“Steve Bannon is telling people he’s not coming after mainstream Republicans in the House the way he’s targeting senators with anti-establishment disrupters in primaries. Many in the House are looking over their shoulders all the same. ‘I can’t read Mr. Bannon’s mind,’ said” Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC 13), “who could well be on the list.”
“When Bannon met this month with” NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers “he told Stivers their goals are aligned. They’re ‘largely on the same page to defend and expand’ the party’s majority, though there ‘might be a race here or there’ where they clash, said Andrew Surabian, a Bannon associate and adviser to the Great America Alliance, a pro-Trump political organization.” (AP)
ON THE AIR. The Emerson Collective, an advocacy group led by Laurene Powell-Jobs, has launched a TV and digital ad campaign urging voters to ask their representative to pass the Dream Act. The ads will target Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA 39), Steve Knight (R-CA 25), Darrell Issa (R-CA 49), Mimi Walters (R-CA 45), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL 26), Martha McSally (R-AZ 02), Leonard Lance (R-NJ 07), Will Hurd (R-TX 23), Pete Sessions (R-TX 32), John Culberson (R-TX 07), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ 11), Mike Bishop (R-MI 08) and Ryan Costello (R-PA 06). (West Chester Daily Local)
WARNING POLLS. “Democrats lead their Republican rivals by 10.7 percent on the generic congressional ballot, according to the most recent RealClearPolitics average of available polling data. That mark is the highest that average has gone since just before the 2010 elections, where Republicans netted 63 House seats.” (The Hill)
BLAST FROM THE PAST. “One chairman quit early. The chairmen of four other full committees plus at least eight subcommittee chairmen are retiring or seeking other office. With still a year to go until the election, that’s the biggest exodus of the House members in charge of setting priorities and writing legislation since the 109th Congress in 2005-2006, when five Republican committee chairmen didn’t seek re-election. Democrats won a majority of House seats that year.” (Bloomberg)
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"Federal prosecutors have charged a former software engineer at the center of a huge C.I.A. breach with stealing classified information, theft of government property and lying to the F.B.I. The engineer, Joshua A. Schulte, 29, of New York, had been the main suspect in one of the worst losses of classified documents in the spy agency’s history. Government investigators suspect that he provided WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization, with a stolen archive of documents detailing the C.I.A.’s hacking operations, but they had not initially charged him in that crime."
"The Senate voted Monday to reimpose the U.S. ban on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, in a rebuke to President Donald Trump and his efforts to keep the company in business. The provision targeting ZTE was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass defense spending bill that cleared the Senate by a vote of 85-10. It must now be reconciled with the House version of the measure, which takes a narrower approach to ZTE." Separately, Trump is directing U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify $200 billion more in tariffs on Chinese products.
"Two longtime associates of President Donald Trump are now acknowledging a previously undisclosed contact in May 2016 with a Russian who they say offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. Roger Stone and Michael Caputo say they forgot to tell investigators about their contact with a Russian national who goes by the name Henry Greenberg — even though they say Greenberg offered to sell incriminating information to the Trump campaign for $2 million."
"As Trump signed a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that offered few details on how the North Korean leader would make good on his vow to denuclearize, Republicans on Capitol Hill said Tuesday that they want and expect the White House to submit any final agreement for their approval." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for any agreement to be in the form of a treaty.
President Trump announced that the United States will suspend "war games" with South Korea, which are "inappropriate" given his meeting with North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un. "We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money," said Trump, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should." The military exercises "carried out each year by the US and South Korean militaries have been consistently cited by Pyongyang as a US rehearsal for war, and a reason it needs to build a nuclear arsenal."