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Source: McCarthy allies worried about drawn-out leadership fight

Here are the stories our D.C. insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a g...

Posted: Apr 16, 2018 8:49 AM
Updated: Apr 16, 2018 8:49 AM

Here are the stories our D.C. insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1. RNC's $250 million midterm plan

Republicans are worried about an enthusiasm gap in November; Democrats are much more fired up about the midterms. But the Republican National Committee hopes to close that gap by pouring a quarter-billion dollars into its ground game.

"This really underscores a couple of things," the AP's Julie Pace reports. "One, the RNC remains a fundraising juggernaut despite a lot of the worries about the midterms. But two, it does underscore those worries. Republicans are incredibly nervous about this enthusiasm we are seeing," Pace says.

"They are really concerned about the impact this could have on the Trump presidency if Democrats take control of Congress."

2. Missouri governor echoes Trump

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is facing criminal invasion of privacy charges related to an affair he had before taking office. And a new report from the state legislature accuses him of subjecting the woman to nonconsensual sexual activity and violence.

But Greitens says he won't resign, and he's calling the whole thing a "witch hunt." Sound familiar?

The New York Times' Jonathan Martin has spoken to a source who has talked directly with Greitens, and reports the Missouri governor "is consciously echoing the language of the President in his public remarks defending himself against these accusations," Martin says.

"The attempt here basically is to test whether or not other politicians can do what President Trump does, which is basically deny everything, attack your accusers, and hope that the base of your party will basically side with you."

3. Will Congress protect Mueller?

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing a law that would make it much tougher for the President to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. So far it doesn't have the support of the Republican leadership, but that could change.

"The question is going to be, can these two sides -- Democrats and Republicans -- actually trust each other enough to get this done?" says Washington Post reporter Karoun Demirjian.

4. Trump and the GOP leadership race

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he'll hang up his gavel at the end of the year, and wants his deputy, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to succeed him. But that doesn't make it a done deal. Members of the House Freedom Caucus are pushing one of their own, Rep. Jim Jordan.

That's why McCarthy wants to enlist a key ally: President Donald Trump.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny has spoken to top White House aides. They "tell me he is going to stay on the sidelines of this potential speaker's fight. He's not going to get engaged, but we do know he is close to Kevin McCarthy. And Kevin McCarthy is eager to get the President's support," Zeleny says. "He wants that endorsement bad."

5. Ryan: I won't leave early

House Speaker Paul Ryan is as adamant in private as he has been in public about keeping hold of the gavel through January, GOP sources say, all but killing an initial push by McCarthy allies for a quick leadership vote.

As CNN's John King reports, even before Ryan's public announcement last week that he would not seek re-election, McCarthy allies began promoting the virtue of a quick election, even giving just after the Memorial Day break as a target.

"Because a six-month leadership race further splits the conference," an outside McCarthy ally told CNN in the minutes after word of Ryan's decision broke. "A quick smooth transition is best and limits the likelihood of a challenge from the Freedom Caucus."

Ryan, though, says he wants to "run through the tape," and those public comments about serving as speaker through January have held up in private conversations as well.

"Speaker says staying speaker to the end," the same McCarthy ally said in a Saturday email exchange about the House GOP leadership situation.

Ryan is on record backing McCarthy's rise to the top House GOP leadership slot, and there is nothing to suggest there will be any credible push or pressure for Ryan to reconsider his plan to keep the gavel through his term.

So McCarthy allies are preparing for a longer campaign, and with that time comes some uncertainty: If Republicans lose the House in November, a January House GOP election would be to pick a minority leader, not a speaker. And while McCarthy is the clear early favorite, his allies worry a big election loss could affect the mood -- and the math -- for that vote.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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Skies remain clear as we wrap up the work week, which will lead us into an excellent weekend in terms of weather. Low humidity will keep temperatures cool or chilly in the mornings and much warmer each afternoon. Humidity gradually returns later in the weekend and early next week.
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