In it, but not of it. TPM DC

President Trump is riding to Roy Moore’s rescue in Alabama one week from election day.

Trump called Moore on Monday to heartily re-endorse him, a move that’s likely to help boost Moore as he seeks to survive multiple accusations of sexual misconduct that have put his Senate campaign in jeopardy in deep-red Alabama.

The Republican National Committee decided to follow suit after Trump’s call, TPM confirmed Monday night, after the committee had earlier suspended its support of Moore. Though it’s as yet unclear what exactly they’ll do for Moore, last-minute aid to help bolster his weak fundraising, limited TV ads and limited field operation could make a crucial difference.

Those steps, and a Friday Trump campaign rally just over the state line in Florida, could make the difference in a close election in a state where the president remains popular — and where boosting turnout is all that matters.

“The president’s approval rating goes off the paper it’s so high. When the president says ‘this is why I need a Republican from Alabama,’ that matters,” Perry Hooper, Trump’s Alabama state chairman, told TPM on Monday. “That message will resonate strongly in Alabama.”

According to Moore’s campaign, Trump called Moore a “fighter” and closed the phone call from Air Force One by declaring “Go get ’em, Roy!” The White House confirmed that Trump called Moore and reaffirmed his endorsement.

That came just after Trump touted Moore’s campaign for the first time since nine women came forward to accuse Moore of acting inappropriately towards them — including one who said Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was just 14 years old and another who said he sexually assaulted her when she was 16.

Democrats admit Trump’s gambit could work in a close race, convincing reluctant Republicans loyal to Trump but worried about Moore’s temperament and past actions to turn out and vote on Dec. 12. The more aggressively Trump backs Moore, the more he could help.

Public and private polls show a tight race, and the biggest question on all sides remains who will turn out in an oddly timed election where Moore and Jones are the only candidates on the ballot. While Trump’s popularity has sagged nationally, he remains well-liked in Alabama, where he sports some of his highest approval numbers of any state, and is beloved by the most of the state’s GOP base. Moore has bounced back in the polls since Thanksgiving, pulling even with or ahead of Jones in recent surveys after trailing him in the scandal’s immediate aftermath, though strategists in both parties admit they have little idea who is likely to turn out next Tuesday.

And while Jones is outspending Moore 10-to-1 on advertising and has a much larger and more professionalized field operation, a bit of a push from Trump narrows Jones’ narrow path to victory even further in a state no Democratic candidate has won in the past decade.

“What Trump can do is help join the barrage of people cruelly attacking these accusers and normalize an accused pedophile because Trump has been very successful at attacking his own accusers,” one national Democrat monitoring the race told TPM. “If you’re a Trump supporter looking for an out [to vote for Moore], this gives you one.”

The White House has said the president won’t campaign in-state for Moore. But he’s doing the next-best thing, with a Friday campaign stop in Pensacola, Florida  — a site that’s just 15 miles from the Alabama border in a town whose media market covers roughly a quarter of the state. When TPM asked Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) who Trump was targeting with the rally, he didn’t mince words: “Alabama.”

Trump’s campaign has been making robocalls featuring Lara Trump advertising the event all over the state of Alabama, according to sources, and it’d be unlike Trump to avoid any mention of Moore during the event.

“Trump’s still got a good following down there,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) said Monday on Capitol Hill.

Trump’s endorsement may help win the battle for the seat, but many in the GOP worry a Senator Moore could do further damage to the party’s image that has already been hurt by Trump.

“It’ll be difficult enough for Republicans without us being the party of Roy Moore,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a frequent Trump critic, told TPM Monday night.

Trump’s allies have already been rallying to Moore’s side.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon will appear with Moore on Tuesday night, rejoining a man he backed during a hard-fought primary against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who had the backing of most of the GOP establishment and reluctant support from Trump. The grassroots group Bikers for Trump also rallied for Moore on Sunday.

Other Republicans who’d previously shunned Moore have softened their criticisms in recent days. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who’d called on Moore to drop out of the race in the wake of the allegations, said it should be up to “the voters of Alabama to decide” whether or not to elect him on Sunday.

