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Trump’s on-and-off relationship with Graham hits the skids

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Lindsey Graham and Mr . trump were daily phone partners inside throes from the Obamacare repeal debate. But this time – from a similarly heated legislative battle, these times on immigration – Graham\’s direct line into the president adjusted quiet, with each men last speaking on Saturday.

Instead, the Sc Republican is appealing to Trump publicly through televised hearings and blaming White House aides because he efforts to keep the president\’s ear. It\’s actually a critical relationship from the long-running immigration saga: Graham is perhaps really the only Republican who had the amalgamation of Trump\’s trust, enough juice with Democrats to slice a deal and also a type of communication with hard-charging Trump adviser Stephen Miller.

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After cozying nearly Trump for months, Graham now finds himself again inside of a confrontational role while using president following now-infamous White House session in which Trump used strong and, in line with some participants, profane language to spellout immigrants from African nations, El Salvador and Haiti. Graham objected to remarks he was quoted saying were created within the meeting.

But in an interview Wednesday, Graham insisted the bond forwards and backwards men hasn\’t frayed.

\”I believe I have been previously beneficial to the president; I\’ll remain useful to the president. The only method I will help shall be me,\” the senator said. \”As to how you will leave this, I\’ll explain what my attitude are going to be: I want to enable you to at most turn because you\’re president, but Practical goal likely to consent to things which I do not believe in.\”

In their newest phone conversation, Graham said he stressed to Trump that he or she will not acquire a develop defense spending – top-notch Republican priority within the stalled spending negotiations – without coming around for an immigration deal on Capitol Hill to meet up with Democrats.

Trump\’s response, in Graham\’s retelling: We\’ll see.

Trump and Graham also have an inconsistent relationship since both were 2016 presidential hopefuls. Trump publicly gave out Graham\’s personal cellphone number in 2015 after the South Carolinian criticized him. But after Trump became president, Graham earned his friendship within the GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, plus the two seemed surprisingly friendly recently.

The newly precarious state within their relationship comes at a delicate level of Congress, as lawmakers stare down a Friday deadline to maintain the federal government open. Many Democrats are threatening to revolt and vote against a stopgap funding bill so long as the immigration issue remains unresolved.

Bipartisan immigration plans that have already emerged from both House and also the Senate happen to be panned by Republican leaders as unworkable because Trump won\’t sign them. Yet a grouping of the second-ranking lawmakers in each chamber that was deputized to strike an agreement appears not reaching one.

Trump has stated any deal to give protections for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who visited the U.S. as children – generally known as Dreamers – also have to include funding for ramped-up security along at the Mexican border and changes to visa programs he opposes.

He blasted the Graham proposal, drafted with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and 4 other senators, as \”horrible\” on border security and \”very, very weak\” on other immigration law changes, within an interview with Reuters published Wednesday afternoon.

Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate GOP leadership\’s point person on immigration, dismissed the program being a \”dead horse.\”

And within an interview, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) laughed aloud when asked if thez so-called Gang of Six\’s plan could purchase considerable Republican votes.

\”Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin agreeing on immigration seriously isn\’t bipartisan,\” Cotton said within a interview. \”When Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin are talking immigration, those aren\’t adversaries negotiating. Those are allies strategizing.\”

Cotton, an important adviser to Trump over a litany of policy matters, downplayed any sway that Graham will often have over the president in regards to immigration.

\”The president was very disappointed in the proposal that Sen. Graham and Sen. Durbin taken to him this morning,\” Cotton said.

Graham reports Trump warmly received the bipartisan proposal every day, then panned it hours later. Cotton agreed: \”Yeah, what actually transpired between 10 a.m. and 12 noon? The president must\’ve discovered that their proposal was terrible.\”

Nonetheless, Graham appears undeterred, working assiduously to court GOP support.

During the Senate GOP lunch on Wednesday, Graham paced while in the hallway away from Mansfield Room, where his colleagues were meeting, making calls on his cellphone. He accosted other Republicans, including Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, participating in conversations that appeared intense.

Corker, who backed a comprehensive immigration bill Graham helped write in 2013, said the South Carolina Republican was trying to win him over on his new Dreamer plan. Corker, however, \”didn\’t provide him any indications,\” the Tennessee senator said.

\”He\’s got almost a double concern, it\’s not just this. He doesn\’t understand the increased shelling out for the military happening until this happens,\” Corker said. \”He\’s very keen about it and a good advocate.\”

Graham announced names of 4 new Republicans he said supported the immigration proposal: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mike Rounds of South Dakota. (A Rounds spokeswoman stressed how the senator merely supports the \”effort,\” however.)

