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POLITICO Playbook's must-listen briefing on what's driving the day in Washington. Hosted by Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer.

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    • Jul 1, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from POLITICO Playbook Audio Briefing

    July 1, 2022: Why Dems are struggling with Biden

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 4:45

    If you want to get a full sense of why so many Democrats seem to be frustrated with President Joe Biden at the moment, here's one piece you need to read: “Is Biden a Man Out of Time?” by The Atlantic's Ronald Brownstein. Whether the specific issue is abortion rights, court reform, voting rights, the filibuster, or the DOJ's investigation into Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election, “[m]any Democrats share a sense that … Biden and his team have been following, not leading. And that tendency points to an enduring question about Biden, who was first elected to the Senate in 1972 and was shaped by a clubbier, more cooperative Washington. Can he be the inspirational leader his party needs to counter the aggressive moves by Republicans in Congress and in the states, together with their appointees on the Supreme Court, to reverse long-held civil rights and even threaten democracy itself?”  Listen to  POLITICO Playbook Deep Dive:  Why haven't there been more Cassidy Hutchinsons? Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 30, 2022: Why the Reagan Library won't invite Trump to speak

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 5:46

    Some new 2024 twists for both parties:  First the Dems… VP Kamala Harris did something unusual on Wednesday afternoon: Before taking off from D.C. to California, where she will headline three fundraisers today, she went to the back of the plane to talk to the press. White House aides told the pool reporter on board that Harris wanted to clarify some comments she made to CNN's Dana Bash on Monday. "Joe Biden is running for reelection, and I will be his ticket mate," Harris told Bash. "Full stop." Not quite.  The Republicans… Meanwhile, the 2024 conversation on the Republican side is being fueled by three recent Trump developments... - His spotty record in GOP primaries this year. - The rise of Florida Gov. RON DESANTIS. - The devastating details about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election unearthed by the Jan. 6 committee. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 29, 2022: Jan. 6 panel may have found its 'smoking gun'

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 4:30

    It's hard to imagine how Tuesday's surprise hearing of the House Jan. 6 committee could've been more damning for President Donald Trump. With vivid stories told in measured tones, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to the president and aide to chief of staff Mark Meadows, “stitched together every element of the panel's case against Donald Trump,” our Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu write. “The Capitol riot committee has painted the former president's potential criminal culpability for his effort to overturn the election in stark hues: investigators have portrayed Trump fuming atop an increasingly conspiracy-addled West Wing and working to corrupt the peaceful transfer of power at any cost.” Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 28, 2022: What the Jan. 6 committee's star witness knows

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2022 6:04

    On Monday afternoon, the House Jan. 6 committee, which was supposed to be on a hiatus for the next two weeks, abruptly announced it would be holding a hearing today at 1 p.m. “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.”  The star witness is expected to be Cassidy Hutchinson, a former executive assistant to ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows who has testified three times behind closed doors, in February, March and May. Hutchinson knows a lot. Before, on, and after Jan. 6, she had close proximity to both Meadows and then-President Donald Trump. “Almost all, if not all, meetings Mr. Trump had, I had insight on,” she told the committee in March. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 27, 2022: White House faces pressure on abortion rights

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 5:24

    The Biden White House's plan for this week, as of one week ago: Spend the end of June focusing on foreign policy, making use of a pair of European summits (the G-7 and NATO) to rally support for the hard-fought international coalition that formed in opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Biden White House's plan for this week, as of now: Scrap that. Yes, the summits will go on but the big story will be the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade — which eliminated the right to an abortion, and may have dramatically changed American politics in doing so. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 24, 2022: Senate clears gun bill

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 5:06

    On Thursday night, the Senate passed a bipartisan gun safety bill in a 65-33 vote that saw 15 Republicans join all 50 Democrats to support the bill. — How it happened: “In a Washington run by Baby Boomers and octogenarians, it took two 40-something Democrats with a yin-and-yang approach to get a gun safety deal done,” Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine write in a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the compromise. Listen to Playbook Deep Dive: New Jan. 6 witness: Trump had mystery call with Putin Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 23, 2022: The Trump plot to subvert the DOJ

