Thursday’s Campaign Round-Up, 1.12.17

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

* Donald Trump recently spoke to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and tried to persuade him to change parties. The West Virginia Democrat, the most conservative Dem in the chamber, declined.

* Asked this morning about the president-elect’s conflicts of interest, Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, said, “The president by law does not have conflicts. It’s a somewhat silly conversation.”

* Former Attorney General Eric Holder will reportedly kick off his anti-gerrymandering initiative with a speech at the Center for American Progress today. “[President Obama] thinks, and I think, that this is something that threatens our democracy,” Holder told the New York Times yesterday.

* Barring any unexpected legislative developments, Vice President Joe Biden will become the first vice president in American history to serve two full terms and not cast any tie-breaking votes.

* As Rachel noted on the show the other day, Coretta Scott King wrote a pretty powerful letter in 1986 speaking out against Jeff Sessions’ judicial nomination. Now that the Alabama Republican is up for Attorney General, the message is newly relevant.

* Speaking of news from last night’s show, in an unexpected development, Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub spoke out publicly yesterday, criticizing Trump’s plan to deal with his conflicts of interest.

* Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) this morning called on CNN to fire Jim Acosta for being “disrespectful” towards Trump at yesterday’s press conference and “disrupting” the event. I have a hunch that’s not going to happen.

* And Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), without a hint of irony, said yesterday that Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) testified against Jeff Sessons’ AG nominee in part because the New Jersey Democrat is “ambitious.” Cruz, of course, launched a presidential campaign just two years into his first term in the Senate.