Feb 17, 2017

The takeaways from Mitch McConnell's Friday presser

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Friday press conference comes before the start of a week-long congressional recess. The highlights:

  • Russia contacts: When asked whether he believes Trump's denial that no one from his campaign has been in contact with Russia, he said "I don't know."
  • "I'm not a great fan of [Trump's] daily tweets. What I am a fan of is what he's actually been doing." He added that he's also not a fan of "the extra discussions that he likes to engage in. But we're going to soldier on."
  • Applauded Trump's Cabinet as "the most conservative" he's seen in his time in office and blasted "left-wing agitators" for delaying the confirmation of Trump's nominees. He hopes that "at some point here the other side will accept the results of last year's election."
  • Indicated that any bill intending to end DACA may not be popular among Republicans on the Hill, and there may be support for passing bipartisan legislation to protect them from deportation. Added that he's "very sympathetic" with the Dreamers.
  • Republicans will pass their health and tax agendas with or without Democratic votes.
  • Incoming infrastructure plan: Predicts legislation on the creation of a new infrastructure investment program will head to Congress soon, and he hopes it will draw bipartisan support.
  • Hopes Judge Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat before the start of the next congressional recess in mid-April.

Go deeper

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman hospitalized after fiery Daytona 500 crash

Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, crashes and flips during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Monday. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Racing driver Ryan Newman was hospitalized in a serious condition with non-life threatening injuries after his car crashed at the Daytona 500 on Monday, NASCAR said in a statement.

The big picture: The 42-year-old was leading the final lap of the race, won by Denny Hamlin, when his car flipped in the fiery crash. President Trump tweeted after the crash, "Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave @NASCARdriver!"

Go deeper: Trump takes presidential limousine for lap at Daytona 500

Bolton indicates more Ukraine details if book prevails WH "censorship"

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton on stage at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said during a talk at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina he hopes his new book is "not suppressed" by the White House, according to journalists present in the room.

This is an effort to write history and I did it the best I can. We'll have to see what comes out of the censorship."
Bolton's comments, per Bloomberg and the New York Times

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.