The Note: Republican progress grinds to halt with infighting at fever pitch


  • Trump, McConnell pick a public fight: After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vented about Trump’s “excessive expectations” for Congress, President Trump hit back on Twitter. “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done,” the president tweeted.
  • Improvisation, now mixed signals: The “fire and fury” comment has been followed by some walk-backs by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Meanwhile, North Korea called Trump’s threat a “load of nonsense.”
  • Early-morning raid: The FBI executed a search warrant at the home of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, last month. The search warrant stems from the special counsel’s Russia investigation, which Manafort has said he’s cooperating with.
  • Five transgender service members say they are suing Trump over his announced policy — which has yet to be implemented or expanded beyond his initial tweet — that his administration will ban transgender people from serving in the military.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein

    It turns out you don’t have to wait for 2020 to see the intraparty squabbles in action. A not-so-quiet summer is exposing old rivalries and sparking new ones inside the Republican Party, raising questions about the viability of the fall agenda. There’s Sen. Ron Johnson venting about Sen. John McCain‘s health care vote. There’s prominent Trump donor Robert Mercer putting his money up to take out Sen. Jeff Flake. And now there’s President Trump joining powerful allies in questioning the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. We’ve seen Trump turn on some of his most loyal lieutenants in the past. But something different happens when he puts senators in that position: They lose maneuverability, and they may lose political incentive to stay on the Trump train. This is not about mere words: Actual governing has to happen, and fast, in the fall. Until then the drift of the agenda is being felt acutely in the GOP donor world. “It is hard to go and make the case, ‘give us the majority again,’ when we haven’t accomplished the things that we ran on,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told us on the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.


    Two of the most powerful Republicans in the country are on shaky ground, but for very different reasons. House Speaker Paul Ryan has, by most accounts, stood by the president as of late and is even now…

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