Matt Shuham

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously associate editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at and on Twitter @mattshuham.

Articles by Matt

The right-wing cable outlet One America News Network announced Thursday that it will be filing an amicus brief in CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration over reporter Jim Acosta’s suspended press pass “in favor of the White House.” Several other media companies and news outlets, including Fox News, have filed amicus briefs on CNN’s side.

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Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel will “transition to a new role with the administration” after an oddly public rebuke from first lady Melania Trump, the White House confirmed Wednesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement:

“Mira Ricardel will continue to support the President as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the Administration. The President is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported Tuesday on the spat between Ricardel and the first lady’s office, saying that President Donald Trump became involved “at the urging” of the first lady, “whose staff battled with Ms. Ricardel during the first lady’s trip to Africa last month over seating on the plane and requests to use National Security Council resources, according to people familiar with the matter.”

The first lady’s spokesperson then said in a statement that “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she [Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.” Ricardel became National Security Adviser John Bolton’s deputy in May.

The New York Times went into more detail Tuesday on the bubbling-over tensions between Ricardel and the first lady’s office. Per the Times:

Ms. Ricardel had announced the [first lady’s trip to Africa] before it was fully planned, according to one of the people, and then threatened to pull resources for it after learning that she did not have a seat on Mrs. Trump’s plane. After the trip ended, Ms. Ricardel made accusations of inappropriate behavior by Mrs. Trump’s most trusted staff members, including Lindsay Reynolds, the first lady’s chief of staff — claims that a person close to the first lady said were false.

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After outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) threatened to block Trump administration judicial nominees until he gets a vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joked that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “is going to squash Jeff Flake like a bug, as he always does.”

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Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Nick Ayers is reportedly among the top candidates to replace current White House chief of staff John Kelly. But a political consulting firm Ayers founded, and which his wife now runs, makes his position in Pence’s office rife with conflicts of interest, as does his central role as a political adviser to Pence with considerable sway over who gets dollars from Pence’s leadership PAC.

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been elected by his Republican House colleagues to be minority leader for the next Congress. He faced a challenge from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who was supported by some conservative groups, despite recent accusations that he ignored sexual abuse as a college wrestling coach. The President reportedly wants Jordan to be the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. Per CNBC and RollCall, McCarthy defeated Jordan 159-43 to be elected minority leader.