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 4:56

    Recall that in the first hearing of the Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said, “Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power.” Each day of hearings has been devoted to covering one or two of the seven dramatic episodes of that overall plot: (1) Trump's misinformation campaign, (2) his effort to find a pliable A.G., (3) his pressure campaign on then-VP Mike Pence, (4) his pressure campaign on state officials, (5) his legal team's effort to create fake slates of electors, (6) his assembling and directing the Jan. 6 mob, and (7) his refusal to call off the violent mob as it sacked the Capitol. Today is devoted to Part 2, a deep dive into how Trump pressured Department of Justice officials to advance what committee members have repeatedly called an attempted coup. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 22, 2022: GOP wonders if Trump's endorsement still matters

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 5:57

    Since we scooped on Tuesday morning that documentarian Alex Holder was subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 committee seeking previously unreported footage he recorded over several months of full access to Donald Trump, his adult kids and VP Mike Pence, more details have emerged about what's on the tapes.  And, Trump loses bigly in Georgia: “Georgia Republican voters rebuked Donald Trump for the second time in a month Tuesday by rejecting his picks for a pair of open U.S. House seats,” writes AJC's Greg Bluestein. Gordon Rhoden, chair of Georgia's Athens-Clarke County GOP: “At this point in time, the Trump endorsement is neutral. It's not a plus and it's not a negative. … People are moving beyond that.”

    June 21, 2022: SCOOP: Jan. 6 panel subpoenas unseen Trump tapes

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 5:27

    Scoop: The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 sent a subpoena last week to Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who was granted extensive access to President Donald Trump and his inner circle, and who shot interviews with the then-president both before and after Jan. 6. The existence of this footage is previously unreported. A source familiar with the project told Playbook on Monday night that Holder began filming on the campaign trail in September 2020 for a project on Trump's reelection campaign. Over the course of several months, Holder had substantial access to Trump, Trump's adult children and VP Mike Pence, both in the White House and on the campaign trail. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 17, 2022: Can Biden's domestic agenda be revived?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 6:29

    President Joe Biden spoke to the AP's Josh Boak in the Oval Office Thursday afternoon for 30 minutes. There was plenty of old-school Biden filibustering that ate up Boak's time. He talked about his desire “to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.” He used the word “literally” at a rate of once every 10 minutes, and peppered his answers with assurances that he was “not being a wise guy,” that what he was saying was “not a joke,” and introduced one point with the words “here's the deal.” But there were also some intriguing moments … Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 16, 2022: What Luttig will tell the Jan. 6 committee

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 6:33

    Today's Jan. 6 committee hearing is going to be one for the history books, so tune in at 1 p.m. On Wednesday night, we caught up with today's star witness, Michael Luttig. “America is at war with herself,” he will say. “One war is for the cultural heart and soul of America. The other is a war over America's democracy.” He will say that “both of these wars must end in peace if America is to go forward.” Today, Luttig is appearing as a fact witness because of his role in the leadup to Jan. 6, when Luttig told then-VP Mike Pence to ignore the advice of John Eastman, a former Luttig clerk who hatched the scheme to persuade Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 election by rejecting electoral votes from states former President Donald Trump lost.  Luttig first told the full story of his role on that day in our “Playbook Deep Dive” podcast in February. But what he is planning to talk about today goes beyond his views of the Electoral Count Act and his gripping account of his role on Jan. 6. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 15, 2022: Top takeaways from last night's big primaries

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 4:40

    Here's everything you need to know about Tuesday's elections, which included primaries in four states (Maine, Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina) and a special election in Texas. — Republicans can survive crossing Trump, but rarely can they survive being anti-Trump — Republicans continue to make major inroads with Hispanics, especially in border areas of Texas … — 2020 election deniers are winning everywhere … Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 14, 2022: What Trump is watching in today's South Carolina primary

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 6:36

    It's a Tuesday in 2022, which means it's time for yet another stop in Donald Trump's post-presidency revenge tour against incumbent Republicans he thinks have wronged him.  Today will see two high-profile GOP primaries in South Carolina, where Reps. Tom Rice and Nancy Mace face Trump-backed opponents.  Though there are similarities between the two — Rice was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection, while Mace, a freshman then on her third day in Congress, went on TV to slam Trump for lying about the 2020 election — today will be a case study in the divergent tactics the two have taken in responding to Trump's attacks, as NYT's Maya King noted Monday Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 13, 2022: Trump's election lies take center stage on Capitol Hill

