Inside Politics: Billionaire Bloomberg considering 2020 run?

Reading the 2020 tea leaves, Mike Pence's trip to Latin America, Trump's court push, and a controversial FBI agent heads to the Hill—it's all on Inside Politics.

Posted: Jun 25, 2018 10:09 AM
Updated: Jun 25, 2018 10:11 AM

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

1. Bloomberg 2020?

Michael Bloomberg is a Republican-turned-independent who now wants to be the Democrats' 2018 midterm savior. His big splash: a new pledge to spend perhaps $80 million to help Democrats win back the House.

"Democrats are ecstatic at this gift, but is the Democratic House Bloomberg's only goal here?" asks CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

"He's long wanted to be president, and some very smart people in contact with Bloomberg's inner circle say Team Bloomberg sees this 2018 effort as a way to make new friends and test a possible Bloomberg 2020 campaign."

Bloomberg isn't a Democrat. And he's 76 years old. But Sen. Bernie Sanders is also not a Democrat and is also 76 years old, and he's mulling another run too. And Donald Trump is a Democrat-turned-independent-turned Republican president.

"Yes, Bloomberg 2020 seems more than a stretch," King said. "But so did Trump in 2016."

King said a veteran political operative who's talked about this with top Bloomberg advisers put it this way: "He wants to run against Trump. The Bloomberg guys think Democrats will owe him a shot. We will see."

2. Dem hopefuls eye Maryland gubernatorial primary

Some of the most prominent Democrats with an eye on 2020 are focused this week on Maryland, where Democratic voters will pick a gubernatorial nominee to run against incumbent Republican Larry Hogan, one of the most popular governors in the country.

Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders have all been there to campaign for former NAACP chief Ben Jealous. His main competition is a centrist local leader from Prince George's County.

"Ben Jealous is kind of the progressive candidate running against Rushern Baker, who is more the establishment-type candidate," New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin said. "It does have some echoes of Sanders versus Clinton from two years ago."

Martin said Sen. Sanders in particular has a lot riding on the race. "Sanders has not had a great record in a lot of these primaries so far, and could use a "W" from his wing of the party."

3. Pence heads to South America

Vice President Mike Pence travels to Central and South America this week -- including a stop in Guatemala, where he'll no doubt face questions about the administration's border policy.

"Immigration and the way President Trump has treated the immigration issue, the implications of the family separations, particularly for a place like Guatemala, are front and center on many peoples' minds," Bloomberg's Margaret Talev said. "It will be very interesting to see how the vice president tries to do clean-up on what President Trump's separation policy has done."

4. Trump hopes courts will help his agenda

The Republican legislative agenda may be stuck in Congress, but the administration is hoping the courts can help with some of President Trump's biggest priorities.

"In the courts he actually can make quite a bit of progress, and the administration in recent weeks has been trying to do that not just on immigration, but also on the Affordable Care Act," said Julie Hirschfeld Davis of the New York Times. On the ACA, the administration's recent decision not to defend its constitutionality "could have big implications for health care law, even if Congress doesn't do what President Trump has repeatedly asked them to do."

One factor weighing in the administration's favor: the record number of Trump-picked judges who have been confirmed to the judiciary. "This has been a big talking point for President Trump on the campaign trail, that he's really remade the judiciary," Davis said. "And now we're beginning to see the ways in which he is trying to take advantage of those changes."

5. Controversial FBI agent heads to the Hill

Trump allies in Congress who have been trying to undercut the Mueller investigation have a big week ahead: FBI agent Peter Strzok is scheduled to testify before a House panel investigating the FBI's probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.

Strzok is one of the FBI agents whose anti-Trump text messages have raised questions about bias at the bureau. He volunteered to testify, but that didn't stop House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte from subpoenaing him anyway.

"Goodlatte wanted to issue that subpoena to really send a message to Strzok and to send a message that they want to go after this issue relatively hard," said CNN's Manu Raju.

Republicans also are discussing holding top Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress for not turning over documents they've requested about the Clinton investigation.

"The threat of contempt or impeachment of Rod Rosenstein still looms large," Raju said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113337

Reported Deaths: 3530
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20936761
Lake10334319
Elkhart6438109
St. Joseph6226103
Allen6060200
Hamilton4761109
Vanderburgh349430
Hendricks2681122
Monroe251236
Tippecanoe231213
Johnson2279123
Clark215756
Porter209046
Cass19339
Delaware189561
Vigo178524
Madison161075
LaPorte138239
Floyd132161
Howard129063
Warrick122336
Kosciusko120617
Bartholomew115357
Marshall99424
Dubois95918
Boone95646
Hancock91443
Grant89733
Noble89432
Henry78125
Wayne74714
Jackson7429
Morgan70638
Shelby66629
Daviess65428
Dearborn63928
LaGrange63211
Clinton59513
Harrison56424
Putnam53810
Lawrence50628
Montgomery50521
Knox5039
Gibson4894
White48214
DeKalb46311
Decatur45739
Miami4303
Greene41935
Fayette41813
Jasper3862
Steuben3747
Scott35910
Sullivan33112
Jennings31212
Posey3090
Franklin30325
Clay2985
Orange28624
Ripley2828
Carroll27113
Wabash2628
Washington2611
Whitley2556
Starke2537
Adams2523
Wells2503
Jefferson2443
Fulton2352
Huntington2223
Spencer2223
Tipton22022
Perry21513
Randolph2097
Jay1750
Newton17211
Owen1671
Martin1640
Rush1534
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1202
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Brown1033
Crawford1030
Parke961
Benton880
Ohio777
Union770
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 146753

Reported Deaths: 4687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26393606
Cuyahoga17262654
Hamilton12913312
Montgomery7623157
Lucas7205361
Butler5771106
Summit5202250
Marion307547
Mahoning3014280
Warren297848
Stark2790170
Pickaway264144
Lorain229386
Delaware218820
Fairfield205852
Columbiana192380
Licking188362
Trumbull1861131
Clark176439
Wood175272
Clermont166521
Lake159650
Medina144239
Greene139732
Miami139451
Allen139369
Portage111066
Mercer108517
Erie92645
Tuscarawas92020
Wayne91367
Ross86523
Richland81519
Madison79212
Darke78041
Belmont71427
Geauga70948
Hancock67610
Ashtabula65348
Athens6362
Lawrence62722
Shelby59710
Auglaize5769
Putnam56823
Sandusky55820
Huron5387
Union5092
Scioto4826
Ottawa46630
Seneca46414
Preble42515
Muskingum3862
Holmes3787
Jefferson3334
Henry30713
Logan3053
Champaign3003
Perry2929
Defiance28610
Clinton28413
Brown2832
Knox28215
Morrow2552
Washington25523
Hardin25213
Jackson2414
Fulton2391
Coshocton23211
Ashland2314
Crawford2286
Fayette2276
Highland2223
Williams2053
Wyandot20512
Gallia18812
Meigs17410
Pike1740
Hocking1619
Guernsey1608
Carroll1517
Adams1264
Van Wert1143
Monroe11018
Paulding1060
Harrison622
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
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