Alex Isenstadt and Gabriel Debenedetti at Politico:
Republicans are confronting a growing revolt from their top donors, who are cutting off the party in protest over its inability to get anything done.
Tensions reached a boiling point at a recent dinner at the home of Los Angeles billionaire Robert Day. In full view of around two dozen guests, Thomas Wachtell, a retired oil and gas investor and party contributor, delivered an urgent message to the night’s headliner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Just do something.
Wachtell, who has given tens of thousands of dollars over the years to Senate Republicans, recalled that McConnell responded defensively. Passing legislation takes time, the Republican leader responded, and President Donald Trump didn’t seem to understand how long it required.
“Anybody who was there knew that I was not happy. And I don’t think anybody was happy. How could you be?” said Wachtell, who has previously given over $2,000 to McConnell but recently stopped donating to Senate GOP causes. “You’re never going to get a more sympathetic Republican than I am. But I’m sick and tired of nothing happening.Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns at NYT:
Since last week, Senate Republicans lost one of their own when Roy S. Moore, the firebrand former state judge, trounced Senator Luther Strangein a Senate runoff in Alabama. The retirement of Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee kicked off a potentially fratricidal fight for his seat, with the establishment’s preferred successor, Gov. Bill Haslam, declining to run on Thursday.
An audiotape surfaced of Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, lambasting Republican leaders and urging conservative donors to close their wallets to lawmakers who are disloyal to President Trump. And a House Republican, Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, was forced to resign this week after a text from his mistress became public in which she mocked him for trumpeting his staunch opposition to abortion as he pressured her to terminate a pregnancy.
Former Representative Michael Grimm of New York has also resurfaced after serving time for felony tax fraud to challenge his Republican successor on Staten Island — with the backing of Mr. Trump’s former strategist, Stephen K. Bannon.