. Republican committeemen picked the establishment candidate over a Trump campaign staffer in last week’s nominating convention for Kansas’s 4th District.

Conversation: Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government
Trump’s election represents ‘quantum shift’ on attitudes on free trade

Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, says current free trade deals haven’t allowed American workers to compete on the world stage. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As president of the activist group Americans for Limited Government, Rick Manning has lobbied conservatives for years about the failings of free trade deals.

He says Donald Trump’s election shows that there’s been “a quantum shift in attitude” in the U.S. toward opposing such deals, and Republicans on Capitol Hill are coming around, too.

One State or Two? For Trump, Whatever Works
Trump prods Netanyahu on Mideast peace

Trump, right, hosted Netanyahu at the White House for talks for the first time since Trump took office. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday cast aside decades-old U.S. norms by saying any Middle East peace deal would not necessarily have to establish a Palestinian state.

“I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House’s East Room. “I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”

Jason Kander May Have Made a Big Mistake
Missouri Democrat hits national stage with potential long-term consequences

Jason Kander’s recent association with national Democratic super PAC could complicate his chances in future elections in Missouri, Gonzales writes. (Courtesy Jason Kander Facebook page)

Missouri Democrat Jason Kander came close to getting elected to the Senate after he burst onto the scene last year with a memorable campaign ad and a strong challenge to GOP incumbent Roy Blunt. Now Kander is widely viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party, but his postelection choices may complicate future bids for higher office.

Last year, Kander gained national attention for his ad, “Background Checks,” in which he reassembled a rifle blindfolded. It was one of the most memorable ads of the cycle, if not recent campaign history.

White House Puts GOP in Awkward Position
Flynn fallout, security considerations keep dominating news

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to talk about Cabinet nominations on Tuesday. But most of the questions at his press availability were about the latest scandals coming from the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s domination of the news, whether due to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn or the spectacle of the president discussing national security at his Mar-a-Lago resort’s dining room, is putting Republican leaders in an awkward position.

“Look, I — I — you’ll have to ask those — the White House those kinds of questions,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday at his traditional media availability after the Republicans’ policy lunch. 

No Party Line for GOP on Flynn Fallout
Members left to guess about next steps in inquiry

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks with reporters as he heads to a briefing in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans were swarmed on Tuesday with questions about what President Donald Trump knew and when did he know about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s questionable interactions with Russian authorities. But there was little consensus on the best venue for getting to the bottom of it.

“I think it’s good for the American people to understand, in a fulsome way, everything that’s happened. And to get it behind us,” Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said. “This is going to go on forever if we don’t address it somehow.”

Amid Senate Tensions, Hatch Eyes Bipartisan Tax Deal
Utah Republican says House GOP plan will not pass the Senate

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch says that despite “a lot of bitterness around here,” he plans to meet with Senate Democrats to gauge interest in a bipartisan tax proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch has launched a new push for a bipartisan Senate alternative to the contentious House Republican tax plan, as President Donald Trump begins to frame administration priorities.

The Senate Finance chairman said last week he was meeting with Democratic tax writers one-on-one and hoped there would be leeway for deals, after bitter debates over Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin riled the Senate and exposed deep partisan fault lines.