Mar 28, 2017

The highlights from Spicer's Tuesday briefing

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Sean Spicer began by railing against reports that former acting AG Sally Yates was blocked from testifying on Trump associates' ties to Russia. "I hope she testifies," said Spicer, calling the Post's report "100% false." He also denied that the Trump admin pressured House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes to shut down the hearing. Other takeaways:

  • Healthcare round 2: "Have we had discussions? Yes. Are we actively planning immediate strategy? Not at this time."
  • On whether Nunes should recuse himself: "It's not up to me," said Spicer. "He is running an investigation which we asked for."
  • Does Trump still think climate change is a hoax? Spicer dodged, and said that shouldn't be what people focus on.
  • Tax reform: The middle class individual tax and the corporate tax rate need to come down, said Spicer. He said the FY17 reconciliation is probably the "most likely" way forward.
  • Gorsuch confirmation: Trump "hopes to find common ground" with Dems tonight's reception for senators

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The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

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Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."