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
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Donald Trump announced in a tweet on Saturday that he would not attend the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in April. The move did not come as a surprise, another moment in his ongoing battle with the media, which he has dubbed the "enemy" of the American people and repeatedly refers to as "fake news." Multiple outlets have already cancelled their events surrounding the dinner and several are considering skipping the event outright.
Phillip Bilden, Donald Trump's nominee for Navy secretary, has decided to withdraw his nomination after he was unable to sufficiently untangle his financial commitments. Bilden follows Vincent Viola, who withdrew his nomination for Army secretary.
"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."
Sen. Susan Collins, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, "said on Wednesday she's open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump's tax returns for potential connections to Russia." She said the committee is also open to subpoenaing Trump himself. "This is a counter-intelligence operation in many ways," she said of Russia's interference. "That's what our committee specializes in. We are used to probing in depth in this area."