Where Things Stand: MAGA King Continues His Reign

This is your TPM evening briefing.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - JULY 15: Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Turning Point Action conference as he continues his 2024 presidential campaign on July 15, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump sp... WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - JULY 15: Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Turning Point Action conference as he continues his 2024 presidential campaign on July 15, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump spoke at the event held in the Palm Beach County Convention Center. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Donald Trump continues to wield power over the Republican Party in a way that no other 2024er has been able to penetrate quite yet. As the former president out-fundraises his competition and enjoys wide leads in early voting states like South Carolina and Iowa, the man considered to be his most serious challenger, Gov. Ron DeSantis, is running out of money. Politico reported just this afternoon that the Florida governor is letting one-third of his staff go, reportedly amid concerns over campaign coffers.

And his position of dominance over the party extends beyond the campaign circuit and into Congress.

As my colleague Emine Yucel just reported from the Hill this evening, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has dramatically shifted his tone on impeachment, and a potential impeachment inquiry, in the last 24 hours, as far-right members get louder about their intentions to delay the appropriations process. This of course comes after he rebuffed impeachment talk just a few weeks ago, steering his caucus away from supporting Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) attempt to force an impeachment vote against President Biden. On one hand, this could suggest that far-right members’ attempts to gum up typical government funding legislative processes, thereby threatening a shutdown, may be getting to McCarthy.

But there’s also another potential layer here. While McCarthy has since denied the reporting, Politico reported last week that McCarthy had said he would get the House to vote to expunge the two impeachments against Trump before the August recess. As my colleague Josh Marshall pointed out, that’s not a thing, but Politico also reported that the interest in expungement votes was reportedly driven by McCarthy’s attempts to quell Trump’s anger. Trump has reportedly been irked with the House speaker for weeks for not yet endorsing his 2024 bid.

And so perhaps that’s what’s behind McCarthy’s shift in tone on a Biden impeachment inquiry. DNC leadership certainly thinks so.

“He has made sure the House majority is little more than an arm of his 2024 campaign, and Kevin McCarthy is happy to do his bidding — promising to expunge Trump’s own bipartisan impeachments, and now threatening President Biden with a baseless impeachment to distract from their lack of any meaningful agenda and Trump’s own significant challenges,” DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison said in a statement Tuesday.

The Best Of TPM Today

Here’s what you should read this evening:

Freedom Caucus Members Who Are Delaying Appropriations Process Downplay Effect Of Shutdowns

Decades Of Public Messages About Recycling In The US Have Crowded Out More Sustainable Ways To Manage Waste

Jeffries Calls Out ‘MAGA Republicans,’ ‘Conspiracy Theories’ As McCarthy Changes Tone On Biden Impeachment Inquiry

ICYMI: Federal Judge Slams Tucker Carlson For Misleading Jan. 6 Segment

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

The Great Irony Of The Rush To Try The MAL Case Before Election Day — David Kurtz

What We Are Reading

FEC Complaint Claims Artificial Flower Co. Illegally Funneled Money to Florida Prez Candidate Suarez PAC — Miami New Times

Donald Trump’s Lawyer Labels Daily Beast Story ‘Election Interference’ — Daily Beast

Ammon Bundy ordered to pay $50 million. But will the hospital ever see the money? — NPR

Latest Editors' Blog
  • |
    October 4, 2023 10:38 a.m.

    First: The fact that Kevin McCarthy was ousted with the motion to vacate was not a huge surprise. The huge…

  • |
    October 3, 2023 10:23 p.m.

    Here is the chain of events as I understand them. Yesterday Matt Gaetz filed his motion to vacate. Last night…

  • |
    October 3, 2023 8:22 p.m.

    I find this both fascinating and comical. The first big collateral damage of McCarthy’s fall may be the bipartisan “problem…

  • |
    October 3, 2023 7:58 p.m.

    That did not play out how I expected. No other way to put it. Kevin McCarthy was ousted and then…

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: