Assuming the schedule holds up, this’ll make three Sundays in a row with no Kellyanne Conway appearances. She was back on TV this week after a brief hiatus but how long will the Sunday hiatus last?
In fact, there are no top-flight White House surrogates booked as of Saturday morning. The biggest name is deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who’s set for “This Week” to be grilled on what exactly happened at that press gaggle on Friday and whether media outlets critical of Trump should expect to lose other privileges. (Interesting that Sean Spicer isn’t scheduled to answer those questions himself.) The other kinda sorta Trump surrogate on tap is Chris Christie, having allegedly turned down an offer from Trump recently to become the new Secretary of Labor so that he could pursue his dream of … er, becoming a sports-talk radio host, maybe? He’ll be on “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper.
The biggest get this morning, though, is probably Tom Cotton, the man at the center of one of the more raucous townhall meetings held by a Republican this week and the target of a David Brooks column on Friday accusing him of having a “national death wish” because he wants to reduce legal as well as illegal immigration. No Republican in Congress has moved more quickly to try to incorporate Trumpist elements into his program than Cotton has, and he’s been rewarded by the White House for it with outsized influence. It was Cotton, an Iraq war veteran, who reportedly first suggested H.R. McMaster to the administration as a replacement for Mike Flynn. It’s not hard to imagine him being nominated for a cabinet position down the road, especially if Trump serves two terms, and he obviously has national ambitions himself. A Cotton interview in a big spot is always worth paying attention to. He’s the lead guest this morning on “Meet the Press.”
Elsewhere, Scott Walker will be on “Fox News Sunday” to talk CPAC, Trump, and another run for governor in Wisconsin. One wild card this morning: Mark Sanford will follow Christie on “State of the Union” to discuss his own townhall recently as well as his surprising candor in criticizing Trump, as highlighted recently by this Politico story. No Republican in the House has been more willing to take Trump on than Sanford. The full line-up is at the AP.