It’s a busy week on Capitol Hill and it got started in full force Monday morning as President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed door hearing.
He released a prepared statement as well, denying any collusion with Russia in order to affect the 2016 election. Kushner will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Also set to be questioned this week are former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., though their hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee will be private after the two reached a deal with Senators on Friday to keep the hearings private.
Meanwhile, President Trump is doing his own digging into the probe into potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election. His aides are looking into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, hoping to gain some leverage. In a wide-ranging interview last week with the New York Times, Trump wouldn’t go as far as to say he’d fire Mueller but has said that it’d be a ‘violation’ of the scope of the probe if Mueller dug into his business transaction records.
Following Friday's shakeup in the White House communications department that saw the resignation of now former press secretary Sean Spicer after the White House announced New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as the new communications director, we'll also look at how the new White House comms team will look to reshape the president's message and what, if anything, the media can expect to see change. Scaramucci made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows this past weekend.
We’ll also hear the latest on what’s happening this week with regards to an Affordable Care Act repeal vote and preview an announcement set for this week regarding a ban on U.S. tourism to North Korea.
Caroline Heldman, associate professor of politics at Occidental College and author of the forthcoming book, “Protest Politics in the Marketplace: Consumer Activism in the Corporate Age” (Cornell University Press, 2017); she tweets @carolineheldman