capitol-quip

How the Hill Reacted to the Trump-Kim Summit
Reaction ranges from a ‘huge deal’ to a ‘bi-lateral con job’

President Donald Trump answers a final question while departing a news conference following his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday in Singapore. Trump described his meeting with Kim as “better than anyone could have expected.” (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump made history Tuesday in Singapore as the first American president to meet face-to-face with a leader of North Korea since the Kim dynasty sprouted on the peninsula roughly seven decades ago.

At the heart of negotiations was the “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula in exchange for “security guarantees” for the North’s mercurial leader, Kim Jong Un.

Kuster Wants Investigation Into Sexual Harassment in VA
More than a quarter of women employees in agency were harassed, government watchdog agency reports

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., called for an investigation into the VA for systemic issues with sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster wants Congress to confront what she sees as a pervasive sexual harassment problem in the Veterans Affairs Department.

The New Hampshire Democrat called for Chairman Jack Bergman of Michigan to schedule an immediate hearing on the matter in the Veterans Affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigations, on which she is ranking member.

Romney, Once the Face of ‘Never Trump,’ Embraces the President
Now running for Utah open Senate seat, former presidential nominee predicts Trump will win in 2020

Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort Conference Center at National Harbor, Md., on Friday, March 15, 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By all indications, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now fully aboard the Trump train as he prepares for the GOP primary for an open Senate seat in Utah.

In 2016, Romney called President Donald Trump a “con man” and “a fake.” But at the opening remarks of his annual mountainside retreat for business leaders and politicos on Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor predicted Trump would “solidly” win a second term in 2020 after securing the GOP nomination, The Associated Press reported.

Paul Ryan Siding With the ‘Deep State,’ GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz Says
Murmurs of revolt around speaker, conservative Florida congressman said

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., criticized Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., on Wednesday for defending the “deep state.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz fired a shot across Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s bow Wednesday, claiming Ryan was siding with the “deep state,” the FBI and  the Justice Department over congressional Republicans trying to conduct oversight on those agencies.

At issue was the speaker’s defense of the FBI earlier in the day for pursuing information from an informant in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign about Russian interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Ryan Backs Gowdy in Blow to President Trump’s ‘Spygate’ Claims
FBI agents should ‘run every lead down’

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan backed GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy’s statements last week that the FBI acted properly when it pursued information from an informant in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign about potential Russian interference in the election, further undercutting Trump’s so-called Spygate theory.

“Chairman Gowdy’s initial assessment is accurate,” Ryan said at the House GOP’s weekly leadership press conference Wednesday. “I want to make sure that we run every lead down and make sure we get final answers to these questions.”

Rep. French Hill Follows Trend, Tying Democratic Opponent to Pelosi, Clinton in New Ad
State Rep. Clarke Tucker on DCCC's Red to Blue list

Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., is airing ads this week attacking his Democratic opponent for ostensible ties to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. French Hill is following the lead of other vulnerable Republicans in 2018 in a new ad targeting his Democratic opponent for supposedly aligning with Hillary Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Hill, who represents Arkansas’ 2nd District, began airing ads on television this week in which a narrator declares that his opponent in the general election, state Rep. Clarke Tucker, is a “Hillary Clinton-supporting Democrat for higher taxes and bigger government.”

Trey Gowdy, Once Championed by the Right, Now a Pariah for FBI Defense
Conservative media turns on House Benghazi investigation chairman

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., earned the ire of conservatives this week after he defended the FBI’s use of an informant in the investigation into possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

From former White House officials to longtime radio hosts, conservative media figureheads turned on a Republican lawmaker who won them over for his scathing interrogation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the House’s Benghazi investigation in 2015.

Less than three years later, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has become the latest target for many of today’s pre-eminent conservative spokespeople after he defended the FBI on television shows this week for accepting information from someone within President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 about possible ties to Russia.

Corker: If We’re Talking With North Korea, Why Not Venezuela?
Foreign Relations Committee chairman secured release of American prisoner in Venezuela last week

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is advocating for more discussions with Venezuelan officials. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker urged U.S. officials to reignite a dialogue with Venezuelan leaders and diplomats, days after the Tennessee Republican negotiated the release of an American who’d been imprisoned in the country’s capital city for years.

The United States and most other democratic countries consider Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s administration a dictatorship.

Baldwin Challenger Vukmir Puts Her on ‘Team Terrorist’
Wisconsin Republicans angling for party endorsement at convention on Saturday

Wisconsin GOP Senate hopeful Leah Vukmir aligned herself with CIA director nominee Gina Haspel against Sen. Tammy Baldwin and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. (Leah Vukmir via Twitter)

For many states, primary season is “Tell us how you really feel” season.

And Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Leah Vukmir feels she’s on “Team America,” while Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is on “Team Terrorist.”

Paul Ryan Backing Rosenstein, Despite Conservatives’ Impeachment Threat
House hard-liners threaten deputy AG while some GOP senators move to protect Russia inquiry

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before a House Judiciary hearing on the Russia investigation on Dec. 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan split from more conservative elements of his conference by continuing to back Rod Rosenstein, even though some of President Donald Trump’s allies in the House have begun drafting articles of impeachment for the deputy attorney general.

The speaker’s position has not changed since January, a spokeswoman said responding to further murmurs of impeachment. Earlier this year, Ryan said Rosenstein is “doing a fine job” and there is “no reason” for Trump to fire him.