Lindsey McPherson

Trump ‘Sad’ About Manafort, Won‘t Say Whether He‘ll Pardon Him
President also defends decision to revoke John Brennan‘s security clearance

President Donald Trump declined Friday to say whether he would pardon his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, even as a jury deliberates over the 18 charges Manafort is facing related to tax and bank fraud. 

“I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad, when you look at what’s going on there. I think it’s a very sad day for our country,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for fundraisers in New York.

Rep. Jim Himes: Top 3 Democratic Leaders in Late 70s Is ‘A Problem’
New Democrat Coalition chairman won‘t say whether he‘ll back Pelosi for speaker

The chairman of the centrist New Democrat Coalition wouldn’t say Friday whether he would back Nancy Pelosi for House Democratic leader but he did vocalize an issue with the current leadership team.

“The fact that our top three leaders are in their late 70s — I don’t care who those leaders are — that is in fact a problem,” Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes told CNN.

Trump Revokes Former CIA Director John Brennan’s Security Clearance
President is reviewing access to one current and eight former officials

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John O. Brennan and is reviewing the status for eight other former officials as well as one current official. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a statement from Trump on the security clearance reviews at the start of her daily press briefing. 

Trump Most Effective in Senate Races, Pence Can Focus on House, Lewandowski Says
Great America Committee senior strategist says Pence PAC is cutting checks for GOP congressional candidates

In the final 12-week stretch to the midterms, expect to see President Donald Trump on the trail stumping mostly for GOP Senate candidates and Vice President Mike Pence campaigning for House Republicans, Corey Lewandowski said. 

The former Trump campaign manager and current senior strategist to Pence’s political action committee, the Great America Committee, said the political strategists in Trump’s orbit have determined that’s the best strategy for deploying the GOP’s executive leaders onto the congressional campaign trail. 

Michael Bloomberg Would Be Toughest 2020 Challenger, Former Trump Campaign Manager Says
Corey Lewandowski says Bloomberg has name recognition, ability to self-fund

Michael Bloomberg is the Democrat who could run the most competitive campaign against President Donald Trump in 2020, according to Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first 2016 campaign manager. 

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor event on Wednesday, Lewandowski said, “He could make it through a primary and be very competitive in a general election,” referring to the former New York City mayor. 

A Year After Charlottesville, Trump Faces New Questions About Racism
Racism charges resurface in light of feud with ex-aide Omarosa Manigault Newman

A year has passed since President Donald Trump was accused of racism after he failed to quickly and unequivocally condemn racially motivated violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. But recent claims made by and against his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman have given new life to those accusations

On Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville violence, Trump tweeted that the riots “resulted in senseless death and division” and called for the nation to come together.

Trump Touts New York GOP Senate Candidate at Fundraiser for Vulnerable House Republican
President endorses Rep. Claudia Tenney but shows more excitement for Chele Chiavacci Farley’s long-shot Senate bid

President Donald Trump’s visit to upstate New York on Monday was ostensibly to fundraise for Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney. But he appeared to spend more time in his opening remarks touting the long-shot GOP candidate for Senate than the vulnerable congresswoman.

In his remarks, which were opened to the press less than an hour before the start of the fundraiser in Utica, Trump did endorse Tenney, noting that she invited him to visit New York’s 22nd District and he was happy to oblige, given his many friends there. 

‘Wacky Omarosa’ Once a Trump Favorite — But No More
President attacks Omarosa Manigault Newman after she releases tapes

Omarosa Manigault Newman is the latest person to earn one of President Donald Trump’s infamous nicknames, as the president attacked his former adviser on Twitter Monday.

“Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will,” Trump tweeted. “She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart.”

Trump to Democrats: Give Pelosi Another Chance
Critics of the California Democrat within her own party have grown

As more Democratic candidates say they will not support keeping Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader next year, President Donald Trump is urging them to reconsider. 

“Democrats, please do not distance yourselves from Nancy Pelosi,” Trump tweeted Friday evening. “She is a wonderful person whose ideas & policies may be bad, but who should definitely be given a 4th chance. She is trying very hard & has every right to take down the Democrat Party if she has veered too far left!”

