Afghanistan

Bannon: Roy Moore Allegations Part of a ‘Setup’
Moore is facing allegations of sexual misconduct

Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore is welcomed to the stage by Steve Bannon as he introduces him during a campaign event Tuesday in Fairhope, Alabama. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon returned to Alabama Tuesday night to support GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, and suggested allegations of sexual misconduct were part of a media conspiracy to discredit Moore. 

“This whole thing was a setup. This whole thing was weaponized,” Bannon said at a rally in Fairhope, Alabama. “You know that. Folks down here in Alabama know that”

Some in Congress Still Have a Taste for Pork
For a Republican majority searching for wins, there may be no better time to bring back earmarks

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole says “there is plenty of sentiment” in the House for reviving earmarks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the year since Speaker Paul D. Ryan blocked his party’s effort to revive earmarks, a lot hasn’t happened.

There’s been no repeal of Obamacare and no border wall approval. Plans to fund the government are struggling to lift off.

An Old Saw’s New Twist: Death (of the Deficit Hawks) and Taxes
A few Republicans clinging to old party orthodoxy could doom Trump’s big win

Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney has said “a lot of this is a gimmick,” referring to the tax bill’s expiration dates for some of the lower rates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This apparent contradiction confronts Congress as it returns for a grueling month of legislating: The Republicans who run the Capitol, so many of whom came to Washington as avatars of fiscal responsibility, are going to spend the rest of the year working to make a worsening federal balance sheet look even worse.

December holds the potential for a productivity breakthrough, but it also threatens to end in embarrassing deadlock — which is why the clear consensus within the upper reaches of the congressional GOP is that it’s the right time to get comfortable with any feelings of hypocritical guilt.

Opinion: Defense Spending Approaches Moment of Reckoning
Big hike unlikely as defense hawks face off against deficit hawks

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, center, and House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, left, arrive for an NDAA conference committee meeting in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Recent budget and tax proposals on Capitol Hill threaten to pit defense hawks against deficit hawks, which could result in defense spending that leaves the military unable to meet all its requirements.

A virtual freeze in defense spending has been in place over the past four years, and it appears unlikely that a big increase will get through for fiscal 2018.

Former Hillary Clinton Aide Blasts Gillibrand Over Bill Clinton Comments
Former president should have resigned over Lewinsky episode, NY senator said

New York Sen. Kristin Gillibrand said Thursday she thought it would have been "appropriate" for President Bill Clinton to step down after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former Hillary Clinton State Department aide had harsh words for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who said Thursday that President Bill Clinton should have resigned after an inappropriate sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s deputy assistant secretary of state for strategic communications, called Gillibrand a “hypocrite” for the comments.

Word on the Hill: Valor in D.C.
A distinguished Nebraskan, and your social calendar for the week

Screen shot of “Valor” trailer. (Courtesy CW)

Pairing a look at life in the military with an exploration of the opioid crisis, CW’s “Valor” is coming to D.C.

The cast will be at the Milken Institute School of Public Health this evening for a screening for veterans, active duty members and reservists.

New York Attacker Won’t Be Sent to Guantanamo, Trump Says
President’s decision to use criminal courts breaks with Graham, McCain

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., wants President Donald Trump to send the New York truck attacker to Guantanamo Bay. Trump signaled Wednesday the suspect will head to the criminal justice system. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump broke with congressional Republican hawks Thursday morning, signaling the Islamic State-inspired New York truck attacker will not be sent to the military’s terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As top GOP Senate Armed Services members like Chairman John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina call for Sayfullo Saipov to be held by the military as an “enemy combatant,” Trump used morning tweets to signal he will be prosecuted via the criminal court system.

Word on the Hill: Darkest Hour
Free lunch, Bison day, Hirono’s health update, new D.C. book and Christopher Nolan at LOC

(Screen shot of “Darkest Hour” trailer)

The new movie “Darkest Hour” will be screened in D.C. this evening, followed by a panel that includes House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.

NBC’s Chuck Todd will moderate the panel at the United States Navy Memorial (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) at 7:15 p.m. The movie’s star, actor Gary Oldman, is also scheduled to attend.

Opinion: When the Price Is Too High to Be an American
While military families grieve, Trump and Kelly disparage and disrespect

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly speaks during an Oct. 19 press briefing during which he called only on reporters who had personal connections to fallen soldiers. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 

If I had been in that briefing room when White House Chief of Staff and retired Gen. John Kelly stated that only journalists who had a personal connection to a fallen soldier were allowed to ask a question, I could have raised my hand. But that would have cheapened the memory of a Marine, my beloved nephew, treating his life and death as currency in an unholy transaction.

Trump Told the Senate About Niger Actions in June
Is Congress reading what they’re sent?

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey is among the lawmakers who were not familiar with U.S. action in Niger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As senators say they didn’t know about the presence of U.S. troops (or the number of them) in Niger, some are calling for a review of how Congress gets notified of such actions.

Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is among the lawmakers who in recent days have said on television they were unaware of the activity in Niger, despite a formal letter about U.S. forces in the region that went to Capitol Hill months ago.