Politics

Franks Blames ‘the Left’ for Gianforte’s Body Slam
Arizona Republicans says there has been ‘confrontational attitude for several months now’

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said he has faced physical confrontations with activists, even at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Montana’s incoming congressman Greg Gianforte faced muted criticism from his future Republican colleagues for allegedly assaulting a reporter.

But Arizona Rep. Trent Franks put the blame on the left in an interview Thursday with news radio station KTAR in Phoenix.

Trump’s Germany Criticism Denied — Then Confirmed — By Aides
Report: U.S. president called Germans ‘bad, very bad’ on trade tactics

President Donald Trump approaches German Chancellor Angela Merkel as world leaders arrive for their group photo at the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, on Friday. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The White House is sending mixed signals about a report that President Donald Trump blasted Germany over its auto exports to the United States, the first major dustup during his inaugural foreign trip.

The Germans are bad, very bad,” President Trump allegedly said, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel, citing sources who were in the room. “See the millions of cars they sell in the U.S., terrible. We will stop this.”

How GOP Outside Spending Turned a Loser Into a Winner in Montana
Congressional Leadership Fund spent $2.7 million to boost Greg Gianforte

Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana’s at-large House seat Thursday despite attacking a reporter the night before. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Six months ago, Republican Greg Gianforte lost Montana’s gubernatorial election by nearly 4 points. Thursday night, he won statewide by about 6 points.

Congressional special elections are, well, special. The electorate is different, and so is the spending. Last fall, Gianforte was running against an incumbent.

Photos of the Week: Congress Scurries to Memorial Day Recess
The week of May 22 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Eric Ueland, Republican staff director for the Senate Budget Committee, hands out copies of President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 budget in the Dirksen Building on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Gianforte Wins Montana Special Election
Greg Gianforte prevails despite misdemeanor assault citation on eve of election

Montana Republican Greg Gianforte is heading to Congress after winning a hard-fought special election on Thursday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Updated 4:34 a.m. | Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana’s at-large House seat Thursday night.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, he led Democrat Rob Quist 50 percent to 44 percent, The Associated Press reported. Gianforte will fill the seat vacated by former GOP Rep. Ryan Zinke, who left to become Interior secretary.

NIH Probe by House Panel Expands
Energy and Commerce asks for documents related to 2015 scandal

Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, is under fire from House Republicans, upset over a scandal at the agency, as well as Collins’ views on research issues. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Institutes of Health is in hot water again with the House Energy and Commerce Committee over a scandal that occurred nearly two years ago at one of the agency’s main research institutions.

On Thursday, the panel broadened its probe into safety and compliance issues at the NIH Clinical Center, a research hospital located on the agency’s campus in Bethesda, Maryland. In a letter sent to Director Francis Collins and obtained by Roll Call, the committee requested a larger swath of documents not yet provided by the agency.

Ellmers Gets HHS Job
The first Republican woman to endorse Trump

Former Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., will serve as director for the Department of Health and Human Service's regional office in Atlanta. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers has landed a job in the Trump administration as director for the Department of Health and Human Service’s regional office in Atlanta.

Ellmers started her job Wednesday, the News & Observer in Raleigh reported. 

Gaetz Makes Gianforte Joke, Gets Schooled
Florida congressman jokes about reporter who ‘occasionally deserved it’

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on April 26, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz got a lesson on the state’s Stand Your Ground law after he made a joke about Montana congressional candidate’s alleged attack on a reporter.

The morning after Republican Greg Gianforte allegedly attacked a reporter for asking whether he supported the Republican health care bill after its Congressional Budget Office scoring was released, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz joked that an editor at the Tampa Bay Times has “occasionally deserved” something similar.

GOP Leaders Careful on Response to Gianforte Assault Charges
Trump, Pence remain mum on incident

Montana Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was cited for misdemeanor assault of a reporter Wednesday night, a day before the special election for the state’s lone House seat. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By JOHN T. BENNETT And REMA RAHMAN

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan became the first Republican leader to address Montana GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte’s alleged assault on a reporter, saying, “There’s never a call for physical assault.”

Senators Make Another Bid to Authorize War Against ISIS
Flake and Kaine have tried before

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is introducing another proposal for authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“When I voted in 2001 to authorize military force against the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks, I had no idea I would be authorizing armed conflict for more than fifteen years, and counting.”

That’s what Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday. The Arizona Republican was announcing yet another effort with Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, to get Congress to go on record to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State and other terror groups.

Hurd: Sessions Should Have Known to Disclose Russia Meetings
Republican congressman is a former CIA officer

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said “over-sharing” information would have been better for Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Gianforte Endorsements Rescinded After Assault Charge
Montana House candidate charged on eve of election after altercation with reporter

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a campaign meet and greet in Missoula, Mont., on Wednesday. Gianforte was later charged with assault after he allegedly attacked a reporter. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Can Quist Chart Path for Other Democrats to Follow?
While national Democrats focus on Trump and Russia, Montana House candidate talks health care

Democratic U.S. House candidate Rob Quist talks with supporters during a Get Out The Vote Canvass Launch event in Great Falls, Mont., on Monday. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

While national Democrats compile lists of President Donald Trump’s controversial statements, firings, and ties to Russia as ammunition for upcoming campaigns, Democrat Rob Quist is taking a different approach.

Though Quist’s Republican opponent for Montana’s at-large seat in Congress, businessman Greg Gianforte, is favored to win the special election Thursday, Quist has gained ground recently. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales changed the race from a Likely Republican rating to Tilts Republican on Monday. His campaign announced Tuesday that he's raised more than $6 million, which has been crucial in the final days of the race.

Political Gerrymandering: Is There a Math Test for That?
Supreme Court may consider whether practice is unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in a North Carolina racial gerrymandering case and may take on a Wisconsin case this fall that involves partisan gerrymanders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Racial gerrymanders have been undone many times, most recently when the Supreme Court ruled against a pair of North Carolina congressional districts this week. But another case from that same state, heading into federal court next month, has a shot at eventually persuading the justices to do what they’ve never done before: strike down an election map as an unconstitutionally partisan gerrymander.

The high court ruled three decades ago that it may be unconstitutional to draw political boundaries so that one party was sure to win a disproportionate number of elections, but it’s never come up with a means for deciding when such mapmaking has become too extreme.

White House Middle East Victory Lap Draws Skepticism
Aides pushing a win, but headaches await return from region

President Donald Trump delivers a statement with Israeli President Reuven Rivlinon on Monday in Jerusalem. The White House says its first Middle East visit was a big success, but some Democrats are skeptical. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

The White House is describing President Donald Trump’s first dose of Middle East diplomacy as a “historic” success, but some lawmakers are skeptical that the optimistic rhetoric will become policy, and at least one is looking to block a major announcement from the trip. 

Trump spent all or parts of four days huddling with Muslim and Israeli leaders before heading to Europe on Tuesday afternoon. So confident was the White House that the first leg of Trump’s overseas diplomatic debut had gone well that they did not wait to land in Italy to declare victory.