Jun 12, 2019

Report: Trump seeking candidates to primary Republican Justin Amash

Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

President Trump and his top advisers have discussed ways to punish Republican Rep. Justin Amash for calling for his impeachment, including by finding a primary challenger to knock off the five-term congressman, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Backing a primary candidate against Amash could be a risky move for Trump, as it may bolster the congressman's standing as a symbol of the anti-Trump movement within the Republican Party. But Trump still maintains near-90% popularity in the GOP, and the potential endorsement could send a clear signal to other Republicans that a turn against the president could land them in the same spot.

The state of play: Republican state legislator and Trump-supporter Jim Lower has already announced his candidacy for the seat, and says he hopes to win Trump's endorsement. Trump is said to have reached out to Vice President Mike Pence, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) about the idea, but has not yet reached a decision.

  • The DeVos family, Republican mega-donors in Michigan, have also recently withdrawn their support for Amash, opening the door for other funders to potentially follow suit.

Go deeper: Justin Amash steps down from House Freedom Caucus

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.