Here are the stories our D.C. insiders are talking about in this week’s “Inside Politics” forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow’s headlines today.
1) Russia probe document dump coming?
The 37-page indictment of 13 Russian nationals shed light on the size and scope of how Russia meddled in the US election. Now there may be more documents related to the Russia probe that may be coming from the congressional investigations.
As The Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian reports, the Hill is still on memo watch because the Democrats’ memo is still under wraps. “Adam Schiff is supposed to be working on which redactions can be passable with the FBI, but we could be seeing that very soon. In addition, the Senate Judiciary Committee is sitting on a bunch of transcripts from all of the participants in that Trump Tower meeting except for [Jared] Kushner and [Paul] Manafort,” Demirjian says. “Those will be interesting because both the Americans and the Russians who were participating have spoken to that committee. We’ll be able to see a lot of details of what went on in that pivotal meeting and that could fill in some of the story as well of what has become a central focus that goes more towards the coordination, collusion questions.”
2) Kelly questions are still swirling
As the White House navigates how to deal with the fallout from the Rob Porter scandal, the focus beyond Porter has been chief of staff John Kelly. On Friday, Kelly issued a memo changing the security clearance procedure in the wake of the crisis involving the former White House aide. But it’s unclear whether President Trump will keep Kelly on the job. As Politico’s Eliana Johnson tells us, Kelly’s future is still very much a point of much D.C. discussion.
“There’s no indication that he’s going to be dismissed and I think we still don’t have total clarity into how Kelly has maintained Trump’s confidence,” Johnson explains. “I think that will be key because surely there will be an additional crisis – another crisis in the future. But I do think that the details surrounding how Kelly managed to stay on the job are really important and we’ll learn those in the coming weeks. “
3) Speaker Ryan’s popularity contest
There are many factions inside the House GOP and it looks like House Speaker Paul Ryan may be testing who is on his friends list.
A certain group of conservatives have been very vocal about their feelings about Ryan, as Politico’s Rachael Bade tells CNN.
“We’re seeing House Freedom Caucus conservatives agitating against Ryan more so than they have in the past – very publicly. A lot of times we heard them grumbling privately. [Rep.] Mark Meadows, who leads that group, said this week, although they’re not talking about a new speaker, they’re talking about, quote, new leadership,” Bade reports. “Already there’s a pushback about Ryan loyalists are out there trying to defend him. One Alabama Republican, Mike Rogers, told me this week, these people love being on the front page of the paper. They want to be treated by legislative power players but all they are [is] legislative terrorists. So people are trying to defend him already.”
4) Town hall snapshots
Congress is on recess this week so that means lawmakers are going to see town halls happening across the country.
One of the themes from last February’s town halls was progressive activists. CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson tells us more about what we can expect now that it is a midterms election year.
“Lawmakers with an eye on November have announced roughly 120 town halls around the country. If you talk to some Democrats they privately worry about the so-called resistance and whether or not it’s actually flagging. Republicans have expressed optimism more recently as President Trump’s numbers have improved and the generic congressional ballot has tightened. This week, town halls across the country will yet again offer an on the ground snapshot of where the energy is and what are the issues driving voters nine months before they go to the polls.”
5) A Donald Trump Jr. deal in India?
It’s no secret President Trump was a business guy before becoming commander in chief. His son, Donald Trump Jr., is the executive director of one of the family businesses, the Trump Organization. As New York Times’ Michael Shear reports, there’s new interest in an upcoming trip for Trump Jr., and if it is a conflict of interest for the White House.
“I recommend an article by a couple of my colleagues in the paper today that describes a trip that Donald Trump Jr. is going to be taking to India this coming week to help sell million-dollar plus condos and apartments, ” Shear explains. “The Trump Organization has partnered with some local business interests in India and of course the Trump name is part of what is selling these condos, these high-end condos in these fancy buildings. This is happening even as the Trump administration is doing foreign policy that affects India and Pakistan and the region.”