Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) “said Thursday she is waiting for some family health issues to be resolved before she announces whether she’ll run for another term in 2018.”
“The time is coming, be assured. I’ve had reasons for waiting, and so once those problems are solved, I’ll let you know,” Feinstein said.
“Feinstein wouldn’t give more details about the family issue, but she skipped the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last summer after her husband, Richard Blum, was diagnosed with lung cancer. She herself was fitted with a pacemaker in January, raising additional questions about whether she plans to run.” (Los Angeles Times)
TOWN HALL. Feinstein “attempted to field questions on an array of issues from frustrated constituents during a frenzied town hall Thursday morning in Los Angeles. The sold out town hall drew about a thousand people to the First AME Church in South Los Angeles. There were also protesters outside the church. The crowd often shouted their disappointed with the senator. At one point, she was asked if she would be co-sponsoring a single-payer healthcare bill with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and she responded no.”
“She wouldn’t say whether she plans to seek reelection.” (CBSLA.com)
LOOKING AHEAD. Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-28) “fast-rising profile” as ranking member of the House Intelligence committee and public face of the congressional investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 elections “is fueling speculation he might be laying the groundwork for a run for higher office — for the Senate or governor’s mansion, or maybe even the White House. Schiff himself acknowledges harboring grander ambitions but adds the obligatory qualifiers in an interview: He’s busy with his current job and hopes that” Feinstein “will seek reelection in 2018.” (Politico)
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"A long-simmering feud between two of President Trump’s top advisers reached a boiling point Thursday, as White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci publicly insinuated that chief of staff Reince Priebus is a leaker."
"President Donald Trump isn't going to just let go of Sen. Lisa Murkowski's no vote on Tuesday's health care. Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy."
President Trump has nominated Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to be ambassador at large for international religious freedom at the Department of State. Governor since 2011, Brownback worked on religious freedom issues while a U.S. senator from 1996 to 2011.
"The Treasury Department imposed financial sanctions on a host of current and former senior Venezuelan officials on Wednesday and threatened to take more stringent action if President Nicolás Maduro proceeds with plans for a constituent assembly on Sunday that critics consider a danger to democracy."
LGBT groups are unsure how literally to take President Trump's tweet on Wednesday that he wants to ban transgender persons from the military, or whether it will be followed up by an official order. But if so, groups like Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union "are ready to take legal action."