With help from Eli Okun and Garrett Ross

Trumps multiple losses in high-profile primaries have Cheney supporters in Wyoming convinced that hes now a paper tiger. But there are reasons that Wyoming is not Georgia or Idaho. | Olivier Douliery/Pool via AP



CASPER, Wyo. DONALD TRUMP will arrive in this city on Saturday a wounded political figure.

Trump is holding a rally for HARRIET HAGEMAN, a local lawyer who is his pick in the GOP primary against Rep. LIZ CHENEY, the former presidents top priority for defeat in 2022.

But Trumps multiple losses in high-profile primaries have Cheney supporters in Wyoming convinced that hes now a paper tiger. Trump-backed candidates have lost recently in Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina and next door in Idaho. In Pennsylvania, his first choice in the Senate GOP primary exited the race after a scandal, and his second choice is mired in a recount.

An AP headline this week summed up the new conventional wisdom succinctly: Trump is in the past: Mounting losses show limits of power.”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”″,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96ec0000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96ec0001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Trump is in the past: Mounting losses show limits of power.

The pro-Cheney effort: JOE MCGINLEY told Playbook that as a Cheney supporter, hes been watching Trumps losses pile up and learning some lessons.

In some states, an endorsement helps, but it’s not the definitive action for the particular candidate, he said. Here in Wyoming, I would never bet against a Cheney.

McGinley is a Casper physician who led the Natrona County GOP for four years, until 2021, and has repeatedly butted heads with a group of Trump-aligned activists who have taken over the state party and led an effort to censure and pillory Cheney.

He took aim at Rep. MATT GAETZ (R-Fla.), who will be joining Trump on stage Saturday. The individuals they invited, they dont represent Wyoming values in any way, shape or form, McGinley said. Im shocked that theyre inviting in Matt Gaetz.

The anti-Cheney effort: In Wyoming, its been led by FRANK EATHORNE, the Wyoming GOP chair and Trumps most important ally in the state.

Eathornes critics accuse him of being too close with the Hageman campaign and abandoning any pretense of acting as a neutral arbiter in the primary, as the state party is required to do. Trump called Eathorne to tell him he was coming to Wyoming for a rally, and Eathorne is scheduled to speak at the event.

It could be awkward. Last weekend, Victoria Eavis of the Casper Star-Tribune and Rone Tempest of WyoFile published a bombshell 6,500-word profile of Eathorne, who is a former police officer. The Cheney camp has repeatedly pointed out that Eathorne is a member of the Oath Keepers. But the report added some new information about Eathornes time in law enforcement, including details of his being reprimanded for engaging in oral sex in his squad car and drunkenly showing up at a womans home and demanding sex. He recently publicly apologized for committing adultery; he and his wife are now divorcing. (Eathorne did not respond to POLITICOs requests for comment this week.)

The race has been marked by scandals, with each side accusing the other of adding to the growing body of oppo hits. (A third candidate in the race, ANTHONY BOUCHARD, publicly admitted that when he was 18 years old, he impregnated a 14-year-old.) Wyoming politics Facebook has become a cauldron of rumors and unverified allegations, and everyone seems to be waiting for another shoe to drop.

BUT, BUT, BUT While the narrative about Trump suddenly losing his golden touch isnt all wrong, there are reasons that Wyoming is not Georgia or Idaho.

The Club for Growth, which is supporting Hageman, released a poll Thursday that showed Hageman over Cheney by 30 points. (Take it with a grain of salt, of course: Cheney officially filed her paperwork to run Thursday, and the news of the poll helped muddy that story.) More from Ally Mutnick

The biggest caveat about how the lessons of other states might apply in Wyoming is that in states where the Trump candidate lost, the non-Trump candidate was not anti-Trump. But Cheneys political identity at least, her identity on the national stage is now defined by her criticism of the former president.

While in Washington, Cheney is known best these days for her aggressive work on the Jan. 6 select committee and her warnings about the anti-democratic peril that she believes Trump represents. While in Wyoming, though, Cheney emphasizes broad constitutional principles, her family roots and local issues. Theres no mention of Trump in her announcement video.

When Ive seen her speak and seen her talk, she doesnt really bring up President Trump or Jan. 6, said McGinley. If questions are asked, she doesnt hold back, thats for sure. But she focuses on what her job is.

The more local touch can be seen in a new Cheney campaign billboard, which will welcome visitors driving from the airport to the Trump event Saturday with this message: Out of state visitors for Trump Rally Welcome to Casper! Support our local businesses and spend lots of $$$! Best, Liz

We break all of this down and talk to Eavis and McGinley in this weeks episode of Playbook Deep Dive. Listen and subscribe here.

