2020

Trump vs. Pelosi: 5 takeaways from their tit-for-tat as shutdown plods on
Nixing Afghanistan trip also was a direct blow to House Dems’ oversight plans

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and President Donald Trump have continued trading barbs in recent days. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump continued their high-stakes game of tit-for-tat Friday, even as the 28-day partial government shutdown plodded on with no signs of any restart of negotiations. 

White House aides scurried about Friday, initially declining to directly address a bombshell report that Trump directed former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. (Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later called the story “categorically false.”)

Sen. Bob Casey not running for president
Casey announced his decision in a statement excoriating Republicans and Trump

Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA., is interviewed for TV in the Russell Rotunda on March 20, 2013. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Casey announced Friday that he won’t make a bid for the White House in 2020.

In a statement, the Pennsylvania Democrat said that 2020 is “not the time.”

No Trump-Pelosi talks planned as explosive report complicates shutdown endgame
Report: President directed Michael Cohen to lie about Moscow Trump Tower project

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Capitol to meet with Senate Republicans on Jan. 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:45 p.m. | There are no shutdown talks with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Donald Trump’s Friday schedule and no invitations for any have been extended, even as White House aides claim the president put the kibosh on her Afghanistan trip in part to keep her on U.S. soil to cut a deal.

What’s more, an explosive report that Trump directed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie during testimony to Congress likely will only drive the White House and Democrats further apart, making a border security deal needed to reopen the government even harder as Washington becomes increasingly toxic.

Stefanik launches PAC to boost female candidates, now with GOP leadership support
New York Republican says party’s problem with women goes beyond Trump

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., aims to help more Republican women win primaries in the 2020 cycle through early political money and mentorship. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans have trouble electing women. And for at least one afternoon in Washington, everyone recognized that problem.

House GOP leadership, consultants, members and former candidates all showed up Thursday to a five-hour confab just off Capitol Hill to help New York Rep. Elise Stefanik launch her rebranded leadership PAC, which will be dedicated to helping women in primaries.

Rep. Steve King challenger raises $100,000 in 10 days
State Sen. Randy Feenstra has said King lacks influence because ‘sideshows and distractions’

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, could face a well-funded primary challenger. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Rep. Steve King has faced calls for his censure and resignation by congressional colleagues this week, his primary challenger has been raking in donations.

Conservative state Sen. Randy Feenstra has raised $100,000 in the 10 days since he formed his congressional campaign committee, his campaign announced in a news release. 

Trump unveils his ’Ric Flair doctrine’ — after another border wall pitch
Buried in president's hawkish remarks was assessment Iranian leaders ‘want to talk’

President Donald Trump delivers in the East Room of the White House in September. He was in a hawkish mood while talking U.S. military missiles at the Pentagon on Thursday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump — in a Pentagon address that included digs at Democrats and a border wall pitch — warned potential foes like Iran that the United States is a “good player,” but could quickly become the dirtiest player in the game if provoked.

The commander in chief arrived at the Pentagon Thursday morning for remarks, ostensibly about a Defense Department review of the country’s missile defense arsenal and his administration’s plan to expand and upgrade it. But just like Monday while addressing farmers at a conference in New Orleans, the president spent about half his remarks bashing congressional Democrats, describing a bleak situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and lobbying for a “steel” border barrier.

Reed, Menendez press Trump for ‘immediate’ info on talks with Russia’s Putin
Duo sent letter to president hours before Giuliani suggests some 2016 collusion from campaign

Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., at a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Nov. 28, 2017.  They want answers from President Trump about his conversations with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As a top lawyer for Donald Trump suggests some members of the president’s 2016 campaign worked with Russians, two top Senate Democrats want answers about whether the commander in chief properly handled sensitive information about his contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rudolph Giuliani told CNN Wednesday evening that he has “never said” there was zero collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russians. Shifting his stance yet again about what happened during that election cycle, Giuliani now says he stated only that the president himself never colluded with Russians or was involved in any potential actions by others that might constitute a crime.

Louie Gohmert comes to Steve King’s defense
Texas congressman says rebuked Iowa congressman raised a ‘fair question’

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, left, said Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy didn’t give Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King, right, “due process” before taking action against him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas defended his friend and colleague Rep. Steve King on Wednesday, suggesting that King’s comments to The New York Times about “white supremacy,” “white nationalism” and “Western civilization” were misconstrued by the media and lawmakers from both parties.

Republican leaders in the House decided earlier in the week to bar King from serving on any House committees, but the House voted Wednesday to refer a censure resolution to the House Ethics Committee instead of censuring him directly.

Ocasio-Cortez, Himes to teach Democrats how to up their Twitter game
Party will have to grapple with whether her followers came from AOC’s facility with the platform or her ideas

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., will coach her fellow Democrats on how to do Twitter well. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has swiftly become the most popular member of Congress on Twitter, will teach a class Thursday morning hosted by House Democrats’ messaging arm on how to make better use of the site.

The House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee tapped  Ocasio-Cortez and Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes to coach the Democratic caucus “on the most effective ways to engage constituents on Twitter and the importance of digital storytelling,” USA Today reported.

White House challenges predictions of political hit if shutdown slows economy
Trump aides, Democrats both view floating new proposal as friendly fire

President Donald Trump, flanked by Senate Republican leaders, speaks in the Capitol on Jan. 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senior White House officials say they are unconcerned about a downgraded internal assessment of the partial government shutdown as a drag on the U.S. economy or polls that show most Americans mostly blame President Donald Trump for the impasse.

Instead, the president’s top aides on Wednesday said they are focused on the “long-term” health of the economy, which has shown signs of slowing in recent months as some economists warn that clouds of recession could be forming.