Sunday, December 3

No mo’ Mo for Trump- POLITICO

TRUMP PULLS THE PLUG ON MO — After a long stretch during which Rep. MO BROOKS struggled to catch fire in Alabama’s GOP Senate primary, DONALD TRUMP announced this morning that he is withdrawing his endorsement from his longtime ally.

“Mo Brooks of Alabama made a horrible mistake recently when he went ‘woke’ and stated, referring to the 2020 Presidential Election Scam, ‘Put that behind you, put that behind you,’ despite the fact that the Election was rife with fraud and irregularities,” Trump said in a statement, again repeating false claims about the 2020 election. “If we forget, the Radical Left Democrats will continue to Cheat and Steal Elections.”

The fraying of their relationship is almost Shakespearean: Brooks has been an ardent Trump supporter for years, went to bat for him against GOP leaders on Capitol Hill throughout his time in the White House, led the charge to convince fellow Republicans to object to the Electoral College count on Jan. 6, was on the stage with Trump during the “Stop the Steal” rally and spouted falsehoods about the election results.

Now, they’re done as the former president looks to protect his brand after endorsing a series of flawed candidates who have ended up tanking. He knows that in order to continue being revered as the GOP’s kingmaker, he needs to back candidates who win — and Brooks has been struggling in the polls for a long time.

Trump nodded at this in his statement, suggesting that his blessing helped Brooks, but that Brooks’ team squandered it: “When I endorsed Mo Brooks, he took a 44-point lead and was unstoppable. He then hired a new campaign staff who ‘brilliantly’ convinced him to ‘stop talking about the 2020 Election.’ He listened to them. Then, according to the polls, Mo’s 44-point lead totally evaporated all based on his ’2020’ statement made at our massive rally in Cullman, Alabama.”

The saga isn’t over: Trump said he intends to endorse another Alabama candidate. Expect other Republicans to trip over themselves jockeying for position in the coming days.

THE JACKSON HEARINGS, DAY 3 — Past the halfway point of KETANJI BROWN JACKSON’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, most of the partisan battle lines on the Senate Judiciary Committee today were pretty familiar. Democrats highlighted Jackson’s personal trajectory and bickered over Republican attacks; Republicans used Jackson as a stand-in for their criticisms of the legal left; and Jackson tried to make as few definitive declarations as possible.

Here were some of the moments that stood out:

— Chair DICK DURBIN (D-Ill.) opened the morning with a feisty rebuttal of the previous day’s Republican questioning, saying Jackson “made a mess of their stereotype” that Dems are soft on crime. “Your nomination turned out to be a testing ground for conspiracy theories and culture war theories,” he said. “The more bizarre the charges against you and your family, the more, I understand, the social media scoreboard lit up yesterday. I’m sorry we have to go through this. These are not theories that are in the mainstream of America.”

— Sen. JOHN CORNYN (R-Texas) piped up to say Durbin had misrepresented his position and ask if Republicans would have equal opportunity to comment on his remarks.

— Jackson held forth on how her family’s experience, particularly her brother’s work in the police and the military, informed her views on crime and punishment: “I grew up with family members who put their lives on the line. I understand the need for law enforcement, the importance of having people who are willing to do that important work, the importance of holding people accountable for their criminal behavior. I also, as a lawyer and a citizen, believe very strongly in our Constitution and the rights that make us free. And what that means to me is an understanding that although we need accountability, although there is crime, we also have a society that ensures that people who have been accused of criminal behavior are treated fairly.”

Also Read  Biden's About to Make a Big Mistake on Student Loans

— Pressed on what her judicial philosophy is, Jackson continued to pivot toward methodology: “It’s a process of understanding what the core foundational principles are in the Constitution, as captured by the text, as originally intended, and then applying those principles to modern day.”

— Sen. THOM TILLIS (R-N.C.), one of the only senators who didn’t have a chance to question Jackson on Tuesday, called her “a very kind person” whose “empathy” in treating defendants might go “beyond what some of us would be comfortable with with respect to administering justice.” He also appeared to try to distance himself from the attacks by some of his colleagues.

— Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-S.C.), still angry, had several tense exchanges with Jackson over undocumented immigrants voting, abortion rights, child pornography and BRETT KAVANAUGH. He grew particularly heated over the child porn issue, going over his time by more than 10 minutes and refusing to yield back when Durbin told him his time expired. When he repeatedly interrupted Jackson on the issue, the room, according to WaPo’s Seung Min Kim, audibly grew angry, with one attendee saying, “Shut up!” (Sen. PATRICK LEAHY (D-Vt.) said afterward that he’d never seen anything like Graham’s questioning in nearly half a century.)

