Day 61: Tweaks.
1/ GOP leaders unveiled changes to healthcare bill in an effort to win more votes for their ObamaCare replacement. The tweaks addressed optional work requirements and block granting in Medicaid, as well as more help for older Americans to buy insurance. (The Hill)
2/ Trump to Republicans: Vote for Obamacare repeal or lose your seat. Trump went directly to Congress two days ahead of a planned vote to repeal the 2010 health care law in a test of the new president’s deal-making prowess in a notoriously factional and conflict-prone Republican conference. (Politico)
3/ Trump’s adviser Roger Stone repeatedly claimed to know of forthcoming WikiLeaks dumps as well as having a backchannel line to founder Julian Assange. Stone’s comments about WikiLeaks have come under scrutiny as the FBI and congressional committees investigate the Trump-Russia connection. (CNN)
4/ The FBI is investigating whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Comey’s testimony on Monday was the first public acknowledgment of the case. (New York Times)
- Kremlin says US intelligence committee is “confused” after hearing testimony from Comey about an investigation into the Russian ties of Trump’s associates. “They are trying to find confirmation of their own conclusions but can’t find either proof or confirmation and are going round in circles.” (ABC News)
5/ Tillerson prioritizes Moscow and China over NATO. Tillerson is skipping what would have been his first meeting with the 28 NATO allies so that he can attend Trump’s visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. The move could be interpreted as another snub to the US’ traditional allies in favor of Russia. (CNN)
6/ Gorsuch vows to “put politics aside” on the second day of his confirmation hearing. He called the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling a “precedent” of the Supreme Court that has been “reaffirmed.” During the campaign, Trump, said that his Supreme Court nominees would be “pro-life,” and that Roe would “automatically” be overturned once he had made enough appointments. (Bloomberg)
7/ Ivanka Trump moves into West Wing office despite no formal White House job. She acknowledges there is “no modern precedent” for her role and will “voluntarily” follow government ethics rules. (Washington Post)
8/ Fox News boots Judge Napolitano off the air for pushing Obama wiretap claims. The senior judicial analyst is off the air indefinitely amid the controversy over his unverified claims that British intelligence wiretapped Trump Tower at the behest of former Obama. (Los Angeles Times)
9/ Trump won’t allow you to use iPads or laptops on certain airlines. Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways have long been accused by their US competitors of receiving massive effective subsidies from their governments. The airlines are likely to lose a major amount of business from their most lucrative customers — people who travel in business class and first class. (Washington Post)
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