Happy Friday. Thanks for reading Playbook. Drop us a line: Rachael Bade”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”mailto:[email protected]”,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96ee0000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96ee0001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”mailto:[email protected]”,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96ee0002″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96ee0003″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”mailto:[email protected]”,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96ee0004″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96ee0005″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Ryan Lizza.

MANCHINEMAS MOMENT? Theyre the Senate GOPs two favorite Democrats: West Virginias JOE MANCHIN and Arizonas KYRSTEN SINEMA. They worked with Republicans to craft a massive bipartisan infrastructure deal and to save the filibuster and now, Republicans acknowledge that because Manchin and Sinema preserved the filibuster, they need to at least listen to Democrats who are desperate for an agreement to reduce gun violence, Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine report.

Manchin, asked if he can get 10 GOP votes, per the Hill pool: I dont know why you wouldnt have 70 or 80, my goodness. This is about basically protecting children. If they cant rise to that, they ought to deep, deep dig inside and find out why in the heck were here.

IN THE GOP CONFERENCE Senate Minority Leader MITCH MCCONNELLtold CNN that he encouraged Senate Minority Whip JOHN CORNYN (R-Texas) to begin bipartisan gun talks with Sinema and Sen. CHRIS MURPHY (D-Conn.).

Cornyns involvement marks a major difference between him and Texas other senator, TED CRUZ, as the Texas Tribunes Abby Livingston observes. Where Cornyn is quietly, but openly, leading the party to work with some Democrats to pass bipartisan gun legislation, Cruz has ruled out policies to restrict guns and done a string of other interviews that have inflamed the left and encouraged the right, chastising Democrats and the media.

If Cornyn and his Democratic counterparts can broker a deal, it will need to get at least 60 votes to break a filibuster meaning Dems will need 10 Republicans on board. Jordain Carney and LeVine walk through the 10 GOP senators to watch.

IN KEY SENATE RACES Natalie Allison writes that GOP candidates in swing states have been trying to display their proficiency with guns and expressing their full-throated commitment to the Second Amendment. Will that change in the wake of this weeks tragedy? Not likely.

Theres little incentive for Republicans to change course now, national strategists say, particularly in swing states where gun ownership remains high and the GOP is riding a wave of momentum. Even Democrats in the most competitive Senate races this cycle incumbents in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire have shied away from articulating specific policy demands, instead offering vague suggestions that something should be done to protect children.

BIDENS HANDS-OFF APPROACH DIVIDES DEMS In the days since the shooting, President JOE BIDEN has largely stayed above the fray, discussing the tragedy only in prepared remarks and stopping short of pushing for any specific policies in response. Thats frustrating advocates who want to see the administration take action. He cant just be the eulogizer in chief, one gun safety advocate told Christopher Cadelago and Laura Barrón-López.

White House aides and some close allies say the current posture wont likely change soon, they report. Publicly injecting himself into delicate gun control negotiations in the Senate could backfire, since few across Washington expect such talks to seriously advance, they argue. So could taking matters into his own hands by immediately issuing executive actions to crack down on firearms, which risks sending Republican lawmakers otherwise open to negotiating back to their respective corners, people close to the talks relayed to POLITICO. Related: Biden, first lady to travel to Uvalde on Sunday to grieve with victims’ families, by Myah Ward


9 a.m.: The president will depart the White House en route to Forrest Sherman Field in Annapolis, Md.

10 a.m.: Biden will address the U.S. Naval Academys Class of 2022 graduation and commissioning ceremony.

1:55 p.m.: Biden will depart Annapolis en route to New Castle, Del., where he is scheduled to arrive at 2:30 p.m.

VP KAMALA HARRIS FRIDAY The VP has nothing on her public schedule.


STEP INSIDE THE WEST WING: What’s really happening in West Wing offices? Find out who’s up, who’s down, and who really has the presidents ear in our West Wing Playbook newsletter, the insider’s guide to the Biden White House and Cabinet. For buzzy nuggets and details that you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe today.


Children pay their respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in the Uvalde elementary school shooting. | Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Photo



OUTRAGE OVER POLICE RESPONSE, HANDLING One of the major stories two days removed from the horrific shooting in Uvalde has centered on the response time and actions of officers who arrived at the scene. On Thursday, Texas officials changed their story on how the shooter got into the building.

Must-read: Local residents voiced anger Thursday about the time it took to end the mass shooting at an elementary school here, as police laid out a fresh timeline that showed the gunman entered the building unobstructed after lingering outside for 12 minutes firing shots, WSJs Douglas Belkin, Rob Copeland and Elizabeth Findell write.

