Advertisement
339 posts

Paul Maslin is a veteran Democratic pollster who spent Wednesday traveling home from Alabama and luxuriating in Doug Jones’ upset victory in the state’s special U.S. Senate race.

During a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, he took a victory lap and offered a few thoughts between flights.

On President Trump: “If he can’t figure out a way to turn this around, we’re going to win the Senate, we’re going to kill ’em in the House and we’re going to set up the second half of his presidency where he’s going to be neutered.”

Advertisement
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) answers questions during a news conference earlier this month in Louisville, Ky.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) answers questions during a news conference earlier this month in Louisville, Ky. (Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press)

Ahead of a pivotal meeting Wednesday, House and Senate negotiators swapped new offers on the GOP tax bill as they hurry to resolve differences and regain momentum for passage of President Trump’s top priority.

The focal point of the $1.5-trillion tax plan — the steep reduction in corporate rates from 35% to 20% — is expected to be relaxed slightly in the final deal, perhaps to 21%, as negotiators scramble to generate revenue that can be used to offset tax breaks elsewhere.

Trump indicated he would be open to higher corporate rates than Republicans first agreed to under a GOP framework, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Tuesday that lawmakers also were willing to shift. But others said the reported 21% corporate rate was not yet set.

Advertisement
  • White House
Omarosa Manigault Newman, director of communications for the White House Public Liaison Office, is reportedly stepping down.
Omarosa Manigault Newman, director of communications for the White House Public Liaison Office, is reportedly stepping down. (Drew Angerer)

The White House says Omarosa Manigault Newman — one of President Trump's most prominent African American supporters — plans to leave the administration next month. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Manigault Newman's resignation is effective Jan. 20, one year since Trump's inauguration. 

Manigault Newman's decision comes at the start of what's expected to be a round of departures heading into the new year. 

Ever since Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation in March, no Justice Department official has been more important to the case than Rod Rosenstein.

As the deputy attorney general, the No. 2 position at Justice, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel and he has the sole authority to fire him.

The role has placed Rosenstein under immense political pressure, and on Wednesday he’ll face questions from the House Judiciary Committee at a time when Republicans are raising doubts about Mueller’s investigation.

Democrat Doug Jones, who started the Alabama race for U.S. Senate as a massive underdog, swept to victory Tuesday night in a repudiation of scandal-stained Roy Moore. The upset also dealt a serious blow to President Trump.

The narrow victory slices the GOP’s already-thin margin in the Senate to a single seat, complicating the party’s legislative push and giving Democrats a major boost heading into the 2018 campaign, when control of Congress will be at stake.

The win — which Moore refused to acknowledge — marked the first time a Democrat has captured a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama in a quarter of a century.

Advertisement
Roy Moore addresses supporters Tuesday night in Montgomery, Ala.
Roy Moore addresses supporters Tuesday night in Montgomery, Ala. (Mike Stewart / Associated Press)

President Trump, who stuck with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore despite warnings from fellow Republicans that Moore was sullying their party, defended his decision after Democrat Doug Jones’ historic win on Tuesday.

“I was right!” Trump tweeted early Wednesday, alluding to his earlier endorsement of Luther Strange, the incumbent Republican senator whom Moore upset in a party primary. Moore, who faced allegations of preying on young girls decades ago, had “the deck stacked against him!” Trump wrote.

Trump said he nonetheless worked hard for the candidate, but that Moore’s loss justified his initial endorsement of Strange. 

A Roy Moore supporter weeps Tuesday at his election-night party in Montgomery, Ala.
A Roy Moore supporter weeps Tuesday at his election-night party in Montgomery, Ala. (Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

The leader of the Alabama Republican Party recognized Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate election even as GOP candidate Roy Moore refused to concede defeat.

State GOP chairwoman Terry Lathan said party leaders were “deeply disappointed” in the close result.

“During this campaign, we heard Mr. Jones repeatedly say he would talk about ‘kitchen table issues’ and that he would ‘reach across the aisle’ to work with Republicans,” she said.

  • Congress
Roy Moore addresses supporters Tuesday night in Montgomery, Ala.
Roy Moore addresses supporters Tuesday night in Montgomery, Ala. (Mike Stewart / Associated Press)

Roy Moore declined to concede defeat Tuesday night in the Alabama Senate election even after Democrat Doug Jones declared victory.

“It’s not over, and it’s going to take some time,” Moore said, citing the narrow margin between him and Doug Jones in the preliminary count. 

Appearing downcast at his election night party in Montgomery, Moore quoted Scripture and bemoaned attacks during the campaign.

Advertisement