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 5:39

    Just before 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2020, then-President Donald Trump went before a group of supporters at the White House and prematurely declared victory over Joe Biden in an election he ultimately lost. Today at 10 a.m., that moment — and the avalanche of lies about the election that followed — will be front and center as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack (1) highlights the origins of the “Big Lie” about the 2020 election, (2) shows how it spread and (3) attempts to prove that in the weeks and months following Election Day, even as Trump continued to falsely claim that he'd actually won, he privately knew he'd lost — and that his public insistence otherwise led to the insurrection. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 10, 2022: It's about Donald Trump, stupid

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 4:38

    The Jan. 6 investigation can sometimes seem sprawling and complicated. The story of that day is filled with weird groups, conspiracy-minded lawyers, and fringe characters. Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. John Eastman and Sidney Powell. The “QAnon Shaman” and “caveman rioter.” The big message from the first public hearing of the Jan. 6 committee was that it's a lot simpler than all of that. It's really about one person: Donald Trump. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 9, 2022: What to expect from the first Jan. 6 hearing

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 6:54

    At 8 p.m., the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack plans to start unveiling the most complete and visceral dissection to date of the mob of Donald Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the results of a democratic election. Drawing on months of interviews and thousands of documents, the committee has thus far kept most of its findings close to its vest — so we expect a lot of new information and some of the most terrifying video from that day that hasn't been shown to the public yet. As one committee aide told reporters in a background call on Wednesday, they see their job as showing “that the violence of Jan. 6 was the result of a coordinated, multistep effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.” Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 8, 2022: A bad night for California progressives and Donald Trump

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 5:51

    Seven states held elections on Tuesday. We stayed up overnight as the returns from California continued to roll in, and we have the key takeaways for you: — Five of the 35 House Republicans who voted to establish a Jan. 6 Commission faced primaries on Tuesday. Trump vowed to exact revenge on all of them. How'd they fare? — A bad night for progressives in two big California cities facing upticks in crime… — Political dynasties are alive and well in New Jersey… Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 7, 2022: California braces for possible political earthquake

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 5:10

    Today, seven states hold primaries: Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and California. What should you be watching for? The day's biggest news will likely come from the Golden State, where voters are poised to make major statements about the directions of their respective parties. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 6, 2022:

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 4:17

    The Senate is back today, with all eyes on whether 10 Republican votes materialize for a gun legislation deal. … On Tuesday, it's primary day in California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. … On Wednesday, President Joe Biden heads to L.A. to host the Summit of the Americas. … On Thursday, the House Jan. 6 committee holds a hearing on its investigation of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. … On Friday, the next big Consumer Price Index report is released. And Jonathan Lemire goes deep inside the Biden White House to bring back this juicy report detailing frustrations at the top and sinking morale throughout the building. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 3, 2022: Where Biden, Pelosi and Cornyn might agree

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 6:20

    Three key leaders who are committed to firearms legislation in the wake of a string of horrific massacres spoke Thursday about what they want in a bill.  In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi blessed the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” which passed out of the Judiciary Committee after a raucous markup that included one Republican member, Greg Steube (Fla.), appearing via Zoom while brandishing his Sig Sauer handgun to make a point about high-capacity magazine bans. In the Senate, John Cornyn (Texas), the lead GOP senator tasked by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to strike a bipartisan deal on gun legislation, spoke to our Marianne LeVine about the state of the talks. At the White House at the end of the day, Biden made a rare primetime address to talk about the recent massacres and urge Congress to act. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 2, 2022: Scoop – Biden gets squeezed on potential MBS meeting

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 7:16

    The Washington Post's David Ignatius reported this week that President Joe Biden will sit down with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during a trip to the region later in June.  The White House's thinking here is pretty straightforward. The president has a gargantuan domestic political liability — high gas prices — that Saudi Arabia is in a position to help with. Combine that with the international political realities — MBS is young and will likely lead the kingdom for decades, the West needs new sources of oil given Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and Saudi Arabia's role as a regional power — and you have the makings of a rapprochement. In a letter obtained exclusively by Playbook and being sent to Biden today, 9/11 Families United is demanding Biden bring up “accountability for 9/11 in any conversations” he has with MBS. If Biden doesn't, the family members write, “it would signal to the world that you are willing to indulge years more of Saudi obfuscation and obstruction, and that America prioritizes the interests of foreign powers and economics more than the lives of its citizenry.” Read the letter Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    June 1, 2022: Secret recordings reveal GOP ‘precinct strategy'

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 6:05

    Heidi Przybyla has an enormously important and carefully reported article for POLITICO that just went live: “‘It's going to be an army': Tapes reveal GOP plan to contest elections” Przybyla obtained video recordings of GOP operatives assembling a disturbing multipronged network of party loyalists that could cause chaos on Election Day. She documents evidence of four different networks being created: 1. Poll workers steeped in 2020 election fraud conspiracy theories who are being trained to contest votes, especially in Democrat-heavy areas. 2. GOP lawyers who the poll workers can quickly connect with to document alleged voter fraud. 3. “Party-friendly district attorneys who could intervene to block vote counts at certain precincts.” 4. “Installing party loyalists on the Board of Canvassers, which is responsible for certifying the election, also appears to be part of the GOP strategy.” Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.  

    May 31, 2022: Inside Biden's June pivot to the economy

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 5:58

    The Biden White House is rolling out a new monthlong economic campaign today to try to “communicate on our accomplishments to date on the economy,” according to a White House official. President Joe Biden's kicked off the effort with a WSJ op-ed that posted Monday evening, in which he boasted that his “administration's economic and vaccination plans helped achieve the most robust recovery in modern history.” But Biden's desire to turn June into an inflection point for his trajectory has some serious challenges. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 27, 2022: Is this Manchinema's moment?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 4:05

    They're the Senate GOP's two favorite Democrats: West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema. They worked with Republicans to craft a massive bipartisan infrastructure deal and to save the filibuster — and now, “​​Republicans acknowledge that because Manchin and Sinema preserved the filibuster, they need to at least listen to Democrats who are desperate for an agreement to reduce gun violence,” Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine report. — Manchin, asked if he can get 10 GOP votes, per the Hill pool: “​​I don't know why you wouldn't have 70 or 80, my goodness. … This is about basically protecting children. If they can't rise to that, they ought to deep, deep dig inside and find out why in the heck we're here.” Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 26, 2022: New poll shows huge support for gun restrictions

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 4:14

    Speaking from the White House, President Joe Biden reflected on the shooting and called for new gun restrictions without identifying any specific proposals. “While they clearly will not prevent every tragedy, we know certain ones will have significant impact and have no negative impact on the Second Amendment,” Biden said. “The Second Amendment is not absolute.” More from CBS So what, realistically, will Washington do? And we have a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted entirely after the shooting in Uvalde, offering a snapshot of the mood of American voters at this moment in time, and where they stand on a variety of gun reform proposals (Toplines … Crosstabs). Here's a rundown of what we found... Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 25, 2022: Terror in Texas reignites gun control debate

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 7:19

    Tuesday night's primaries brought some major news:  Former President Donald Trump suffered embarrassing defeats in Georgia (A must-read from Alex Isenstadt: “‘We're going to go f---ing scorched-earth': How Brian Kemp crushed Trump in Georgia”) … Rep. Mo Brooks mounted a successful comeback and is now headed to the Alabama Senate runoff despite losing Trump's endorsement … And Rep. Henry Cuellar's narrow lead over Jessica Cisneros means she could request a recount in the Democrats' most-watched House primary, though Cuellar declared victory Tuesday night. … Five key takeaways from Tuesday night, by David Siders, Adam Wren and Ally Mutnick And will this time be any different? At least 19 elementary school-aged children and two adults are dead at the hands of an 18-year-old gunman in Texas. And once again, the nation is mourning the loss of precious lives. But in Washington, there is a serious question of not just whether lawmakers will do anything about gun safety following the latest mass shooting — but whether they will even try. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 24, 2022: Trump's day of reckoning in Georgia

