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Interesting Timing

Perhaps the White House had planned all along for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make an appearance at today's press briefing to rail against sanctuary cities. But the timing is consistent with what I've long feared will be the impulse for the Trump administration: When the going gets rough (failed Obamacare repeal, low poll numbers, etc), it will fall back on appeals to racism and xenophobia to regain political footing.

With so much incompetence taking root, it's not difficult to envision a scenario where those base appeals must become more amped up, extreme, and scurrilous to be "effective." It threatens to turn into a vicious cycle the likes of which we've never seen in this country.

Stranger Than Fiction

The adventures of Devin Nunes keep getting more bizarre and hard to figure. To be clear, the same can be said for the entire l'affaire russe, but the sideshow that Nunes has become really has no recent parallels. Now we've got the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee confirming that he met with an anonymous source at the White House complex last week so that he could review the source's information in a secure location. This meeting came the day before Nunes' bizarre announcements to the press and briefing of President Trump that the communications of some members of the transition team had been picked up incidentally by American intelligence surveilling foreign nationals.

Healthcare expert Adam Cancryn is back hosting Q&A in the Hive, Thurs. @ 1 p.m.

Adam Cancryn, health care reporter for POLITICO Pro in Washington, D.C. will join us in the Hive to discuss issues relating to health care. He previously was the senior financial services and insurance reporter for S&P Global Market Intelligence (formerly SNL Financial), and ran the sports site "Began in '96." He's written for The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Submit questions to Adam about health care reform, Obamacare, the failed American Health Care Act and more. Feel free to submit your questions any time or join us Thursday at 1 p.m. If you'd like to participate but don't have TPM Prime, sign up here.

Just Like Paul and Donald Mapped It Out ...

I mentioned the two likely possibilities today are that the Obamacare repeal bill barely passes or fails by a lot. The third possibility, not to be ruled out, is that in the face of an overwhelming defeat, Ryan might pull the bill. That's contrary to the big talk from the White House that the negotiating is over and it's time to vote. But letting a major bill go down to stunning defeat is not in the normal Speaker playbook. With the votes apparently not there, Ryan is heading to the White House to talk to President Trump.

Stay tuned.

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