BREAKING — The Supreme Court tossed out a Republican challenge to Wisconsin’s new congressional map but ordered new maps for the state legislature, where the high court said Democrats had gone too far in creating majority-Black districts. More from Reuters“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d00000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d00001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>More from Reuters

Good Wednesday afternoon. This morning’s Playbook misstated support for opening up public lands for oil drilling in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. Fifty-six percent of all voters, not just Republicans, back the idea.


FEAR OF ESCALATION, PART I — President JOE BIDEN told reporters as he headed to Brussels this morning that he thinks Russia using chemical weapons is “a real threat.”

FEAR OF ESCALATION, PART II — Maggie Miller digs into the question of why Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN hasn’t unleashed major cyberattacks yet. The conflict in Ukraine has been much more traditional and physical, and much less futuristic, than experts thought the future of warfare would look like. Among the possible explanations: 1) “Russia didn’t think it needed massive hacking”; 2) “It all happened so fast”; 3) “Russia has been trying and failing to do more”; and, of course, 4) Bigger cyberattacks are still on the way, as U.S. officials have warned this week.


— NATO will deploy four additional battle groups along its eastern flank in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, Secretary-General JENS STOLTENBERG said today. More from the NYT“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d00004″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d00005″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>More from the NYT

— A cascade of Russian rockets caused major damage in central Kyiv, though apparently few casualties. They “seemed to be Russian Grad missiles fired from a multiple-rocket launcher system, the first time such weapons have struck central Kyiv,” NYT’s Carlotta Gall reports from the capital.

— The first tranche of military aid that the U.S. recently approved for Ukraine has begun to arrive, per CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.

— Russia said Putin still plans to attend the G-20 summit later this year, despite calls for the newly near-pariah power to be kicked out, and it got backup today from China. More from Reuters“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d10002″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d10003″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>More from Reuters

Further reading: “Putin Adviser Chubais Quits Over Ukraine War and Leaves Russia,”“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d10004″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d10005″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>“Putin Adviser Chubais Quits Over Ukraine War and Leaves Russia,” Bloomberg … “Russia Central Banker Wanted Out Over Ukraine, But Putin Said No,”“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d10006″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d10007″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>“Russia Central Banker Wanted Out Over Ukraine, But Putin Said No,” Bloomberg … “Ukraine’s Mykolaiv has held off Russian forces. Bodies are piling up anyway,”“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d10008″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d10009″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>“Ukraine’s Mykolaiv has held off Russian forces. Bodies are piling up anyway,” WaPo … “Piercing the propaganda veil: US, Schwarzenegger, hackers give Russians uncensored view of Ukraine war,”“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”″,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d1000a”,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d1000b”,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>“Piercing the propaganda veil: US, Schwarzenegger, hackers give Russians uncensored view of Ukraine war,” USA Today

Also Read  People are struggling to pay for gas. A Chicago businessman is giving it away free.


CHINA BILL ACTION ON THE FLOOR — The Senate voted 66-31 this morning to open debate on the America COMPETES Act, the big China competitiveness bill. This is just the first step toward getting to a bicameral conference, where the Senate and the House are expected to iron out their differences.

ON THE ROAD TO FLORIDA — As House Republicans head out of town for their annual retreat, they’re feeling much more simpatico than they were last year, The Hill’s Emily Brooks reports. Despite periodic scandals over the caucus’ most fringe members, “Republicans this week hope to put the focus at their retreat on their unified opposition to Democratic-controlled Washington and plans for a House majority.”

THE RETURN TO NORMAL — The Capitol attending physician announced today that limited public tours of the Capitol will begin again Monday.


THE BIG LIE RUNS INTO REALITY — Despite false Republican claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, the swing states at the center of the conspiracy theories have seen barely any actual voter fraud cases filed: just 39 across six key swing states surveyed by WaPo’s Rosalind Helderman and Amy Gardner. “But demands for criminal cases tied to the 2020 election continue to stress the political system and put pressure on prosecutors, particularly elected Republicans.”

2022 WATCH — BRUCE FENTON, a libertarian Bitcoin multimillionaire, is weighing jumping into the New Hampshire Senate GOP primary, Ben Schreckinger scooped. The field is still lacking a major frontrunner following Gov. CHRIS SUNUNU’s decision to stay put. Fenton, a former Bitcoin Foundation executive director and a participant in the Free State Project, “said his interest in running is driven in part by his opposition to Covid lockdowns and vaccine mandates.”

THE UNLIKELY ALLIANCE — PAULA WHITE-CAIN helped organize a meeting at Mar-a-Lago on Friday between Trump and white evangelical Christian leaders, a sign “that he is committed to keeping the coalition that first delivered him to the White House intact,” Meridith McGraw reports. It wasn’t specifically about 2024, but “it did come across as a signal to those there that Trump is serious about keeping them in the fold.”


