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7 May
NEW: Maj. Gen. William Walker, the new House sergeant at arms, is the first Black man to hold that job. He sat down with ⁦@thisisinsider⁩ for an exclusive interview, the first since starting his new role. By ⁦@leonardkl⁩ & ⁦@TinaSfon⁩ ($) businessinsider.com/general-willia…
"It was beyond exciting," Walker said of his “Madame Speaker!” moment when he introduced @potus at the joint session speech last week. “It was thrilling actually."
At one point, Biden can be seen on camera walking on the House floor saying something to Walker. Both men laughed. No one watching could hear the brief exchange, but Walker remembered it.
Read 4 tweets
7 May
NEW: Lost in the Liz Cheney leadership brawl that's consumed House Republicans this week is an even bigger battle that politicos from DC to Mar-a-Lago are already gaming out: What happens to Kevin McCarthy? By ⁦@tomlobianco⁩ & ⁦@WARojas⁩ ($) businessinsider.com/trump-mccarthy…
The California Republican remains the obvious front-runner to become House speaker should the GOP win back the majority in 2022, an outcome supported by the midterm thumpings that Obama, Trump, and Clinton all suffered through as first-term presidents in the not-so-distant past.
But McCarthy's prospective glide path to one of the most powerful jobs on the planet is also anything but a lock in the current political environment. where Trump remains the Republican Party's kingmaker.
Read 10 tweets
6 May
NEW: Florida's Democratic Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried is a close friend of Matt Gaetz. They even hung out at Trump's DC hotel, not long ago, a source tells @thisisinsider. by @rbravender ($) businessinsider.com/matt-gaetz-nik…
Their friendship dates back at least to Fried's time as a medical marijuana lobbyist in Tallahassee when Gaetz was serving in the Florida House, according to six Florida political operatives who spoke to Insider on condition of anonymity to protect professional relationships.
Fried's ties to Gaetz could complicate her political future. If she decides to run against DeSantis in a potentially crowded Democratic field, Fried's relationship with Gaetz & some of his GOP allies could quickly become prime fodder for attacks, including from fellow Democrats.
Read 7 tweets
6 May
NEW: Trump aides say there's a reason he is staying away from Virginia, where Biden won by double digits. He mainly doesn't want to get tagged a loser if his pick gets clobbered this fall by Democrats. By ⁦@tomlobianco⁩ & ⁦@WARojas⁩ ($) businessinsider.com/trump-virginia…
Still, Trump's absence is making for significant chaos as Virginia Rs get ready to go to the polls Sat to pick from a wide-open gubernatorial field that includes a woman who bills herself as "Trump in heels,"& an establishment player backed by Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
"There's a sorting here that is basically going to be true believers," said former Rep. Tom Davis, who served seven terms in Congress representing a suburban Washington, DC, district.
Read 13 tweets
4 May
NEW: The Overheard District Instagram account became the hub of DC gossip and community help during COVID. Its owner is a mystery, but @thisisinsider scored an exclusive interview w/ the account manager. by @KaylaEpstein ($) businessinsider.com/overheard-dist…
Overheard District is sort of like DC's version of the pandemic breakout hit DeuxMoi, an anonymously run celebrity gossip account where users submit stories about fleeting Hollywood encounters and mundane details about the rich and famous.
Except, instead of crowdsourcing the trials and travails of Bachelor contestants, Real Housewives, and John Mayer, Overheard District shares followers' run-ins with CNN hosts and Ben Bernanke, the former chair of the
Federal Reserve.
Read 10 tweets
29 Apr
The erratic aria of Rudy Giuliani was always going to end like this — with a crash. ($) ⁦@thisisinsiderbusinessinsider.com/giuliani-trump…
"This was always just a matter of time," one former Trump 2016 advisor said of the man many Americans once hailed in the gauzy post-9/11 zeitgeist as "America's mayor."
"People should raise their eyebrows and recognize this could be much more serious than has been advertised so far," a former Trump White House official told Insider.
Read 10 tweets
28 Apr
NEW: Leave it to Rudy Giuliani to step all over Joe Biden's parade. by @ngaudiano & @WARojas ($) @thisisinsider businessinsider.com/biden-giuliani…
That's the unfortunate takeaway for the new Democratic president who is planning to detail his first-term agenda and accomplishments over his first 100 days during Wednesday night's primetime address to a joint session of Congress.
Now Biden and his allies in Congress will be sharing the spotlight — and the front-page of the Thursday newspapers — with the explosive headlines made by the Justice Department after it executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer.
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28 Apr
NEWS: The Justice Department's long-running investigation into Rudy Giuliani is creating problems for lobbyists with foreign clients and other political consultants suspected of working with the former New York mayor. ($) @thisisinsider businessinsider.com/rudy-giuliani-…
In the months leading up to today's search, DOJ sent a "blizzard" of requests for info from lobbying & public affairs firms that ?ed whether they had failed to address Giuliani's activities in disclosures of their own foreign influence work, per a person familiar w/ the probe.
The questioning came in the form of so-called "letters of inquiry," which the Justice Department regularly sends when it believes an individual or firm might be required to register as a foreign agent in connection with influence activities.
Read 7 tweets
28 Apr
NEW: Former President Trump is facing legal jeopardy in 3 major East Coast cities where a criminal indictment would create unprecedented logistical and security concerns testing the capacities of government on the local, state, & federal levels. ($) ⁦ businessinsider.com/trump-new-york…
The three cities — Atlanta, New York, and Washington, DC — are no strangers to big events that draw big crowds, media hordes, and police squads, to keep the peace.
But court proceedings and trials involving Trump would be unlike anything in US history. No president has ever been criminally charged while in or out of office, much less one who publicly stoked a deadly riot at the US Capitol in a bid to hold on to power.
Read 10 tweets
26 Apr
NEW: His staff seems "eager to engage." His appointments reflect a "coalition" style of governance. And his policies call for big federal $ to help those struggling most. Progressives size up ⁦@POTUS⁩ - by ⁦@ngaudiano⁩ & ⁦@WARojasbusinessinsider.com/biden-sanders-…
Progressives have found a lot to like about President Joe Biden's first 100 days. That's a welcome surprise for them and for the White House, considering the preelection warnings from the left of an intraparty "World War III" if Democrats could just knock Trump out of power.
Liberals are praising Biden, long known as a moderate, saying he's taken "bold" and "necessary" action on the pandemic. They say he's going bigger than Obama on stimulating the US economy, appointing progressives to key administration jobs, and being open to their ideas overall.
Read 13 tweets
24 Apr
NEW: Meet Rep. Peter Meijer, a millennial GOP congressman who's intro to Congress was a vote to impeach Trump. Then he had to buy a flak jacket. A GREAT long-read from @adamwren who spent time in Grand Rapids, Mich. with the 33 yo supermarket scion. ($) businessinsider.com/peter-meijer-t…
Meijer got elected in November to Gerald Ford's old House seat. He's since earned the vitriol of Trumpland as one of the 10 Republican members of Congress to condemn the president of the United States for his role in fomenting the tragic events of January 6.
Meijer's family (of the Midwestern supermarket chain) is worth $12.6 billion, according to Forbes, so he is better-inoculated from Trumpist ire than the average GOP freshman.
Read 15 tweets
23 Apr
NEW: In 2014, long before becoming the subject of a federal sex trafficking investigation, Matt Gaetz pushed Florida to enact what he called a "scorched earth" policy toward sexual predators. by @rbravender ($) @thisisinsider businessinsider.com/matt-gaetz-sex…
Gaetz, then 31 years old, served as chair of the Florida House of Representatives' Criminal Justice subcommittee. He cosponsored bills that increased the mandatory prison time for convicted sexual offenders, calling it some of the most important work his subcommittee would do.
Now that Gaetz himself is under fed investigation, his record is getting renewed attention. Insider watched 11+ hours of archived hearings in the Florida House to understand how the up-and-coming pol talked about issues like sentencing sex offenders & sex trafficking.
Read 13 tweets
23 Apr
SCOOP: Brian Netter, a former clerk for SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer, has stepped down as a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown to become a top official in DOJ's civil division, per 2 people familiar with his move. by @cryanbarber ($) @thisisinsider
Netter is corporate lawyer who recently represented the World Cup-winning women's national team in an equal pay case against US Soccer. He'll have a top role at Justice overseeing the defense of Biden administration policies in court.
Court challenges have already started. On Thursday, a group launched by ex-Trump WH aide Stephen Miller joined Texas's AG in a case accusing the Biden admin of exposing Americans to COVID infections by allowing migrants who cross the US-Mexico border to be released into the US.
Read 4 tweets
23 Apr
"I think the truth is Garland wants an investigation of Trump like he wants a hole in the head. It's the last thing he wants as attorney general," one former top Justice Department official told Insider. ($) @thisisinsider businessinsider.com/biden-trump-ju…
In interviews, former Justice Department officials said the department would have to balance the strength of any case charging Trump against the perception, however fair, that the prosecution was politically motivated.
For the department to bring a case, they said the evidence against Trump would need to be overwhelming to render a decision not to prosecute — based strictly on his status as a former president — untenable.
Read 7 tweets
23 Apr
NEW: DOJ appears to be taking a backseat to state & local investigators as they pursue investigations competing for the distinction of being the first to turn former President Trump into a criminal defendant. by @cryanbarber & @WARojas ($) @thisisinsider businessinsider.com/biden-trump-ju…
As Merrick Garland has settled in as attorney general, there have been no public signals of his department pursuing Trump. At the same time, state and local prosecutors in NY & Georgia have only ramped up their scrutiny of Trump as a businessman and his actions as president.
"I think the truth is Garland wants an investigation of Trump like he wants a hole in the head. It's the last thing he wants as attorney general," one former top Justice Department official told Insider.
Read 14 tweets
22 Apr
NEW: Marjorie Taylor Greene is still trolling a congressional colleague — the mother of a transgender daughter — with an anti-trans poster from across their Capitol Hill hallway by @TinaSfon ($) @thisisinsider businessinsider.com/marjorie-taylo…
Rep. Marie Newman (D-ILL) says she hasn't spoken with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) since their initial dust up. Nor has her staff spoken with Greene's staffers about the issue, to Newman's knowledge.
"I'm not surprised at [Greene's] behavior at all because I think she's going to continue to display the disrespectful behavior. She always has," Newman told @thisisinsider on Wednesday.
Read 4 tweets
22 Apr
NEW: Chuck Schumer's flip phone is 1 of the hardest working artifacts in DC. In reality, his most prized assets in the evenly-divided Senate are VP Harris' tiebreaker vote, & arcane budget rules that allow him to overcome GOP opposition. by @WARojas ($) businessinsider.com/senate-schumer…
Ask Schumer & of course he'll insist the partisan route is not his preferred method. "I'm trying to have the Senate be far more bipartisan than it was," he told reporters Tuesday in reference to a pending anti-Asian hate crimes bill the GOP is now interested in collaborating on.
"When the Senate's given the opportunity to work, it can," Schumer added.

But the Brooklyn native is also no dummy.
Read 11 tweets
20 Apr
NEW: Robert Mueller has receded from the headlines since overseeing the Russia investigation, but his proteges are positioned to steer DOJ through the Biden administration as it seeks to shed the political turmoil of the Trump era. by @cryanbarber ($) businessinsider.com/robert-mueller…
The Senate is expected to confirm Lisa Monaco on Tuesday to be deputy attorney general. She served as Mueller's top aide during his tenure leading the FBI.
Monaco's confirmation would reunite her with another onetime Mueller aide, John Carlin, who has served since the beginning of the Biden administration as the acting deputy attorney general.
Read 6 tweets
16 Apr
NEW: Donald Trump has lost 15 pounds since his presidency ended January 20, an advisor tells ⁦@thisisinsider⁩ - The spray tan is also gone, and gray hairs are coming in. ⁦@tomlobianco⁩ w/ the latest ($) businessinsider.com/donald-trump-w…
A Trump advisor on the weight loss: “The secret to his success is a little bit of golf and a whole lot of endorsements" — a reference to the Trump stamps of political approval the former president has recently issued a string of supportive Republicans.
Other advisors who have met recently with Trump tell Insider the former president looks happier, healthier, and even svelte — relatively speaking — since leaving Washington in January under the cloud of a second impeachment trial.
Read 6 tweets
14 Apr
LEDE: Erin Scot was at a friend's wedding rehearsal dinner in 2009 when her old pal from high school, Matt Gaetz, pulled out his phone to show a group of friends a picture of a woman. Scot was surprised. ($) businessinsider.com/matt-gaetz-hig…
The photo was "definitely sexual," Scot told Insider in a recent interview. It was like a "night vision" picture, and Scott said it was clear to her that Gaetz was showing the photo to brag about his relationship with the woman.
"I feel like she was on a bed and maybe as she's looking at the camera like on all fours," Scot said. It felt inappropriate, she said, for Gaetz to be showing off the photo to a group of friends on the deck of a FLA rental house. The photo seemed to depict "a private moment."
Read 10 tweets
2 Apr
NEW: Matt Gaetz blindsides his staff with remarks on Twitter and TV, a former aide told ⁦@thisisinsider⁩ Aides are also assigned to do his hair and makeup ahead of TV hits, a task some don't want. ($) businessinsider.com/matt-gaetz-sta…
Another doozy of a story from @rbravender @KaylaEpstein & @TinaSfon who report Gaetz can get "irate" with staff if too few people show up for an event he's holding.
One of Gaetz's first acts of Congress — just a month into his tenure in 2017 — the freshman lawmaker unveiled a bill to abolish the US EPA. The move instantly propelled Gaetz into national headlines, some of the office staff at the time had no idea it was coming.
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