Clinton delivers forceful critique of Trump … GOP still doesn’t have health care votes … Trump: US needs a good ‘shutdown’

CNN Politics:  Nightcap
May 2, 2017   |   by Daniella Diaz

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president."

 

— Hillary Clinton to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York.

Clinton vs. Trump, again: Hillary Clinton delivered her most forceful critique of President Donald Trump‘s 2016 victory today — taking personal responsibility for her failed campaign, but also pointing to the timing of a letter from FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference as factors.

I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had," she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York, before adding that she was “on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey‘s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off." 

Clinton, who is writing a book that partly reflects on her 2016 loss, added, “The reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days." The event marks the latest where Clinton, in a stinging rebuke to Trump, blames herself for the 2016 loss and also casts the current President as someone aided by outside factors, including the Russian government. 

Aides and friends say Clinton has grown more at peace with her loss in recent months, but is still focused on the interference by the Russian government, especially the fact that WikiLeaks began releasing John Podesta‘s hacked emails hours after the damaging “Access Hollywood" Trump tape was released. More from CNN’s Dan Merica.

BUZZING

President Donald Trump said this morning that the country needs a “good ‘shutdown,'" and advocated for changing Senate rules — in a pair of tweets where he complained about the congressional negotiating process.

Democrats quickly hopped on Trump’s call for a shutdown, including Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, who tweeted: “No President has ever done anything like this."
 

Congressional leaders announced Sunday that they’d reached a deal to avert a government shutdown until September. The deal did not include several Trump campaign promises — including money for a border wall — in part because GOP leaders needed Democratic votes to pass the deal in the Senate. More from CNN’s David Wright.

BAR TALK

GOP still doesn’t have votes to pass health care bill

House Speaker Paul Ryan signaled that the leadership still does not have the votes it needs to pass the current bill to repeal and replace Obamacare — but Republican leaders and the White House are not giving up and things remain extremely fluid. Ryan told his rank-and-file members in a closed-door conference meeting that when the votes are there, he will put the bill on the floor, in an implicit admission that the majority of 216 votes that he needs to ensure passage are not yet in place, one member inside the meeting told CNN. At least 22 Republicans plan to oppose the current bill, according to CNN’s ongoing whip count. As for timing, a senior Trump administration source told CNN’s Dana Bash that House leadership was looking at the possibility of a vote Thursday and that they were within five votes of the magic 216.

Others are not going that far. “We will have a vote when we have the votes," a senior GOP leadership source said. A member who is leaning “yes" on the revised bill said he thought the chances of a vote this week were “50-50." More from CNN’s Stephen Collinson, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly.

TIPSY

President Donald Trump presented the US Air Force Academy football team the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in the Rose Garden of the White House  — and in exchange they gave him this snazzy jersey.

LAST CALL

4 things you may have missed today

Sources say former acting AG will contradict administration about Flynn: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is prepared to testify before a Senate panel next week that she gave a forceful warning to the White House regarding then-national security adviser Michael Flynn nearly three weeks before he was fired, contradicting the administration’s version of events, sources familiar with her account tell CNN. More from CNN’s Jim Sciutto, Manu Raju and Pamela Brown.

Former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is leading contender for US NATO ambassador: A senior administration official told CNN that the move to tap former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, is part of an “uptick" in the process to fill undersecretary and ambassador positions within the State Department. More from CNN’s Jim Acosta.

Trump’s Army secretary nominee in jeopardy: Mark Green, Trump’s second pick to be Army secretary, is facing what the sources described as a difficult — if not insurmountable — path to confirmation amid a backlash over his controversial statements on LGBT issues, Islam and evolution. More from CNN’s Jeremy Herb.

Trump, Putin speak amid ongoing tensions: The White House said in a statement that President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the need to “end the violence" in Syria and discussed Trump’s proposal to create safe zones. More from CNN’s Jeremy Diamond.
 

CLOSING TIME

President Barack Obama and Democratic politicians praise Jimmy Kimmel‘s emotional monologue about his son’s heart surgery and plea for health care access in US. … Sen. Dick Durbin undergoes a medical procedure to correct an abnormal heart rhythm. … President Donald Trump’s and his top officials’ frustrations with Democrats’ victory lap over the budget negotiations spilled over into the White House briefing room.
Thanks for reading the CNN Politics Nightcap. Your bartender is Daniella Diaz. The tip jar: nightcap@cnn.com.
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Your bartender for CNN Politics’ Nightcap is Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) — Tips, thoughts and beer recommendations are always welcome at nightcap@cnn.com.
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