Monday’s Campaign Round-Up, 1.23.17

Updated
Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted the other day that Trump has gone “above and beyond” to address his conflicts of interest. A new federal lawsuit will try to test that assertion.

* On Fox News yesterday, Chris Wallace asked White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to explain why Donald Trump said his inaugural crowd stretched from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. Priebus defended the bogus claim, saying the crowd really was that big. When the host patiently pointed to reality, Priebus wouldn’t budge, adding, “I was sitting there looking.”

* Already assuming he’s going to win another term, the president told his new White House team yesterday, “We’re going to do some great things over the next eight years.”

* On a related note, Trump told supporters and donors the other day that he intends to win in 2020 “the old-fashioned way.” He didn’t explain exactly what that meant, but presumably it would include winning more votes than his opponent, which he failed to do in 2016.

* Asked Friday for his reaction to the new president’s inaugural address, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) said, “I’ve heard some very inspiring speeches that speak to the best of the whole country over the years – and someday I may again.”

* I’m not saying Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is running for anything, but his recent moves suggest he may be running for something.

* And the latest poll from the Pew Research Center shows the Republican Party’s favorability rating improving thanks to support from conservative independents, but overall, a 58% majority still considers the GOP the nation’s “more extreme” political party.