ANGELI ROSE GOMEZ, who has two children who attend the school, said she stood outside the school and urged law enforcement to enter the building, when federal marshals approached her and put her in handcuffs, telling her she was being arrested for intervening in an active investigation. Later, after she was freed from the cuffs, Gomez jumped the school fence, and ran inside to grab her two children. She sprinted out of the school with them.

Gomez said she later saw police use a Taser on a father who tried to collect his child. They didnt do that to the shooter, but they did that to us. Thats how it felt, she said.

DESIRAE GARZA, whose niece AMERIE JO GARZA was killed, said she rushed to the school when they heard the first reports of gunshots, reports NYTs Natalie Kitroeff and Jack Healy. She said families were yelling at officers to do something, and pleaded that their children were still inside. When her brother ANGEL, who is Ameries stepfather, learned from a fleeing child that a girl named Amerie had been shot inside, he ran to try and reach his daughter but was handcuffed by a local police officer, Ms. Garza said. It was nearly eight hours before he would learn that his daughter had been killed, she said.

Uvalde Victims Family Mistakenly Told He Was Still Alive,”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f30004″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f30005″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Uvalde Victims Family Mistakenly Told He Was Still Alive, by The Daily Beasts Kate Briquelet: The family of 10-year-old JOSE FLORES say authorities initially told the boys father he had survived before later confirming their worst fears.

CNNs Shimon Prokupecz had a tense back-and-forth during Thursdays news conference as state Department of Public Safety South Texas Regional Director VICTOR ESCALON declined to answer his clarifying questions. We’ve been given a lot of bad information. So why don’t you clear all of this up now? Prokupecz asked just before Escalon ended the presser. Watch the 55-second clip”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f30006″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f30007″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Watch the 55-second clip

Rep. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-Texas) called on the FBI to investigate and provide a full report on the timeline, the law enforcement response and how 21 Texans were killed. Read Castros letter”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f40000″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f40001″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Read Castros letter

NO WORDS SUFFICE Husband of Texas Teacher Killed Protecting Her Students Dies 2 Days Later: Broken Heart,”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f40002″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f40003″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Husband of Texas Teacher Killed Protecting Her Students Dies 2 Days Later: Broken Heart,by Peoples Chris Harris and Wendy Grossman Kantor: High school sweethearts IRMA and JOE GARCIA had four children together over their 24-year marriage.


STEFANIK IFFY ON TAKING WHIP JOB House Republican Conference Chair ELISE STEFANIK (N.Y.) is reportedly leaning against running for whip, a leadership position that would become open if House Republicans win the majority and which several other GOP members are eyeing, according to the Washington Examiners Juliegrace Brufke and Christian Datoc. This report comes as news emerges that Stefanik is being floated as a potential running mate for Trump in 2024. But theres a catch: A former Trump admin official to the Examiner that Trumps current team of advisers arent fans of it. The Examiner also reports that Stefanik has considered seeking another term as conference chair.

FOLLOW THE MONEY Sen. RON JOHNSON (R-Wis.) has been using taxpayer dollars to cover the cost of flights between a Florida family vacation home and Washington, D.C., including nine such trips last year, federal records show, per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinels Daniel Bice. Johnson officials say these are legitimate expenses that were all approved by the Senate Rules Committee. Federal records show that Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, has been reimbursed for 19 flights from Fort Myers, Florida, to Washington between 2013 and May 2021. Following the report, Johnson on Thursday afternoon used his official Twitter account to respond: This isnt journalism, its advocacy. It is a fully coordinated attack by the Dem Party and their allies in the media.


ON WISCONSIN The Wisconsin Senate race is heating up, and on the Democratic side ALEX LASRY, a Milwaukee Bucks exec, is closing in on Lt. Gov. MANDELA BARNES, according to a new internal poll, Holly Otterbein reports. The poll is the latest sign that the battleground primary has become a close race between Barnes, a progressive backed by Sen. ELIZABETH WARREN and the Working Families Party, and Lasry, a more center-left candidate who has won the endorsement of local labor unions.

KNOWING BLAKE MASTERS Hank Stephenson writes for POLITICO Magazine from Arizona: The Dark MAGA Peter Thiel Protégé Aiming for the Senate: Masters is running to win the Senate seat once held by Trumps arch-nemesis, the late JOHN MCCAIN. [MARK] KELLY won it when President Joe Biden was on the ballot in 2020, and returning it to Republican hands would be a major coup for the party as it looks to capture the Senate in November. Delivering the race to an America First candidate would be a particular triumph for Trump but perhaps an even bigger one for Masters mentor [PETER THIEL], who is counting on a much longer future in American politics than the 75-year-old ex-president. But first, Masters has to prove hes not too far out there, even for Arizona.

