Political News

John Kelly may not be done revamping White House staff

Posted December 31, 2017 10:03 a.m. EST

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

1) John Kelly's 2018 hirings and firings

The Trump White House saw its share of staff shakeups in 2017. As 2018 begins, the second White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, may have more personnel shuffles on his mind.

Politico's Eliana Johnson explains Kelly's mindset for what the White House should look like in the upcoming year.

"There's been a lot of focus on some high-profile departures in the White House. A year into the Trump administration, I think we're going to see, not only departures, but also some forcible removals," Johnson says.

2) Year of the women in gubernatorial races?

Beyond a possible blue wave, election experts have said 2018 may bring a record number of women elected to political office. And gubernatorial races are no different.

As Washington Post's Karen Tumulty reports, 79 women so far are running for governorships.

"It's going to test this proposition that social scientists have seen where voters are more comfortable with women in a legislative setting," Tumulty says. "It's pushing against the barriers to see women running, this many of them, to be the decider."

3) Trump and the GOP must still sell their tax plan

The tax-reform plan is the law of the land now, but that doesn't mean Americans are sold on it. The most recent polling from CNN/SSRC this month shows only 33% are in favor of the proposal, with 55% opposed. That disapproval was up by 10 points from November polling.

Wall Street Journal's Julie Bykowicz says she's watching how President Trump and the GOP plan to market the law now that it's passed.

"We'll see if the President travels to different factories and states to sell this law, because it really remains deeply unpopular. You're already hearing about some groups that did a lot of advertising during the tax debate say that they're going to continue to put up advertisements and try to get that popularity up," Bykowicz reports. "We'll see if Democrats come back with their own set of advertising to highlight some of the negative aspects of the new law."

4) The other Russia investigations (involving Hillary Clinton)

Investigations into Team Trump's possible interactions with Russia during the 2016 campaign have been making headlines for most of 2017. Questions remain surrounding the dossier compiled by a British agent alleging collusion between Trump and Russia.

But there also are probes into Hillary Clinton emails on her private server and how the FBI and DOJ handled that.

Washington Post's Karoun Demirjian explains where the investigations are headed in 2018.

"We saw the groundwork laid at the end of the year with the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee bringing in the FBI director. It seems as the GOP pushes to wind down the investigations into Trump, they are pushing to ramp up the ones on Hillary Clinton," Demirjian says.

"The question is how much steam do they pick up and what role does that play going forward, especially as you see the potential shift happen and the investigations generally play a role in the politics in the new year."