The Note: Priebus asks the FBI to refute Trump Russia reports

Trump’s 1st one hundred days with ABC’s RICK KLEIN and SHUSHANNAH WALSHE Day No. 36 The massive story: The Russia affair gets a new twist with the revelation that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a prime FBI official to dispute reports...

The Note: Priebus asks the FBI to refute Trump Russia reports

Trump’s 1st one hundred days with ABC’s RICK KLEIN and SHUSHANNAH WALSHE

Day No. 36

The massive story: The Russia affair gets a new twist with the revelation that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a prime FBI official to dispute reports that Trump campaign officials had been in frequent contact with Russian intelligence agents prior to the election. There are queries of propriety here: The FBI is supposed to be capable to conduct its investigations independently, without any White Property involvement. And the bureau isn’t supposed to play politics by commenting on active investigations, as Clinton campaign vets keep in mind too effectively. There is also irony: Priebus was asking the FBI to comment without having names attached, even though decrying as “fake news” stories that rely on such sourcing. What’s additional, the willingness to employ the FBI for political battle demonstrates when Trump advisers cast the media as the “opposition party,” it’s extra than words. “Every day, it’s going to be a fight,” White Property chief strategist Steve Bannon stated Thursday at CPAC. Added Priebus, sitting slightly uncomfortably to Bannon’s left: “If the party and the conservative movement are collectively, related to Steve and I, it cannot be stopped.” It appears that in this battle, there’s no resource of the federal government that the White Home considers off-limits.

The sleeper story: The finest issue to happen to Obamacare may possibly have been Donald Trump. A new Kaiser tracking poll has the approval rating for the Economical Care Act up to 48 percent – the highest it’s been in some 60 such polls. Lawmakers, of course, are hearing about that newfound recognition firsthand at raucous town halls that are developing into mirror-image opposites of the well-known Tea Celebration events that hurt the bill’s popularity back in 2009 and 2010. With President Trump’s address to Congress coming on the eve of the month slated for repeal/replace, it may be that Republicans have lost essential momentum around what they all once agreed would be their major priority. Former House Speaker John Boehner’s statements on the difficulty the GOP will have in undoing Obamacare is a clue to the anxiety Republicans are feeling suitable now about their guarantee of repeal.

The shiny story: Jared and Ivanka strike again! According to The Wall Street Journal, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump prevailed on the president to get rid of language important of the Paris climate accord from an impending executive order on environmental difficulties. This is the second time we’ve discovered of the couple’s private, moderating influence. They also succeeded in blocking an effort to rescind protections for LGBTQ employees. (Though they have been notably absent from stories about the school-bathroom regulation that was rescinded this week.) Per the Journal: “One White Residence official mentioned each Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump have been considered a moderating influence on the White House’s position on climate adjust and environmental issues.” That is an exciting detail for a White Residence official to confirm. But could possibly it be a little also cute to tag the couple as the “moderating” – study, liberal-leaning – influence inside a White Residence (plus a Cabinet) stuffed with sturdy conservatives? As The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin tweeted, “Funny how all the leaks about Jared/Ivanka appear aimed at reassuring liberal NYC close friends *we're trying*.”

TLDR: White Residence chief of staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI deputy director to dispute reports that Trump campaign advisers were in regular touch with Russian intelligence agents during the campaign. Priebus may well have come out strongly against the media applying background sourcing with no names attached but that is exactly what he was asking the FBI to do.

Photo of the day: The marquee CPAC speakers Thursday have been Trump’s chief of employees Reince Priebus plus his chief strategist Steve Bannon, who hardly ever speaks on camera. It is an understatement to contact the two an odd couple with Priebus as the former head of the RNC and Bannon spending years at war with the establishment, but they trotted out their greatest-buddy act yesterday, even calling each and every other "dear good friends." Here's an image of the two embracing: (Credit: Susan Walsh/AP Photo)


--WH chief of staff urged the FBI to dispute Trump Russia report: White Property chief of employees Reince Priebus made a private appeal to a best FBI official to dispute reports that various senior members of President Trump's campaign had communicated with Russian agents through the 2016 election, a senior White Residence official confirmed to ABC News on Friday. Priebus had reached out to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in an work to knock down reports of talks involving campaign officials and Russia following a New York Times report on the matter final week, the official said. Priebus only produced the request soon after the FBI had told the White Home there had been accuracy problems with the Times' report, the official mentioned. Additional from ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN: //

--Taking place nowadays - President Trump to address conservatives at CPAC: President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday at ten:20 a.m., his fifth time addressing the gathering of suitable-wing organizers and activists. Trump's look Friday marks the fourth take a look at by a sitting president, notes ABC’s ADAM KELSEY. //

--This week on ‘This Week’: George Stephanopoulos goes a single-on-a single with Property Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., exclusively on "This Week" Sunday. And the Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter, Rasmussen Reports political analyst Amy Holmes, former Clinton Labor Secretary and UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich, and New Yorker editor David Remnick.

--Taking place this weekend -- DNC reaching finish of tight leadership race as celebration seeks to unite. Democratic celebration officials will vote Saturday for a new chair of the Democratic National Committee, but heading into the weekend, the race is nevertheless neck-and-neck and hotly contested, according to ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS. Democrats may well be united against President Donald Trump, but they stay deeply divided about who is most effective to lead and represent them. //

CPAC roundup

Pence downplays town hall backlash, rallies conservatives at CPAC.ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL and ERIN DOOLEY report. //

Steve Bannon says media 'always wrong' about Trump, president 'maniacally focused' on agenda. Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, pounced on the media during the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, repeating his attack that the press is the "opposition party" that is "generally wrong" about the administration, note ABC’s ADAM KELSEY and ALI ROGIN. "I assume if you look at, you know, the opposition party," stated Bannon, referring to the media, in the course of his appearance at the conference with White Residence chief of employees Reince Priebus. "How they portrayed the campaign, how they portrayed the transition and how Youwin they are portraying the administration -- it is usually wrong." //

Education secretary Betsy Devos slams Obama's transgender bathroom rule as 'overreachABC's ALI ROGIN. She added, having said that, "It is our job to guard students" and "to protect personal freedoms." //

Speed study with ABC’s Adam Kelsey

President Trump reiterates contact for US nuclear supremacy. President Donald Trump on Thursday renewed his get in touch with on Thursday to expand the country's nuclear weapons cache so that the U.S. is the "prime of the pack," according to an interview with Reuters. Trump's comments echoed statements he provided in December when he tweeted about "expand[ing]" the nation's "nuclear capability" and told MSNBC that he was willing to engage in an "arms race." Trump told Reuters that he desires the country's cache of weapons to be "leading of the pack," a notion expanded upon by White Home Press Secretary Sean Spicer at his each day press briefing, write ABC's ADAM KELSEY and KATHERINE FAULDERS. // in touch with-us-nuclear-supremacy/story?id=45695753

Justice Division reverses Obama guidance on reducing private prisons. Lawyer Common Jeff Sessions has rescinded an Obama-era memo aimed at reducing and in the end ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons, reports ABC's ERIN DOOLEY. The memo, penned in August 2016 by former Deputy Lawyer Common Sally Yates -- who was fired by President Donald Trump last month immediately after she refused to defend his immigration order -- recommended that private correctional facilities "evaluate poorly" to federal facilities, and instructed officials to begin "the process of reducing, and eventually ending, our use of privately operated prisons." //

White Residence: count on 'greater enforcement' of marijuana laws. The White House indicated Thursday that the enforcement of federal laws on recreational marijuana will enhance during President Donald Trump's tenure in workplace. Press secretary Sean Spicer, responding to a question at Thursday's press briefing about the Division of Justice's function when federal marijuana laws conflict with state statutes, stated he believes there is a wide difference in between recreational and medicinal marijuana use, note ABC's KATHERINE FAULDERS, JORDYN PHELPS and ADAM KELSEY. "I do believe you will see greater enforcement of [federal restrictions on recreational use]," said Spicer. //

Obamacare favorability nears record propelled by independents: poll. A new poll gauging the public's feelings on the ongoing battle over healthcare finds continued displeasure with the current policy direction, but close to record optimistic impressions of the Economical Care Act. The tracking poll, carried out by the Henry J. Kaiser Loved ones Foundation, finds 48 % of its respondents had a pretty or somewhat favorable view of the legislation, typically identified as Obamacare, the highest level considering the fact that September 2010, when 49 percent of these viewed it favorably. ABC’s ADAM KELSEY has more. //

Ivanka trump hosted lawmakers at white residence last week for meeting on childcare tax proposal, paid leave. Ivanka Trump hosted Republican members of Congress at the White Home last week to go over some of her private legislative priorities -- a childcare tax proposal and paid maternity leave, according to a White Residence official and a Senate GOP aide. It is uncommon for the youngster of a president -- with no formal part in her father's administration -- to host a policy meeting with lawmakers inside the West Wing. The White Residence official noted that Ivanka has been lengthy been passionate about the situation and that it remains a priority. ABC's BENJAMIN SIEGEL and JORDYN PHELPS have far more: //

Who’s tweeting?

@realDonaldTrump: The FBI is entirely unable to cease the national safety "leakers" that have permeated our government for a lengthy time. They can't even......

@realDonaldTrump: uncover the leakers inside the FBI itself. Classified information and facts is being provided to media that could have a devastating impact on U.S. Uncover NOW

@rickklein: .@jonkarl asks if Cruz thinks Trump is true conservative: "I believe he is president... implementing conservative policies." (not a yes) @gma

@MikeDelMoro: "If you had been upset about Bill Clinton meeting with the AG, then you ought to be upset about [Priebus] meeting with the FBI" -@matthewjdowd


@Elizabeth_McLau: Admiral Harward weighs in on #Pentagon critique of #ISIS method due to #WhiteHouse early next week //

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