Roy Moore rails against “outsiders” telling Alabamians how they should vote in Tuesday’s Senate race. But he makes an exception for a guy from Queens.
“This is Donald Trump on trial in Alabama,” Moore’s chief strategist, Dean Young, said on ABC’s “This Week.” He declared the outcome will be a verdict on Trump and his agenda.
“If the people of Alabama vote for this liberal Democrat Doug Jones, then they’re voting against the president who they put in office at the highest level.”
The president cast doubt on accusations from women that Moore preyed on them sexually as teens and has gone all in for the Republican candidate, including recording a robocall released Sunday. “Roy Moore is the guy we need to pass our ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda,” Trump says.
Trump won Alabama by 28 points, but polls indicate the Senate contest is much closer.
Breaking with Trump and Moore: the state’s senior Republican senator, Richard Shelby. “The state of Alabama deserves better,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He urged voters to write in some other Republican.
Janison: Voices in Trump’s head
Trump will have to decide soon whether to rescue endangered state and local deductions in his tax-cut plan, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.
His budget director, Mick Mulvaney, a former congressman from South Carolina, has been a loud voice for doing away with them. But during a recent fundraiser, billionaire private equity manager Stephen Schwartzman and a longtime friend, real estate heir Richard LeFrak, reportedly got Trump to listen to their case for keeping them.
Trump can bend to the cries of well-heeled friends as well as homeowners in high-tax states — or stick to the Mulvaney position that New Yorkers will no longer have their expensive public services written off via deductions.
The GOP tax plan nearing the finish line in Congress is a far cry from what Trump promised during the campaign, when it comes to relief for the middle class, The Washington Post reports.
Trump pledged then a “massive” 35% cut for middle-class families with two kids. But the benefits of the emerging package are heavily tilted toward corporations and the wealthy.
“From a truth-in-advertising standpoint, it would have been a lot simpler if we just acknowledged reality on this bill, which is it’s fundamentally a corporate tax reduction and restructuring bill, period,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.)
Road to approval
The White House is preparing to roll out a long-delayed $1 billion infrastructure rebuilding plan in January that would include $200 million in federal funds freed up by making cuts elsewhere in the budget, The Wall Street Journal (pay site) reported.
Administration officials say their polling shows a program for rebuilding roads and bridges as well as rail and water systems would have broad public support, even among voters who disapprove of Trump.
But the Trump formula is expected to meet resistance from an array of both Republicans and Democrats, for differing reasons.
Before Trump took office, he told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals, according to an in-depth New York Times examination of his unique approach to the job.
He still views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider struggling to be taken seriously, the Times writes, citing interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.
His watches TV at least four hours a day — and sometimes twice that — and tweets in reaction to what he has seen.
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, used to prefer to be identified as Ronna Romney McDaniel.
But she dropped the “Romney” at the suggestion of Trump, who has frequently feuded with her uncle Mitt Romney, The Washington Post reported.
Though Trump told her lightheartedly it wasn’t a demand, he was pleased with her decision, a senior administration official and an adviser told the Post.
What else is happening
- UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, on CNN’s “State of the Union,” predicted Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will “move the ball forward for the peace process,” Newsday’s Scott Eidler reports.
- On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Haley said women who accuse men of sexual misconduct — including those who named Trump as their assailant — “should be heard.” Asked whether those allegations have been settled, she responded, “I know that he was elected.”
- Vice President Mike Pence’s office said it was “unfortunate” that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas canceled a planned meeting with him to protest the Jerusalem decision. The head of Egypt’s Coptic Church also won’t host Pence on his Middle East trip later this month.
- Since Trump became president, the Environmental Protection Agency has adopted a more lenient approach toward polluters, according to a New York Times statistical analysis.
- More Republicans are accusing the American Bar Association of bias after the nonpartisan lawyers’ group declared at least four of Trump’s judicial nominees “not qualified,” Politico reports.
- Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who heard Donald Trump Jr.’s closed-door testimony about a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, told Fox Business Network, “Nobody listening to that interview would come out of that thinking there was any collusion at all.”