Inside Politics: Billionaire Bloomberg considering 2020 run?

Reading the 2020 tea leaves, Mike Pence's trip to Latin America, Trump's court push, and a controversial FBI agent heads to the Hill—it's all on Inside Politics.

Posted: Jun 25, 2018 9:11 AM
Updated: Jun 25, 2018 9:11 AM

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

1. Bloomberg 2020?

Michael Bloomberg is a Republican-turned-independent who now wants to be the Democrats' 2018 midterm savior. His big splash: a new pledge to spend perhaps $80 million to help Democrats win back the House.

"Democrats are ecstatic at this gift, but is the Democratic House Bloomberg's only goal here?" asks CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

"He's long wanted to be president, and some very smart people in contact with Bloomberg's inner circle say Team Bloomberg sees this 2018 effort as a way to make new friends and test a possible Bloomberg 2020 campaign."

Bloomberg isn't a Democrat. And he's 76 years old. But Sen. Bernie Sanders is also not a Democrat and is also 76 years old, and he's mulling another run too. And Donald Trump is a Democrat-turned-independent-turned Republican president.

"Yes, Bloomberg 2020 seems more than a stretch," King said. "But so did Trump in 2016."

King said a veteran political operative who's talked about this with top Bloomberg advisers put it this way: "He wants to run against Trump. The Bloomberg guys think Democrats will owe him a shot. We will see."

2. Dem hopefuls eye Maryland gubernatorial primary

Some of the most prominent Democrats with an eye on 2020 are focused this week on Maryland, where Democratic voters will pick a gubernatorial nominee to run against incumbent Republican Larry Hogan, one of the most popular governors in the country.

Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders have all been there to campaign for former NAACP chief Ben Jealous. His main competition is a centrist local leader from Prince George's County.

"Ben Jealous is kind of the progressive candidate running against Rushern Baker, who is more the establishment-type candidate," New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin said. "It does have some echoes of Sanders versus Clinton from two years ago."

Martin said Sen. Sanders in particular has a lot riding on the race. "Sanders has not had a great record in a lot of these primaries so far, and could use a "W" from his wing of the party."

3. Pence heads to South America

Vice President Mike Pence travels to Central and South America this week -- including a stop in Guatemala, where he'll no doubt face questions about the administration's border policy.

"Immigration and the way President Trump has treated the immigration issue, the implications of the family separations, particularly for a place like Guatemala, are front and center on many peoples' minds," Bloomberg's Margaret Talev said. "It will be very interesting to see how the vice president tries to do clean-up on what President Trump's separation policy has done."

4. Trump hopes courts will help his agenda

The Republican legislative agenda may be stuck in Congress, but the administration is hoping the courts can help with some of President Trump's biggest priorities.

"In the courts he actually can make quite a bit of progress, and the administration in recent weeks has been trying to do that not just on immigration, but also on the Affordable Care Act," said Julie Hirschfeld Davis of the New York Times. On the ACA, the administration's recent decision not to defend its constitutionality "could have big implications for health care law, even if Congress doesn't do what President Trump has repeatedly asked them to do."

One factor weighing in the administration's favor: the record number of Trump-picked judges who have been confirmed to the judiciary. "This has been a big talking point for President Trump on the campaign trail, that he's really remade the judiciary," Davis said. "And now we're beginning to see the ways in which he is trying to take advantage of those changes."

5. Controversial FBI agent heads to the Hill

Trump allies in Congress who have been trying to undercut the Mueller investigation have a big week ahead: FBI agent Peter Strzok is scheduled to testify before a House panel investigating the FBI's probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.

Strzok is one of the FBI agents whose anti-Trump text messages have raised questions about bias at the bureau. He volunteered to testify, but that didn't stop House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte from subpoenaing him anyway.

"Goodlatte wanted to issue that subpoena to really send a message to Strzok and to send a message that they want to go after this issue relatively hard," said CNN's Manu Raju.

Republicans also are discussing holding top Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress for not turning over documents they've requested about the Clinton investigation.

"The threat of contempt or impeachment of Rod Rosenstein still looms large," Raju said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 145465

Reported Deaths: 2491
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin36126997
Ramsey14966377
Dakota10420139
Anoka9573156
Washington649074
Stearns647850
Scott366636
Olmsted344930
St. Louis333074
Wright282516
Clay259145
Nobles236818
Blue Earth21367
Carver19167
Sherburne189924
Kandiyohi18695
Rice174210
Mower155318
Winona136219
Crow Wing120822
Chisago11912
Benton109012
Lyon10446
Beltrami9839
Otter Tail9808
Waseca95010
Todd9337
Polk8845
Morrison8529
Steele8173
Itasca80617
Douglas8044
Nicollet78318
Freeborn7275
Goodhue68211
Le Sueur6716
Becker6654
Martin63718
McLeod6294
Isanti6196
Pine5960
Watonwan5854
Carlton5372
Chippewa4893
Mille Lacs47118
Hubbard4695
Cass4385
Wabasha4281
Dodge4200
Pipestone37217
Meeker3703
Rock3665
Brown3653
Roseau3650
Redwood31012
Yellow Medicine3096
Murray3023
Cottonwood2990
Renville28613
Fillmore2840
Wadena2743
Sibley2733
Faribault2580
Houston2492
Kanabec23610
Swift2322
Jackson2261
Pennington2221
Aitkin2142
Unassigned20354
Stevens2001
Lincoln1970
Koochiching1775
Pope1740
Big Stone1671
Marshall1611
Wilkin1484
Lac qui Parle1473
Clearwater1431
Norman1410
Lake1390
Mahnomen1342
Grant1094
Red Lake842
Traverse610
Kittson540
Lake of the Woods471
Cook200

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 124963

Reported Deaths: 1700
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk20019290
Woodbury753099
Linn6256134
Black Hawk6154102
Johnson610731
Dubuque563959
Scott501843
Story416418
Dallas364047
Pottawattamie343145
Sioux259517
Buena Vista231812
Marshall217136
Webster200915
Plymouth176731
Wapello161062
Clinton159028
Muscatine156058
Cerro Gordo154527
Des Moines153911
Crawford140015
Warren13477
Jasper124034
Carroll123113
Henry11495
Marion109211
Lee103412
Tama102138
Delaware84314
Dickinson8159
Wright7781
Boone7659
Mahaska75125
Bremer7459
Jackson7193
Harrison71217
Washington71212
Benton6782
Lyon5868
Clay5684
Louisa54915
Jones5374
Winnebago52719
Clayton5263
Winneshiek5259
Cedar5217
Hardin5187
Buchanan5155
Kossuth5020
Hamilton4945
Poweshiek49411
Floyd47211
Emmet46221
Cass4563
Iowa45610
Mills4403
Cherokee4342
Page4270
Fayette4224
Guthrie42115
Allamakee4189
Sac4174
Butler4163
Shelby4112
Franklin40118
Humboldt3833
Chickasaw3821
Hancock3796
Madison3783
Clarke3633
Grundy3526
Calhoun3374
Palo Alto3352
Osceola3100
Mitchell3021
Howard2889
Monroe27512
Union2725
Jefferson2671
Taylor2632
Appanoose2583
Monona2562
Pocahontas2532
Ida2312
Fremont2172
Lucas2146
Adair2041
Greene1990
Montgomery1977
Davis1954
Van Buren1942
Keokuk1901
Audubon1831
Decatur1700
Wayne1553
Worth1550
Ringgold1042
Adams841
Unassigned90
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