Executive Branch

Kislyak Leaves His Post With Russiagate in His Wake
Russian ambassador’s communications with Trump advisers at center of investigations

Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak leaves after a farewell reception in Washington on July 11 hosted by the U.S.-Russia Business Council. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington who was in contact with multiple U.S. officials in Donald Trump’s administration during the 2016 presidential campaign and the lead-up to Trump’s inauguration, left his post over the weekend, the Russian embassy announced in a Saturday morning tweet.

Kislyak was replaced in the interim by Minister-Counseler and Deputy Chief of Mission Denis V. Gonchar until his successor arrives from Moscow.

Democrats Want to Seize Populism From Trump
Prepare their agenda with a new focus on antitrust policy

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be in Berryville, Va., for Monday afternoon’s rollout. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When congressional Democrats unveil their “better deal” agenda Monday afternoon, they will be trying to reclaim the populist mantle from President Donald Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says the shift in messaging is about a commitment to reorienting the function of government.

GOP Preempts Democratic Messaging With New Digital Ad
Ad is running in Pelosi’s district and 12 Democratic districts that Trump won

Republicans target House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 12 other Democrats in districts that Donald Trump won in last year’s presidential election. (Screenshot from CLF ad).

A Republican super PAC aligned with House leadership is preempting the new Democratic messaging point with its own digital ad.

Democrats are expected to unveil their new slogan, “A Better Deal” on Monday. And the Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a digital ad in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district and in 12 others that President Donald Trump won in November. 

Kushner to Tell Senators ‘I Did Not Collude’ With Russians
Statement downplays contacts, but shows Trump team’s desire for a thaw with Putin

President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is expected to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that his meetings with Russians were normal and innocent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated at 9:06 a.m. | Jared Kushner is set to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee he was unaware that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lawyer expecting to be given Kremlin-provided dirt on Hillary Clinton.

In prepared remarks the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser will deliver to the panel behind closed doors later Monday, Kushner will reject the notion that he or other Trump campaign staffers had nefarious ties with Moscow during the 2016 campaign.

Liberal Group Offers Trump White House Staff Free Legal Advice
‘Lifeline’ comes as president boasts of ‘complete’ pardon powers

President Donald Trump, shown here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, in March at the White House, with son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, tweeted this weekend he can pardon anyone. (Courtesy Shealah Craighead/White House)

A liberal group will offer Donald Trump’s White House staffers free legal advice amid his ongoing Russia scandal — but if the president’s legal analysis is correct, they might choose to decline it.

Tax March is poised to announce an initiative the organization described as a “lifeline” to those who chose to take positions in Trump’s embattled White House. Under the program, lawyers working on a pro bono basis will provide any White House staffer a “free gateway” to legal advice.

How Bad Political Manners Fomented the Health Care Mess
Lawmakers feel free to misbehave when their leaders drop ‘regular order’

Republicans in Congress may be emulating President Donald Trump’s political manners. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A president whose brand is all about flouting basic political manners is getting matched in misbehavior more and more by fellow Republicans in Congress.

The first six months under President Donald Trump have been marked not only by a further coarsening of GOP rhetoric, stoked mainly by incessant infighting in backrooms, but also by increasing defiance of decades of behavioral norms — from Trump’s nominal friends and skeptics alike, when they’ve been trying to work with him and when they’ve been scrambling to maneuver despite him.

Analysis: Senators Writing Placeholder Defense Money Bill
Figure will be lower than House, in prelude to likely deal

Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran predicts Congress and the administration will eventually make a deal on raising the budget caps on defense accounts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators’ forthcoming Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2018, which will contain tens of billions of dollars less than the House’s measure, should be taken seriously, but not literally.

The Senate spending panel’s defense funding proposal is likely to grow, assuming — as is likely — that an agreement to slightly raise the budget caps is reached, as it has been for every year since the caps called for by the sequester were enacted in 2011.

Opinion: Can Democrats Deliver Like Papa John’s?
Better ingredients needed, at least something in the box

Democrats have reportedly come up with a slogan very similar to Papa John’s Pizza, Allen writes. But can they deliver and will there be anything in the box? (CQ Roll Call/Photos by Tom Williams and Bill Clark, Photo Composition by Chris Hale)

Democrats are so lost they don’t know how lost they are.

Instead of working feverishly on the substance of a contrast with the imploding Trump administration, they decided it was most important — a year and a half out from the next election — to publicly unveil a new slogan first.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social schedule for the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican Conference continue debate over health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to another full legislative week.

It won’t be as hot as it has been after the temperature drops tonight, so you might actually want to get outside tomorrow.

Stupak Shares Insider Look at Obamacare Debate in New Book
In a timely release, Michigan Democrat recalls his amendment that saved bill

Former Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak has a new book on his experiences during the 2010 health care law debate. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Bart Stupak didn’t plan the release of his new book on his crucial vote for the 2010 health care law to coincide with the current debate over repealing it. 

“Timing was fortuitous,” the Michigan Democrat said. “I thought by now, the Republicans would have their bill done and there wouldn’t be a book.”