The Note: Economic worries expose GOP unease over Trump

Around the edges, Republican unease over Trump's leadership is growing.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The revolt might not be televised, so it's possible the president isn't watching. It probably won't even be a revolt.

But around the edges, Republican unease over President Donald Trump's leadership is growing.

This week featured the public break of Anthony Scaramucci, who was a prominent Republican donor long before he spent an infamous 11 days as Trump's communications director.

Scaramucci is predicting a "groundswell" among Republicans to consider a replacement on the 2020 ticket, while offering his services to someone who might try.

Former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh – now a conservative radio host who long ago broke with Trump – wrote in a New York Times op-ed this week that Trump "isn't a conservative" and therefore is "worthy of a primary challenge" from the right.

On that front, Bill Weld's trip to the Iowa State Fair didn't move any needles. But another former GOP House member, Mark Sanford, said in recent days that he is "at this point, yes," to the question of whether he will consider a run for president.

Trump isn't about to lose primary states, in New Hampshire – where he was Thursday night, and where his unlikely journey through the 2016 campaign got its first victory – or, really, anywhere else.

But between congressional retirements and stirrings elsewhere throughout the party, signs are emerging of concern about the president's leadership -- as well as his electoral prospects.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Speaking in New Hampshire Thursday night, President Donald Trump made absolutely nothing clear about his thoughts on proposed gun safety reform.

He said guns should be out of the hands of "insane people" and those "who are mentally sick."

"People have to remember however that there is a mental illness problem that has to be dealt with," he said. "It's not the gun that pulls the trigger, it's the person holding the gun."

As for solutions to keep Americans safe, he appeared to suggest the country could use more mental institutions.

"Years ago, many cities and states, I remember it so well, closed mental institutions for budgetary reasons. They let those people out onto the street. … We're going to have to give major consideration to building new facilities for those in need," he said vaguely.

He went on to talk about removing "deranged" people from the streets, which seemed to be a non-sequitur. Later, he repeatedly talked about the Second Amendment as if it was under potential attack.

His language was a far cry from the conversations around expanding background checks, a topic discussed again this week.

It is worth remembering that this administration actually rolled back regulations designed to make it harder for people with mental illness to get firearms, and health care experts agree that people struggling with mental illness are in fact much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it.

The TIP with Jeffrey Cook

Beto O'Rourke is back on the presidential campaign trail, but the recent massacre in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, has inspired an overhaul in strategy as he attempts to maneuver himself out of the depths of national polls.

He'll be visiting American cities that he feels have been hit hard by the current administration, and he wants to confront Trump with a warning.

"If at this moment we do not wake up to this threat, then we, as a country, will die in our sleep," the former congressman from Texas told a small group on Thursday morning at a park overlooking El Paso.

His first campaign stop will be in a small town outside Jackson, Mississippi, an area where where last week federal agents detained about 680 people accused of violating immigration laws.

Immigration, gun violence and racial divisions will be central issues moving forward, his campaign said.

"Those places where Donald Trump has been terrorizing and terrifying and demeaning our fellow Americans, that's where you will find me in this campaign," O'Rourke said.


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Friday morning's episode features ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran, who explains why Israel blocked Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting the country. Then ABC News political director Rick Klein decodes the recent 2020 moves by former Rep. Beto O'Rourke and former Gov. John Hickenlooper.


  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro participate in a candidates' forum at the Black Church PAC and Young Leaders Conference beginning at 12:15 p.m. EDT in Atlanta.
  • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., and Andrew Yang are in New Hampshire; Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and former Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., are in Iowa; former Vice President Joe Biden is in Delaware; former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, is in Mississippi; Marianne Williamson is in California.
  • On Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., participate in a candidates' forum at the Black Church PAC and Young Leaders Conference beginning at 11:30 a.m. EDT in Atlanta.
  • Also Saturday, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Booker, Bullock, Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Delaney and Yang are in New Hampshire; Moulton and Sestak are in Iowa; Biden is in Massachusetts; Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Warren are in South Carolina; O'Rourke is in Arkansas; Williamson is in California.
  • On Sunday, Bennet, Castro, de Blasio, Delaney, Moulton, Klobuchar, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Yang and are in New Hampshire; Buttigieg, Sanders and Warren are in South Carolina; Biden is in Massachusetts; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is in St. Louis; Sestak is in Iowa.
  • Sunday on "This Week": Georgia's Stacey Abrams discusses her launch of Fair Fight 2020 to combat voter suppression. Plus, the Powerhouse Roundtable debates all the week's politics, with ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, ABC News' Cokie Roberts, Washington Examiner senior political correspondent David Drucker and Axios national political reporter Alexi McCammond.
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