Can GOP rely on Trump for 2018?

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On the roster: Can GOP rely on Trump for 2018? - I’ll Tell You What: Special guest! - Trump calls for rewrite of tax code - Democrats begin legal attacks on Trump for dreamers - Better out than in

Politico: “Does President Donald Trump want to wallop or woo Democrats? No one seems to really know, and the answer could be key to his legislative agenda — and the 2018 midterm elections. Trump’s aides have teamed up with the National Republican Senatorial Committee to target vulnerable Democrats and plan presidential travel to help the GOP maintain its congressional majorities during the elections that are 14 months away. White House officials, particularly political director Bill Stepien and legislative affairs head Marc Short, have had regular conversations with aides at the NRSC, according to people familiar with the talks. Internally, Trump officials have discussed the president taking trips to 10 states to push tax reform and attack Democrats in states where Trump enjoys wide support. Before he left the White House, former chief strategist Steve Bannon had also plotted with other White House officials about ‘tough votes’ for Democrats — and how to make them happen, a Bannon ally said.”

Dem deal-making could hold implications for wall funding - Forbes: “So for the second time in less than five months, Trump twice blinked over funding for the wall. There are two key and immediate implications. The first is that the wall is less likely to ever be funded. No matter how much Trump rants about it and bellows in the future, congressional leaders are almost certain to consider the wall to be much less important to the president than he’s saying. The wall is now more likely to be thrown in as a sweetener to get Trump to agree to something than considered a must-have element of any agreement. The second is that congressional leaders are now more likely to be take all of Trump’s other wants with at least a grain (if not a whole shaker) of salt. Everything will be assumed to be totally negotiable.”

Despite party tension, Senate OKs debt-ceiling suspension with Harvey aid - Fox News: “The Senate on Thursday approved a short-term suspension of the debt ceiling as part of a combined spending bill that also provides Hurricane Harvey relief funds, sending the package to the House where conservatives are threatening to oppose the package. The measure cleared the Senate on an 80-17 vote; all those opposed were Republicans. The package would fund the government and extend U.S. borrowing authority through Dec. 8, as well as provide an initial $15 billion in storm recovery money. This would avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, while teeing up a new battle over spending and the national debt in December. … Fox News is told the deal with Democrats blindsided GOP leadership.”

House Republican group stands strong in opposition - Axios: “The leadership of the Republican Study Committee is coming out against President Trump’s debt ceiling deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, RSC Chair Mark Walker outlines 19 ideas for spending cuts that would help secure more Republican votes on a debt limit hike. … This is a strong message from the leadership of the largest caucus of House Republicans — and the conservative weight of the conference — that a debt ceiling deal which doesn’t chart a course for changing the country’s debt trajectory, is unacceptable. It’s the strongest collective message we’ve seen from Republicans on Trump’s deal. The Trump-Schumer-Pelosi deal is likely to pass with more votes from Democrats than Republicans.”

Freedom Caucus leaders vent to Ryan - WaPo: “Leaders of the Freedom Caucus met with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday to candidly express their frustrations… The exchange comes as former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon is having conversations with hard-line GOP lawmakers… Ryan heard out three members of the influential conservative group: Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the people said. Meadows is the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, which counts about three dozen members, and he has been a friend and ally of Bannon for years.”

“Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle, which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of power with Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York…” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 22

New Yorker: “In 1948… the Cleveland Indians resorted to some shady maneuvers, what the team’s owner, Bill Veeck, later cheekily described in his memoir as ‘gamesmanship—the art of winning without really cheating.’ … Veeck was unapologetic about this scheme, saying that ‘sign-stealing, even when it is done from the scoreboard, is part of the real byplay of baseball, part of the battle of wits.’ The Indians went on to win the World Series that season. … Veeck was a full-throated advocate for the stealing of signs, but he was careful to note that the practice wasn’t without its dangers. ‘If the sign-stealing is effective, the opposition is going to suspect what is happening,’ he wrote in his memoir. … In Veeck’s time, a team’s recourse when they suspected an opponent of stealing signals was to use new ones on the fly. … Batters expecting a curve ball would get blitzed by a heater. Problem solved.”

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Trump net job-approval rating: -19.4 points
Change from one week ago: down 1 point

[President Trump’s score is determined by subtracting his average job disapproval rating in the five most recent, methodologically sound public polls from his average approval rating, calculated in the same fashion.]

This week while Chris Stirewalt is away Dana Perino welcomes her husband Peter as a guest host! They discuss the first time they met, the health care system, Peter’s path to United States citizenship and of course America’s Dog... Jasper! Plus, Peter answers questions from the mailbag and tries his hand at trivia. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE

NYT: “President Trump on Wednesday used the backdrop of an oil refinery here to repeat his call for an overhaul of the nation’s tax code, including a steep cut in the business tax rate. Speaking to a small but friendly crowd in a state that he won by 36 points in November, Mr. Trump urged North Dakotans to pressure members of Congress to support a plan that he promised to detail within weeks. ‘My administration is working with Congress to develop a plan,’ Mr. Trump said, promising a one-page tax form, a ‘major, major’ middle-class tax cut and a top rate for businesses that he hopes will be as low as 15 percent, down from 35 percent. The president said the current rates on businesses were the highest in the developed world and were putting American companies at a significant disadvantage as they tried to compete with businesses in other countries.”

