Politics

Trump Praises Gianforte for Physically Assaulting Reporter
‘Any guy who can do a body slam — he’s my guy,’ president says

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is running for his first full term this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for physically assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election last year.

Addressing a rally in Missoula on his third trip to Montana this year, Trump at first only alluded to the 2017 incident. “Never wrestle him,” he said after calling Gianforte onstage.

Rosenstein Agrees to Sit for Transcribed Interview With Judiciary, Oversight Leaders
Freedom Caucus, rank-and-file panel members will not be able to participate

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will sit for a transcribed interview with House Judiciary and Oversight committee leaders on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to sit for a transcribed interview with leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Oct. 24, the panels’ chairmen announced Thursday evening.

The announcement comes just hours after House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, an Oversight subcommittee chairman, called on Rosenstein to resign, citing his unwillingness to cooperate with the panels’ investigation.

Rep. Mimi Walters’ Lead Within Error Margin in New GOP Poll
Walters represents a district won by Hillary Clinton in 2016

Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., at the House Energy and Commerce Committee meeting to organize for the 115th Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new internal poll shows California Rep. Mimi Walters with a 50 percent share of the vote, leading Democratic challenger Katie Porter by 4 points. 

The incumbent’s 50-46 lead is within the poll’s +/-4.9% margin of error.

At the Races: 19 Days Left
Our weekly newsletter on the latest in congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

5 Takeaways From Heidi Cruz’s Atlantic Interview
Ted Cruz’s wife had to grapple with her place in the world as she made sacrifices for her husband

Heidi Cruz and and daughters Caroline, right, and Catherine greet guests during a convocation in March 2015 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where Sen. Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a candid interview with The Atlantic, Heidi Cruz discussed the ways her life has been shaped by the political pursuits of her husband, Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas Republican faces a re-election challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who despite record fundraising totals, has lost momentum in the polls. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely Republican.

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez Solidifies Lead in New Jersey Race
September polls showed a tight race, but incumbent has opened sizable lead over GOP challenger Bob Hugin

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey appeared to widen his lead over Republican nominee Bob Hugin in a new poll. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez appears to be solidifying his lead over businessman and Republican nominee Bob Hugin, according to a new Monmouth University poll that found the Democratic incumbent leading Hugin by 9 points in a standard midterm voter model.

Nearly half, 49 percent, of the 527 likely New Jersey voters surveyed for the poll released Thursday favored Menendez, while Hugin captured just 40 percent support.

EPA Aims to Triple Pace of Deregulation in Coming Year
Agency hopes to revoke waiver allowing tougher standards in California and other states

A worker inserts a probe into the tailpipe of a car while performing an emissions test in San Francisco. The Trump administration plans to freeze fuel economy and tailpipe emissions standards, as part of a larger deregulatory push. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

The Environmental Protection Agency released a plan for eliminating regulations next year that would likely dwarf its current rule-cutting pace.

The agency expects to finalize approximately 30 deregulatory actions and fewer than 10 regulatory actions in fiscal 2019, according to the Trump administration’s Unified Agenda, released Tuesday.

Analysis: Here’s Why Trump’s Budget Proposal May Cut Deeper Than Advertised
Even cutting 5 percent would be a tough sell in Congress for either party

Obama budget director Jack Lew also got tough with agency budgets. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s new push to trim the proposed budgets of all federal agencies next year could prove more draconian than it sounds, amounting to a 25 percent cut for all nondefense programs compared to the current year.

Technically, the request is for 5 percent cuts across the Cabinet departments, as Trump laid out at a White House event Wednesday: “We’re going to ask every [Cabinet] secretary to cut 5 percent for next year,” Trump told reporters, presumably referring to fiscal 2020, beginning next October.

Steven Mnuchin Pulls Out of Saudi Conference, as Pompeo Urges Caution
Secretary of State: ‘We ought to give them a few more days’ to complete Khashoggi investigation

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in July. On Thursday he said he was reserving judgment on what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 11:55 a.m. | Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided, after consultation with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, not to attend a high-profile investors conference in Saudi Arabia, he tweeted Thursday.

The announcement came amid bipartisan outrage over the kingdom’s suspected involvement in the disappearance of a dissident journalist.

Donald Trump Once Wanted to Buy the FBI Headquarters, Now House Dems Are Asking Questions
New request sent to agency in charge for documents about potential conflicts

The front of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building on Pennsylvania Ave. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Key House Democrats pressed the head of the General Services Administration to provide more information Thursday about President Donald Trump’s role in the proposal to rebuild the FBI headquarters building on its current footprint on Pennsylvania Ave.

“As a direct result of President Trump’s clear conflict of interest on this matter, we are now requesting information and documents to determine whether the President is making decisions about the FBI headquarters building based on what is best for the country or what is best for his own financial bottom-line,” wrote the five House members, who are all ranking members of relevant committees or subcommittees.

Sherrod Brown: ‘Desperate’ Sexual Assault Claims Won’t Work
Challenger Jim Renacci says, without evidence, that he’s heard accusations from multiple women

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, labeled his midterm election opponent, Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, “desperate” for levying allegations of sexual assault against him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Sherrod Brown summarily dismissed unsubstantiated allegations of sexual assault levied against him by his opponent in the upcoming midterms, Rep. Jim Renacci, labeling the Ohio Republican’s claims “desperate.”

“Congressman Renacci’s failed and desperate campaign gets worse every day,” Brown’s campaign said in a statement, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Taylor Swift Endorsement Like ‘Manna From Heaven,’ Says Tennessee Congressman
Democrat Jim Cooper: It’s ‘one of the great honors’ of my life

Taylor Swift endorsed Tennessee governor and Senate hopeful Democrat Phil Bredesen, among others, in an Instagram post this week. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS)

Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper likened Taylor Swift’s surprise endorsement to “manna from heaven” and deemed it “one of the great honors” of his life in an interview with The Associated Press Wednesday.

“I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives,” the pop star wrote to her 112 million Instagram followers on Oct. 7, two days before the voter registration deadline in Tennessee. “Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values.”

Trump — Again — Threatens to Send Military to U.S.-Mexico Border
And he would, again, face legal hurdles in Congress to deploy active-duty military troops there

President Donald Trump once again floated the legally dicey idea of sending U.S. military troops to the southern border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday dusted off the cobwebs of an old proposal from April to deploy military troops along the southern U.S. border in an effort to stem illegal crossings by immigrants.

“I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” the president threatened, if Mexico does not heed his request to stop what he termed an “onslaught” of people crossing the border into the U.S.

Ex-HHS Secretary Price Spreads Cash Around in Georgia Races
Former congressman donates maximum to gubernatorial candidate Kemp from leftover campaign funds

Former secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tom Price’s tenure in Washington may have ended, but he’s still spending campaign cash.

Price’s congressional campaign committee has disbursed $55,000 to campaigns in recent weeks, with the bulk going to candidates in his native Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Ohio Race Was Worth Millions to Outside Groups in August. Now? Not So Much
Some see opportunities for Democrats in Balderson/O’Connor rematch

Democrat Danny O’Connor says he hasn’t let up the pace of his campaign for Ohio’s 12th District since narrowly losing a special election in August. (Courtesy Danny O’Connor for Congress)

The national attention showered on this summer’s special election in Ohio’s 12th District may have moved elsewhere. And the font of spending from outside groups has all but dried up. But the losing Democratic nominee Danny O’Connor has not stopped running. 

That’s what Paul Beck, a longtime campaign observer, noticed when an O’Connor canvasser came knocking on the door of his Franklin County home: It was the candidate’s dad.