Week in Review
- President Donald Trump replaced White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who is expected to be sworn in on Monday.
- Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said “there will be no modifications” to the military’s current transgender policies until Trump issues official guidance to the Defense Department. Trump’s tweets declaring that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military were criticized by congressional Republicans .
- Trump said he is disappointed in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling him “beleaguered.” Trump is frustrated with Sessions’ recusal from the Justice Department’s Russia probe, and the president has reportedly spoken privately with confidants about the possibility of using a recess appointment to replace Sessions.
- Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner was on Capitol Hill to speak with House and Senate investigators looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In a public statement, Kushner said he “did not collude.“
- White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci criticized Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and strategist Steve Bannon during a profanity-laced interview. He also threatened to fire any White House communications staffers involved in leaking information to journalists.
- Senate Republicans failed to coalesce around one of three plans to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, despite years of campaign promises to do so. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cast the the deciding vote against against the so-called “skinny repeal” measure.
- The Senate passed a bill that would impose new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. Russia’s Foreign Ministry responded by ordering the United States to reduce the number of diplomatic staff it has in Russia by Sept. 1.
- The House passed a $789 billion defense spending package that included funding for 70 miles of a wall along the southern U.S. border, which lawmakers have dubbed as a down payment on Trump’s proposed border wall.
- In Wisconsin, Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson (R) announced his campaign for Senate against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin. In Indiana, Rep. Luke Messer (R) said he will seek his party’s nomination to challenge Sen. Joe Donnelly (D).
- As he campaigns against Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) for the Republican Party’s Senate nomination on Aug. 15, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) has taken aim at Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), saying he should step down as majority leader.