Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 5.12.17

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.* USA Today reports that a coalition of progressive groups, including End Citizens United and Every Voice, are launching new ads today in eight states, urging Republican senators to support an independent investigation into the Russia scandal.* The White House and the National Republican Congressional Campaign are reportedly at odds over special-election strategies and "who is in charge" of the party's midterm campaign efforts.* In Montana's congressional special election, Republican Greg Gianforte says he doesn't accept corporate PAC money, but he nevertheless referred industry PACs last week to "our Victory Fund."* In Alabama's upcoming U.S. Senate special election, the Republican field is growing, but on the Democratic side, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones entered the race this week. Jones is perhaps best known for having successfully prosecuted KKK members for a Birmingham church bombing.* On a related note, Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), the appointed incumbent, released a strange new ad this week in which he tried to distance himself from disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley (R).* Donald Trump told NBC News that if the election were today, he'd "win by a lot more than I did on November 8th." A national Quinnipiac poll released this week showed the president with a 36% approval rating.* This week, Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, noted that it'd been six months since Trump's election victory, and he marked the occasion by "tweeting a screen grab of the late-night phone call" when Hillary Clinton conceded the race. Scavino also said he intended to release video of the conversation.