Trump’s re-endorsement comes after weeks off GOP lobbying on the race, with top Trump advisers and allies including Bannon and Kellyanne Conway pushing for him to stand by Moore while others including McConnell fought hard for him to cut Moore loose. Trump decided the accusations against Moore mirrored those from 17 women who accused Trump of sexual harassment during last year’s campaign, sources told TPM.

“I talked to Jared Kushner, I talked to Eric Trump and Eric’s wife [Lara], [White House Deputy Chief of Staff] Rick Dearborn and others who work in the West Wing … they just know they need another Republican vote and they can’t afford to lose another Republican vote,” Hooper told TPM.

Trump’s campaign and the White House declined to discuss any further steps Trump might take for Moore.

Jones’ campaign believes that Trump can only make so much of an impact, pointing out that Moore beat his favored candidate in the primary and arguing that Alabama voters have made up their mind on Moore.

“This is an Alabama race. It doesn’t seem to matter what outside folks say, even if it’s the president it doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of impact. Roy Moore’s a pretty known quantity, people know why they’re worried about him or why they’re not,” Jones adviser Joe Trippi told TPM.

But Trippi conceded that the race is all about turnout rather than converting swing voters at this point — an area where Trump might have a big impact.

“This isn’t about changing anyone’s mind. I don’t believe that’s what they’re trying to do,” he said. “It’s about can they get people out to vote.”

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Two months ago, amid a stalemate over how to fund health coverage for 9 million children and l0w-income pregnant women, Congress allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to lapse. As the end of the year approaches, states are starting to panic. A few have already begun sending out notices to families informing them that their children’s insurance may not be available next year. Several have requested, and received, millions in stopgap emergency funding from the federal government—though that too will run out some time early next year. Some have dipped into their own reserves to make sure no child is thrown out of the program.

Now, after passing a tax bill in the wee hours of Saturday morning that economists say will blow at least a $1 trillion hole in the federal deficit, Congress still has no plan on the table to restore funding for CHIP—which would cost the government about 1 percent of what they plan pay for tax cuts.

While the short-term continuing resolution up for a vote this week includes some emergency shortfall funding for states on the cusp of exhausting their CHIP reserves, a deal on a five-year reauthorization is nowhere to be seen.

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President Trump called Alabama Senate candidate and accused child molester Roy Moore to double down on his previous endorsement on Monday morning.

“The President had a positive call with Judge Roy Moore during which they discussed the state of the Alabama Senate race and the President endorsed Judge Moore’s campaign,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement.

That came after Moore’s wife Kayla posted on Facebook that Trump called Moore to offer his “full support.” Moore’s campaign followed up with a statement that Trump had ended the call with by saying “Go get ’em, Roy!”

Trump’s support could help galvanize the GOP base for Moore in a tough Senate race — and the more he does for Moore ahead of the Dec. 12 election, the better Moore’s chances of surviving accusations from nine women of sexual misconduct.

The call occurred not long after Trump endorsed Moore by name in an early Monday morning tweet, the first time the President has explicitly backed Moore’s campaign since nine women came forward to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct.

Trump came out to slam Democrat Doug Jones and indicate he still backed Moore’s campaign shortly before Thanksgiving, after nearly two weeks of silence on Moore as other top Republicans pulled their support.

The White House has said Trump won’t travel to Alabama to help Moore — but he’ll be holding a Friday night political rally in Pensacola, Fla., just over the border, whose media market covers much of southern Alabama. Trump’s team hasn’t ruled out other help like robocalls that could help galvanize the GOP base in the state and help Moore in the race’s final days.

Moore was quick to tout the re-endorsement (Trump had backed Moore immediately after he won the GOP primary).

“I am honored to receive the support and endorsement of President Donald Trump. President Trump knows that the future of his conservative agenda in Congress hinges on this election,”Moore said in a statement. “We had a good conversation over the phone today and are working together towards conservative victory on December 12.”

Recent public and private polls show a close race between Moore and Jones in the heavily Republican state.

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After initially backing away from Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, President Donald Trump on Monday morning urged Alabama voters to support Moore, arguing that Republicans need his vote in the Senate.

Moore thanked Trump for his support Monday morning.