As a group of senators – composed of Democrats and Republicans not particularly near Trump – worked nowadays in order to make a deal, Graham has become their ace in the hole. The Sc senator were being the group\’s main conduit to Trump. He seemed to be the principle person in a GOP-only working group on immigration that has been chosen by leadership plus frequent dialogue with Democrats.

Graham also communicated with Miller, the influential White House policy adviser who, just as one aide to former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), worked furiously to eliminate 2013 Range of Eight proposal that Graham authored. Within the interview recently, Graham said he or she recently spoken with Miller and boasted how the discussion was the \”best conversation we\’ve ever endured.\”

\”Lindsey might go to your president and talk with him being a fellow Republican with regard to what he have to do,\” Durbin said in a interview. \”We still realize that one can find voices within the White House counseling just the opposite. Lindsey has at the least had the opportunity to give him additional perspective.\”

The Illinois Democrat added: \”He has – at the least before yesterday – has frequent contacts while using president on the phone, with golfed together, they do know the other, they have the campaign together. I mean, there\’s history there.\”

Even in recent days, Graham has repeatedly insisted it may not be Trump that is responsible for the White House\’s mixed signals concerning how to permanently resolve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era directive shielding large numbers of young immigrants from deportation. Trump moved last fall to wind down this course and considered necessary Congress to craft a legislative alternative.

Graham had also refrained from directly confirming the \”shithole\” comments, which have caused an uproar within Washington and abroad. In the floor speech Wednesday night, Graham did make an implicit dig at Trump\’s reported remarks the fact that United states of america needs more immigrants from Norway: \”America always needs good people, not only for from Norway but throughout the entire world,\” Graham said.

Still, Graham has placed the culprit on White House aides. Notably, the senator called out chief of staff John Kelly on Wednesday. After meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus earlier inside day, Kelly told reporters that Graham and Durbin\’s group must have labored on their proposal having a broader swath of ideologically diverse senators, as along with people in the House. The proposal \”fell short\” of the items Trump was seeking inside of a Dreamers deal, Kelly said.

An impassioned Graham shot back.

\”I will state Gen. Kelly, For a nice and carrying this out for that quite a while. I have never been fiddling,\” he was quoted saying, complaining that Kelly wasn\’t current on all of the congressional immigration discussions. \”So while he lectured us about, you\’ve been lounging around and fiddling, For a nice and doing it to get a very long time.\”

But quite as Graham and Trump\’s relationship evolved since 2016, quite a few people all-around them expect it may possibly shift again.

\”Honestly, if you feel concerning this, they already have had a very fluid relationship in accordance with open dialogue and honesty and frankness,\” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). \”Lindsey\’s consistently who she has forever been. Thus don\’t even think that relationship has changed.\”

Elana Schor resulted in this report.

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Black caucus chairman pushes to censure Trump over ‘shithole’ remark

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Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond on Thursday introduced a solution to censure President Donald Trump over what he contends would be the president\’s racist rhetoric referring to El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as \”shithole countries.\”

The resolution – who has much more than 130 co-sponsors, including House Democratic leaders – calls over the House to publicly state its support for any nations Trump disparaged, censure and condemn the president for his statements, and demand he retract his comments and apologize.

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At a news conference announcing the resolution alongside House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as well as other Democrats, Richmond (D-La.) said Trump\’s controversial comments \”should have not been made\” and \”were factually inaccurate.\”

Richmond conceded, however, the resolution isn\’t \”privileged,\” meaning House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) might need to say yes to carry it in order with the chamber to keep a vote. It\’s almost certain Ryan will not likely do this.

\”If he doesn\’t, we then will be at other ways to just make a vote on there,\” Richmond told reporters. \”But the facts from the matter is definitely the speaker should bring it up. In the event that he doesn\’t, establishing is enabling and recurring to allow obama to perpetuate this hateful rhetoric, as well as at certain point – whether you agree or disagree – I believe this is the speaker\’s obligation to safeguard the dignity of the property.\”

If Ryan will not allow a vote, Richmond said he among others would hunt for "creative" strategies to force one.

Like most Republican leaders, Ryan hasn\’t said much for the president\’s reported comments, though he did acknowledge the other day that they are \”very unfortunate\” and \”unhelpful.\” For Richmond, however, that wasn\’t enough.