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 4:53

    Another Tuesday, another massive set of primaries that will test Trump's grip on the GOP.  Today's most-watched state: Georgia. For the former president, the stakes could not be higher. In the gubernatorial primary, Gov. Brian Kemp faces former Sen. David Perdue. Trump — who partly blames Kemp for his loss of the state in 2020 — has bet bigly on Perdue. He recruited him to run and sunk $2.5 million of his own campaign cash into Perdue's effort. And yet, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Kemp leads Perdue by an average of 22 points. “The Republican base is poised to take a turn delivering Trump a stinging rebuke in a state where, during his presidency, the GOP lost two Senate seats, two House seats and the state's Electoral College votes for the first time since the mid-1990s,” Steve Shepard writes in his curtain-raiser this morning.

    May 23, 2022: Biden's midterm window is closing

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 5:45

    A president's first midterm election is both an enormous story and completely anticlimactic. It's major news because there will likely be a dramatic shift away from the president's party. It's anticlimactic because it's one of the most predictable events in American politics. But history is not on Biden's side. In fact, voters may have already made up their minds.  That, at least, is the argument from Doug Sosnik in his latest memo that we are happy to share first with the Playbook audience. You can read the full memo here Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 20, 2022: Trump's real win-loss record

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 5:14

    Trump's endorsement losses are starting to pile up. Most of his endorsements have been in races where his anointed candidate faced little or no competition. Nobody would be impressed by a handicapper who won placing bets at a track featuring races with only one horse.  The only Trump endorsements that matter are in competitive races. And there, the record is mixed. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 19, 2022: Dems' face election year drag

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 5:20

    With Memorial Day recess around the corner and much of President Joe Biden's agenda still stuck on Capitol Hill, a sense of helplessness has settled in among some Democrats: The closer they inch toward Election Day, they realize, the more unlikely they are to notch any additional legislative victories. And yet, voters are angry and demanding action now. Just look at this quote from No. 2 Senate Democrat Dick Durbin in a Burgess Everett story up this morning on the ongoing reconciliation talks between Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.): “I put so much time into immigration on reconciliation. It took a year of my legislative life. I have nothing to show for it.” He continued: “I wish Chuck well on reconciliation. I'm going to focus my legislative efforts in the 60-vote world.” So what's a vulnerable Democrat to do? Dems in swing districts have been asking this very question for months now. Here are a few strategies Hill Democrats seem to be employing to protect themselves politically... Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 18, 2022: Takeaways from the biggest primary night of the year

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 7:02

    Sixteen months after Donald Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill to try to stop the certification of Joe Biden as president, a prominent election denier in Pennsylvania inched closer to becoming the next governor of Pennsylvania. State Sen. Doug Mastriano — who attended and helped organize for the “Stop the Steal” rally, has called for audits of Keystone State votes and has been subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 panel — clinched the GOP gubernatorial nomination. If he wins this fall, he'll be in a position to nominate the next Pennsylvania secretary of state, a position that oversees elections in the key presidential battleground state. And, one week after catapulting J.D. Vance to victory in Ohio, Trump had a somewhat decent night, though the verdict on perhaps his biggest gamble — supporting Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania's tight Senate primary — is still out. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 17, 2022: 3 big storylines to watch in today's primaries

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 6:03

    Today is one of the most consequential primary days of the year, with nominating contests in five states — Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania — that will tell us a great deal about the direction of the two parties.  There are three major storylines that continue to dominate the 2022 primary season: 1. Donald Trump's grip on the GOP 2. Progressive challenges to Biden-like Democratic centrists 3. The rise of anti-democratic and extremist candidates All three storylines collide in today's most-watched state: Pennsylvania. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 16, 2022: The West's new fear: What if Ukraine wins?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 5:00

    Russia has faced a dizzying series of setbacks in its war with Ukraine over the last week: - Sweden and Finland are being fast-tracked into NATO membership, which means Russia will soon share an 810-mile border with NATO. More from NYT - Ukrainian troops pushed the Russians from the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, and are now approaching the Russian border. Latest from Reuters - Russia suffered “catastrophic” losses during a failed river crossing on May 11, according to The Institute for the Study of War, which notes that “the military incompetence displayed in that crossing have shaken the confidence” of influential Russian military bloggers. - The UK Ministry of Defense said that the Russian offensive in the eastern Donbas region, the focus of Russian firepower since its retreat from Kyiv, has “lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule.” The Brits also claimed that Putin has lost one-third of the troops he sent into Ukraine since the start of the February invasion. On Sunday, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary general, summed up the implications of these developments: “Ukraine can win this war.” And that is exactly the problem according to a growing number of western officials and analysts who fear the fallout from what French President Emmanuel Macron called the “humiliation” of Russia. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 13, 2022: SCOOP: Behind the McCarthy subpoena

