What to expect in John Bolton's first week as National Security Adviser

Here are the stories our DC insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a gli...

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 6:56 AM
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 6:56 AM

Here are the stories our DC insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1) Bolton's beginning

Bolton's first day as National Security Adviser is Monday and he may shake up the White House

Get ready for some possibly contentious hearings over Trump's nominees for CIA, State and Veterans' Affairs

John Bolton starts his new job as National Security Adviser Monday and he'll have plenty on his plate. President Trump's team has seen a major reshuffling over the past year, and Bolton's arrival could bring changes to the White House and its foreign policy.

The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey explains:

"You have John Bolton coming in with a more hawkish worldview. You have the Iran deal decision -- the President has to decide if he's going to rip it up. You have North Korea talks that the President wants to do, and you have someone with a different idea in many fronts than the President on foreign policy, someone the President seems to have some charisma with," Dawsey reports.

"I think there's some reticence at the NSC (National Security Council) and at the State Department possibly on John Bolton, but I think it will be interesting to watch."

2) Contentious confirmations?

As Trump's cabinet and staff go through makeovers, Congress gears up to weigh in on Trump's replacement picks. Trump's new choices for State, Veterans' Affairs and CIA director may face contentious confirmation hearings.

Politico's Eliana Johnson explains:

"Republicans in the Senate are annoyed and fatigued at having to push these (candidates) through, and Democrats have a real opportunity to energize their base by opposing these," she says. "I'm looking at which one they're going to try to oppose, one or more, and I think that one of these has a real chance at failing."

3) The Pompeo pick

Speaking of that, Mike Pompeo's confirmation hearing is Thursday. There's already trouble brewing for him with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee because Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has announced his opposition.

As CNN's Manu Raju reports, there's a one-vote advantage for the GOP on that committee, but Dems might actually help the president's pick here.

"There are two Democrats who voted for him for CIA director when he was confirmed by a 66-32 vote. That's Senator Tim Kaine, Senator Jeanne Shaheen. They both sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," Manu reports.

"Of course, the State Department secretary versus being CIA director, much different positions ... a lot of questions about whether or not they will support him going forward...we'll see if any Democrats decide to jump ship because otherwise he could be in trouble on the floor, too."

4) Teachers get political

Teachers in a handful of states are voicing their displeasure with low pay or lack of resources by striking or walking out. Educators in West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma are trying to pressure state lawmakers to meet their demands.

Time's Molly Ball tells us the political impact of this trend.

"There are 36 gubernatorial elections this November, the majority of them Republican-held. These teachers, surprising even the teachers unions by rising up, demanding better pay, and Democrats are looking at this thinking this could be part of the wave of activism that they expect to power any success," Ball says.

"This is about women. The teachers are mostly women. It affects moms. A lot of teachers are even running for office. To the extent that this feeds the wave that is being driven by women voters this fall, it could help Democrats."

5) No quit in John McCain

Congress is back from recess, but notably still missing is the senior senator from Arizona. Senator John McCain, absent from Capitol Hill since mid-December, is staying back home as he receives treatment for brain cancer.

As CNN's John King reports, McCain's staff hasn't discussed a timetable for his return after they initially promised he would be back at work in January.

"The senator's friends will be happy to know McCain was highly annoyed by a Washington Post story last week noting that there are quiet conversations in Arizona and in Washington about replacing Senator McCain if he cannot return and decides to retire," King says.

"McCain told several friends in recent days, 'I'm not going anywhere,'" King adds. "He is said to be in good spirits, working on building his strength and determined to return to work."

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