THE NEW YORK MESS PIX11/Emerson College Polling/The Hill has some early polling on the new congressional districts. And we mean early:

  • In NY-10, the poll found 77% of voters remain undecided. Among those who have a preference, Rep. MONDAIRE JONES, who currently represents the Hudson Valley, leads the race with 7% of the vote. [BILL] DE BLASIO is at 6% and Assemblywoman YUH-LINE NIOU is at 5%. The poll also found that about 64% of Dems in the district disapprove of de Blasios job as mayor.
  • In NY-12, redistricting pitted Rep. CAROLYN MALONEY against Rep. JERRY NADLER. Voters surveyed had a clear preference: Maloney. She is the choice of 31% of those surveyed. Nadler follows with 21%.

MTGS EXPENSES Rep. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-Ga.) has spent more campaign money on personal security in the early months of 2022 than any other person running for office this year, NYTs Alyce McFadden writes. From January to May, Ms. Greene spent nearly $183,000 of campaign funds to retain the KaJor Group, a private security company that has also been used by KYLE RITTENHOUSE.


THE RICH GET RICHER CEO pay rose 17% in 2021 as profits soared; workers trailed,”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”″,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f40012″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f40013″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>CEO pay rose 17% in 2021 as profits soared; workers trailed, by APs Stan Choe


BURN NOTICE When he was chief of staff to Trump, MARK MEADOWS burned documents in his office after a meeting with Rep. SCOTT PERRY (R-Pa.), according to testimony to the Jan. 6 committee by one of Meadows former aides, Betsy Woodruff Swan and Kyle Cheney report.

MEANWHILE IN GEORGIA Feds interview Georgia Republicans who refused to serve as fake electors,”,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:””,”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f40016″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-0508-d3ba-ab85-5d6b96f40017″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”> Feds interview Georgia Republicans who refused to serve as fake electors, by The Atlanta Journal-Constitutions Greg Bluestein

FOR YOUR RADAR Eastman said dueling electors were dead on arrival without state legislature backing,by Kyle Cheney and Nick Wu

TV TONIGHT PBS Washington Week, with a special edition focused on guns in America: Jake Sherman, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Ashley Parker.


FOX Fox News Sunday: Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). Panel: Brit Hume, Olivia Beavers and Juan Williams.

ABC This Week: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). Panel: Donna Brazile, Susan Glasser, Jonathan Martin and Ramesh Ponnuru.

CBS Face the Nation: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) Nicole Hockley Jaclyn Corin.

CNN Inside Politics: Panel: Jonathan Martin, Laura Barrón-López, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly.

NBC Meet the Press: Panel: Cornell Belcher, Pat McCrory, Ashley Parker and Ali Vitali.

MSNBC The Sunday Show: David Hogg Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow Marc Morial Robin DiAngelo Tim Wise.

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Scott Pruitt pressured his security detail to drive, uh, dangerously is one word for it, when he was EPA chief under Trump, according to a new report. Among the incidents cited in the report was a 2017 trip in which a special agent drove Mr. Pruitt with the lights and sirens going, in the wrong direction into oncoming traffic, to pick up Mr. Pruitts dry cleaning, when Mr. Pruitt was late for an agency meeting.

BTS is coming to the White House, and Mazie Hirono wants an invite as the only U.S. senator who knows who BTS is.

Stephen A. Smith claims that Donald Trumpcalled him in 2014 as he was trying to purchase the Buffalo Bills and said if the NFL owners screw me over, Im gonna show them, Im gonna get them all back, Im gonna run for president of the United States.

WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE LOUNGE David Kamin, one of the administrations most outspoken proponents for taxing the rich to finance the presidents economic agenda, is leaving his post as deputy director of the NEC this week, Daniel Lippman reports. To fill Kamins role, the White House is tapping economist Aviva Aron-Dine, who is currently executive associate director of the Office of Management and Budget and an expert on health and budget policy.

TRANSITION Paul J. Angelo is now director of the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University. He previously was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Reps. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Scott Perry (R-Pa.) (6-0), Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) Henry Kissinger (99) David Plouffe NYTs Campbell Robertson and Noam Scheiber former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) APs Andrew HarnikCary OReilly POLITICOs Randy Lemmerman E&E News Cy ZaneskiKatya Dimenstein of Raytheon Rasheedah Thomas of Emerald Digital Solutions Brigid Schulte of New America Turning Point USAs Benny Johnson PhRMAs Andrew Powaleny Kelsey Baron … Andrew Seidman … Jenny Drucker Roberti Globals Drew Cole … Andrew Overton WaPos Stefanie Weishaupt Prelesnik … Devan Barber NBCs Cynthia McFaddenThalia Assuras Dignaris Megan McCrink

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