Bipartisan Duo Proposes Prohibiting House Members From Serving on Public Company Boards
Resolution to amend House rules comes in wake of Chris Collins insider trading

A bipartisan New York duo is proposing a change in House rules that would prohibit members from serving on serving on the boards of publicly held companies, the latest fallout from the indictment of Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., for insider trading. 

Collins served on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company, and allegedly shared inside knowledge about Innate’s drug trial results with his son, who then made timely stock trades. 

Amid Chris Collins Scandal, Pelosi Vows Ethics Overhaul Under Democratic Majority
Democrats also want to rewrite campaign finance laws

Pointing to New York Rep. Chris Collins’s indictment as an example of corruption in the Republican-controlled Congress, House Minority Nancy Pelosi vowed Thursday that if Democrats retake the House they will overhaul ethics and campaign finance laws. 

Collins was indicated on charges of securities fraud, which Pelosi said “shows that Republicans have turned the already swampy GOP Congress into a cesspool of self-enrichment, secret money and special interests.”

House Republicans Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Much will depend on whether Republicans hold the majority and if so how speaker’s race unfolds

House Republicans will have a new leader next Congress since Speaker Paul D. Ryan is retiring, but will there be additional changes in their top ranks?

The answer to that question will depend in large part on whether Republicans can hold onto their majority in the November midterms, and if they do, how the speaker’s race unfolds.

Jeff Denham Claims He’ll Be Transportation Chair — But What About Sam Graves?
Both GOP lawmakers want to lead panel; Steering Committee will decide

California Rep. Jeff Denham told a local GOP women’s group Friday that he will be the next House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, ignoring the fact that he is not the only member running for the position, the Republicans are far from a lock to hold their majority and Denham himself faces a potentially competitive race. 

The panel’s current chair, Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, is retiring. Missouri Rep. Sam Graves and Denham are both running to replace him. The Republican Steering Committee, a panel of 30-some members primarily comprised of GOP leadership and regional representatives, selects committee leaders.

Speaker Ryan Strips Chris Collins of Committee Membership
Leadership move is not uncommon against scandal-plagued members

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has removed Rep. Chris Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, following Collins indictment Wednesday on charges of insider trading and lying to authorities.

“Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. Until this matter is settled, Rep. Collins will no longer be serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Ryan said in a statement.

Rep. Chris Collins Arrested for Insider Trading
Charges to three defendants also include wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and making false statements

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins was arrested and indicted on charges related to securities fraud Wednesday.

The indictment is tied to securities of an Australian biotechnology company, Innate Immunotherapeutics where Collins has served on the board of directors.

Speaker Race Could Hinge on Who Agrees to Change the Rules
House members have an ultimatum for those who covet the top spot: No changes, no gavel

Whichever party controls the House in 2019, the next speaker won’t secure the job easily and will likely have to promise major changes to how the institution operates, with members demanding that as a condition for support.

Frustration has grown among rank-and-file members for years as leadership usurped decision-making power from committees. Lawmakers have pushed to change House and caucus rules to return influence to individuals and committees, but with limited success.

Katherine Clark on Leadership Bid: ‘I Want Us to Be Ready’
Massachusetts Democrat seeking to harness party ‘energy and enthusiasm’ as caucus vice chair

House Democrats feel they need to be ready to immediately begin acting on their agenda if they retake the majority this fall, and one way some members are preparing for that scenario is by launching leadership campaigns. 

Rep. Katherine M. Clark on Thursday became the latest member to announce a leadership bid and the first to declare a candidacy for Democratic Caucus vice chair. 

Rosenstein Impeachment Resolution Was Always Leading to Contempt
House Republicans willing to initiate contempt proceedings in September absent DOJ compliance

The House could vote to hold Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in contempt of Congress if by September the Department of Justice has still not turned over outstanding documents Republican lawmakers requested. 

“I think the very first order of business would probably be moving the House to a contempt vote,” House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows said of what would happen if the DOJ has still not turned over remaining documents by September. 

Speaker Says Trump Willing to Be ‘Patient’ for Wall Funding
‘It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when,’ Paul Ryan says

Speaker Paul D. Ryan suggested Thursday that President Donald Trump is willing to wait until after September to secure more funding for his border wall.

“We think we have a unified strategy to make sure we can get as many appropriations bills done as possible,” the Wisconsin Republican said following a meeting he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had with Trump at the White House on Wednesday.