Jun 7, 2017

Kellyanne Conway: Trump "sees nothing there" in Russia allegations

Chuck Kennedy

Kellyanne Conway told Mike Allen this morning that Trump "has confidence in the people who work for him" when asked if POTUS still believes in his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who allegedly offered to resign over tensions with Trump. Follow along for live updates from our Axios News Shapers event in DC.

  • On whether Trump needs to assert primacy over his colleagues: "I disagree with that premise completely...all of those people who you said are in the dog house…are still in this moment at the White House." Go deeper here in our guide to Trump's doghouse.
  • On the Russia investigation: Trump "sees that there's nothing there…if you look at everything that's been said and done we're back to where we were at the beginning…if this, if that…doesn't seem to be very responsible to me…You can do almost any storyline with if, if, if, if, if."
  • On how the White House has gotten into a negative news cycle about Russia: "That's exactly what you've been reading and hearing, you're basically repeating what you've been told all along. That doesn't change any fact. The investigations are about facts and sworn testimony is about facts."
  • On whether Trump will live-tweet former FBI James Comey's testimony tomorrow: "He will make his own decisions…oh the tweeting men in my life," referencing when her husband tweeted earlier this week that POTUS might be risking his travel ban's stance before the Supreme Court by tweeting.
  • Trump "goes at a break-neck pace. You really have to focus on the agenda, he really tries to get so many things done."
  • On press briefings: "A lot of preparation goes into that."
  • On low polling numbers: "Voters don't ask who can win they ask who can lead. When [candidates] become the President…they don't ask do I approve or disapprove? They ask…are you getting things done that matter to me?"
  • On why she's not in Ohio today: "I have some other meetings today."
  • 1 fun thing: "George, my son…he's a history buff. Unless it's assigned as homework."

Go deeper

Exclusive: Trump's "Deep State" hit list

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Pool, Drew Angerer/Getty Staff

The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.

Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he'd gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.

Exclusive: Anti-Sanders campaign targets black South Carolina voters

Courtesy of The Big Tent Project

The Big Tent Project, a Democratic political group focused on promoting moderate presidential candidates, has sent hundreds of thousands of mailers bashing Bernie Sanders to black voters in South Carolina who voted in the state's 2016 primary.

Why it matters: Sanders' rise to the top of the pack, as dueling moderate candidates split their side of the vote, is worrying many in the Democratic political establishment who fear a socialist can't beat President Trump.

Inside the fight over FBI surveillance powers

Carter Page. Photo: Artyom Korotayev\TASS via Getty Images

Over the past year, President Trump has told senior administration officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr, that he wants a major overhaul of national security surveillance powers and the secret court that approves them.

Behind the scenes: In one such discussion last year about the need to reauthorize government authorities to surveil U.S. citizens, Trump went so far as to say he'd rather get rid of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) altogether.