In what’s now the most consistent political storyline of 2017, we’re in the midst of another period in which — and not his official duties — drives the conversation. Hirings, firings and explanations … in just the past 48 hours.
Good morning from the state capital. I’m Sacramento Bureau Chief , and this is our midweek check on the most important political news happening right now.
TRUMP’S TWO DAYS: FROM ‘THE MOOCH’ TO MOSCOW
The president seemed to make it clear this week that he’s given new Chief of Staff John Kelly the full run of the . And the former general’s first mission: , the now ex-communications director.
But it’s communication that continues to be a key problem. On Tuesday, ’s team seemed to struggle to explain the Washington Post’s story from the day before that he dictated a July statement from his son about the now-infamous meeting with Russian intermediaries.
The president during the drafting of Donald Trump Jr.’s statement, said Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Brian Bennett and Noah Bierman report that Trump’s Russia woes, plus congressional action, have left the commander-in-chief with the country. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson .
A NEW DIRECTOR, A NEW COURSE FOR CONGRESS
A big bipartisan welcome was extended by the on Tuesday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, .
The vote may have been one of the most visible signs that, as David Lauter points out, from last week’s collapse of the GOP healthcare effort. In fact, the most notable news on the healthcare front could be .
(And , it’s worth mentioning, to embrace the president’s call to do away with the chamber’s filibuster rules.)
THE QUICK NATIONAL POLITICAL ROUNDUP
No, says Trump, .
Late-night TV hosts offer for the White House communications director they hardly knew.
With a title that pays political homage to his home state icon, the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, Arizona Sen. has . On Trump and the GOP reaction: “To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial.”
Fifteen states, including California, are to delay strict air-quality standards.
Leaders of a prominent black policing group met with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday to with some who are taken into custody.
CALIFORNIA 2018: THE MONEY RACE
Back here in California, where we’re now about 10 months away from the statewide primary in the race for governor, there’s a clear money front-runner: Lt. Gov. .
Newsom’s new campaign finance filing — all candidates had to file by Monday night — shows he’s raised about $15.7 million. That’s : former Los Angeles Mayor , state Treasurer John Chiang and former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.
By the way, scratch one well-known name from the race: Rosey Grier. The Los Angeles Rams football legend said in an email on Monday he .
In the race for lieutenant governor, there’s a surprisingly large amount of money (remember, the job comes with very few official duties). Phil Willon reports on how .
A NEW LICENSE TO DRIVE FOR UBER?
Uber and Lyft are to work.
Why? To avoid drivers potentially needing dozens of licenses, each one for a different city where they pick up, drop off or pass through, Liam Dillon reports.
— The Pentagon for up to 17,500 California National Guard soldiers and veterans.
— State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra for when police officers need to collect demographic data to prevent racial profiling.
— California’s healthcare exchange is seeing in some parts of the state.
— Inquiries about immigration status in most civil liability cases under a new California law.
— Eight Democratic state senators are , to talk climate change, high-speed rail and universal healthcare.
— The new challenger for Orange County Republican Rep. .
— House Minority Leader raised .
— Gov. to make it easier for cities to install bike lanes, but it’s still not that easy.
— On the other hand, Brown vetoed a bill that would’ve made it a crime to intentionally let Mylar balloons fly into the air. the governor wrote in his veto message.
OTHER VOICES ON POLITICS
Here’s some of what else we’ve been reading about the latest political news:
— The New York Times’ Charlie Savage reports the Department of Justice may be gearing up to .
— Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck writes that while the president’s golf outings are a frequent part of his time in office so far, “a real dump.”
— The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers takes a look at . Or maybe no one will get the job.
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