NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers (R-OH 15) “took a brief victory lap … after locking down the last of four House special elections for his party. … ‘I’d love to see where their momentum is at 0 and 4,’ Stivers said when asked what the race said about Democrats’ prospects of taking the House in 2018. ‘They poured $33 million into this seat and came away short. That just goes to show you that when you spend $33 million but you talk about issues that the American people don’t believe, you can’t win.’” (Politico)
“In a nearly 1,600-word Wednesday morning memo” from DCCC Chair Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM 01) to DCCC “staff … the New Mexico congressman shared polling conducted between late March and mid-June showing Democrats in position to make gains in a handful of competitive seats held by Republicans. Explaining that in some cases the pollsters tested specific Democratic challengers against Republican incumbents, Lujan said “many incumbents — who won with double digits last cycle — would be in the race of their careers, including” Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ 02), Brian Mast (R-FL 18), Kevin Yoder (R-KS 03), and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ 11).
“Lujan also told staff that starting this week, senior aides and allies will be deployed into target districts to ramp up candidate recruitment, and that Lujan himself is planning trips to states including Maine, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri.” (Politico)
LOOKING BACK. From former DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel (D) and former White House policy adviser Bruce Reed: “So how can Democrats ensure that 2018 delivers the success they failed to achieve in 2016? The stakes are too high to rely entirely on one side’s enthusiasm or the other side’s disenchantment. … Democrats don’t just need to choose the right battles, they also need to choose credible candidates who can win them. Candidate quality may not make the difference in a place like Montana’s at-large district, where Greg Gianforte won handily just hours after assaulting a reporter. Winning hotly contested swing seats, however, requires candidates who closely match their districts—even if they don’t perfectly align with the national party’s activist base.” (The Atlantic)
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"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.
"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."