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2022 5:42

    When GOP Rep. Liz Cheney decided to risk everything politically and serve on Nancy Pelosi's newly created Jan. 6 investigative panel in the spring of last year, she made something of a vow to herself, according to people close with the Wyoming Republican: She would follow the facts wherever they went, and privately press for the panel to leave no stone unturned to get to the truth of the siege of the Capitol.  No half-baked probes. No shrinking away from key witnesses, as Democrats had done in their past impeachments of Donald Trump. If she was going to do this, she was going to go all the way — even as some members of the panel, we heard back then, didn't even want to investigate Trump's actions that day. On Thursday, Washington saw the latest fruits of Cheney's labor, when the Jan. 6 committee shocked This Town and subpoenaed five House GOP lawmakers to testify — including the likely next speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Well-placed sources tell us that Cheney — who was booted from her post as No. 3 Republican in the House one year to the day before the subpoenas were issued — was among those pressing hardest for this move, arguing that these GOP members had relevant information and they couldn't just let them skirt without questioning. Listen to Playbook Deep Dive: ‘He absolutely betrayed me': Steve Schmidt tells all about John McCain Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.  

    May 12, 2022: Why Democrats don't actually ‘control' the Senate

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 5:15

    This week was another reminder that while Democrats “control” the Senate, they don't actually control the Senate. - Covid relief was cut from the Ukraine aid bill. - A national law to codify abortion protections — should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade — came nowhere close to the 60 votes needed to advance it. And the 50 votes it would take to nuke the filibuster and pass the abortion rights law are also unavailable to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. More from Alice Miranda Ollstein and Marianne LeVine If there are serious negotiations underway to pass a Build Back Better 2.0 in advance of the midterms, they are a well-kept secret. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio

    May 11, 2022: Inside SCOTUS, and Trump's first 2022 loss

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 4:02

    Former President Donald Trump goes 1-for-2 on primary day in Nebraska and West Virginia.  And new reporting from inside the Supreme Court, via Josh Gerstein, Alexander Ward and Ryan, as the nine justices are set to gather Thursday for the first time since POLITICO published the draft opinion overturning Roe: “Justice Samuel Alito's sweeping and blunt draft majority opinion from February overturning Roe remains the court's only circulated draft in the pending Mississippi abortion case, POLITICO has learned, and none of the conservative justices who initially sided with Alito have to date switched their votes. No dissenting draft opinions have circulated from any justice, including the three liberals. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 10, 2022: Another primary day test for Donald Trump

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022 5:33

    PRIMARY DAY: WHAT TO WATCH FOR — West Virginia and Nebraska hold primaries today. Like last week's contests in Ohio, the action is mostly on the Republican side, and the main drama is about former President DONALD TRUMP. WEST VIRGINIA: Two GOP incumbents, Reps. ALEX MOONEY and DAVID MCKINLEY,  are facing each other in a congressional primary because the state lost a seat after redistricting. NEBRASKA: CHARLES HERBSTER, JIM PILLEN and state Sen. BRETT LINDSTROM are the three top GOP primary candidates running to replace the term-limited governor, PETE RICKETTS. The national implications of the race revolve mostly around Trump's endorsement of Herbster, who has been accused of sexual assault by eight different women. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Kara Tabor hosted this episode of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 9, 2022: Democrats go on offense over abortion

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 4:18

    Happy Monday. Get ready for yet another week dominated by the debate over abortion rights, as the impending decision expected to overturn Roe v. Wade sucks up all the oxygen in Washington.  Two major storylines to watch this week, as Democrats gear up to go on offense: 1) Senate tees up abortion vote — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to file cloture today on a bill by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that would enshrine a statutory right to abortion nationwide. 2) Democrats seize on McConnell's national abortion ban remarks — Democratic strategists are salivating over comments Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made in a USA Today interview that published Saturday. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.  