\”It\’s unfortunate when I miss my bus. Or it\’s unfortunate in the event the airlines lose my luggage,\” he was quoted saying. \”But when the president of america decides to Africa, Haiti and El Salvador which he used, which isn\’t unfortunate. That is wrong. That\’s disgusting. That is definitely hurtful. There are a variety of words because of it, but unfortunate\’s undertake and don\’t.\”

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Ryan's 2017 fundraising haul: $44 million

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House Speaker Paul Ryan raised more than $44 million in 2017, an off-year record to get a House leader – a financial haul Republicans hope will shore up vulnerable GOP members in what\’s shaping up to often be a tough midterm cycle for Republicans.

In a final quarter, Ryan raised $4.8 million, his political operation will announce Thursday – down from $6.7 million during the third quarter.

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The infusion of greenbacks is a follower of Republicans passed a tax reform law last December, which GOP members said would drive support among voters and donors. But also in 2018, Republicans must defend its 24-seat majority spanning a broad battlefield, while President Donald Trump\’s approval ratings stay in the bottom 40s and Democrats hold a broad bring success the generic ballot. Nearly 24 retirements, including California Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa latest research by, will force Republicans to invest more heavily to protect these open seats.

In 2017, Ryan transferred $32 million to the National Republican Campaign Committee, which announced a unique record-breaking off-year total with $85 million raised in the last year. Ryan also transferred $1.7 million on to GOP members, as well as hosting 49 fundraisers for members.

"This eye-popping number is usually a testament to Speaker Ryan, House Republicans, as well as the agenda them to led your strugle on in 2017," said Kevin Seifert, executive director of Team Ryan, the speaker\’s fundraising committee.

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Bannon won't testify again on Russia Thursday

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Former White House adviser Steve Bannon declined House Russia investigators\’ request to go back for a second interview Thursday, telling lawmakers through his lawyer their own obtain him to go back just 2 days after his first appearance was "unreasonable."

"The Committee\’s subpoena provides require Mr. Bannon\’s appearance for that second deposition [Thursday] at 2pm. That may be plainly insufficient time for me to undertake precisely what the Committee has asked," Bannon\’s attorney William Burck wrote within a Wednesday letter to store intelligence committee leaders obtained by POLITICO.

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Instead, Burck told committee leaders that the former senior aide to President Donald Trump would return after reaching an accommodation when using the White House to make sure his testimony doesn\’t violate executive privilege.

On Tuesday, Bannon-citing instructions from your Trump administration-refused to reply Republican and Democrats\’ questions on his amount of the White House, the post-election transition team and in some cases about his conversations with the president after he was fired from his post in August. His stonewalling infuriated persons in both parties, who subpoenaed him immediately. But despite the subpoena, Bannon declined to reply to their questions.

Burck\’s letter told the committee\’s top Russia investigators, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), that Bannon remains ready to answer the committee\’s questions-but after striking an understanding together with the White House while on an acceptable scope of questioning.

"There isn\’t any conceivable solution to talk to the White House Mr. Bannon\’s time using the transition and also the White House, obtain their thoughts about the knowledge he previously provide, communicate those views back to the Committee, relay the Committee\’s views time for the White House, and then negotiate or facilitate a binding agreement amongst the Committee along with the White House from the time allotted by the Committee\’s subpoena," Burck wrote.

Committee members at the moment are weighing calling hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for avoiding their questions. They\’ve noted that White House lawyers haven\’t formally invoked executive privilege-they just have suggested that Bannon\’s testimony might implicate it.

White House officials have argued that it is customary for Congress to coordinate the scope of the questions with current and former officials to stop violating privileged information.

But GOP and Democratic lawmakers have questioned this argument, suggesting they see no reasonable interpretation of executive privilege that might preclude Bannon from discussing his time over the transition team, that is before Trump was president.

Burck indicated that the committee didn\’t have use of White House and transition documents that has to be relevant precursors to the questions for Bannon and suggested lawmakers and Bannon would require time for them to produce them and review them before Bannon\’s next interview.

"There are lots of lawyers over the Committee plus the Staff, and i also could well be surprised as long as they believed it becomes anything in addition to unprofessional even unethical should be expected to depose a witness that has did not have possibility for review relevant documents," he said.

Burck also indicated a potential disconnect between committee staff and lawmakers. He revealed that he had informed the employees of the committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the White House "may not permit Mr. Bannon to discuss his in time the transition and the White House unless an accommodation was agreed between your Committee plus the White House."

"Staff raised no objection to the telltale restrictions in any of such conversations," he said. "The main objection came yesterday within the Members who appear not to have been informed by Staff about our prior conversations."

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