FROM Robert Costa
In Alabama, Trump lost but 'Trumpism' wins In the aftermath of yesterday's GOP primary in Alabama, President Trump has deleted his tweets supporting incumbent US Senator Luther Strange, the loser. Now, he's all in favor of former Judge Roy Moore, the religious right-winger who brandished a pistol on stage during one campaign rally. Trump seemed to be having second thoughts about supporting Senator Strange -- even last Friday, before any votes had been cast. Last night after defeating Senator Strange, Moore told supporters, "Together we can make America Great. We can support the president. Don't let any in the press think that because he supported my opponent, I do not support him and his agenda… but we have to return the knowledge of God to the US Congress." All this is "setting the stage for a "worsening" Republican civil war," according to Robert Costa of the Washington Post and host of Washington Week on PBS.
Can America's top law enforcement officer investigate himself? Attorney General Jeff Sessions is accused of "misleading" fellow Senators during his confirmation hearing — and possibly lying in response to written questions. It's all about whether he met with Russia's ambassador as a surrogate for candidate Donald Trump and an advisor to his presidential campaign. Democrats and even some Republicans want him to recuse himself from overseeing an FBI investigation -- if one is going on. Others want him to resign. Note: After our discussion aired, Sessions issued a statement on recusal .
Charleston Shooter Charged with Nine Counts of Murder Dylann Storm Roof has being charged with nine counts of murder in Wednesday night's massacre of nine people in Charleston. He has already confessed to the police, and reportedly was “unrepentant and unashamed.” That's according to Robert Costa with the Washington Post .
The Race Has Begun! Ted Cruz Announces His Candidacy Ted Cruz is in his first term as a Senator from Texas. Today, he became the first major candidate for next year's Republican presidential nomination. This morning, at Liberty University in Virginia, he told supporters, "It is a time to reclaim the constitution of the United States. I am honored to stand with each and every one of you … courageous conservatives." Robert Costa is national political reporter for the Washington Post .
Washington’s Debate Over the Shutdown and Debt Default Continues The top leaders of both parties in the House and the Senate were scheduled to meet with the President and Vice President at the White House this afternoon. Earlier, Mr. Obama joined furloughed public workers who were volunteering at a food pantry.
The Republican Party Struggles to Define Its Identity As President Obama goes through the motions of reaching out to Republicans on Capitol Hill, Republicans themselves are going in different directions. Paul Ryan is fighting Obamacare — but accepting its Medicare cuts. Rand Paul wants an end to George W. Bush's wars and limits on executive power. At the Conservative Political Action Conference , a party pep-rally, Mitt Romney will defend his losing campaign. But rising star Chris Christie's not even invited. Is there any path toward a future consensus? Can President Obama take advantage of the current confusion?
Time's Running Out before a Fiscal Crisis Kicks In Yesterday, after fiscal-cliff negotiations broke down, President Obama admonished , "(T)hat we lurch from crisis to crisis every six months, or every nine months…that's not how you run a great country…. It is very hard for them [Republicans] to say yes to me. At some point, they've got to take me out of it – think about their voters, and think about what's best for the country." In the midst of negotiations with the President, House Speaker John Boehner proposed what he calls "Plan B." But it's sure to be dead on arrival when it reaches the Senate. We hear how compromise on the "fiscal cliff" is dominated by philosophical differences, political mistrust — and personal antipathy.
Is Washington Full of 'Grownups'… or Not? In the aftermath of last week's atrocity in Connecticut, some serious pundits said Washington politicians might respond by acting like "grownups." The implication was that House Republicans and the White House would compromise to avoid the consequences of the so-called "fiscal cliff." That hasn't happened yet. Congress is ready to vote on a plan with no chance of Senate concurrence in hopes of shifting the blame for gridlock to the Democrats. The President, strengthened by re-election, is unlikely to back down. We look at what's at stake for taxpayers, homeowners, the elderly and the poor.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?