Trump’s re-election bid collides with policy problems

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On the roster: Trumps re-election bid collides with policy problems – Witness: Russians targeted Rubio – Report: Trump aides told Nunes what Nunes told Trump – Ill Tell You What: Kidding , not kidding – Paging Tara Reid

TRUMPS RE-ELECTION BID COLLIDES WITH POLICY PROBLEMS
Its too soon to say how President Trump s agenda will fair, but we do know his re-election bid is in trouble.

That may sound preposterous to say in the 10 th week of an administration, but here we are.

Trump, who filed for re-election before he took office, is getting a boost from his most important donors, hedge-fund tycoon Robert Mercer and his family. It comes in the form of a $1.3 million ad blitz targeted at swaying countries as well as countries represented by vulnerable Democratic senators.

Trump is doing his part by renewing his war with his fellow Republican, explosion House conservatives for defeating his health-insurance overhaul last week.

Theres no doubt that Trump whose first months in office have been marked by near-constant controversy, policy setbacks and historically low approving ratings, could use a boost.

Going back to his successful campaign model of Mercer money and dramatic confrontations with other politicians could be a help. His core voters need reassurance and beating up on Cruz-style conservatives has worked before. Just ask Ted Cruz

But Trump will need more than slick ads and scapegoats to win his long, long re-election campaign. He will need policies that work.

To that objective, Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan are playing good cop and bad cop with House Republicans in a bid to get lawmakers to fall in line.

Trump keeps talking about wanting to work with Democrat to enact the more liberal parts of his agenda and blaming conservatives for being ideologically hidebound. Ryan, meanwhile, is telling his troops that they better hurry up and take the first bargain before the President follows through on his menace.

Some conservatives seem anxious enough that they might go along, but for Trump and Ryans routine to be successful it will have to be credible.

So the question that tackles Washington is whether Trump is serious about falling the effort to replace ObamaCare and instead work with moderate Republican and Democrat to mend the legislation. And if he is, are Democrat actually interested?

This may simply be a game of chicken with conservative lawmakers to force them to accept the original version of TrumpCare. That depends, however, on the idea that Ryan and his counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell , would go along. That seems unlikely.

At present, Ryan is maintaining the House lawsuit against the executive branch undertaken during the Obama administration to block subsidies paid to insurance companies under the existing law. And its an open question whether the budget boss in the upper chamber do not even intend to fund the subsidies in the first place.

Not a lot of mend going on there

What else is not going on is the promised pivot to Trumps cherished taxation overhaul and stimulus spending package. The Republican leadership seems dug in on the issue of addressing health insurance first. Trumps focus on badgering and blaming conservatives suggests that he agrees and has gone back to Plan A: jam through some way of replacing for ObamaCare and then turn to more popular policy provisions.

The president detects himself in something of a snare. He cant get re-elected if he doesnt have policy victories. But if the policies he is able to legislate are unpopular, he loses anyway.

At some phase we may assure Trump change his anger away from right wingers and set it on the congressional leaders who are being sticks in the mud. But for now, Trump is sticking it out with the GOP establishment. That is a possibility because opposition to Trump among Democrats is so uniformly intense other than Trump enthusiast Sen. Joe Manchin , D-W.Va ., the president has not discovered many friends on the other side of the aisle.

The astounding brinksmanship over Trumps well-regarded nominee to the Supreme Court tells us that even when it is against their long-term interests, Democrats are determined to be seen as absolutists in opposing Trump.

If the president wants to get out of his jam between the Republican establishment and conservatives, he is going to need some Democrat to help him make good on his menaces. Regrettably for Trump, many on the left are content to watch and wait.

First, they want to see when and if the GOP will actually cannibalize itself. Second with at least two ongoing investigations into potential ties between Trumps campaign and the Kremlin, theres lots of incentive for Democrat to just wait and consider.

Trump requires them style more than they need him. And without successes of his own, Trump wont be able to tempt any significant number of aisle crossers. And what that entails is that before ads or rallies or Twitter fights can keep him in office, Trump will have to successfully sell legislation that he believes in.

Whether its on health insurance or taxes or anything else, the president needs to become an evangelist for some specific policy idea around which he can kind a new coalition.

