I spoke to CNBC’s John Harwood about the impact of Senator John McCain’s diagnosis on the health care debate and the broader dynamic between Congress and the administration. Harwood draws a parallel to Ted Kennedy’s illness in 2009 that served as a rallying point for Senate Democrats in their winding path to passing the ACA. He further wonders whether McCain’s maverick ethos might rub off in the form of emboldening fellow Republicans to buck the administration. I expressed my doubts.
For the moment, Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has more influence than anyone over how GOP lawmakers handle Trump. Until the ex-FBI director completes his investigation and announces conclusions, Mueller offers them a political shield.
“As long as the policy agenda lives, [Congress] will defer Russia stuff to Mueller and not offer much beyond furrowed brows and frustrated sound bites about unfortunate distractions,” said GOP strategist Liam Donovan.
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The 1:20 version of this argument: