Gov. Jay Nixon (D) “has carved a decidedly limited profile outside the Show Me State. That’s beginning to change. After a high-profile victory over the GOP-dominated state legislature’s tax cut package last week, Nixon is starting to take on more of a national profile. To wit: The New York Times ran a lengthy piece on his tax fight last week; Nixon will be beside President Obama in the state Friday at an event playing up the state’s auto industry; and Nixon is set to speak at next week’s Clinton Global Initiative in New York to talk about disaster response.”
In an interview, Nixon said that “he’s starting to feel more comfortable bringing his message to the national stage.” Nixon: “My focus wasn’t as much on the broader national trends. … Now, as you get into your second term… I just think there is a zone here where we can solve difficult issues and move forward, and I’m going to be talking about that in a little broader way than I have been the first four years here.”
Nixon “played up his state’s diversity and its former status as a political bellwether.” He “won reelection in 2012 by 12 points — even as President Obama lost the state by 10 points.” Nixon rules out a Senate run but is “more noncommittal out the idea of running for president in 2016 or — perhaps more likely — being someone’s vice presidential running mate.” Nixon: “It’s just really not on my mind right now. … I just think you stay focused on trying to be an effective governor and bringing people together and trying to get things done. And I’ll worry about myself on down the road.” (Washington Post)
— Julie Sobel
What We're Following See More »
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."