Emily Kopp

Trump’s comments blur line between ‘oppo research’ and stolen information
President said he might accept dirt from a foreign government

President Donald Trump’s argument in an interview that it was acceptable, and even common, to use opposition research from foreign governments threw a spotlight Thursday on how campaigns research opponents and whether they draw a line at foreign interference.

Trump said in a Wednesday interview with ABC News he would consider accepting “oppo research” from a foreign government and wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI. He also said members of Congress “all do it, they always have.”

Democratic lawmakers ‘astonished’ by Trump’s claim that taking foreign ‘dirt’ is routine
Mitt Romney calls it 'unthinkable' to accept information from foreign government to influence elections

Lawmakers pushed back strenuously on President Donald Trump’s claim during a television interview Wednesday that accepting “dirt” on political opponents from foreign sources is routine.

Democrats responded incredulously to Trump’s statement that he would accept intelligence on a political opponent from another country if offered, and that doing so is common practice in congressional campaigns. 

Rep. Greg Pence tweaked his campaign finance report ‘to avoid confusion ... from hostile reporters,’ spokesman says
Report had said Pence spent thousands on ‘lodging’ on Trump International Hotel

Rep. Greg Pence, facing scrutiny for spending campaign funds on overnight stays at the Trump International Hotel, tweaked his campaign finance filings Tuesday “in order to avoid confusion here from hostile reporters,” a spokesman said.

A report to the Federal Election Commission shows that Pence, the brother of Vice President Mike Pence, has spent$22,064 at the Trump's hotel in Washington since December for various fundraising-related expenses.

GOP Rep. Justin Amash quits Freedom Caucus after Trump impeachment stance
Conservative group voted to condemn his remarks after that called the president’s actions impeachable

Rep. Justin Amash is an outlier among congressional Republicans according to the party's leader in the House.

Justin Amash can determine his own future, but I think in philosophical basis he’s probably in a different place than the majority of the conference,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said to reporters on Tuesday, citing Amash's breaks from Republican-majority votes.

Nixon counsel John Dean will testify Trump’s actions are ‘strikingly like Watergate’
Dean will be the star witness at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday

Former White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon John Dean drew parallels from how the former president tried to cover up the Watergate break-in to President Donald Trump’s actions to impede the Mueller investigation in a television interview Monday.

“Nixon was hands-on very early, just like Trump was hands-on very early. The firing of James Comey was not unlike the actions Nixon took,” Dean said in an interview with CNN ahead of his testimony to Congress on presidential obstruction. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar to reimburse $3,500 in misspent campaign funds
Omar pledged the money to organizations that train rookie political candidates

Minnesota regulators say Rep. Ilhan Omar violated state campaign finance rules and must reimburse $3,469.23 in campaign funds that were improperly directed to accounting expenses and out-of-state travel. 

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ordered Omar to reimburse her campaign committee for the payments Thursday. She must also pay a $500 civil fine.

Republican John James will run again, this time against Sen. Gary Peters
The Michigan businessman’s run could shape the presidential race in a key swing state.

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, one of the two most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate, picked up a Republican challenger on Thursday that national Republicans hope will put the Wolverine State in play in 2020. 

Army veteran John James, the 2018 Senate nominee, announced Thursday that he’s challenging Peters, one of just two Democratic senators up for reelection in a state that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Ben Carson says Rep. Katie Porter asked ‘Ha! Gotcha!’ questions. She said it was ‘not a joke’
Porter: ‘Start by sending me answers for the American people, not cookies’

Rep. Katie Porter sparred with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Twitter on Wednesday after Carson dismissed his headline-grabbing misunderstanding during testimony as “silly.”

Carson was accused of incompetence in May while testifying to the House Financial Services Committee when he did not recognize a common abbreviation used to describe government-owned foreclosed properties. 

Even Thomas Edison’s great-grandson wants inefficient incandescent bulbs phased out
Inventor’s descendant joining Democratic chairman in opposing planned Trump administration rollback

Even the great-grandson of Thomas Edison, popularly recognized as the inventor of the lightbulb, supports a government regulation that would lead to his ancestor’s creation being phased out.

Barry Edison Sloane, a descendent of the famous American entrepreneur, will join New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. Thursday to chide the Trump administration for rolling back lightbulb efficiency standards.

House moves closer to undoing a ban on Dreamers working in government
An amendment to an appropriations bill was approved out of subcommittee Monday

The House moved one step closer this week towards unlocking civil service jobs for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers.

Young adult immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or Dreamers, cannot apply to jobs on Capitol Hill or with federal agencies because of a little-known provision in annual appropriations bills. But Rep. Pete Aguilar announced Monday that an amendment he proposed to override the provision was included in a $24.9 billion government operations spending bill. That bill was approved by the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee Monday night.

