ED O'KEEFE: Welcome to the Washington Week Extra.
I'm Ed O'Keefe, in for Gwen Ifill.
With all the attention on the presidential campaign, there's another political shakeup
that may happen after Election Day.
Manu, there is talk that the speakership of Paul Ryan may be a short one.
MANU RAJU: Perhaps.
I think it's we don't really know quite yet.
I mean, if the
Republicans keep the House, it's going to probably be a much smaller majority.
They're going to lose moderates.
That means the conservative wing of the party will be emboldened, namely that House
Freedom Caucus, those agitators who have long been a thorn in the side of House
For Paul Ryan to get reelected speaker, he needs to get a
majority of the House to support him.
That's 218 votes.
Democrats will vote for their candidate, who will be Speaker Pelosi - or Leader Pelosi.
She's not going to get that, obviously, become - get the 218.
But if Republicans
decide to vote against Paul Ryan on the floor, it could bring him below the 218 margin.
And that's possible if the majority is very small; you can't afford to lose many
Republicans, especially conservatives.
So I have been talking to House Freedom Caucus
members all week.
Virtually none of them, other than maybe a couple, are willing to
say they will support Paul Ryan for speaker.
They want some assurances that things
will be changed within the leadership.
Some are angry about his refusal to campaign
with or defend Donald Trump.
They believe he's undercut Donald Trump.
So some other conservatives who are not members of that caucus also are raising concerns
about Ryan's handling of Trump.
So Ryan has some work to do to shore up his right
flank if he is to be reelected speaker.
The one thing he has going for him, though?
There's no opponent yet.
ED O'KEEFE: At least not yet.
And then Friday he made clear don't believe the chatter,
I want to still be speaker.
MANU RAJU: Yes, he said I'm interested in still being speaker.
ED O'KEEFE: Yeah, well, aren't we all.
Donald Trump's wife, Melania, delivered a rare stump speech this week in Pennsylvania.
She talked about her husband's campaign and about what one of her priorities would be if
she were to become first lady.
MELANIA TRUMP: (From video.)
If is never OK when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked,
bullied or attacked.
It is terrible when that happens on the playground, and it is
absolutely unacceptable when it's done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.
We have to find a better way to talk to each other.
ED O'KEEFE: I'll say it: she could be talking about her own husband, Karen.
KAREN TUMULTY: Exactly, I think especially because she - one of the things she
specifically lamented was people who make fun of other people's looks and intelligence on
It prompted Dana Bash on CNN to say, has she ever met Donald Trump?
But the other thing - on top of that obvious, you know, discordant note,
she also - it felt like a real missed opportunity, I think.
What the candidate's spouse does, usually, in political campaigns is really kind of open
up a window to the private side of the candidate that we never see.
The overused term
is "humanize" them.
Melania Trump did not take that opportunity at all.
tell us anything about her husband that you would not have read on a bumper sticker.
So, you know, you've got to wonder what the whole point of even putting her out at this
late point was, except maybe to make some people among his supporters more enthusiastic.
ED O'KEEFE: And we were dwelling on the fact that, you know, while Hillary Clinton enjoys having
her running mate, the president, the first lady, the vice president, Bernie Sanders,
Elizabeth Warren, Jon Bon Jovi, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Trump has his kids, Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann -
MANU RAJU: Sort of Ted Cruz.
ED O'KEEFE: Sort of Ted - right.
And that's about it.
And then they can't really run
the table the way the Democrats can.
So you're right, it is a bit of a lost opportunity.
Josh, U.S. intelligence is reporting that Russia may try to disrupt Tuesday's election.
Remind us what that might look like.
JOSH GERSTEIN: Well, you know, it's very hard to disrupt the actual voting and the
actual vote-tallying process, but there are all kinds of mischief you can make around the
outskirts of that.
There have been apparent attempts to hack into voter registration
So, if they continue to do that on Election Day, that could be a big problem.
And then there's also been questions about even the media itself.
You know, the country is very dependent, it turns out, on the Associated Press collection
of vote tallies from around the country.
It's not the official tally; that's done eventually, right, days or weeks later.
But the AP is the one that delivers all that information, and there are concerns that, by
attacking the AP or putting out weird stories on social media, that the Russians could
create a sense of chaos on Election Day that might not actually affect the results in any
way but just add to a general atmosphere of chaos and confusion in the country.
ED O'KEEFE: But you said it at the beginning, it's worth saying again: because of the
decentralized system, it's virtually impossible to upend the whole thing.
