David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

You probably saw the news this week that the Trump Justice Department is launching a highly dubious new project targeting discrimination against white students in university admissions policies. A pretty straight-up attack on affirmative action in admissions. But what you may not have seen was the troubling way DOJ was going about staffing the project, which is sounding the alarm bells for a new round of politicization of the Civil Rights Division, a disturbing echo of the department’s low point in the George W. Bush years. Allegra Kirkland has the story.

Mueller impanels a federal grand jury in DC and reportedly issues subpoenas about the June 16 meeting among Kushner, Manafort and Trump Jr., and that Russian lawyer. At the same time, Mueller probe is reportedly pushing deeper into President Trump’s business dealings.


The relationship between Donald Trump and Felix Sater is the kind of sordid connection that would have done in almost any past presidential candidate. But many of the details of their relationship remain elusive. In a series of interviews with TPM’s Sam Thielman in recent days, Sater has opened up about his past and his relationship with the president who now keeps his distance. Must read.

Please read Tierney Sneed’s account of being in the Senate chamber last night as it became apparent – in slow, excruciating fashion–that John McCain was going to block Obamacare repeal.

Big props to Tierney, Alice Ollstein, Cameron Joseph and the whole TPM team on covering this unprecedented legislative rollercoaster over the last several weeks and months. They work longer and harder and with more good humor than you can possibly know.

We’ve been slogging through the evening toward what was seeming like an inevitable passage of a godforsaken Obamacare repeal bill that not even most Senate Republicans liked or wanted to see become law. But in the last several minutes things have ground to a halt on the Senate floor, and it is increasingly looking plausibly like Mitch McConnell lacks the votes to pass the so-called skinny repeal bill. TPM’s Tierney Sneed is in the Senate chamber and from her vantage point things look amiss. It’s easy to read way too much into minor things, but at the moment Senate business has stalled. McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence and other key Republicans are all on the Senate floor, and the presumed no votes are being worked hard, Tierney reports. Among the possible no votes is John McCain. Pence has been talking to McCain for 20 minutes, Tierney reports. Stay tuned …

Late Update: As of 1:25 a.m. ET, voting has begun on the skinny repeal bill.

Four GOP senators demand some kind of assurance from the House that if the Senate passes “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, the bill will go to conference – and not simply be passed by the House.

The problem, one of many, actually, is there’s no formal mechanism for the House to assure the Senate that it won’t pass a bill the Senate just passed! This isn’t how it works!

Three senators with the capacity and perhaps the propensity to blow up the Senate GOP’s march toward passing a so-called skinny repeal of Obamacare are about to hold a hastily arranged press conference on the Hill. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Ron Johnson. Stay tuned …