If McConnell does not return as leader, who is most likely to succeed him?
DEMOCRATS (82 VOTES)
John Cornyn: 53%
John Thune: 18%
John Barrasso: 2%
Roy Blunt: 23%
“Cornyn is next in line. Can’t imagine they’d want to leap over him.”
“Time for Big John — Cornyn that is.”
“Cornyn enjoys the widest base of support, and with his conservative bona fides in place, telegenic presence, and relative youth, he’d be a smart choice.”
“They should go with the less controversial Thune, but they likely would go with Cornyn — coming from Texas, he can provide bigger money IOUs.”
“Republicans march up the ladder.”
“Time for someone who shines and smiles on camera.”
“Possible new face for a stagnant party — remember when he and President Obama shared the National Journal cover in 2005 or 2006? They were the future faces.”
“They will vote for the best TV candidate.”
“If they are smart, they’ll make Thune the face of the Senate.”
“Barrasso is most capable of disrupting Obama’s final two years without coming off as too brash to the public.”
“Blunt is the only one of the group with the organizing savvy to pull it off.”
“Blunt is acting more and more like a unifier of the Republican Party.”
“The majority of the caucus wants a deal-cutter — he is the ultimate deal-cutter.”
“A legislator’s legislator.”
If McConnell does not return as leader, who is most likely to succeed him?
REPUBLICANS (84 VOTES)
John Cornyn: 48%
John Thune: 27%
John Barrasso: 4%
Roy Blunt: 14%
“Cornyn failed twice as NRSC head and was rewarded with a promotion. What’s the name of that principle?”
“He has worked his way slowly and respectfully to the top. And he can raise money. Game over.”
“Cornyn has become an increasingly well-regarded behind-the-scenes player, helping his colleagues and piling up favors.”
“Republicans like to reward seniority.”
“Cornyn has the best creds both in terms of leadership and as a solid conservative.”
“The best mix of new conservatives and old-school Senate.”
“Cornyn is the logical choice, but El Diablo Cruz lurks in the shadows to ensure that will not happen.”
“He’s smart, articulate, attractive, and sane. A great combination to possess for a party with the face of the angry white male.”
“Cornyn is a good guy, but if McConnell is defeated it will be time for a new generation.”
“He’s sufficiently conservative, intelligent, and ambitious. Plus potentially the consensus choice.”
“Having served in the House leadership, he knows the drill. He’s been quietly effective in the Senate.”
“Wide open. Only thing certain — it won’t be Ted Cruz.”
… … . .
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."