JOSH GERSTEIN: It's very, very hard to attack the actual votes cast, and there's paper
records in most of the states.
And it's just very, very hard to do that.
ED O'KEEFE: Real quick, we were talking about Clinton and her email server.
There was the release of a few more today, right?
JOSH GERSTEIN: Yeah, there were a few more hundred pages of emails that came out.
It's the final release before the election, so the Clinton campaign I guess can relax a
little bit on that front.
But even here there was a little bit of trouble for them.
One of the emails that came out showed that Hillary Clinton had sent a message to her
daughter, Chelsea, using her pseudonym, Diane Reynolds, back in 2009, and the State
Department has since classified that message.
We think it probably had to do with the big showdown in Copenhagen over climate talks.
Whatever she was sending him - sending her actually came from a White House official.
The State Department now considers that information classified, and of course, if it
really was classified you shouldn't be sending it to people outside the government that
don't have a clearance.
But you know, the Clinton people say, well, maybe it wasn't
classified at the time, it's just classified now.
ED O'KEEFE: And this is an - she's talked a lot about that, so this is now an example of
what she was talking about.
JOSH GERSTEIN: It's an example, but it's just one of really 2,000 examples of that kind.
It just happens to have Chelsea Clinton involved in this one.
ED O'KEEFE: Friday document dumps, they are - they are stellar.
We love them all,
Alexis, we would be remiss to not note the fact that the president has
clearly been enjoying himself out on the campaign trail this week.
He will campaign all through the weekend.
On Monday I think it's New Hampshire before going to Philadelphia, right?
ALEXIS SIMENDINGER: Right, he's going to be - he was in North Carolina today.
He will be, on Sunday, in Florida, Orlando and Kissimmee.
And then he'll be in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
He may be in one other location.
But he's going to be on the trail stumping for Hillary Clinton and Senate candidates and
House candidates, Democrats, all the way through, but mostly Hillary Clinton.
ED O'KEEFE: It seems this might almost be cathartic for him, given that this is really
his last chance to capture the public imagination before the election and the focus turns
to his successor.
ALEXIS SIMENDINGER: He's having fun in a way that makes the audience have fun, which is
the whole point that Hillary Clinton wanted him out there.
His joy and what she calls the music that he brings to campaigning, his stellar ability
to put it all together, the messages both, you know, talking about himself and his legacy
- my eight years, you can help me carry this forward.
It's also singing her praises.
It's also telling voters, even if you're not persuaded when I tell you that she's the
most outstanding candidate, you can't support Donald Trump.
And then he goes into
these incredibly excoriating riffs about what's wrong with Donald Trump.
And the way he does it, the style he does it, you know, here's a president who's at a
very high job approval, he knows that he's being listened to, and he can bring that cool
factor and that kind of colloquial way.
You know, we watched him this week, and he -
you know, we know as a president he watches a lot of ESPN, so he talks about, come on,
man, come on, man.
And he talks to the audience, mostly younger people, trying to
encourage them to vote in a way that resonates with them.
He talks about going - he goes off his script and he says I'm going to get in trouble
with my staff because now I'm talking about this.
And you know, he makes it a pleasure for them who've - you know, coming to the rally.
It's not just talking points, even though it is talking points.
ED O'KEEFE: OK, so how many Fridays have we sat here over the course of this cycle, and
now it's almost over.
It's kind of incredible to think we've gotten here.
MANU RAJU: It is.
ED O'KEEFE: As you said, next Friday we have a new president.
KAREN TUMULTY: (Laughs.)
MANU RAJU: But we didn't talk about the most - we didn't talk about the most important
news of the week.
ED O'KEEFE: Oh, how could we forget?
What was the most important news of the week?
MANU RAJU: As a long-suffering and diehard Cubs fan, them winning the World Series is -
ED O'KEEFE: News of the week.
MANU RAJU: One of the top - one of the top moments of my life.
ED O'KEEFE: You said it was like number four or five.
MANU RAJU: Number four or five.
I won't tell you what it ranks up with.
ALEXIS SIMENDINGER: The president wants them to come to the White House.
You better be there.
MANU RAJU: Yes, I better be there.
I'll come there.
ED O'KEEFE: You don't think they'd hold out for the next guy?
Hmm, we'll see.
Well, look, thanks, everyone.
And while you're online, take the Washington Week-ly
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Washington Week Extra.