The TAKE with Rick Klein
“A giant tax cut for Christmas,” President Donald Trump promised the American people.
What’s not clear yet is whether the public wants this gift as much as Republican representatives.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted Sunday through Wednesday, hints at the sales job ahead. Sixty percent of Americans think the tax plan will primarily benefit the wealthy, with only 13 percent buying the argument that it mainly helps the middle class; 17 percent say they think the bill would treat everyone equally.
Fifty percent oppose the plan, amid indications that it’s not being helped by associations with Trump. Slightly more than half of independents say they oppose the bill … and this was before the details were unveiled today.
The tax push was squeezed by a week bookended by investigative bombshells and now a high-profile presidential trip to Asia. In between came a terrorist attack that drove the president to engage in a new wave of policy declarations and Twitter battles.
Meanwhile, the GOP is still divided, with the president’s political goals running squarely up against congressional policy plans. With a distracted salesman-in-chief set to spend a dozen days several time zones away, Republicans will need to focus on finding a constituency for their new bill.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
The giant mea culpa from former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile on Thursday was met with everything from a shrug, to applause, to fury from fellow Democrats.
Brazile admitted that a widely publicized funding agreement between the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC went further than previously disclosed and in fact allowed the Clinton team to control messaging and major spending decisions.
The takeaway from Brazile — that the party actively worked to rig the presidential primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders – was a cathartic but unsurprising revelation for many of the independent lawmaker’s former aides and current backers.
Party loyalists accused Brazile of self-aggrandizing and trying to save face — the longtime Democratic adviser has a new book out this month too.
One former DNC staffer told ABC News the party should be thanking the Clinton team for funding the organization.
But the fact is few party loyalists remain.
Many on the left are trying to reinvent the Democratic Party in the wake of bruising general election losses. For them, Brazile being honest about the past means more healing going forward.
Writ large, there is also concern among Democrats that re-litigating last year’s election distracts from the opportunity to capitalize on GOP missteps — Brazile’s story landed as Republicans unveiled a new tax plan that is raising eyebrows and days after an indictment against former Trump campaign staffers and their associated.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called the moment a test for the new party chairman, Tom Perez.
The TIP with David Caplan
The Twittersphere lit up Thursday night when President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was briefly deactivated by a Twitter employee. It was the individual’s last day with the company.
“Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day. We are conducting a full internal review,” Twitter said in a statement late Thursday night.
For eleven minutes around 7 p.m. ET Thursday, visitors to the president’s @RealDonaldTrump Twitter page were greeted with, “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY:
President Trump visits Hawaii to receive a briefing from the U.S. Pacific Command before he embarks on his Asia trip. He visits Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial.
President Trump named Jay Powell as his pick to lead the Federal Reserve Thursday. The president says Powell will be a key component for the nation’s continuing economic growth.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” bill was unveiled on Thursday. The bill is roughly 400 pages and lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans to zero, 12%, 25% and 35%.
White House officials confirm Sam Clovis has withdrawn his nomination as chief scientist of the USDA amid the controversy of his encouraging George Papadopoulos to connect with the Russian government during his time as a campaign supervisor for Trump.
President Trump says a tax reform bill will be ready by Christmas after meeting with House GOP leaders and members of the House Ways and Means committee on Thursday.
Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee are suing the Trump administration seeking records from the president’s DC hotel.
President Donald Trump called on Congress Thursday to terminate the diversity lottery program for national security purposes.
Texas Rep. Lamar Smith announced Thursday he will not seek re-election in 2018. Smith is the sixth most senior Republican in the House. This news comes the same week Rep. Jeb Hensarling, another powerful Texas rep also announced he won’t seek re-election in 2018.
