60 Russians Expelled

Tuesday, March 27, 2018Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 7.24.40 AM

Good Tuesday morning.
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • President Trump ordered the expulsions of 60 Russian officials, joining a coordinated campaign by two dozen countries to retaliate for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

  • The White House has laid out a plan to fill the courts with judges devoted to a legal doctrine that challenges the broad power federal agencies have to interpret laws and enforce regulations, often without being subject to judicial oversight.
  • Mr. Trump has been uncharacteristically silent in recent days — to the relief of his advisers — as a pornographic film star and a Playboy model described intimate details of sexual encounters they said they had with him.

  • Republicans fear that, amid the sex allegations, the midterm elections appear destined to turn more on the behavior of the man in the White House than any in decades.

  • Under a proposed policy, the Environmental Protection Agency would no longer consider scientific research unless the underlying raw data can be made public. This would severely restrict the research available to it when writing regulations.
— The First Draft Team

To Seize House, Democrats Eye G.O.P. Seats in Districts That Voted for Clinton

Democrats hope to ride a wave of liberal enthusiasm and anti-Trump sentiment to a House majority in the midterm elections in November. All 435 House seats are up for grabs, but only about 48 seats are considered competitive (rated tossup or leaning toward one party), based on an average of estimates from three organizations.
Democrats, who have been sidelined as the House minority party since 2010, would need to flip 24 Republican seats while keeping the 194 seats they now hold.
Two indicators that are considered good predictors of the midterm vote have given Democrats hope. First, the party is performing better than Republicans in generic ballot polls — surveys in which people are asked which party they would support in a congressional election. Second, President Trump’s approval rating is relatively low. But congressional races are inherently local elections, and the individual candidates on the ballot will matter in November.
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Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary, at Joint Base Andrews in February, shortly before he left the White House amid allegations that he had abused his two former wives.

Trump Talks of Bringing Back Aide Accused of Spousal Abuse


The president has remained in touch with Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary, since his resignation, according to people familiar with the conversations.

Institutions such as the European Union, forged to promote democratic ideals. But they have been the target of hostility in member nations including Britain.

Post-World War II Order Is Under Assault From the Powers That Built It


Since the end of World War II, the victorious powers have promoted trade, democracy and collective security. Now, that order is under assault.

Demonstrators in Lower Manhattan this month as part of a protest organized by Fed Up, a group campaigning to make the Federal Reserve more responsive to labor concerns.

New York Fed Weighs a Wall Street Overseer, and the Left Spies an Opening


Progressive groups want a New York Fed chief who is independent of the financial sector, a voice for labor and a reflection of diversity.

The “60 Minutes” interview of Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, on a screen at the Hi-Life bar in Manhattan on Sunday.

Stormy Daniels Attracts 22 Million Viewers to ‘60 Minutes’


The CBS show featuring the pornographic-film actress had its best ratings since a 2008 segment with Barack and Michelle Obama — drawing two million more than its 2016 interview of President-elect Trump.

Richard Grenell, left, who is nominated to be ambassador to Germany, is President Trump’s most prominent openly gay appointee.

Opposing Factions Join to Push Confirmation of a Gay Trump Appointee


Scores of the president’s nominees are held up in the Senate, but few confirmation drives have turned into a cause like the one for Richard Grenell, his pick for ambassador to Germany.

The road in southern Libya between Sebha and Ubari in 2013. Ubari is at the intersection of the powerful criminal and jihadist currents that have washed across Libya in recent years.

U.S. Strikes Qaeda Target in Southern Libya, Expanding Shadow War There


The United States acknowledged its first drone strike in southern Libya, hitting a suspected Qaeda safe house and killing two militants.

Victoria Toensing and her husband, Joseph diGenova, will not join President Trump’s legal team.

Trump Reverses Himself on Hiring of 2 Lawyers


The upheaval comes at a critical time for Mr. Trump, who is deciding whether to sit with the special counsel for an interview, after his former lead lawyer quit.

Fund-Raiser Held Out Access to Trump as a Prize for Prospective Clients

Elliott Broidy, left, at an inaugural dinner with (from left) Carol Mizel, a philanthropist; Jeff Sessions, now the attorney general; Larry Mizel, a real estate developer; and Robin Broidy, a lawyer and Mr. Broidy’s wife.By KENNETH P. VOGEL AND DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

The fund-raiser, Elliott Broidy, suggested to prospective clients of his security firm, including some with unsavory records, that he could arrange meetings with the president or his associates.

Jay Sekulow is the only personal lawyer for President Trump who is working full time on the special counsel’s investigation as Mr. Trump faces a significant decision: whether to sit for an interview.

At a Crucial Juncture, Trump’s Legal Defense Is Largely a One-Man Operation


The president is struggling to find top lawyers to join Jay Sekulow in representing him as he faces a critical decision: whether to give the special counsel an interview.

Yousuru A

She Was Shot in Parkland. Can She Turn Trauma Into Change?


Samantha Fuentes, 18, was hit by gunfire from an AR-15 rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month. Onstage, she’s helping to lead a national conversation about gun control. Behind the scenes, she’s reeling from mental and physical trauma.

Fred Albert, a math teacher in the Charleston area of West Virginia, said many teachers felt that the Legislature had devalued their training and certification by proposing to let people teach a subject they hadn’t studied and had no experience in.

When Professionals Rise Up, More Than Money Is at Stake


The teacher uprising that began in West Virginia has exposed a trend among white-collar workers: a feeling that their credentials are being devalued.

How an Outraged Europe Agreed to a Hard Line on Putin

By STEVEN ERLANGERPrime Minister Theresa May of Britain, center, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, right, and President Emmanuel Macron of France, meeting last week in Brussels.

Faced with new aggressiveness from Vladimir Putin, recently re-elected in Russia, the European Union backed Britain and Theresa May on a former spy’s poisoning and sent a strong message to Moscow.