presidential-race

Rising Stars 2017: Administration Staffers
A mix of fresh and familiar Washington faces

Four Trump administration staffers are among CQ Roll Call’s 17 Rising Stars of 2017. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Over the course of this week, CQ Roll Call is taking a look at 17 Rising Stars of 2017 — people who will now wield power and influence in a Washington that has been turned upside down by the presidency of Donald Trump.

Some of the names are familiar, others have recently burst on the scene. They include members of Congress, congressional and administration staffers, and advocates.

Chaffetz Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
Outspoken Utah Republican won’t rule out run for governor in 2020

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz is the outspoken chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election to his House seat or any other political office in 2018. But he’s not ruling out one in 2020.

The Utah Republican said in a Facebook post that there were “no ulterior motives” behind the move, and he was confident he would still be re-elected by wide margins, had he decided otherwise.

Trump: US-Russia Relations May Be at an ‘All-Time Low’
President presses NATO chief on members contributing more to alliance’s coffers

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a news conference in the East Room of the White House April 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said U.S. relations with Russia could have recently hit an “all-time low” as the two world powers clash over a sarin gas attack in Syria.

The Trump administration, citing U.S. intelligence data, contends the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out the chemical strike, which killed dozens and left children and babies dead. It was the latter images that moved Trump to order the missile strike, he said last week.

RNC, White House Try to Avoid Obama’s Missteps
GOP operative: ‘Is the president even interested in party building?’

Republican National Committee officials say they are working closely with the White House on strategy and messaging. But some GOP operatives contend coordination is lacking and that could weaken the party.

Trump Questions Russia Lobbying By Clinton Campaign Chief’s Brother
Podesta Group calls conservative site's story 'fake news' and 'an attempt to distract'

Tony Podesta is a co-founder of the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm, and the brother of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chief. President Trump is raising questions about his reported work for the Russian government. (Wikimedia Commons)

Updated at 10:57 a.m. | Donald Trump is raising questions about whether Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chief, received “big money” to push for the termination of Russian sanctions. But the lobbying firm he co-founded with brother John denies even doing such work for Moscow.

A Monday morning tweet from the president appeared to react to a Daily Caller report that Podesta was paid $170,000 over six months in 2016 to lobby in Washington on behalf of Sberbank. He is brother of John Podesta and the financial institution is Russia’s largest bank.

Trump Again Veers Into House, Senate Intel Investigators’ Lane
President shows no signs of concerns he’s trying to influence panel’s Russia probes

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has reportedly asked for immunity in return for his testimony into alleged Russian meddling in U.S. elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Impinging upon a congressional investigation for the second time this week, President Donald Trump backed his former national security adviser’s quest for immunity in return for testimony before lawmakers.

The president tweeted Friday morning that Michael Flynn, the retired three-star general who was fired by the Obama administration then forced to leave the Trump White House at the start of its fourth week, should seek the legal protection because the probes into ties between Russia and his campaign associates is a “witch hunt” being conducted by the media and Democrats “of historic proportion.”

Senate Intelligence Leaders Stress Bipartisanship in Russia Probe
Burr admits he voted for Trump, but emphasizes how big the moment is

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner hold a news conference Wednesday to provide an update on the panel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week’s Supreme Court nomination hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch likely weren't the most interesting Senate business on the second floor of the Hart Office Building.

That’s where the Senate Intelligence Committee conducts its meetings in a secure facility just around the corner from where the Judiciary Committee was meeting.

White House to Skeptical GOP Members on Health Bill: This Is It
President meets with various members, Republican and Democrat, over course of day

President Donald Trump still doesn't have the House votes to pass the GOP health plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House intensified its game of chicken with Republican lawmakers over the party’s health care overhaul plan, saying there is no Plan B.

Even as one GOP lawmaker told Roll Call there likely are around 30 “no” votes among the Republican conference — more than enough to sink the legislation — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer warned members of his party “this is it.”

Trump Boasts of Forcing Canadian Firm to Drop Keystone Lawsuit
Claims he threatened to take back his approval of TransCanada’s project

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participate in a joint news conference at the White House in February. On Tuesday, Trump said he threatened to nix a Canadian company's Keystone Pipeline project unless it dropped a lawsuit against the U.S. government. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Updated at 11:25 a.m. | President Donald Trump is asserting he got the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline project to drop a lawsuit seeking more than $10 billion from the U.S. government after he threatened to take back his approval of the project.

In late January, Trump signed an executive order green-lighting TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL after the Obama administration blocked it for years. He did so, however, with a major caveat, saying the pipeline deal was “subject to terms and conditions that will be negotiated by us.”

Opinion: James Comey and the Art of the Shiv
FBI director has the credibility to oppose the White House

In his testimony Monday, James B. Comey dropped enough bombshells to solidify his reputation as the most significant FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Late in Monday’s marathon hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey reminded the nation that he was something of a hostile witness, reluctantly summoned to talk about Russia, Donald Trump and the 2016 campaign.

“I’d rather not be talking about this at all,” Comey said. “Now we are going to close our mouths and do our work.”