    May 6, 2022: Trump's strange silence

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 3:37

    Overturning Roe v. Wade would be the culmination of  former president Donald Trump's bid to remake the judiciary — the very reason that many social conservatives held their noses and voted for him in 2016.  But Trump, “never one to shy away from taking credit for accomplishments, real or imagined, has yet to crow about the majority draft opinion,” our colleagues Meridith McGraw and Jonathan Lemire report. He's addressed it only “when asked in interviews.” Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 5, 2022: The book J.D. Vance doesn't want you to read

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 5:32

    J.D. Vance owes his GOP Senate primary victory in Ohio to two people: Donald Trump and Peter Thiel. Trump's endorsement put him over the top in a crowded primary, while Thiel's support — funneled through a super PAC called Protect Ohio Values (aka POV) — enabled Vance to outsource many traditional campaign operations, including polling, advertising, GOTV and, it turns out, opposition research. One big problem with letting a super PAC do everything: Campaign finance law prohibits communication between a candidate's own committee and a super PAC supporting them. But there are ways around that obstacle.  As Alex Isenstadt detailed Tuesday in a fascinating tick-tock of the Ohio race, POV set up an unadvertised-but-public Medium account, where it posted a trove of sensitive documents, polling reports, audio and video for Vance to use. Some of the files are boring, such as b-roll footage the Vance camp could include in ads. But the group also posted extensive opposition research reports — on both his primary opponents and Vance himself. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 4, 2022: Poll: Voters back major SCOTUS reform after Roe bombshell

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 3:58

    On her first day back in public since testing positive for the coronavirus last week, VP Kamala Harris spoke to a crowd of abortion rights supporters at the EMILY's List conference Tuesday evening. Her speech, scheduled long in advance, had to be completely rewritten for obvious reasons. Harris gave a preview of how the administration hopes to frame the debate moving forward — channeling its supporters' outrage while pitching the midterm election as a choice between two very different views of abortion rights. In the wake of the news about the draft opinion overturning Roe, a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll reveals that a clear majority of voters want the court to support abortion rights. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 3, 2022: Breaking down Alito's Roe bombshell

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2022 5:50

    In his own words: “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Thus begins Justice Samuel Alito's February draft opinion that would end the constitutional right to an abortion in America, obtained exclusively by POLITICO's Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward. We knew this was coming. Ever since last December's oral arguments in the Mississippi abortion case, it seemed likely that there was a majority on the court to overrule Roe and Casey. But while not a surprise, it was still shocking to see Alito's words in black and white. The draft opinion, if it holds, would be the culmination of half a century of legal conservatives organizing around the idea that Roe was wrongly decided and needed to be reversed. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    May 2, 2022: Team Biden eyes a new midterm strategy

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 4:36

    It's May 2, just over six months until the midterm elections, which are generally a referendum on the president's performance. President Joe Biden is in rough shape. Let's look at how it happened, and how he hopes to prevent a wipeout … How they got here: As early as April 2021, John Anzalone — Biden's top pollster — saw the writing on the wall. In a series of memos over the ensuing months, he tried to warn the president about the growing liabilities posed by immigration, inflation and crime, report NYT's Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    April 29, 2022: A late-breaking shift in next week's Ohio primary?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2022 5:23

    Most of the candidates chasing Ohio's GOP Senate nomination have pledged allegiance to Donald Trump and beaten a path to Mar-a-Lago. But not state Sen. Matt Dolan. Instead, he's poured millions of his own fortune into a run as a traditional conservative. Now, “days before the May 3 primary, Dolan appears to be experiencing a late burst of momentum,” Natalie Allison reports. Listen to Playbook Deep Dive: Beltway, stars want an invite: How Tammy throws brunch Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    April 28, 2022: Voters are not partying

