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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Until last month, National Security Advisor John Bolton chaired the New York-based nonprofit Gatestone Institute, which promoted "misleading and false anti-Muslim news." The group published articles warning of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death," alleged that “no-go zones” existing in Europe due to violence from Muslim migrants, and published one story called: “Rape Capital of the West," which focused on Somali migrants in Sweden. The research, which was occasionally amplified by Russian media outlets and Twitter bots, also criticized mainstream European leaders for failing to confront the so-called crisis.
"Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan has resigned following days of large-scale street protests against him." Sargsyan had previously served 10 years as President, and protestors accused him of clinging to power. "In 2015, Armenians voted in a referendum to shift the country from a presidential to a parliamentary system, stripping powers from the president and giving them to the prime minister." Sargsyan's government has also been criticized for failing to ease tensions with Azerbaijan and Turkey, and "for its close ties to Russia, whose leader Vladimir Putin also moved between the positions of president and prime minister to maintain his grip on power."
President Trump "welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron the White House" today to begin a three-day state visit "expected to be dominated by U.S.-European differences on the Iran nuclear deal and souring trade relations." Trump has vowed to scrap the Iran nuclear deal "unless European allies strengthen it by mid-May." After meetings on Monday and Tuesday, Macron will address Congress on Wednesday, "the anniversary of the day that French General Charles de Gaulle addressed a Joint Session of Congress in 1960."
"A sheriff in Illinois says Travis Reinking," the suspect in a mass shooting that killed four people in a Tennessee Waffle House on Sunday, had his state firearms card revoked last year by state police, but that "his guns were given to his father with the promise that they wouldn’t be shared with his son ... Huston says Reinking’s father has a valid firearm ownership card, and his officers didn’t believe they had any authority to seize the weapons." Police are still searching for the 29-year-old suspect.