7-24-2017 Highlights from Last Week….
Week in Review
- President Donald Trump said that an investigative team led by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. election and possible ties to Trump’s campaign, would be crossing a line if it began probing his finances. Mueller’s team is said to be looking into Trump’s business dealings, and the president’s team of lawyers and aides is now investigating Mueller’s team by looking for any conflicts of interest in an attempt to discredit their work.
- Trump said he would never have nominated Jeff Sessions to be attorney general if he knew Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. Sessions, a former Alabama senator, said he plans to continue on in his post.
- Fifty-two percent of registered U.S. voters said Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked attorney in June 2016 was inappropriate, according to a Morning Consult/POLITICO poll. Voter support for the meeting rose 5 points, to 28 percent, when poll participants were told the lawyer “could allegedly provide official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary Clinton.”
- Sean Spicer announced his resignation as White House press secretary, citing disagreements with Trump’s hiring of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Spicer told Trump the hiring was a major mistake. Scaramucci said deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take over when Spicer leaves in August.
- The Trump administration can continue to block many refugees from six predominantly Muslim countries with its temporary travel ban, but the Supreme Court said the ban could not apply to foreigners who are grandparents or cousins of Americans. That exemption prompted a Hawaii judge to challenge the implementation.
- After certifying that Iran is complying with the Obama-era nuclear deal, the Trump administration slapped new sanctions on 16 entities and individuals it said support Iran’s elite military unit and ballistic missile program.
- The Congressional Budget Office said the latest version of the Senate’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave 22 million more people uninsured. Repeal without replacement – an approach Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he now wants the Senate to consider – would leave 32 million more people uninsured, and it would double insurance premiums by 2026, the CBO said.
- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was diagnosed with brain cancer. McCain may undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment. His office has given no timeline for when he might return to the Senate.
- Former Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has focused his political machine on getting Rep. Jacky Rosen to win the Democratic nomination to challenge Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) next year. But Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) said she has good poll numbers and is still considering a campaign against Rosen.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced their introduction of the Dream Act, with Graham saying that if Trump wants to get the Republican Party on board with saving “Dreamers” from deportation he could do so “at the snap of his fingers.”