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Inside Politics: Rosenstein faces bipartisan scrutiny

Rosenstein's resolve, new ethical questions for Team Trump, why Congress' August recess will probably be canceled and more --in the Inside Politics forecast.

Posted: May 29, 2018 6:21 AM
Updated: May 29, 2018 6:21 AM

Here are the stories our DC insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1. Rod Rosenstein's resolve

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is accustomed to the piñata treatment from President Donald Trump and his allies.

But now, he is taking some hits from Democrats, as well, after months of praise from the left for his steadfast support of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The Democrats' beef: they see the willingness of the Justice Department and FBI to share some classified information about Russia meddling investigative tactics as bowing to pressure from Trump.

Rosenstein makes light of his predicament, at times, during public appearances. But the Justice Department lifer is not a spotlight seeker and is said to not enjoy being in the middle of a political storm.

"Clearly under stress but remarkably calm," is how one longtime Rosenstein associate described his mood. The deputy AG is not one to talk shop during his rare time away from the office, but the associate told CNN: "Rod is rooted in two things -- the process and the law. And he says he is OK."

2. Why GOP might not hate working through August

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a warning for reporters on Capitol Hill: Don't buy any non-refundable plane tickets for the month of August.

Congress is scheduled to go home then, but sources told CNN's Phil Mattingly that the always-debated but never-implemented talk of nixing the August break is very real this year.

"Spoiler alert: this will happen this time around," Mattingly said of canceling the August recess.

Why, according to Mattingly, is an interesting blend of motives.

Mattingly said McConnell wants to keep Trump happy, and acceding to Trump's demand to do away with some of the recess is an easy way to preserve the current state of the relationship.

One Republican lawmaker described the prevailing dynamic this way to CNN: "There is peace in our time between the Senate Republicans, and the President."

Another reason, Mattingly said, is the extra work weeks would allow lawmakers to get a head start on avoiding what would be a "pure nightmare" -- a government shutdown weeks before the midterm elections.

Mattingly said the extra few weeks could help the GOP sort out its spending priorities, and help clear a path to avoid a shutdown.

3. Opioid crisis obstacle

Last week, Sen. Joe Manchin scolded his Senate colleagues for being "afraid" to take on a big lobby over a pressing problem crippling millions of American families: combating the opioid epidemic.

Lobbyists for the American Medical Association, according to the Daily Beast's Jackie Kucinich, have successfully shut down efforts to implement CDC guidelines on prescribing painkillers.

The CDC measures, issued in March 2016, would limit doctors to signing off on only three-day supplies of the powerful drugs.

The AMA says that's too restrictive, and that prescriptions should stay between doctors and patients.

Kucinich said that lawmakers once eager to curb opioid abuse, including codifying the CDC guidelines into law, have been moved off those demands by AMA lobbyists.

"This just highlights how difficult and complicated it is to really solve this problem in America," Kucinich said.

4. Dallas fundraiser's China connection

Who's invited to Trump's upcoming Dallas fundraiser is generating some controversy and some uncomfortable legal questions for the Republican National Committee.

Reports from Bloomberg News and the Washington Post say a letter, bearing the seal of a Republican committee, solicited wealthy Chinese investors to attend the scheduled Thursday fundraiser.

The offer, according to the reports? That would be $100,000 in exchange for a handshake and a one-on-one photo with Trump.

Raising campaign money from foreign nationals is illegal.

Bloomberg's Toluse Olorunnipa said the stories again raise ethical concerns about where the President draws the line on money, politics and policy.

The RNC denied they were aware of the letters that went out to Chinese investors, but Olorunnipa said the timing of the story, against the backdrop of ongoing negotiations with Chinese techology company ZTE, could cause a political headache for the White House.

5. Abbas' Medical Condition

The President's promise to strike a peace deal in the Middle East could soon meet another roadblock.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, was hospitalized three times this month. Anne Gearan of the Washington Post noted that Abbas, now 82-years-old, is a heavy smoker, and his failing health has sparked questions of what happens if he dies or steps aside.

According to Gearan, there's no real succession plan for Abbas, and no guarantee that his replacement will commit to a two-state solution.

"If he is not in the picture, whoever succeeds him might not be committed to those same things," Gearan said.

The net result, Gearan said, could be the US loses leverage for a peace deal that's already struggling to take shape.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48626

Reported Deaths: 2717
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11723689
Lake5212244
Elkhart332051
Allen2815132
St. Joseph198168
Cass16399
Hamilton1596101
Hendricks1414100
Johnson1288117
Porter73637
Tippecanoe7279
Madison66364
Clark66044
Bartholomew58944
Howard58057
LaPorte57926
Vanderburgh5706
Kosciusko5564
Marshall4926
Noble48428
Jackson4723
LaGrange4719
Delaware45050
Boone44943
Hancock44935
Shelby43025
Floyd38244
Morgan32931
Monroe30128
Montgomery29720
Grant29526
Clinton2892
Dubois2836
Henry28016
White26510
Decatur25532
Lawrence24625
Vigo2368
Dearborn23323
Warrick22129
Harrison21622
Greene19032
Miami1842
Jennings17612
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess14717
Wayne1426
Orange13523
Perry1359
Steuben1302
Franklin1268
Ripley1227
Jasper1212
Wabash1132
Carroll1102
Fayette1017
Newton9910
Whitley965
Starke933
Gibson872
Randolph804
Huntington782
Wells751
Jefferson722
Fulton711
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey440
Spencer411
Blackford392
Brown391
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton311
Switzerland270
Martin230
Parke230
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 58904

Reported Deaths: 2970
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10587431
Cuyahoga8048379
Hamilton6158204
Lucas2788303
Marion273439
Pickaway220141
Summit2175207
Montgomery213431
Mahoning1849238
Butler163747
Columbiana130660
Stark1133113
Lorain105167
Trumbull97473
Warren88124
Clark7729
Delaware58815
Fairfield58516
Tuscarawas56810
Belmont55422
Medina53632
Lake50819
Licking49612
Miami47231
Portage44959
Ashtabula43644
Wood43651
Clermont4226
Geauga40843
Wayne36352
Richland3475
Allen32341
Mercer2879
Greene2769
Darke25326
Erie24622
Holmes2393
Huron2232
Madison1999
Ottawa15024
Sandusky13714
Crawford1365
Washington13520
Ross1303
Putnam12915
Coshocton1272
Hardin12312
Morrow1171
Auglaize1074
Jefferson912
Monroe8917
Union891
Muskingum861
Hancock791
Hocking788
Preble781
Guernsey743
Lawrence720
Williams722
Shelby694
Clinton680
Logan641
Athens631
Fulton620
Ashland601
Carroll593
Wyandot595
Brown581
Knox521
Defiance513
Fayette460
Highland451
Scioto450
Champaign411
Van Wert380
Perry351
Seneca342
Henry300
Paulding260
Adams241
Jackson240
Pike240
Vinton222
Gallia181
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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