This Week on ‘This Week’: The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow, Republican strategist and CNBC contributor Sara Fagen, former press secretary to Vice President Pence Marc Lotter, and Associated Press Washington bureau chief Julie Pace.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Donna Brazile just stated the DNC RIGGED the system to illegally steal the Primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by Crooked H….This is real collusion and dishonesty. Major violation of Campaign Finance Laws and Money Laundering – where is our Justice Department?” – President Donald Trump Tweeted Thursday
NEED TO READ
White House was unaware top adviser testified before grand jury. The White House first learned one of its senior staffers met with the grand jury hearing the case presented by the special counsel into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 election not from the staffer but from media reports, sources with knowledge of the investigation tell ABC News. (John Santucci and James Meek) http://abcn.ws/2z7KfR7
Trump nominates Jerome Powell for Federal Reserve chair. Powell is known as a centrist Republican who is not expected to lead any sharp change of direction for the Fed at a time when the stock market is strong and unemployment is at a 16-year low. (Jeffrey Cook) http://abcn.ws/2iYW9ql
What’s in Republicans’ tax plan and what it means for you. Republicans in the House of Representatives released an ambitious and long-awaited tax bill Thursday that seeks to simplify the tax code and reduce corporate rates, the latest step as the party works toward passing a major item on its agenda. (Mary Bruce, Benjamin Siegel and Meredith McGraw) http://abcn.ws/2xOoOAT
Manafort informed of pending indictment in August. In a memorandum on Manafort’s conditions for release, his attorney Kevin Downey writes, “Mr. Manafort has been aware of the Office of Special Investigation for many months.” (Jack Date, James Hill and Mike Levine) http://abcn.ws/2ynLcoZ
Papadopoulos documents offer new insight on DNC email hacking timeline. The court documents released relating to the arrest and subsequent guilty plea of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have shed new light on the role of Russian trolls meddling in the election. (Meghan Keneally and Justin Fishel) http://abcn.ws/2gXzztB
49 percent of Americans think Trump likely committed a crime (Poll). The poll finds substantial support for the investigation, with 58 percent approving of how special counsel Robert Mueller is handling it, and more – 68 percent – approving of the filing of federal charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and one of his associates. (Gary Langer) http://abcn.ws/2zdBzs1
North Korea crisis becoming unsolvable, experts warn, as Trump heads to Asia. All it would take is a miscalculation — an error in interpretation by a single soldier, for example — to plummet the United States, North Korea and the region into war, some analysts warned. (Connor Finnegan) http://abcn.ws/2yq86w5
House Democrats sue Trump administration for records from president’s DC hotel. The battle over records about the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. is headed to federal court, with Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee announcing a lawsuit against the Trump administration on Thursday. (Matthew Mosk and Benjamin Siegel) http://abcn.ws/2A0zbCp
Trump announces company’s return to US. The Associated Press reports that a $100 billion semiconductor company based in Singapore will legally relocate its home address to the United States, President Donald Trump announced Thursday. (Zeke Miller and Matt O’Brien) http://abcn.ws/2z7a5SR
Rick Perry suggests fossil fuels could reduce sexual assault in Africa. The social media backlash was swift and brutal after Energy Secretary Rick Perry suggested that fossil fuels would play a “positive role” in preventing sexual assault in Africa. (Erin Dooley) http://abcn.ws/2z6ZS8Z
Hillary Clinton defends funding anti-Trump dossier in late-night interview. In a late-night interview on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Clinton said there was a difference between her campaign paying for legal opposition research and Trump’s team possibly working with Russia to influence the election. (Karma Allen) http://abcn.ws/2h5rBCI
Former FBI Director James Comey’s book titled revealed: ‘A Higher Loyalty.’ “In his forthcoming book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government,” according to the book’s description on Amazon. It will be available on May 1, 2018. (Veronica Stracqualursi) http://abcn.ws/2A8FS62
Trump nominates some club members to plum government jobs. A USA TODAY review finds that Trump has installed at least five people who have been members of his clubs to senior roles in his administration, ranging from Bernstein and Callista Gingrich, the nation’s new ambassador to the Vatican, to Adolfo Marzol, a member of the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Washington, who serves as a senior adviser at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. https://usat.ly/2gZM0W9
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.