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Why the White House has a personnel problem

Trump heads west to POTUS-friendly Iowa
Trump heads west to POTUS-friendly Iowa

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Story highlights

  • President Trump wants to add to his White House staff, but he's having trouble finding people who want the jobs
  • Trump will make his first presidential trip west of the Mississippi when he heads to Iowa for a rally

Washington (CNN)President Trump has a personnel problem. But hey, he's taking a landmark presidential trip. And it's crunch time for Senate Republicans angling for a health care vote before the July 4th recess.

Those stories and more are part of this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get tomorrow's headlines today.

1) Help wanted in the White House

    Remember that "drain the swamp" promise from then-candidate Donald Trump? It seems that such chatter has disappeared as the President struggles to fill all the open positions in his White House.
    As the Washington Post's Abby Phillip reports, some Republicans see joining the White House as more risk than reward.
    "All that talk of deconstructing the administrative state has gone out the window," Phillip explains. "This White house does want to fill many of these positions, but there is some nervousness among the candidates about coming into a White House under siege by a number of investigations, by a president who doesn't listen to some of his aides. All of that is contributing to a little bit of a supply and demand problem."

    2) Trump finally travels west of the Mississippi

    The President is heading to Iowa Wednesday for a rally in Cedar Rapids. It will be the first time he's gone west of Mississippi since taking office in January.
    As CNN's Jeff Zeleny explains, there's a White House strategy behind this travel. Iowa is one of the states Trump turned red in 2016.
    "His advisers are trying to get him to leave this bubble of Washington, trying to get him out of here, but for some reason he's not as inclined to do so. We're not sure why that is," Zeleny says.
    "We'll see if this marks the beginning of a turning point of more time outside of the White House."

    3) Senate GOP: Time to make a deal on health care

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to hash out many differing wants and needs to get a health care bill passed before the July 4 recess. But the time for talking may be coming to an end.
    CNN's Phil Mattingly has learned the Senate leadership has its own deadline, and things will come to a head this week.
    "I'm told that at some point during this week, leadership will come down and say it's time to make a deal. The negotiations are over. It is now time to compromise. Figure something out, because we have to move forward," Mattingly reports. "We've all known this moment is coming. Now we know when it's coming. Expect it by the middle of this week and we'll see what happens from there."

    4) Why Congress is talking about a Trump tweet from May

    Many of President Trump's tweets spark conversation on the Hill and beyond. But one certain tweet from May has ignited a congressional investigation.
    The House Intel Committee wants to see the so-called "tapes" that Trump tweeted about back on May 12 when he said, "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
    As The Washington Post's Karoun Demirjian reports, congressional investigators are giving Trump until the end of this week to provide proof of any tapes.
    "If he produces them, what's in them could corroborate his or Comey's story. If he doesn't, can Congress yell and scream and beat their chests or subpoena something they're not sure exists?" Demirjian says.
    "The question is," she adds, "If they're not ... produced, how many times can the president tweet about something in air quotes -- wiretapping, tapes -- and (have) people defend him as, 'this is a slip of the Twitter finger' and not poor judgment?"

    5) Harris' beyond-the-Beltway buzz

    Sen. Kamala Harris of California has been making headlines recently and boosting her name recognition beyond the halls of Congress. There have been some viral moments between her and her Senate colleagues, and she's been noticed for her heated questioning of such administration officials as Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
    As CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson explains, that chatter could help her and her party come 2018.
    "That kind of outside-the-Beltway buzz means Harris is breaking through and could be a big help to Democrats in 2018 as they look for fresh star power and ... someone who can bridge [Democratic] party divides," Henderson says.
    Dems are already trying to take advantage of Harris' growing visibility, she says.
    "She has helped fund-raise online for Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester and Elizabeth Warren, and I'm told she plans to do more of that, including focusing on one of her signature issues -- criminal justice reform -- in the coming weeks."