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Trump's Roy Moore evolution

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

Posted: Dec 11, 2017 11:15 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2017 11:15 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) How Trump came to endorse Moore

Trump's stance on Moore has evolved and ended with him endorsing the embattled Republican

Dina Powell's departure leaves some unanswered questions from Trump's White House

President Trump has taped a robocall for Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. He endorsed Moore at a rally Friday without going to Alabama. The rally was in Florida -- right over the Alabama line.

But Trump hasn't always been this outspoken about his opinion on the race. As Politico's Eliana Johnson explained, Trump's opinion on Moore is shaped by his views on the accusations. She suggested looking at one of Trump's initial statements on the Moore allegations for a glimpse at why he backs him.

"The first line of that statement said that, like most Americans, the President doesn't believe that mere allegations, in this case decades old, should be allowed to ruin somebody's life and career -- White House aides have indicated to me that that first line of that statement really does represent the President's true feelings about Roy Moore, but also, kind of broader, this broader wave of sexual harassment allegations," Johnson said. "It helps to explain the shift we've seen in the President's stance on Roy Moore and his candidacy. But also may preview some comments that we may see him make in ... a broader wave of sexual harassment allegations that we've seen coming out of Congress and broader american life."

2) Questions about Dina Powell's exit

Dina Powell, the President's deputy national security adviser, will be leaving her administration role. She's served for about a year and as CNN's Sara Murray reported, her departure may be one of many.

"This wave could be even bigger. One thing to watch is not just who is leaving, but how does the White House fill these positions. This administration has struggled since day one to staff its West Wing," Murray reported.

"That certainly isn't getting any easier as the Russia investigation looms even larger over the Trump White House."

3) The Rep. Nunes question

The House Ethics Committee has cleared Rep. Devin Nunes of any wrongdoing. That move leaves a big question mark on what may happen inside the Russia investigation on the House side. Nunes is the chairman of House Intel and in charge of the probe, but had stepped aside over concerns that he may have mishandled classified information. Manu Raju explained the questions the House now faces.

"Will he come back and take charge of this investigation? He had stepped aside and he had let [Rep.] Mike Conaway, the Republican of Texas, run it. Now, for months, Nunes has widely wielded influence behind the scenes. He's retained subpoena power. And he's launching his own investigations. But what he has not done is attended these classified hearings."

4) Re-hatching an election bid?

All eyes are on Sen. Orrin Hatch as he decides if he'll run for re-election. As Boston Globe's Matt Viser explains, Trump is urging Hatch to go for it and all signs point to yes on a re-election bid. That has one former politician particularly interested.

"Watch Mitt Romney. He has been rumored to want that seat if Hatch does not run. But if Hatch decides to run, Romney still wants a role. And so watch him and what he may do if Hatch runs."

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