President Donald Trump and the RNC have decided to pitch in for Roy Moore.
Senate Republicans? Not so much.
Moore stands accused of several instances of inappropriate sexual behavior with teenagers when he was a 30-something district attorney. But President Trump endorsed him yesterday, and the RNC said it would support him, too, after initially dropping his race.
Senate Republicans, though, are frustrated by the moves, POLITICO’s Seung Min Kim and Kevin Robillard report, trying to keep their distance from a candidate they scarcely embraced before allegations about his behavior with teenagers came out. One, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, went so far as to donate to Democrat Doug Jones’ campaign on Tuesday.
At the same time, there’s a sense of resignation, though: “ GOP senators who have tried to block Moore from winning the race, (are) acknowledging that the explicit seal of approval from Trump has left them no good options in the Dec. 12 contest. McConnell has acknowledged that he can’t force Moore out of the race.”
One thing is clear: The Moore situation highlights a divide between Senate Republicans and Trump.
“I don’t understand that move,” South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the third-ranking Senate Republican, said of the RNC’s decision. “I guess that’s consistent with what the president wants to see happen, but it’s not consistent with what I’ve been saying.”
He added, “We’re putting ourselves in a situation where we’re going to have a cloud of uncertainty and a cloud of distraction come January.”
Elsewhere in President Trump’s orbit:
JERUSALEM IT IS: President Trump is officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will eventually move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv— a move that could stoke tensions in the Middle East and hurt peace efforts.
WELFARE NEXT?: A change in food stamp policy that gives states more flexibility could be a precursor to a larger welfare reform push from the Trump administration.
G-MAN’S DEFENSE: Democrats are moving to protect and insulate special counsel Robert Mueller as conservatives and Congressional Republicans criticize his efforts.
BOB’S BILL: So far, special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has cost $6.7 million.
NIELSEN RATED: The Senate voted 62-37 to confirm Kristjen Nielsen to lead the Department of Homeland Security. She is a close associate of White House chief of staff John Kelly.
IMPEACHMENT, MAYBE: Texas Rep. Al Green says he will go forward with an effort to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump. It’s not clear if his effort will succeed.
THE REAL DEAL: A New York Times analysis finds that commercial real estate — President Trump’s main business income — benefits greatly from the new GOP tax bill.
HE’S FLEECING US: Patagonia says it will sue President Trump after his announcement yesterday that he will dramatically shrink to U.S. monuments. (CNN)
OBAMA WINS: Former President Barack Obama has three of the top retweeted tweets of 2017. President Trump didn’t crack the top 10.
There you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. That’s Tuesday in the books.