Veterans are being denied this GI Bill benefit if they work in cannabis
The VA considers working in the marijuana business to be insufficiently ‘stable and reliable’

For 75 years, veterans purchasing a home have been able to count on help with their home loans from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – home loans backed by the VA are one of the core benefits included in the 1944 GI Bill.

But a little-known rule — one the VA has never issued any policies or guidance on — makes those loans inaccessible to veterans who work in the cannabis industry, according to a group of about two dozen lawmakers.

Rep. Matt Gaetz allegedly hit by former rival in ‘milkshaking’ incident
The drink was allegedly thrown by a former political rival

Rep. Matt Gaetz was hit by a drink cup hurled through the air as he left a town hall this weekend.

As the Trump ally and Fox News personality left the event in Pensacola Saturday and waded through a crowd of protesters, a cup filled with a red liquid sailed through the air and hit him, according to a video of the incident reported by WKRG and posted to Twitter.

Sen. Martha McSally ‘appalled’ by plan to hide USS John S. McCain
Gallego said he’s concerned the Navy was asked to prioritize ‘the emotional instability of the president’

Sen. Martha McSally called for an investigation Thursday into which White House official requested that a warship bearing the name of late Sen. John McCain, his father and his grandfather be concealed ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to its homeport in Japan.

“I am appalled to hear of the allegations surrounding the USS John S. McCain,” McSally said in a statement to the Arizona Republic. “There needs to be a full investigation into who ordered it and what occurred.”

Tlaib wants Democrats pushing impeachment to ‘turn words into action’
Freshman congresswoman asking colleagues who want to impeach Trump to sign her resolution

Rep. Rashida Tlaib is calling on Democrats to “turn words into action” by signing onto her resolution directing the House committee in charge of impeachment to consider formally trying the president for wrongdoing.

At least 34 Democrats in the House have voiced support for impeachment. But just nine of those have cosponsored Tlaib’s resolution directing the House Judiciary Committee to inquire whether or not the Democratic-controlled chamber should impeach President Donald Trump. 

WWII spy Patricia Warner, 98, gets surprised with a Congressional Gold Medal
Congress first recognized the Office of Strategic Services with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018

Rep. Katherine Clark surprised former World War II spy Patricia Warner, 98, with a Congressional Gold Medal on Tuesday.

“We’d like to present to you a Congressional Gold Medal that we made for you to thank you for your service,” Clark said at a small gathering at the Lincoln Local Library in her Massachusetts district. 

Baseball team apologizes for video calling AOC ‘enemy of freedom’
The video, played on Memorial Day at a Fresno Grizzlies game, had not been properly vetted, the team later said

A minor league baseball team apologized Monday for playing a video showing an image of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez superimposed over audio of a speech given by President Ronald Reagan warning about the “enemies of freedom.”

The Fresno Grizzlies, a minor league affiliate of the Washington Nationals, issued an apology for playing the YouTube video during a Memorial Day game. The video had been edited in a “misleading and offensive” way and had not been properly vetted, the team said. 

Why does Alexa save transcripts of user conversations? This senator asked Amazon
Sen. Chris Coons wants to know why Amazon Echo users’ conversations are being saved to company servers

A Democratic senator sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Thursday requesting information about why the company retains transcripts of conversations recorded by Amazon Echo devices, even after users have pressed “delete.”

Amazon’s voice-controlled operating system Alexa transcribes the conversations it picks up after users say a “wake word” — “Alexa,” “Echo,” “Amazon” or “computer” — or press a button to enable the Echo, according to a report by CNET. And the company saves those text files on its servers even after users opt to “delete” the audio files from the cloud, a CNET investigation revealed.

When McGovern interned for McGovern (no relation)
Massachusetts Democrat’s internship in the 1970s led to staff position and eventual election to the House

Rep. Jim McGovern’s career has been profoundly shaped by another (unrelated) McGovern: George.

As a 12-year-old middle schooler, Jim McGovern, inspired by the candidate he shared a last name with, joined his teachers to hand out leaflets and bumper stickers for the elder McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign.

Democratic campaign chief cancels event for this anti-abortion Democrat
Rep. Cheri Bustos signaled she will continue to defend Rep. Dan Lipinski

The congresswoman who leads House Democrats’ campaign arm announced Wednesday she would no longer headline a fundraiser for an anti-abortion incumbent congressman.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos agreed months ago to host a $1,000-per-plate breakfast fundraiser for Rep. Dan Lipinski because of their friendship, a spokesman for Lipinski said. But criticism of her support for Lipinski grew louder this month amid the passage of laws severely restricting abortion in six states.

A Census worker’s arrest for child sex assault raises hiring concerns in Congress
Commerce Department report: ‘The Bureau’s background check office is not fully prepared for the 2020 Census’

Some members of the North Carolina delegation have called for an investigation into the U.S. Census Bureau’s hiring practices following the arrest of a bureau manager in Charlotte on charges of sexually assaulting a child.

The employee already appeared on the sex offender registry when he was hired by the bureau because of a prior conviction involving a child, Fox 46 reported.