President Trump criticized Sen. Joe Manchin (D) “in an interview Thursday in which he said the West Virginia Democrat talks about bipartisanship, but neglects to act in such a way. In particular, Trump mentioned how Manchin and other Democrats spoke about how they were willing to negotiate with Republicans on healthcare and tax reform, but then uniformly voted against those efforts this year.”
“He talks. But he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t do,” Trump said in reference to Manchin, in an interview with the New York Times.
“He then evoked what he views dealing with Manchin is like.”
“‘Hey, let’s get together, let’s do bipartisan,’” Trump said, imitating Manchin. “I say, ‘Good, let’s go.’ Then you don’t hear from him again.” (Washington Examiner)
A CLOSER LOOK. As former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship (R) “pushes Trump-esque trade policies and regulatory rollbacks, he also intends to convince voters that the government was responsible for killing his miners and is knowingly allowing unsafe mines to continue operating across the country — allegations that miners’ unions and the federal government dismiss outright.”
“Local GOP leaders have distilled Mr. Blankenship’s message down to a bumper-sticker-sized slogan.”
“Barack Obama, this local prosecutor and Joe Manchin put me in prison,” said Rob Cornelius, a Republican political operative who has worked with Blankenship.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Manchin’s campaign has launched accusations that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell persuaded Mr. Blankenship to run — a charge Mr. McConnell’s office has denied.” (Washington Times)
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"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."