Axios

Axios' Jim Vandehei and NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd sat down with Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at Axios' Infrastructure in 2017 event. Inhofe (R-OK), a pilot and "infrastructure junkie", said he doesn't think that the drama with Russia will deter the Trump Administration from passing a successful infrastructure bill:

"A lot of people out there hate Trump, and a lot of you guys in the media keep fanning the flames, you're gonna keep doing it," said Inhofe. "But we're going to get it done... let the media have their heyday."

Other key quotes from Sen. Inhofe:

  • Does the core message of fiscal conservatives make your job harder? "There are two things I don't think people should be fiscally conservative toward, defending America, and infrastructure."
  • U.S. infrastructure compared to other countries: "We are 11th in line with infrastructure, when you talk about China and other countries... we just need to focus on it more and I'm going to use the fact that other countries are ahead of us as an advantage."
  • GOP health care bill: "The Freedom Caucus, or whatever it's called... they shouldn't have done that, because what passed last week was the same thing they had before... so I think they realize now that they made a mistake."
  • Gas tax: "It's the most popular tax that's out there."

Mayor Reed:

  • Focus on cities: ‪"The federal government aren't going to lead on this, it's going to be the cities." ‬ Cities will drive investment and business, which will change the transit culture, said Reed.
  • Culture of sunbelt cities: Businesses are changing the culture, more than Republicans or Democrats, when it comes to modern transportation. ‬
  • Faith in Democratic Party: "Democrats have to understand that for a while we might lose, but we've seen the other side... I think we have to condition our mind, Chuck, to fight every fight and not have our heart taken by these losses in districts."

Chuck Todd:

  • Trump's foreign trip: "I'd be curious to see if this foreign trip kicked some people out of [Trump's] foreign circle... if this trip is successful, will it be seen as Jared's success since he really drove Middle East policy?"
  • Why special elections matter: "I don't believe the party will ever turn on Trump until Trump voters turn on the party."
  • Trump's emotions: "If he cant learn to compartmentalize his problems, it will be worse than Clinton and Nixon."
  • Democratic rise: "Democrats just need one win, and [Jon] Ossoff will be enough... but coming close doesn't cut it."

Go deeper

Trump's debate cleanup

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump's advisers feel the president needs to outright condemn far-right extremists and white supremacy during his rally tonight in Minnesota.

Why it matters: Trump sent shockwaves during the debate for telling the far-right Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by."

Chris Wallace reflects on debate: "I’ve never been through anything like this"

Chris Wallace. Photo: Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images

Fox News host Chris Wallace called Tuesday night's presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden "a missed opportunity" in an interview with the New York Times Wednesday.

Why it matters: Much of the national discussion after the hectic debate has centered on whether Wallace failed to control the candidates, especially President Trump, whose interruptions set the tone for the night. "I never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did," Wallace told the Times Wednesday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

Photo: Bonnie Cash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."

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