When the accusations that Moore made sexual advances toward teenage girls when he was in his 30s first surfaced, the White House and top Republicans distanced themselves from Moore. Though Trump never condemned Moore publicly, the President was silent as women came forward with accusations about Moore. The White House also called for Moore to step aside if the allegations were true.

However, as Election Day in Alabama nears, Trump has signaled that he still supports Moore. At the end of November, Trump told reporters that Republicans “don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat” and noted that Moore has denied the accusations. About a week later, he followed up with tweets noting that he did not support Moore in the primary but arguing that the Democratic candidate in the race was not a good choice.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also softened his tone on Moore recently. When the sexual misconduct claims against Moore first surfaced, McConnell called for Moore to drop out of the race. However, on Sunday, McConnell said that Alabama voters should decide who to sent to the Senate.

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In the wee hours of Saturday, after working for hours to rewrite major sections of the bill behind closed doors, the GOP-controlled Senate voted 51 to 49 to pass a bill overhauling the American tax code, exploding the deficit and gutting a key piece of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate passage advances the bill to a conference with the House, where its differences with a version passed before Thanksgiving must be hammered out.

Senators told TPM on Friday that a combination of late night wrangling, horse-trading, and promises for future votes secured the support of enough senators to get the bill across the finish line.

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Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) confirmed in a statement Friday morning that he plans to vote for the GOP tax bill despite his concerns it will blow a $1 trillion hole in the federal deficit. He said his yes vote was secured by a promise from Senate leadership and the White House to include him in negotiations around a permanent fix for DACA recipients—the hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people whose protections were stripped away by the Trump administration earlier this year.

“Getting protections for those kids is what I hope comes out of it,” he told reporters Friday. “Obviously they can’t commit to do that. But they committed to move forward with me and work with me on it.”

Flake said he was given no promise as to when a DACA deal would be made, saying: “I would like to get it done before the end of the year. You shouldn’t make those kids wait with that kind of uncertainty.”

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Late Friday morning, with the fate of the GOP tax bill up in the air, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell broke his usual tradition of strolling silently past reporters by issuing the single sentence: “We have the votes.”

Minutes later, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), one of the key holdouts on the bill, announced his support, saying on Twitter that he was won over by “a commitment from the administration and Senate leadership to advance growth-oriented legislative solution to enact fair & permanent protections for DACA recipients.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who on Thursday laid out several serious issues she had with the bill and changes she is demanding, has not yet confirmed she is on board, telling reporters she would announce her position later on Thursday.

However, Collins said and other lawmakers confirmed she successfully secured one of her major asks: a restoration of a property tax deduction up to $10,000. Whether that is enough to bring her on board remains uncertain, but if Flake and every other Senate Republican save for Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) are in, the tax bill is set to sail through.

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Just a few hours before holding a vote on a bill to fundamentally overhaul the American tax code and kill Obamacare’s individual mandate, senators received a bombshell report from the Joint Committee on Taxation finding that the bill would cost the federal government about $1 trillion dollars over a decade, even when taking into account increased revenues from economic growth.

The report directly contradicts claims by the Trump administration and Republican leaders that the tax cuts would completely pay for themselves, and will fuel tensions in the final hours of the bill’s debate between the GOP’s deficit hawks demanding a revenue-raising “trigger” and those who insist one is not necessary.

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At a breakfast with reporters Thursday morning, less than 24 hours before the Senate votes to overhaul the American tax code and kill the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said her Republican colleagues have not yet secured her vote.

With the bill still in flux, and furious last-minute negotiations going on behind closed doors, Collins laid out several problems she has with the legislation: the “mistake” of including repeal of the individual mandate, concerns about a “trigger” proposal pushed by the Senate’s deficit hawks, too-deep cuts to the corporate tax rate, and the elimination of most state and local tax (SALT) deductions.

“There are a lot of concerns I want to fix,” she said. “I am not committed to vote for this bill. Who knows what’s going to happen on the Senate floor during the vote-a-rama.”

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told reporters at a breakfast Thursday morning that she secured “a personal commitment” from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that Congress would avoid deep automatic cuts to Medicare and other federal programs that would be triggered by the costly tax bill up for a vote this week.

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