The Note: Priebus asks the FBI to refute Trump Russia reports

Trump’s initially one hundred days with ABC’s RICK KLEIN and SHUSHANNAH WALSHE Day No. 36 The major story: The Russia affair gets a new twist with the revelation that White Property chief of employees Reince Priebus asked a prime FBI official to dispute...

The Note: Priebus asks the FBI to refute Trump Russia reports

Trump’s initially one hundred days with ABC’s RICK KLEIN and SHUSHANNAH WALSHE Day No. 36 The major story: The Russia affair gets a new twist with the revelation that White Property chief of employees Reince Priebus asked a prime FBI official to dispute...

24 February 2017 Friday 17:02
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The Note: Priebus asks the FBI to refute Trump Russia reports

Trump’s initially one hundred days with ABC’s RICK KLEIN and SHUSHANNAH WALSHE

Day No. 36

The major story: The Russia affair gets a new twist with the revelation that White Property chief of employees Reince Priebus asked a prime FBI official to dispute reports that Trump campaign officials had been in frequent get in touch with with Russian intelligence agents prior to the election. There are questions of propriety right here: The FBI is supposed to be capable to conduct its investigations independently, without any White Property involvement. And the bureau isn’t supposed to play politics by commenting on active investigations, as Clinton campaign vets bear in mind as well well. There is also irony: Priebus was asking the FBI to comment without names attached, whilst decrying as “fake news” stories that rely on such sourcing. What’s extra, the willingness to employ the FBI for political battle demonstrates when Trump advisers cast the media as the “opposition celebration,” it is more than words. “Every day, it is going to be a fight,” White Home chief strategist Steve Bannon stated Thursday at CPAC. Added Priebus, sitting slightly uncomfortably to Bannon’s left: “If the party and the conservative movement are collectively, comparable to Steve and I, it can not be stopped.” It seems that in this battle, there’s no resource of the federal government that the White Home considers off-limits.

The sleeper story: The greatest thing to happen to Obamacare may have been Donald Trump. A new Kaiser tracking poll has the approval rating for the Reasonably priced Care Act up to 48 % – the highest it is been in some 60 such polls. Lawmakers, of course, are hearing about that newfound recognition firsthand at raucous town halls that are developing into mirror-image opposites of the popular Tea Celebration events that hurt the bill’s reputation back in 2009 and 2010. With President Trump’s address to Congress coming on the eve of the month slated for repeal/replace, it might be that Republicans have lost vital momentum about what they all once agreed would be their top priority. Former House Speaker John Boehner’s statements on the difficulty the GOP will have in undoing Obamacare is a clue to the anxiety Republicans are feeling ideal now about their promise of repeal.

The shiny story: Jared and Ivanka strike once again! According to The Wall Street Journal, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump prevailed on the president to get rid of language critical of the Paris climate accord from an impending executive order on environmental difficulties. This is the second time we’ve learned of the couple’s private, moderating influence. They also succeeded in blocking an work to rescind protections for LGBTQ staff. (Although they were notably absent from stories about the school-bathroom regulation that was rescinded this week.) Per the Journal: “One White Residence official said both Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump have been regarded as a moderating influence on the White House’s position on climate transform and environmental troubles.” That’s an intriguing detail for a White House official to confirm. But might it be a little as well cute to tag the couple as the “moderating” – read, liberal-leaning – influence inside a White Residence (plus a Cabinet) stuffed with powerful conservatives? As The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin tweeted, “Funny how all the leaks about Jared/Ivanka look aimed at reassuring liberal NYC mates *we're attempting*.”

TLDR: White Home chief of staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI deputy director to dispute reports that Trump campaign advisers were in typical touch with Russian intelligence agents throughout the campaign. Priebus could have come out strongly against the media utilizing background sourcing with no names attached but that's exactly what he was asking the FBI to do.

Photo of the day: The marquee CPAC speakers Thursday were Trump’s chief of employees Reince Priebus plus his chief strategist Steve Bannon, who seldom speaks on camera. It is an understatement to call the two an odd couple with Priebus as the former head of the RNC and Bannon spending years at war with the establishment, but they trotted out their best-buddy act yesterday, even calling every single other "dear mates." Here's an image of the two embracing: (Credit: Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

Notables

--WH chief of employees urged the FBI to dispute Trump Russia report: White Property chief of employees Reince Priebus made a individual appeal to a major FBI official to dispute reports that many senior members of President Trump's campaign had communicated with Russian agents in the course of the 2016 election, a senior White Home official confirmed to ABC News on Friday. Priebus had reached out to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in an work to knock down reports of talks between campaign officials and Russia following a New York Occasions report on the matter final week, the official stated. Priebus only made the request soon after the FBI had told the White House there were accuracy problems with the Times' report, the official mentioned. A lot more from ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/white-residence-chief-staff-reached-fbi-dispute-trump/story?id=45708935

--Happening currently - President Trump to address conservatives at CPAC: President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday at 10:20 a.m., his fifth time addressing the gathering of right-wing organizers and activists. Trump's look Friday marks the fourth stop by by a sitting president, notes ABC’s ADAM KELSEY. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-address-conservatives-cpac/story?id=45685520

--This week on ‘This Week’: George Stephanopoulos goes a single-on-one with Property Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., exclusively on "This Week" Sunday. And the Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter, Rasmussen Reports political analyst Amy Holmes, former Clinton Labor Secretary and UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich, and New Yorker editor David Remnick.

