May 1, 2017

Mulvaney: spending bill is "really good deal" for Trump

Andrew Harnik / AP

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney briefed reporters Monday on the spending bill to fund the government through September, saying, "it's great that the Democrats like the bill" and it's also "a really good deal" for the administration.

Wins: "We got more money for defense, more money for border security, more money for school choice."

On why border wall funding isn't in it: It's "almost impossible to get the bricks and mortar on the ground" in five months. When asked how that will change when the next spending bill comes around, he said, "a lot can happen in five months."

On why defunding Planned Parenthood isn't in it: Mulvaney said since it isn't in this spending bill, pro-lifers on and off the Hill are refocusing their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in the health care bill, which could get a vote this week.

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House warned of Russian effort to re-elect Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump meet at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, last June. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

The nation's top election-security official warned the House Intelligence Committee last week that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected, continuing to attempt to sow discord among the American electorate, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The warning raises questions about the integrity of the presidential campaign and whether Trump's administration is taking the proper steps to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. saw in 2016.

U.S. and Taliban announce first step in Afghanistan peace process

Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department confirmed Friday morning the U.S. and Taliban have "reached an understanding" that starts a 7-day "reduction of violence" to be followed by a signed U.S.-Taliban agreement.

Why it matters: The Afghanistan war is the longest war in U.S. history. President Trump has previously pulled out of talks at the last minute, only to restart them.

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Bloomberg's debate backfire could boost Bernie

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg got into the 2020 race to stop Bernie Sanders and socialism. If he doesn't bounce back from this week's debate, he may seal the deal for both.

Why it matters: Bloomberg’s own campaign has warned that Sanders could lock up the nomination in mere weeks, thanks to rivals spitting the opposition vote. But Bloomberg’s own spending makes it harder for other rivals to cut through — and virtually assures he sucks up significant delegates.