January 31, 2019

1-31-2019 Political Nuggets….

Washington Brief

  • The Senate voted in favor of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s measure that would declare the Islamic State group’s operations in Syria and Afghanistan a serious threat to the United States, a rebuke of President Donald Trump’s rationale for withdrawing U.S. troops from both countries. The Kentucky Republican’s amendment was added to broader legislation concerning Middle East policy  that has yet to pass the chamber and is expected to face challenges in the House. (The Washington Post)
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters there wouldn’t be “any wall money in the legislation” that bipartisan House and Senate negotiators are working on to fund the Department of Homeland Security and avert another partial government shutdown on Feb. 16. Her comments came as Trump sent mixed signals about his position on the negotiations, repeating his threat to declare a national emergency at the border during comments to reporters in the Oval Office but also saying on Twitter that the wall was already being built. ( The Associated Press)
  • Trump is considering former pizza executive Herman Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, according to sources. If Cain is nominated, his Senate confirmation hearing could face hurdles over the sexual harassment and infidelity accusations that contributed to the end of his 2012 presidential campaign. (Bloomberg)
  • President Donald Trump said in an interview that he will not interfere with the Justice Department’s decision about how to handle the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump also criticized former House Speaker Paul Ryan, accusing the Wisconsin Republican of reneging on a promise to fund his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. (CBS News)
  • At the first meeting of a bipartisan conference committee of 17 lawmakers tasked with striking a deal on Department of Homeland Security funding by Feb. 15, House Democrats proposed tightening border security with technology and more personnel, but no new physical barriers. The offer came after Trump said on Twitter that if the group “is not discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier, they are Wasting their time!” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Mueller’s office said the Russians are trying to use materials obtained from their investigation in a disinformation campaign to discredit the probe. Court documents state that documents provided by Mueller’s team to a firm linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of the legal process were altered and disseminated online. (NBC News)

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