But Ryan won’t commit to releasing tax plan this month -
Politico: “House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the timeline to pass an overhaul of the tax code remains the end of the year, despite an increasingly crowded legislative calendar for Congress. But Ryan, who is among a group of congressional leaders negotiating a plan with the White House, declined to commit to releasing a plan this month, saying instead that, ‘I’ll leave it up to the tax writers as to when they’ll release their template.’ In a wide-ranging discussion hosted by The New York Times, Ryan also said that President Donald Trump’s goal of a 15 percent corporate rate may not be achievable. He said the overarching aim is to get the corporate rate at or below the average of industrialized countries, which is 22.5 percent.”

 NYT: “President Trump’s immigration policies faced a renewed legal onslaught on Wednesday, as a coalition of Democratic attorneys general, nonprofit groups and private companies announced they would oppose his rollback of Obama-era protections for people who entered the country illegally as children. In an echo of the campaign against Mr. Trump’s effort this year to ban travelers from parts of the Muslim world, a group of 16 attorneys general — all Democrats — filed suit in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, claiming that Mr. Trump had improperly upended the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. Led by Attorneys General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York, Maura Healey of Massachusetts and Bob Ferguson of Washington, they alleged Mr. Trump’s shift was driven by racial animus toward Mexican Americans and that the Trump administration failed to follow federal rules governing executive policy making.”

DACA suits could cause issues for Trump travel-ban - Politico: “The new round of lawsuits challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, could have an unintended consequence: making it tougher for challengers of the president’s travel-ban policy to win at the Supreme Court. One of the leading criticisms of the cases against the travel ban has been that they rely too heavily on Trump’s campaign-trail statements about Muslims, and that accepting such arguments would unleash a flurry of litigation challenging every policy affecting someone an elected official might have disparaged as a candidate. Travel-ban opponents have dismissed that as a far-fetched parade of horribles, but new litigation over Trump’s phase-out of DACA could bolster fears about a never-ending string of suits charging improper motivations for official acts.”

Nather: ‘The partisan chasm on immigration’ - Axios: “So President Trump wants Congress to solve the ‘Dreamers’ issue in six months? Here’s a reality check on why any immigration legislation falls apart once Congress gets ahold of it. This poll, from Quinnipiac University last month, shows that Republicans and Democrats aren’t just divided on what to do about undocumented immigrants. They live in different universes, with independents somewhere in the middle of the huge chasm. … The issue before Congress — what to do about undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children — is just a subset of the broader immigration debate. But these kind of numbers show why immigration legislation has always been a graveyard in Congress, and why the odds have been against a deal to give legal protections to the Dreamers.”

The Judge’s Ruling: Law is law
Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano examines how DACA can be argued constitutional on moral, legal and economic grounds: “But Obama’s executive orders were not novel; they merely formalized what every president since Ronald Reagan -- including President Donald Trump -- has effectively done. Each has declined to deport undocumented immigrants who bore children here or who were brought here as young children.” More here.

NYT:Donald Trump Jr. told Senate investigators on Thursday that he set up a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer because he was intrigued that she might have damaging information about Hillary Clinton, saying it was important to learn about Mrs. Clinton’s ‘fitness’ to be president. But nothing came of the Trump Tower meeting, he said, and he was adamant that he never colluded with the Russian government’s campaign to disrupt last year’s presidential election. In a prepared statement during an interview with Senate Judiciary Committee investigators, the younger Mr. Trump said he was initially conflicted when he heard that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, might have damaging information about Mrs. Clinton. Despite his interest, he said, he always intended to consult with his own lawyers about the propriety of using any information that Ms. Veselnitskaya, who has ties to the Kremlin, gave him at the meeting.”

Graham wants Comey to testify, again - Fox News: “Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News on Thursday that he wants to bring back James Comey to testify on Capitol Hill, citing concerns about his statements on the conclusion of the Hillary Clinton email case. ‘This doesn’t add up, and I smell a rat here,’ Graham, R-S.C., said in an interview with Fox News’ Catherine Herridge. … Graham said Thursday he doesn’t think Comey perjured himself, but suggested the interview transcripts raise questions that must be resolved. … Graham said there are two issues he wants to discuss. The first is whether Comey had ‘predetermined the result’ of the email probe before the Clinton interview, ‘contrary’ to his testimony. The second concerns Comey’s claim that he jumped into the fray because of the tarmac meeting.”


Trump unveils seventh wave of nominees to fill judicial vacancies - The Hill

Trump Unlikely to Nominate Gary Cohn as Fed Chairman

Ryan, Boehner to hold fundraiser tailgate before Green Bay Packers game - WashEx

Democrats cringe over Hillary’s book on the campaign that will never end - Politico

“If we get to December and we’ve not repealed Obamacare, don’t build the wall… it’s not going to be pretty.” – Rep. Mark Meadows R-N.C., regarding the ​Freedom Caucus’ plan to push the White House into action.

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[Ed. note: Chris Stirewalt is away. He and FROM THE BLEACHERS will return on Sep. 11.]

BBC: “A woman who threw her poo out of her date’s toilet window because it ‘would not flush’ had to be rescued after she got stuck trying to retrieve it. The amateur gymnast was on a first date with Bristol student Liam Smith when she ‘panicked’ and threw the feces out of the window. It did not land in the garden, but became wedged between two non-opening windows. After climbing in head first after it, she became wedged. Mr. Smith had to call the fire service for help. … Although the woman was rescued unharmed, Mr. Smith said his bathroom window was destroyed. ‘I’m not complaining, [the fire service] did what they had to do,’ he said. … Unsurprisingly, the woman does not want to be named but Mr. Smith said he had seen her since and ‘who knows what the future holds’. … ‘And we’ve already got the most difficult stuff out of the way first.’”

Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.