scandal

One rocky Donald Trump week tends to breed another... and another
Analyst: ‘If the election were held tomorrow, President Trump would lose — badly’

President Donald Trump speaks to the media prior to departing on Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

After another rocky week for Donald Trump, former officials and experts see a president likely to become even more bold and unpredictable as his path to reelection appears to grow more difficult.

From a tumbling approval rating and worries among voters about his economic stewardship to his firing of another national security adviser to remarks at a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the Pentagon that raised eyebrows to a special election in a Republican stronghold that was closer than expected, the president’s brash style was on full display.

List to replace fired national security adviser John Bolton grows to 15
Trump says he makes ‘all the decisions’ so senior advisers ‘don’t have to work’

President Donald Trump walks from the South Lawn to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews in July 2018. He took the executive helicopter to a GOP retreat in Baltimore on Thursday evening. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are now 15 candidates to replace John Bolton as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, but the president says it will not be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

There was talk around Washington that the former Kansas GOP congressman — rumored to be eyeing a Senate run in his home state next year — might do both jobs after increasingly becoming Trump’s go-to counselor on foreign affairs and national security. But the president put an end to such speculation Thursday evening.

Rep. Chris Collins pleads not guilty to revised indictment, trial still set for February 2020
New York Republican was indicted last August on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., pleaded not guilty Thursday to a revised set of charges related to insider trading and lying to the FBI. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Chris Collins pleaded not guilty to a revised indictment on Thursday in New York, where he, his son Cameron Collins and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron Collins’ onetime fiancee, were initially indicted in August 2018 on insider trading charges and lying to the FBI.

Prosecutors have dropped three of the original eight securities fraud charges against Collins and two against his son and Zarsky in order to speed up the pretrial process in time for the trial slated for Feb. 3, 2020.

Capitol Ink | Mixed Messages

Issa on challenging fellow Republican Hunter: ‘He cannot win reelection’
California Republican represented adjacent district for 18 years, believes Hunter's legal troubles jeopardize GOP control of seat

Former Republican Rep. Darrell Issa has signaled he might come out of retirement to run in California’s 50th District, currently held by embattled GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Darrell Issa signaled over the weekend that he intends to run for Congress in Rep. Duncan Hunter’s district if he is not confirmed to a position in the Trump administration by winter.

Issa and Hunter are both Republican.

Trump attacks new poll showing his approval rating tumbling
Washington Post-ABC survey shows a 6-point drop over a summer of self-inflicted wounds, trade war

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media at the White House before departing on Monday for a campaign rally in North Carolina. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

On a day when voters in a reliably red North Carolina congressional district head to the polls in a closer-than-expected House race, President Donald Trump lashed out at a poll that showed his approval rating tumbling.

As he waited to see if voters in the Tar Heel State’s competitive 9th Congressional District will send a Democrat to Washington for the first time since 1963, he took umbrage at a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. That survey put his approval rating at 38 percent — down from 44 percent in June — along with a 56 percent disapproval rating.

Trump drags ‘Sharpiegate’ into second day as latest self-inflicted wound festers
‘I’m really worried about him,’ Democratic presidential candidate Buttigieg says

President Donald Trump references a map held by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan while talking to reporters after a briefing from officials about Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office on Wednesday. The map appeared to have been altered to suggest the storm was initially projected to hit Alabama, as Trump claimed, prompting federal officials to issue a correction. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday dragged another self-created scandal into another day as he defended a map he displayed a day earlier of Hurricane Dorian’s expected path that appeared to have been altered, prompting howls from Democrats and accusations that he was putting lives in danger.

White House aides were eager last week to portray a commander in chief as deeply involved in the federal government’s efforts to prepare for and respond to Dorian. The storm even did the Trump team a favor when it turned away from Florida, sparing the Sunshine State the kind of catastrophic direct hit that left at least 20 dead and catastrophic damage in the Bahamas.

Authorities probing Rep. Steve Chabot’s campaign for missing $100,000+
Ohio Republican’s campaign is ‘prepared to fully cooperate and assist’ investigation

Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot’s campaign pledged to cooperate with authorities investigating a discrepancy of more than $100,000 in his finances. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Authorities are investigating whether someone stole more than $100,000 from Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot’s reelection fund, according to his campaign’s lawyer.

“Congressman Chabot was shocked and deeply disappointed to be informed yesterday afternoon that his campaign committee may be the victim of financial malfeasance and misappropriation of funds,” Mark Braden said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Trump again signals gun background checks bill is not a top priority
Congress should pass ‘something having to do with mental illness,’ president says

President Donald Trump is signaling that legislation to mandate background checks for gun purchases is not a priority for him. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signaled he is poised to defy public support for stronger background checks for firearm purchases in the wake of several deadly mass shootings.

He also again reverted to a pessimistic outlook for his long-promised trade pact that China that has devolved from rounds of talks into a tariff “battle,” as he described it Wednesday. Trump late last month described himself as the “chosen one,” picked by a higher power to get tough on China over what he calls its “unfair” trading tactics.

In our podcast, we’re gone to Carolina
Political Theater, Episode 91

Dan McCready, the Democratic candidate in North Carolina’s 9th District, campaigns in Pembroke, N.C., on Aug. 10. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s September 2019, but we’re only just now wrapping up the 2018 election. Voters in North Carolina’s 9th District will finish it all off on when they decide on Sept. 10 whether Democrat Dan McCready or Republican Dan Bishop will represent them in Congress. 

The lagging special election was necessary because the North Carolina State Board of Elections threw out last fall’s initial results because of election fraud tied to the Republican effort and its nominee, Mark Harris.