Democrats won big in 2018 — so where's the beef?

Image: Nancy Pelosi Chuck Schumer
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer lead fellow Congressional Democrats out of the White House following a meeting with President Donald Trump on April 30, 2019. Copyright Chip Somodevilla Getty Images file
By Chuck Todd and Mark Murray and Carrie Dann with NBC News Politics
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First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.


WASHINGTON — House Democrats have been in control of the House of Representatives for five months now, and they don't have much to show for it.

That message is the thrust of a Tom Steyer-backed TV ad that's airing in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as on national cable.

"You told us to wait for the Mueller investigation. And when he showed obstruction of justice … nothing happened," the ad goes.

"When this president took money from foreign governments and blocked the release of his tax returns ... nothing happened."

"Now you tell us to wait for the next election? Really??"

The lack of deliverables for House Democrats goes beyond oversight and the Mueller report.

HR1 - the campaign-finance and ethics bill that they passed in March? Not going anywhere in the Senate.

President Trump's immigration rollout from yesterday? It almost pretended Dems don't control the House.

And Attorney General William Barr's joke to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday? "Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?"

To be sure, Democrats in control of the House allowed them to roll over Trump during the government shutdown (remember that?). It enabled Michael Cohen's testimony back in February? And it's doubtful that Robert Mueller testifying would even be a possibility if the GOP remained in charge of the House.

Still, the voices in the Steyer ad aren't the only ones questioning how House Democrats have used their powers, especially after the release of the Mueller report.

"[Trump's] defying you. He's laughing at you. And he's getting away with it."

Running interference?

A new court filing by Robert Mueller's team reveals that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn told investigators that figures linked to the Trump administration and Congress reached out to him to interfere in the Russia probe, per NBC News.

From the court papers: "The defendant informed the government of multiple instances, both before and after his guilty plea, where either he or his attorneys received communications from persons connected to the Administration or Congress that could've affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation."

2020 Vision: "Not that there's anything wrong with that"

In an interview with Fox News yesterday, Trump pretty much pulled a Jerry Seinfeld in talking about Pete Buttigieg's gay marriage.

"President Trump said 'some people' may have a problem with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's marriage to his husband, Chasten, but he thinks 'it's absolutely fine,' 'great' and "good,'" the Washington Post writes.

On the campaign trail

Today: Pete Buttigieg, Steve Bullock and Bill de Blasio all campaign in Iowa… Bernie Sanders holds rallies in North Carolina…. And Julian Castro stumps in California.

Saturday: Joe Biden holds a rally in Philadelphia… Buttigieg and Bullock remain in the Hawkeye State - and Michael Bennet joins them… Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren hit New Hampshire… And Bernie Sanders visits South Carolina and Georgia.


Sunday: Warren, Klobuchar and Seth Moulton are in New Hampshire… Sanders has a rally in Alabama… And Buttigieg makes an appearance in a Fox News townhall.

Data Download: The number of the day is … $434 million.

$434 million.

That's the total revenue (at least) that President Trump saw last year, according to a financial disclosure report made public yesterday.

The figure includes a drop of about $3 million in revenue from his Mar-a-Lago resort compared with 2017, but an increase of about $1.4 million from his Doral property and a slight bump in income from his hotel in D.C.

Tweet of the day

The Lid: Location, location, location

Don't miss the pod from yesterday, when we looked at whether voters are paying attention to candidates' home state electoral records.


ICYMI: New clips you shouldn't miss

Some experts are warythat Trump's plan for a civics test as a requirement for new immigrants could backfire.

The Iran tensions are straining the relationship between John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, POLITICO reports.

The voter registration database of a small Trump-backing county in the Florida panhandle was breached by Russian hackers.

And the president has some very specific asks for the border wall's design.

Other news that's out there…


Trump agenda: Take the money and run

The Trump administration has pulled $1 billion from a California rail project.

Trump's judicial nominees are refusing to endorse Brown v. Board when they're under Senate questioning.

Trump is trying to pump the brakeswith the Pentagon on the brewing conflict with Iran.

A provision in the new tax lawis hittingcollege scholarships.

2020: Rocky rollout

Bill de Blasio's presidential rollout didn't go as smoothly as he probably hoped.


Here's the New York Times on "how Bernie Sanders brought the Cold War to Burlington."

The AP has the lateston Roy Moore's flirtation with another Senate run.

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