gop-brand

Trump Doesn’t Rule Out Pardon for Michael Flynn
‘There is absolutely no collusion,’ president contends

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, at podium, and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attend a campaign event in 2016. On Friday, the president did not rule out a pardon for his former national security adviser. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday did not rule out pardoning former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and again contended “there was no collusion” between his campaign and Russia.

“There is absolutely no collusion,” the president said as he left the White House for an address at a graduation ceremony at the FBI Academy. “That has been proven.”

Capitol Ink | Tax Cut Christmas

Capitol-Ink-12-14-17

Roy Who? Trump, GOP Quickly Pivot From Alabama to Taxes
Democrats characterize Alabama result as repudiation of president

Republican Roy Moore rides his horse across a field on his way to vote at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Tuesday. Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones in Tuesday’s Senate special election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers tried Wednesday to pin blame for Roy Moore’s special Alabama Senate race loss on the controversial former judge, but Democrats contend the president owns the bruising defeat after his full-throated endorsement. 

At the White House, the message was all about a GOP tax overhaul bill following Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning upset win in a state that had not put a member of that party in the Senate since 1992. On Capitol Hill, Republican members admitted relief that Moore would not be bringing his sexual misconduct allegations to Washington — and they asserted neither Trump nor the GOP were damaged by the Alabama race, despite the embrace of Moore by Trump and the Republican National Committee.

Trump: ‘I Was Right!’ on Alabama Senate Election
Despite endorsement for Roy Moore, Trump distances himself from apparent loser

Judge Roy Moore ties his horse to a fence as he arrives Tuesday to vote at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday sought to distance himself from the apparent loser in the Alabama special Senate race, Roy Moore, tweeting that he “was right” that the former judge would be unable to win a general election.

Though Moore is refusing to concede the race, it appears Democrat Doug Jones will be the next junior senator from Alabama. And, according to the president, he suspected that would happen all along — even though he got personally involved in the race on Moore’s behalf in recent weeks.

10 Thoughts After the Alabama Senate Election
Republicans avoid one headache but the civil war isn’t over

Supporters of Democrat Doug Jones celebrate his victory over Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate special election Tuesday night in Birmingham, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of the best parts about covering elections is that there is always a result. After all the prognosticating, projecting, discussing and arguing, there’s a winner. But determining the true meaning of victory and loss can be difficult.

There will be plenty of time to analyze the Alabama Senate special election (at least until the next special election on March 13 in Pennsylvania’s 18th District), but here are some initial postelection thoughts:

Capitol Ink | Cribbing Claus

Trump-Gillibrand Offer Possible 2020 Preview After Racy Tweet
Schumer: Trump’s ‘tweet was nasty — unbecoming of the president’

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, left, and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand leave a Democratic Conference lunch in the Capitol in May. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House and Senate Republicans raced to finish their tax bill. Both parties postured about a government shutdown. All of that was drowned out Tuesday by President Donald Trump’s Twitter war with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The president went after the New York Democrat with a Tuesday morning tweet that alleged she “would do anything” for his campaign contributions before he ran for president. 

Trump Says Gillibrand ‘Would Do Anything’ for Campaign Donations
Gillibrand fires back: ‘You cannot silence me’

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing the White House last week. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Updated at 9:45 a.m. | President Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand “would do anything” for his campaign contributions before he ran for president. 

In a morning tweet, the president dubbed the New York Democrat a “lightweight” and dubbed her “disloyal” to the Clintons, whom he tweeted “USED!” her.

How Moore Would Change the Senate From Day One
From collegial courtesy to the page program, Hill culture would be rattled

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his wife Kayla leave Moore's "Drain the Swamp" rally in Midland City, Ala., on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The nature of the Senate would be challenged right away, and in several tangible ways, with the election of Roy Moore.

Even though Congress is now defined by its tribal partisanship, which long ago gave the lie to whatever senatorial claim remained to being “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” Tuesday’s special election in Alabama threatens to make life in the northern half of Capitol Hill an even more unpleasant experience. Traditions and courtesies that have applied a bit of congenial gloss to the coarseness of the place would soon enough become endangered by Moore’s very presence.

Some GOP Senate Candidates Follow Party’s Evolution on Moore
Like McConnell, candidates moved away from calling on Ala. Republican to step aside

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita said he’d be “comfortable” with Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore in the Senate. He previously suggested Moore should drop out. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While many sitting Republican senators — including Alabama’s own Richard C. Shelby — have continued to criticize Roy Moore, a few candidates who’d like to join them in the Senate have taken a more measured tone leading up to Tuesday’s election.

In several cases, that warmer embrace (or less forceful rejection) of the Alabama GOP Senate nominee is a change in tone from their previous public statements.