THE RULEBOOK: GOLDILOCKS
For the absurdity must continually stare us in the face of confiding to a government the direction of the most essential national interests, without daring to trust it to the authorities which are indispensible to their proper and efficient management. Alexander Hamilton , Federalist No. 23

TIME OUT: WOMEN IN COMBAT
The New Yorker : The skill that Ms. Pac-Man demands of its playersmaking multi-objective, dynamic decisions quicklyturns out to be the same ability that artificial-intelligence researchers wish to program into many of their bots. And according to Silvia Ferrari , the director of Cornell Universitys Laboratory for Intelligent System and Controls, the game is an especially ideal environment for training autonomous military machines. While the endeavor may seem flippant, Ferrari, who first played Pac-Man when she was ten years old, believes that it will lead to useful applications. Code tested and developed use Ms. Pac-Man could, she suggested, better integrate unmanned vehicles, helping them conduct search and surveillance missions under conditions that would be too hazardous for humansin war zones, disaster area, or the deep ocean.

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WITNESS: RUSSIANS TARGETED RUBIO
TPM: A witness revealed Thursday at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that Sen. Marco Rubio ( R-FL) and House Speaker Paul Ryan( R-WI) had been targeted by Russian actors attempting to influence U.S. politics. Clint Watts , a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute said that he believes Rubio, as a presidential nominee, was a victim of Russian propaganda is targeted at influencing the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s overt media outlets and covert trolls sought to sideline adversaries on both sides of the political spectrum with adversarial positions towards the Kremlin, Watts said. They were in full swing during both the Republican and Democratic primary season, and may have helped sink the hopes of nominees more hostile to Russian interests long before the field narrowed. Senator Rubio, in my opinion, you anecdotally suffered through these efforts.

Senate Intel committee takes on Russian info warfare – Fox News: Russia is engaged in information warfare on American soil, and its interference in the 2016 presidential campaign is just one part of a strategy to undermine Western democracies that continues today, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Thursday. Regrettably, you will learnthat these efforts by Russia to discredit the United States and weaken the West are not new. These endeavours are, in fact, at the heart of Russian and previously, the Soviet Union intelligence attempts, said Sen. Richard Burr , R-N.C ., at the start of a key hearing by his committee. The focus of the hearing is on how the Kremlin allegedly use technology to spread disinformation in the U.S. and Europe. Vladimir Putin himself on Thursday dismissed what he called endless and groundless accusations of Russian meddling.

Russia paid hackers to push fake news – Reuters: Warner and Burr both stressed the importance of uncovering the activity of Russian hackers, which Warner said included reports of “upwards of 1,000 paid Internet trolls” who spread false negative tales about Clinton.

Comey tried to go public on Russia before election – Newsweek: FBI Director James Comey attempted to go public as early as the summer of 2016 with informed on Russias campaign to influence the U.S. general elections, but Obama administration officials blocked him from doing so, two sources with knowledge of the issues tell Newsweek. Well before the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence accused the Russian government of tampering with the U.S. election in an October 7 statement, Comey pitched the idea of writing an op-ed about the Russian campaign during a meeting in the White Houses situation room in June or July.

Fiorina calls for special prosecutor – WashEx: Carly Fiorina on Monday called for a special prosecutor and an independent commission to handle the investigation into Russias involvement in the 2016 elections Weve got to have either a special prosecutor or an independent commission, and thats still the right answer, Fiorina told the John Fredericks Show.

REPORT: TRUMP AIDES TOLD NUNES WHAT NUNES TOLD TRUMP
NYT: A pair of White House officers played a role in providing Representative Devin Nunes of California, a Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies. Several current American officials identified the White House officials as Ezra Cohen-Watnick , the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis , a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsels Office and formerly worked on the staff of the House Intelligence Committee. A White House spokesperson declined to comment. Officials said the reports consisted primarily of ambassadors and other foreign officials talking about how they were trying to develop contacts within Mr. Trumps family and inner circle in advance of his inauguration.

[ Rep. Adam Schiff , D-Calif ., and Nunes were expected to meet today .]

SENATE CAREENING TOWARD NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN
Politico: The Senate is careening toward an historical change to its filibuster regulations that takes it one step closer to a version of the majority-rule House of Representatives. But no one seems to care enough to save the Senate from itself. Unlike past institutional crises, theres no bipartisan gang stepping up to force a truce between the warring armies led by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer . McConnell is increasingly dug in, rallying his troops to confirm[ Judge Neil Gorsuch ] by any means necessary. Schumer has staked his reputation as leader to a successful filibuster of Gorsuch, with major disappointment looming on the left if he fails. But interviews with the two moderate Republican most likely to object to a rules change[ Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine] reveal that McConnell is likely on solid ground.

