An Extraordinary Upset

Thursday, March 15, 2018Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 9.12.01 AM

Good Thursday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Conor Lamb, a Democrat and former Marine, scored a razor-thin but extraordinary upset in a special House election in southwestern Pennsylvania.

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing a recommendation to fire the former F.B.I. deputy director, Andrew G. McCabe, just days before he is scheduled to retire on Sunday, people briefed on the matter said.

  • The CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow, an unabashed prognosticator who relishes the provocative, is President Trump’s choice to replace Gary D. Cohn as head of the National Economic Council.

  • Two months after four American soldiers were killed in Niger, a group of Green Berets and local forces killed 11 ISIS militants in a previously undisclosed battle.
  • Hundreds of high school students massed at the Capitol to demand gun control, but the House instead approved modest legislation to beef up school security without changes to the nation’s gun laws.

— The First Draft Team
News Analysis

Strong Performance by Democrat in Pennsylvania Shakes Trump and G.O.P.

By PETER BAKER AND MICHAEL D. SHEAR
Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, claimed victory at a rally in Canonsburg, Pa., early Wednesday.

Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, claimed victory at a rally in Canonsburg, Pa., early Wednesday. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump was hanging out here in the land of earthquakes, but he was 2,500 miles away from the tremor that really shook his party on Tuesday night.
While the president hobnobbed with wealthy donors in the exclusive enclave of Beverly Park, the voters in the suburbs south of Pittsburgh were in revolt, giving the Democratic candidate a narrow lead in a special election in Pennsylvania that was taking on outsize proportions.
Just as they did outside Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala., in December, and Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C., in November, energized and angry suburban voters were swamping the Trump stalwarts in the more rural parts of those regions, sending a clear message to Republicans around the country.
While Republican turnout in a district that Mr. Trump won by 20 percentage points was healthy, Democrats showed once again that they could tap unions and other traditionally friendly groups to get their voters out in droves. The N.A.A.C.P. helped win Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Alabama Senate seat for Doug Jones in December. Organized labor, once seen as fractured and feckless in the Trump era, gave the Democrat Conor Lamb his lead in Pennsylvania overnight.
Read more »
Rex W. Tillerson served a rocky tenure for a president he publicly broke with on several issues.

Tillerson’s Firing Had Been Expected, but It Still Stunned Observers

By RICK GLADSTONE

In foreign capitals as well as Washington, the dismissal of the secretary of state sent shock waves.

Secretary of State Rex. W. Tillerson arriving in Djibouti on Friday, four days before he was fired. Some senior administration officials said Mr. Tillerson should have anticipated his ouster.

From Jokes to Near Tears, Tillerson’s Final Brush With Diplomacy

By GARDINER HARRIS

Returning to Washington after a week of urging détente across Africa, Mr. Tillerson was fired in a decidedly undiplomatic presidential tweet.

Senators Elizabeth Warren, second from left, and Senator Bernie Sanders, right, on Capitol Hill in September. An article about the two senators prompted a New Zealand diplomat to write a tweet.

New Zealand Diplomat Censured for Vulgar Tweet About U.S. Democrats

By CHARLOTTE GRAHAM-MCLAY

The No. 2 diplomat at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington said Democrats needed to move past pairings like a Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren ticket or “we will all die.”

Boeing 787 airliners at the company’s plant in North Charleston, S.C. Boeing is the nation’s largest manufacturing exporter and a potential target for retaliation over tariffs imposed by the United States on foreign steel and aluminum.

President’s New Tariffs Make Boeing a Potential Target in a Trade War

By NATALIE KITROEFF

As a huge manufacturing exporter, the aerospace giant is particularly vulnerable to retaliation from China, a major customer.

Supporters of Conor Lamb, a Democrat, reacted to the results coming in during the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional district on Tuesday.

The Pennsylvania Special Election: What Comes Next?

By EILEEN SULLIVAN AND JONATHAN MARTIN

The special election in Pennsylvania has upended the political landscape, and with a new congressional map coming in November, candidates are planning their next moves.

Chris Cuomo’s coverage of the Trump administration has drawn plaudits and some right-wing blowback.

CNN Moves Chris Cuomo to Prime Time

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

Mr. Cuomo, a scion of the New York political dynasty, is set to replace Anderson Cooper at 9 p.m., as CNN tries to revive its prime-time viewership.

Larry Kudlow is a CNBC television commentator and has served as an informal adviser to President Trump.

Who Is the President’s New Economic Adviser?

By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER AND ROBIN LINDSAY

Larry Kudlow, a CNBC television commentator and longtime cheerleader of President Trump, will replace Gary D. Cohn, who resigned over the president’s trade policies.

Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, last month in Washington.

Cabinet Changes Could Delay Planning for North Korean Meeting

By MARK LANDLER

Mike Pompeo, picked to be the new secretary of state, won’t be able to contact South Koreans, let alone North Koreans, until the Senate approves his nomination.

A supporter of Conor Lamb, the Democrat who claimed victory in a special congressional election on Tuesday.

In Pennsylvania Election Shaped by Trump, Candidates Still Mattered

By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON

Some voters in a special House race supported Conor Lamb to express their dislike of the president. Others just liked Mr. Lamb better than his Republican opponent.

“It’s going to be something very special,” President Trump, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said of his tax cut plans.

Flush Over Tax Cuts, Trump Says ‘Phase 2’ Is Coming

By PETER BAKER AND JIM TANKERSLEY

Mr. Trump, who said he would team up with Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, offered no specifics on the plan. But what they appear to be talking about would be less than meets the eye.

Leaders and supporters of the far-right group Britain First marched in central London last year.

Facebook Blocks Far-Right Anti-Muslim Group That Trump Promoted

By NIRAJ CHOKSHI

The move against Britain First comes a week after two leaders of the group were convicted of hate crimes and months after the president elevated their inflammatory views on Twitter.

Conor Lamb after voting in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., on Tuesday.

Who Is Lamb, the Winner in Pennsylvania’s Special House Race?

By MICHAEL TACKETT AND JONATHAN MARTIN

A Democrat and first-time candidate, Conor Lamb comes from a political family and has a military background — a résumé tailor-made for southwestern Pennsylvania.