--Taking place this weekend -- DNC reaching end of tight leadership race as party seeks to unite. Democratic party officials will vote Saturday for a new chair of the Democratic National Committee, but heading into the weekend, the race is still neck-and-neck and hotly contested, according to ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS. Democrats may be united against President Donald Trump, but they remain deeply divided about who is very best to lead and represent them. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/dnc-reaching-finish-tight-leadership-race-celebration-seeks/story?id=45698424

CPAC roundup

Pence downplays town hall backlash, rallies conservatives at CPAC.ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL and ERIN DOOLEY report. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/pence-downplays-town-hall-backash-rallies-conservatives-cpac/story?id=45700563

Steve Bannon says media 'always wrong' about Trump, president 'maniacally focused' on agenda. Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, pounced on the media through the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, repeating his attack that the press is the "opposition party" that is "often wrong" about the administration, note ABC’s ADAM KELSEY and ALI ROGIN. "I feel if you look at, you know, the opposition party," said Bannon, referring to the media, through his look at the conference with White Property chief of staff Reince Priebus. "How they portrayed the campaign, how they portrayed the transition and how they're portraying the administration -- it's usually incorrect." http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/steve-bannon-media-incorrect-trump/story?id=45691100

Education secretary Betsy Devos slams Obama's transgender bathroom rule as 'overreachABC's ALI ROGIN. She added, however, "It really is our job to shield students" and "to guard personal freedoms." http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/education-secretary-betsy-devos-slams-obamas-transgender-bathroom/story?id=45690307

Speed read with ABC’s Adam Kelsey

President Trump reiterates call for US nuclear supremacy. President Donald Trump on Thursday renewed his call on Thursday to expand the country's nuclear weapons cache so that the U.S. is the "major of the pack," according to an interview with Reuters. Trump's comments echoed statements he presented in December when he tweeted about "expand[ing]" the nation's "nuclear capability" and told MSNBC that he was willing to engage in an "arms race." Trump told Reuters that he desires the country's cache of weapons to be "prime of the pack," a notion expanded upon by White Home Press Secretary Sean Spicer at his every day press briefing, create ABC's ADAM KELSEY and KATHERINE FAULDERS. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-reiterates-call-us-nuclear-supremacy/story?id=45695753

Justice Department reverses Obama guidance on lowering private prisons. Lawyer Common Jeff Sessions has rescinded an Obama-era memo aimed at reducing and eventually ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons, reports ABC's ERIN DOOLEY. The memo, penned in August 2016 by former Deputy Lawyer General Sally Yates -- who was fired by President Donald Trump final month immediately after she refused to defend his immigration order -- recommended that private correctional facilities "compare poorly" to federal facilities, and instructed officials to commence "the approach of minimizing, and ultimately ending, our use of privately operated prisons." http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/justice-department-reverses-obama-guidance-reducing-private-prisons/story?id=45696324

White Home: expect 'greater enforcement' of marijuana laws. The White House indicated Thursday that the enforcement of federal laws on recreational marijuana will increase for the duration of President Donald Trump's tenure in workplace. Press secretary Sean Spicer, responding to a query at Thursday's press briefing about the Department of Justice's part when federal marijuana laws conflict with state statutes, mentioned he believes there is a wide distinction involving recreational and medicinal marijuana use, note ABC's KATHERINE FAULDERS, JORDYN PHELPS and ADAM KELSEY. "I do believe you will see higher enforcement of [federal restrictions on recreational use]," mentioned Spicer. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/white-home-expect-higher-enforcement-marijuana-laws/story?id=45697227

Obamacare favorability nears record propelled by independents: poll. A new poll gauging the public's feelings on the ongoing battle more than healthcare finds continued displeasure with the current policy path, but close to record constructive impressions of the Inexpensive Care Act. The tracking poll, carried out by the Henry J. Kaiser Loved ones Foundation, finds 48 % of its respondents had a extremely or somewhat favorable view of the legislation, generally recognized as Obamacare, the highest level given that September 2010, when 49 percent of these viewed it favorably. ABC’s ADAM KELSEY has much more. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obamacare-favorability-nears-record-propelled-independents-poll/story?id=45700856

Ivanka trump hosted lawmakers at white house last week for meeting on childcare tax proposal, paid leave. Ivanka Trump hosted Republican members of Congress at the White Property final week to discuss some of her individual legislative priorities -- a childcare tax proposal and paid maternity leave, according to a White House official and a Senate GOP aide. It is uncommon for the youngster of a president -- with no formal part in her father's administration -- to host a policy meeting with lawmakers inside the West Wing. The White Home official noted that Ivanka has been extended been passionate about the situation and that it remains a priority. ABC's BENJAMIN SIEGEL and JORDYN PHELPS have more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/ivanka-trump-hosted-lawmakers-white-residence-week-meeting/story?id=45698865

Who’s tweeting?

@realDonaldTrump: The FBI is completely unable to stop the national security "leakers" that have permeated our government for a extended time. They cannot even......

@realDonaldTrump: uncover the leakers inside the FBI itself. Classified data is being provided to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. Obtain NOW

@rickklein: .@jonkarl asks if Cruz thinks Trump is accurate conservative: "I feel he is president... implementing conservative policies." (not a yes) @gma

@MikeDelMoro: "If you have been upset about Bill Clinton meeting with the AG, then you ought to be upset about [Priebus] meeting with the FBI" -@matthewjdowd

@craigzadan:

@Elizabeth_McLau: Admiral Harward weighs in on #Pentagon assessment of #ISIS strategy due to #WhiteHouse early next week http://abcnews.go.com/International/pentagon-assessment-isis-technique-lay-choices-accelerate-fight/story?id=45692629

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