It’s almost Halloween, and in true spooky fashion, the ghost of Obamacare repeal might be making a comeback.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Reuters on Wednesday that if Republicans win enough seats in the midterms, they’ll vote again on repealing the Affordable Care Act once the new Congress is sworn in. Republicans failed to repeal the law last year thanks to no votes from Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
McConnell told Reuters the failed vote was a “disappointment.”
“If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it,” McConnell said. “But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks. ... We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working.”
Democrats are already blasting out McConnell comments in their pitch to midterm voters, saying health care is on the ballot.
“Make no mistake: Republican Senators and Senate candidates have made their priorities clear: a vote for them is a vote against your health care, your Social Security and your Medicare,” Lauren Passalacqua, communications director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement.
With health care a top issue among the electorate in 2018, McConnell’s comments may have been a gift to Democrats up and down the ticket.
Here’s what’s happening in Trump’s America:
• Trump has another day of campaign travel, jetting off to Montana to campaign against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.
• Before he leaves, he’ll hold a meeting at 10 a.m. with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who just returned from Saudi Arabia — a country facing backlash for its apparent killing of Washington Post journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
• At 11:30 a.m., Trump will then have his daily intelligence briefing, followed by a 2 p.m. meeting with members of the South Carolina congressional delegation.
• At around 3:30 p.m., Trump departs the White House for Missoula, Montana, where he’ll hold a campaign rally for Republican Senate nominee Matt Rosendale at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time. After wrapping up the rally, Trump heads to Arizona, where he’s set to hold another campaign rally on Friday in Mesa.
About last night: Rosenstein defends the Mueller probe
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, defended the probe in a sit-down with the Wall Street Journal, calling the investigation “appropriate and independent.”
“People are entitled to be frustrated; I can accept that,” Rosenstein said, referring to some House Republicans who have attacked Mueller’s probe. “But at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources.”
Rosenstein’s comments come after reports his relationship with Trump was on the rocks, and his job was in doubt. Trump and Rosenstein seemed to make up, however, and Rosenstein remains in his position overseeing Mueller’s probe.
Mueller has reportedly met with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort at least nine times since Manafort agreed to cooperate with the probe after he was convicted of tax evasion and bank fraud and pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges.
Meanwhile, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen met Wednesday with federal investigators in New York, who are reportedly probing Trump’s business and charity, CNN reported. That probe is separate from Mueller’s, and it seems to carry with it just as much, if not more, risk for Trump.
Today in Trump’s America: More fallout from the Khashoggi disappearance
More evidence is being released that ties Saudi Arabia to the apparent death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — and it doesn’t look good for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Trump administration that’s sticking by him.
Reports from a host of different sources — including U.S. intelligence officials as well as Turkish officials — say there is evidence Khashoggi was brutally murdered within minutes of entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. The New York Times reports Khashoggi had his fingers severed and was dismembered and beheaded within the building.
The Washington Post reported it is unlikely that such a brutal murder could be carried out by “rogue killers,” which is the explanation Trump gave earlier this week after speaking with Saudi Arabian King Salman.
With mounting evidence that Khashoggi was murdered at the order of the crown prince, Trump’s embrace of Saudi leadership will draw more and more criticism from Capitol Hill — where members are calling for an international investigation of what happened within that consulate.
And the rest...
Khashoggi’s last column: The Washington Post published the final column from Jamal Khashoggi, who was apparently brutally murdered at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. Fittingly, it was about how the Arab world needs to embrace free expression.
Yeah ... don’t do that: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he’s going to take a DNA test to show he can “beat” Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s percentage of Native American ancestry. With Native American groups already upset about the incident, Graham’s mockery of the situation is not likely to make anything better.
Don McGahn is out: White House counsel Don McGahn’s final day in the White House was Wednesday, Politico reported. He leaves the Trump administration without a head counsel as Mueller’s probe of obstruction of justice continues and as the White House could face a bevy of subpoenas should Democrats win control of the House in November.