The Week In Politics


We’re going to start the program by reviewing some of the big political stories of a week that began with the release of former FBI Director James Comey’s memoir about his interactions with President Trump and ended with the contemporaneous notes written by Director Comey going public. Meanwhile, there was another shakeup on the president’s legal team, and the president’s nominee for secretary of state faced some rough waters going through the confirmation process. And the Democratic National Committee announced a lawsuit alleging a conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 election and tilt it to Donald Trump.

Now, there’s a lot to digest, so to help us sort through it, we’re joined once again by Robert Costa. He’s a national political reporter at The Washington Post. Welcome. Thanks for coming.

ROBERT COSTA: Thank you.

MARTIN: So let me start with this news that might have been overshadowed a little bit by the legal issues surrounding the president, and that is the confirmation process that secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo is going through. It’s looking as though he will get an unfavorable recommendation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and it’s worth noting that this is highly unusual. He will be the first nominee since 1925 to get an unfavorable recommendation before the full Senate vote. But he’s still expected to be confirmed. So what do you make of this? What’s this about?

COSTA: Highly unusual but also highly predictable that – it’s a narrowly divided Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And because Senator Rand Paul, Republican from Kentucky, has decided to oppose the nomination, then the recommendation is going to be unfavorable. However, Pompeo is likely to be confirmed because red-state Democrats up for re-election this year like Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota have signaled that they will support Pompeo to try to win over Trump voters in their states.

MARTIN: So let’s go to some of those legal issues. President Trump’s legal team has been in the news a lot, especially since his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen – it’s been made clear that he’s in the middle of a federal investigation. On Thursday, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, a very aggressive Trump surrogate, joined President Trump’s personal legal team. Now, you’ve spoken with the former mayor about this recently. What’s your takeaway here?

COSTA: I’d been…

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