2018

Kurds are ‘no angels’ and their fight with Turkey is ‘not our problem,’ Trump says
In rare split, McConnell had sharp words about president’s decision to abandon Kurds in Syria

President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office on Wednesday while Italian President Sergio Mattarella listens. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday continued distancing the United States from Kurdish forces in Syria who once were Washington’s chief ally in fighting the Islamic State group.

Trump’s decision to remove American forces who were positioned between Turkish troops and the Kurds has angered both Republican and Democratic members. Both chambers are expected to soon approve a resolution condemning his decision, which he says is necessary to help bring an end to what he calls America’s post-9/11 “endless wars.”

Democratic impeachment holdout touts legislative focus over inquiry he’s not backing
South Carolina’s Joe Cunningham spent recess discussing climate change, infrastructure, trade

South Carolina Rep. Joe Cunningham, here examining a turtle excluder device while touring a shrimp boat in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Monday, is one of seven House Democrats not supporting the impeachment inquiry. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rep. Joe Cunningham spent his final day of a two-week district work period here Monday talking to local fishermen about adjusting to climate change and to a conservation group about banning offshore drilling — top issues for constituents of his coastline district.

Cunningham, the first Democrat to represent the 1st District in more than a quarter century, did not talk about the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, except to answer reporters’ questions about why he has not endorsed it. The constituents he interacted with Monday did not broach the topic with him, although some complimented him generally for how he’s navigating a political tightrope.

McCarthy will donate indictment-tainted money to charity
Minority leader was among recipients of contributions from indicted Giuliani associates last cycle

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was among the recipients of campaign donations from two indicted Giuliani allies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that he will donate to charity campaign contributions received from two indicted associates of Rudy Giuliani. 

McCarthy, along with the National Republican Congressional Committee and other groups, were the beneficiaries of campaign cash from Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born businessmen who are also subjects of the House impeachment inquiry. The pair have been working with Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, on his investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who served on the board of an energy company in Ukraine.

2020 strategy: If you can’t beat ’em — move
Pete Sessions becomes third Republican ex-member to try comeback in different district

Former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions is one of three Republicans making comeback bids to the House from a different district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions on Thursday became the third former Republican congressman to announce a 2020 comeback bid in a different district from the one he previously served, joining Darrell Issa of California and Bobby Schilling, who once represented Illinois and now is running in Iowa. 

Sessions represented suburban Dallas for 22 years, but lost his bid for a 12th term in Texas’ 32nd District to Democrat Colin Allred by nearly 7 points last November.

Trump ally Claudia Tenney seeking old seat against Rep. Anthony Brindisi
Former GOP member from NY lost by less than 5,000 votes in 2018 midterms

Former Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y, announced Tuesday she will run for her old seat in New York's 22nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Claudia Tenney, one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters last Congress, announced Tuesday she will run for her old seat in New York’s 22nd District.

Tenney lost by less than 2 percentage points in the 2018 midterms to Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi despite running one of the most pro-Trump campaigns of any vulnerable House Republican.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib selling ‘Impeach the mf’ shirts for reelection campaign
Michigan Democrat amplified call to impeach Trump at rally at the Capitol on Thursday alongside other progressive Democrats

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., seen here at an impeachment rally on Monday with Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, is selling T-shirts referencing a phrase she made famous — or infamous — after her swearing-in to the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s 2020 reelection campaign is looking to cash in this week on the recent wave of Democratic support for an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump by selling T-shirts with the slogan “Impeach the mf.”

The shirts cost $29, come in a variety of styles with a black or white backdrop, and take one to two weeks to ship to their destination.

Appeals court will hear Rep. Duncan Hunter’s argument, jeopardizing January trial date
California Republican is accused of spending more than $250,000 in campaign money on partying, vacations, personal expenses

The federal trial of Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., could be pushed back even further after a federal appeals panel in California agreed to hear briefs on his case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday to hear Rep. Duncan Hunter’s argument to dismiss the corruption case against him, potentially stalling the start of his trial slated for January 2020.

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Appeals Court for the 9th Circuit will hear briefs in December from Hunter’s defense team and the federal prosecutors in San Diego and will decide whether prosecutors violated the California Republican’s rights under the Constitution’s Speech and Debate clause, multiple outlets in Southern California reported.

Ex-Rep. Darrell Issa to challenge Duncan Hunter, who is awaiting trial
Likely GOP faceoff comes as Issa nomination to Trump administration post has stalled in Senate

Former Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., will announce Thursday he is running in California's 50th District in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Rep. Darrell Issa is expected to run against fellow Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, a former colleague facing trial on corruption charges, sources familiar with the ex-congressman’s thinking confirmed to CQ Roll Call Wednesday.

Issa has scheduled a press conference in the district for Thursday morning, where he is expected to announce a challenge to Hunter, a six-term veteran, in the 50th District.

Man pleads guilty to assaulting Rep. Steve King by throwing water on him
Blake Gibbins, 27, faces up to a year in prison for March incident

A man pleaded guilty on Monday to assaulting Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, by throwing water on the congressman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Colorado man pleaded guilty on Monday to a misdemeanor charge of assaulting a congressman for throwing water on Iowa Rep. Steve King.

Blake Gibbins, 27, faces up to a year in prison, a $100,000 fine, and five years probation for his role in the incident, the Des Moines Register reported.

At UN, Trump wades further into conflict of interest claims against Biden
Iran, climate change, trade war with China take back burner to Ukraine controversy

Joe Biden is sworn in by Justice John Paul Stevens to become vice president in 2009. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday denied holding up a U.S. aid package to Ukraine if its then-incoming president refused to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.

“I did not make a statement that you have to do this or I won’t give you aid,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an U.N. General Assembly session in New York.