ILL TELL YOU WHAT: KIDDING, NOT KIDDING

Well, that health care debate went well. Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt break down where President Trump and the Republicans went wrong in their quest to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Is this the beginning of a war with the Freedom Caucus, or are his tweets justkidding? Plus, Dana devotes an update on your favorite diabetic cat. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Hawaii federal magistrate decides to maintain refugee forbid – Fox News

Seattle sues over administration threat on sanctuary cities – Fox News

Dem congressman to launch bid to unseat Cruz – Houston Chronicle

The right-hand girl to Trumps right-hand man: Julia Hahn WaPo

DHS Secretary John Kelly says households will not be separated at border The Hill

Trump admin now indicates only modest changes to NAFTA WSJ

Trump deputy chief of staff leaving for outside pro-Trump PAC – Politico

Mega map: A look at how every precinct in America voted – Decision Desk

AUDIBLE: PANCHO VILLA
That was some weird s–t. Former President George W. Bush reacting to Trumps inauguration reported by New York Magazine.

FROM THE BLEACHERS
Enjoy your daily report vastly … keep abreast the good work! But I’ve read just about enough of the Gorsuch nomination to the Supreme Court to screamThis is such a biggie that Senator McConnell should have pushed his committee chairman to the brink to get this done and the nominee, should he be confirmed, seated on the bench by nowSenate Democratic leadership has shown more spinewhat with delays and provocations. With luck, maybe we’ll all live long enough to see some true fortitude and boldnes from Senate Republican leadership. But I’m not holding my breath. James W. Herzog , Spartanburg, S.C.

[ Ed. note: Patience, Mr. Herzog! There is no danger that Gorsuch will be passed out of committee and, as reported above, Senate Republican seem more than willing to blow up the rules of the body to set his nomination through next week. Remember like a lot of things in life, the people making the most noise in Congress are seldom the ones in the best posture .]

I have a sailing analogy for you. Its the set of the sails and not the gales that decides our direction. Some gust is required but there is plenty of hot air in Congress.( some of it seems to be flatulence) We require a Captain to direct the ship and a crew with a common goal. This is one of the times that the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line. I am sure that the framers of the Constitution understood the concept. I am equally sure that, except for minor endeavors, they preferred sailors to oarsmen. Always important to preferred the right tool for the job. I do appreciate the trim of your jib. Thanks for listening. Margy Gangal , Pasco, Washington

[ Ed. note: Thats a great route to look at it, Ms. Gangal but your analogy supposes that the admiralty has agreed on a course ]

We all better stop being so[ afraid] of the 6-legged version of the 8-limbed arachnids. Insect Bombs may be our doom! Bob Leavitt , North Ferrisburgh, Vt.

[ Ed. note: You are referring , no doubt, Mr. Leavitt to Wednesdays Time Out about the voracious appetite of the worlds spiders. I confess that I recoil at the sight of the little buggers but have been, I hope, admirably consistent in keeping my pledge to not kill them. They are miraculous organisms and I surely detest mosquitoes and flies more than an arachnids creepy eyes .]

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THE JUDGES RULING: IS HEALTH CARE A RIGHT OR A GOOD?
Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano investigates the true nature of health care and health insurance amid the discussion about ObamaCares replacing: the federal government cannot create a right that the Constitution does not authorize. It cant constitutionally transfer wealth from taxpayers or employers to others and then claim that the others have a right to the continued receipt of the transfers. More here.

PAGING TARA REID
NewsHub:[ Residents of Queensland, Australia] are being advised to stay out of the floodwaters after Cyclone Debbie lashed the region, with creatures from the deep cleaning up. A massive policeman shark was one of those to surface, objective up on a road in the town of Ayr. Think it’s safe to go back in the water? Think again! Queensland Fire and Emergency tweeted with a photo of the monstrous critter. It was towed back to the nearby Burdekin River, but was unable to be resurrected. The hurricane forced the evacuation of more than 25,000 people and has been declared a catastrophe by the Insurance Council of Australia. Insurance claims for damage after the blizzard and flooding in are expected to top billions of dollars.

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES
I think it is like The Godfather. This is not personal. It’s business. I don’t believe the personal stuff is genuinely what’s at the core here. They actually are significant ideological the differences between the Republican. Charles Krauthammer on Special Report with Bret Baier . Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons and Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here .

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel( FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor are stationed in Washington , D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the make podcast, Perino& Stirewalt: I’ll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power play, specific features video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt constructs frequent appearances on network programs, including Americas Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNCs coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.

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