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022 4:57

    The enormous gap between the excitement in Washington about the return of the WHCA weekend and the ongoing anxiety of voters hit us hard this week as we watched focus groups of voters conducted by longtime Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. On Tuesday night, Lake talked to a group of “high -information” Democrats scattered around the country over a Zoom call while we watched on mute. This appeared to be one of the more financially well-off focus groups we've seen this year, but like the others, these voters were defined by their disgust.  When asked the first word that popped into their mind about how things are going in the country, here's what they said: “frustrated,” “disbelief,” “aggravated,” “discouraged,” “unsure,” “worrying,” “resigned,” “frightened.” The only positive words offered were “better” and “OK.” Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    April 27, 2022: Fauci pulls out of WHCD. Is Biden next?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 4:38

    Late Tuesday night, CNN's Oliver Darcy and Kaitlan Collins scooped that Anthony Fauci is dropping out of this weekend's White House Correspondents' Association dinner over concerns about Covid-19. The question on our minds now: Will President Joe Biden go forward with his own plans to attend the dinner — disagreeing with his chief medical adviser in the process? And, embattled House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will face his rank and file in a GOP Conference meeting this morning. It's their first time gathering since a slew of book excerpts and audio recordings landed McCarthy in hot water with MAGA world over what he said in private about both Donald Trump and Trump's congressional allies in the days following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The meeting comes just after the release of one of the most damaging clips yet: On Tuesday, NYT's Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin published another explosive piece of audio in which McCarthy (1) said he wished Twitter would ban some of his own members from the platform, and (2) expressed concerns that his rank and file could incite more violence in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack — yet chose to do nothing about it. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    April 26, 2022: ​​Republicans to Trump: Stay away from Twitter

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 5:49

    The news that Elon Musk is buying Twitter has thrown Washington into a tizzy over one major question: Will Donald Trump return to his old favorite social media platform and start tweeting again? As it turns out, no one is more petrified of this than members of Trump's own party.   On Monday night, in a series of calls and texts with several top GOP insiders, every single one of them told us that they hoped the former president stays the hell away from Twitter, lest he sink their chances at flipping the House and Senate. Some of his allies even think that a return to his old Twitter habits could damage his own brand ahead of a possible third presidential bid in 2024. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    April, 25 2022: ​​Groundhog Day on the Hill, hangover week in Washington

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 5:07

    Congress returns from a two-week recess facing the same unresolved issues that have plagued lawmakers for months. Lawmakers left town unable to pass a bipartisan deal to provide the administration with $10 billion in pandemic relief money and there's still no immediate solution in sight. The White House announced another $800 million tranche of Ukraine aid last week, but says it needs Congress to allocate more funds ASAP. en. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and White House officials have been exchanging niceties in recent weeks, strong signals that they're willing to re-engage on a smaller social-spending package months after Build Back Better was left for dead.

    April 22, 2022: Is Kevin McCarthy toast?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 22, 2022 5:27

    For years now, through controversy after controversy, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has bent over backward to stay in former President Donald Trump's good graces, all to serve one major purpose: He wants to be speaker someday. That hope may have just blown up on the launchpad. On Thursday night, NYT's Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns delivered an absolute stunner of a scoop: an audio recording of a phone call on Jan. 10, 2021, in which McCarthy is heard clearly and unambiguously saying that Trump should resign. Listen for yourself Listen to Playbook Deep Dive: 'You only win if you fight:' Will Gallego unseat Sinema? Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    April 21, 2022: Dems eye a culture war clapback

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2022 6:17

    Whether it's pandemic restrictions and schools, or critical race theory and political correctness, when it comes to the culture wars raging across America, the right often dances circles around the left. And because of that, many Democrats — particularly those in vulnerable seats — either avoid engaging on those topics altogether or privately beg their colleagues to avoid overly “woke” rhetoric or policy prescriptions they believe could hurt the party politically. Enter Mallory McMorrow, the little-known Democratic state senator from suburban Michigan, who is turning that conventional wisdom on its head this week.  Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audio.

    April 20, 2022: How Trump and Thiel resurrected J.D. Vance

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022 4:04

    Tech mogul Peter Thiel gave J.D. Vance's Ohio Senate campaign a fresh infusion of cash, pouring in $3.5 million to Protect Ohio Values, the super PAC backing Vance, our colleague Alex Isenstadt reports, “part of a broader tranche of money that has come in to support the Senate candidate after last week's [Donald] Trump endorsement.” Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook. Jenny Ament is the Executive Producer of POLITICO Audi

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