DC Roundup: ‘I Did Not Collude With Russia,’ Boy Scouts Jamboree, Health Care

Developments in Washington, D.C., on Monday include Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, denying collusion with Russia when interviewed by a Senate panel, Trump pushing Republican senators to begin debate on health care legislation, and the president speaking to the National Scouts Jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia.

WATCH: Jared Kushner at the White House

Trump Son-in-Law Denies Collusion With Moscow — Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, denied Monday that he or anyone else with the Trump campaign had any improper contacts with Russia leading up to or after the 2016 election. “I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,” Kushner said at the White House in a brief statement after answering questions in a closed-door meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators, the first of two congressional interviews for Kushner this week. The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and former campaign manager Paul Manafort are also sharing information with another panel, the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump Exhorts Republican Lawmakers to Overhaul Health Care Law — Trump is ramping up pressure on Republicans to pass a new health care law, saying there has been “enough talk and no action.” Speaking in the White House Blue Room on Monday, Trump scolded Senate Republicans, saying they have not kept their promise to repeal and replace the current health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was championed by former President Barack Obama.

Trump Jokes to Boy Scouts About ‘Firing’ HHS Head, Pushes for Obamacare Repeal — Trump used his speech Monday night to an enthusiastic crowd at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia to take swipes at “the fake news media” and joke about firing his director of health and human services if Republicans in Congress fail to advance health care legislation that Trump favors. About 40,000 Boy Scouts, leaders and volunteers were on hand for the jamboree, an event held every four years. Trump had initially said the speech would not be political — “Who the hell wants to talk about politics to the Boy Scouts?” he asked — but interspersed his remarks with a number of topical barbs.

Remarks By President Trump at 2017 National Scout Jamboree

US Judge Allows Trump Election Commission to Seek Voting Data — Trump’s commission investigating voter fraud may request voter roll data from U.S. states, a federal judge ruled on Monday, in a setback for groups that contend the effort could infringe on privacy rights. The judge said a lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) watchdog did not have grounds for an injunction in part because the collection of data by the commission was not technically an action by a government agency so was not bound by laws that govern what such entities can do.

Republicans in US House Push for Congressional Budget Office Cuts — Conservative Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are seeking to add an amendment this week to spending legislation that would slash the number of staff at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The budget research office, known as the CBO, has drawn recent Republican criticism, including from the White House, after it concluded that Republican proposals to replace Obamacare would lead to 23 million more Americans being uninsured if they became law.

Democrats Attempt Rebranding With Populist New Agenda — Democratic leaders believe they lost to Trump partly because voters don’t know what the party stands for. So they’re trying to rebrand themselves with a new slogan and a populist new agenda as they look ahead to the 2018 midterms. It’s called “A Better Deal” and House and Senate Democratic leaders are rolling it out Monday afternoon in Berryville, Virginia. They’re intentionally traveling outside the Beltway, and into the district of one of the GOP House members they hope to defeat next year, Barbara Comstock.

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