REALITY CHECK — Joanne Kenen has a sharp examination in The Agenda of Biden’s failure to deliver on a key promise of his 2020 campaign: shoring up Obamacare. “In his first year in office Biden had some early successes getting more Americans covered — but his efforts have since stalled out.” There’s no public option. Build Back Better’s efforts to expand Medicaid collapsed. Expanded subsidies expire at the end of the year. And there are many more areas, both low profile and high, demanding the administration’s attention and congressional action. “It’s a big lift, and not a lot of time to get it done.”

GETTING THE HOUSE IN ORDER — The Biden administration released new findings and committed to action today on ending the racial gap in home valuations, a key driver of wealth disparities. VP KAMALA HARRIS touted the report with HUD Secretary MARCIA FUDGE and domestic policy adviser SUSAN RICE this morning. Among the action items, per Bloomberg: “Make the appraisal industry more accountable. Empower consumers with information and assistance. Prevent algorithmic bias in automated home valuations.”

VACANCY WATCH — After Republicans and moderate Democrats tanked SARAH BLOOM RASKIN’s and SAULE OMAROVA’s nominations, Biden has zero Senate-confirmed appointees at any of his top banking regulators, Victoria Guida reports. “The result is that regulators have done little to reverse what many Democrats saw as a weakening of the guardrails around banks during the Trump administration.”

Also Read  Tentative Senate gun deal has surprises, and loose ends

WHAT MIGUEL CARDONA IS UP TO — The Education Department announced new measures today to hold for-profit colleges more financially accountable. Details from Higher Ed Dive“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d60006″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d60007″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Details from Higher Ed Dive


THE GUN VIOLENCE CRISIS — The pandemic’s multi-year surge of gun violence shows no signs of abating in 2022, as no fewer than nine mass shootings across the country this weekend posed served as an ominous harbinger of the deadlier warmer months, NYT’s Tim Arango and Troy Closson report. Notable number: Though gun purchases seem to have settled back down to pre-pandemic levels, “researchers estimate that there are at least 15 million more guns in circulation in the country than there would have been had there not been such a large increase in purchasing during the pandemic.”

FUNGUS AMONG US — Studying, decriminalizing or legalizing psychedelics like “magic mushrooms” is the next frontier of drug law reform in statehouses around the country, as advocates seek to replicate the successful cannabis playbook, Mona Zhang and Liz Crampton report. Following in the footsteps of Oregon, states from Utah to Missouri to Connecticut are considering changes. And “nascent research and personal stories — particularly from military veterans — are convincing some lawmakers to rethink longstanding prohibitions on these drugs.”

STAT OF THE DAY — The number of Americans whose sensitive health data was hacked or otherwise breached last year soared to 50 million, Ben Leonard reports from data reported to HHS, up threefold from three years prior.

RARE BRIGHT SPOT — As students have gotten back into the classroom, test scores are beginning to stabilize and rise in a new national study after years of pandemic decline, WSJ’s Sara Randazzo scooped. Though they’re still not at pre-pandemic levels, “children are making strides to overcome the challenges of the past two years.”


VACCINE LATEST — Moderna today asked regulators to approve its Covid-19 vaccine for 6- to 11-year-olds, saying new data showed it 44% effective against Omicron variant infections in that age group. “None of the children developed severe illness from Covid and the majority of breakthrough cases were mild,” the company reported, per CNBC.


WHITE HOUSE ARRIVAL LOUNGE — Kirsten Allen will be the new press secretary for VP Kamala Harris amid some recent staff turnover in the office and three months in which the role was vacant, CNN’s Jasmine Wright scooped. She currently is national press secretary for Covid-19 response at HHS, and is a Harris campaign alum.

MEDIA MOVES — Matthew Brown is joining WaPo’s new democracy team as a Georgia-based reporter. He most recently has been a White House correspondent at USA Today, and is a POLITICO alum. Announcement“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d80004″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d80005″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Announcement Davey Alba is joining Bloomberg to cover Google and Big Tech power. She previously covered misinformation at the NYT.

TRANSITION — Megan Quinn is now press secretary for Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.). She previously was deputy press secretary for Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.).

ENGAGED — Jake Malowitz, comms lead at Forum Brands, proposed to Emily Goldberg, U.S. newsletter editor at the FT and a POLITICO alum, on Friday on the rooftop of their apartment building. The couple met in high school.Pic“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d80006″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d80007″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”> Pic

— Jeff Stein, White House economics reporter at WaPo, and Sofia Crutchfield, federal project manager at Cerner, got engaged Saturday. He proposed via “an elaborate ruse”: Her best friend told her they were going to a music video shoot for the friend’s band, but it was actually an Airbnb decorated with photos, flowers and Swedish candy. The couple originally met online in 2020, bonding over a mutual love of Kurt Vonnegut and dive bars. Pic“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d80008″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d80009″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Pic Another pic“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d8000a”,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”0000017f-b826-d8e2-adff-f8e761d8000b”,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Another pic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *