Reince Priebus and Stephen K. Bannon sang “Kumbaya” at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday and probably succeeded in convincing most observers that President Trump's chief of staff and his chief strategist don't hate each other's guts. But don't confuse congeniality with consensus.
On Thursday night, CNN broke the news that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had reached out to a senior FBI official to encourage him to talk without attribution to reporters about recent allegations that the Trump campaign had been in regular contact with Russian intelligence officials during the course of the 2016 race.
John Boehner has some thoughts about Obamacare. Here they are:
“[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix Obamacare — I shouldn’t call it repeal-and-replace, because it’s not going to happen,” Boehner told a health-care conference in Florida, according to Politico. Boehner dismissed the whole idea as "happy talk," adding: “I started laughing. Republicans never ever agree on health care.”
If there is one man believed to be pulling the strings behind the scenes in the White House right now, it's Stephen K. Bannon. The former head of Breitbart News's influence on President Trump is an endless source of fascination in Washington right now.
But Bannon's public comments are pretty few and far between. There was a speech he gave at the Vatican a few years ago, and then an interview with the Hollywood Reporter last year. And then, on Thursday, the Trump strategist spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington.
The minute-long video opens with two short sentences, as foreboding music plays in the background.
“WE WON THE BATTLE,” it says.
“THEY COULDN'T HANDLE IT.”
It's no secret that Stephen K. Bannon, the past chairman of Breitbart News and now a senior strategist to the president, is behind much of Trump's anti-media rhetoric. The idea of the media as the “opposition party” or the “enemy” — two phrases Trump has used of late to describe those who cover him — is pure Bannon.
During the 2016 campaign — and through the first month of the Trump presidency — I got asked one question more than any other: Why don't you guys fact-check Donald Trump?
The answer I always offered is: We do! Lots. And I would point them to the great work of The Post's Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee during the campaign. That duo fact-checked 92 Trump claims — two-thirds of which they found to be totally false.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) made a pretty odd prediction Thursday: He said he believed there would be a Supreme Court vacancy shortly after Neil Gorsuch's likely confirmation to fill the existing one.
“I think we'll have another Supreme Court vacancy this summer,” Cruz said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “If that happens, as much as the left is crazy now, [Democrats] will go full Armageddon.”
Maybe there is a bombshell yet to come. Maybe. But the debut of James O'Keefe's “CNN Leaks” Thursday morning can only be described as underwhelming.
O'Keefe, the conservative political operative known for undercover recordings and exposes, posted 119 hours of secretly taped conversations among CNN employees on the website of his group, Project Veritas.
On Wednesday night, Kellyanne Conway explained her unusual week-long absence from the TV airwaves by citing her four children. And at the end of her discussion, which kicked off the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday morning, she implored women to demand equal pay.