President Trump traveled to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire to rail against drug dealers responsible for the deadly opioid epidemic devastating the US, vowing “tough action” including the death penalty.

Congressional leaders and the White House are pressing to strike an accord on a $1.3 trillion catchall spending bill, though disputes remain over immigration, abortion and a massive rail project that pits Trump against his most powerful Democratic adversary.

Trump has decided to hire the longtime Washington lawyer Joseph E. diGenova, who has pushed the theory on television that Trump was framed by F.B.I. and Justice Department officials, to bolster his legal team.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Andrew McCabe, a former top FBI official, should not have been fired last Friday night hours before he was set to retire with full benefits, because it is “demeaning” to both McCabe and the agency he worked for.

Former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, who resigned over tariffs earlier this month, reached a tentative agreement with Trump to become his CIA director — but lost out on the role after Trump abruptly changed his mind.

Adult film star Stormy Daniels, who is alleging she had an affair with Trump during the early days of his marriage to first lady Melania Trump, has no plans to attend this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Former President Bill Clinton would have resisted the urge to use Twitter to defend his administration had the platform existed in the 1990s, according to Democratic analyst Joe Lockhart.

Newly-minted Democratic gubernatorial candidate and actress Cynthia Nixon has a reported net worth estimated at $60 million, according to wealth calculator Celebrity Net Worth.

Nixon can count on actress Rosie O’Donnell, (sister of Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell), for support.

Uber Technologies Inc. halted autonomous vehicle tests after one of its cars struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in what is likely the first pedestrian fatality involving the technology.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former press secretary, Phil Walzak, will be the new spokesman for the NYPD.

Democratic Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi is facing criticism after comments he made last week were interpreted as a suggestion of violence against Trump, though the congressman’s spokeswoman insists he was not advocating armed insurrection.

The CBC released a comprehensive report detailing the massive impacts the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will have on the residents and revenues of New York State and New York City.

The National Police Association called on Cuomo to remove the two Parole Board members who voted in favor of letting cop killer Herman Bell go free and reverse their decision, keeping him behind bars.

Cuomo’s chief counsel issued a statement Sunday saying their office had asked the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations to “investigate” the treatment of a female attorney who was terminated by the Division of Criminal Justice Services after testifying as a witness in a sexual harassment case last year.

…But according to details of the case shared with the Times Union, DCJS’s treatment of the female attorney was referred to the Employee Relations office, known as GOER, by the deputy inspector general and not by the governor’s office.

It cost taxpayers $14.5 million to defend de Blasio and his aides in federal and state investigations of his shady fundraising practices, Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter revealed.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia today launched a civil investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Rochester student Trevyan Rowe.

Proposed federal budget cuts are endangering plans to expand the Capital District Transportation Authority’s bus rapid transit system, according to CDTA CEO Carm Basile.

The East Coast could get its fourth nor’easter in three weeks just in time for the start of spring, starting late tomorrow and into early Wednesday.

Teachout: 2018 Will Be Different Environment For Nixon

Zephyr Teachout is, suffice to say, bullish on Cynthia Nixon’s chances in the gubernatorial race.

“I think she’s going to be the next governor,” Teachout said in a phone interview Monday afternoon hours after Nixon jumped into the race.

Teachout was the last Democrat to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial primary (the first being Carl McCall, now the SUNY Board of Regents chairman, who would go on to lose to Republican George Pataki in 2002). Now a Democratic Committee member, Teachout is Nixon’s campaign treasurer.

Teachout sees major differences between her run in 2014 and this year. They boil down to three things: Time, Trump and corruption.

“First of all, we had a three month primary starting in June,” Teachout said. “You could fit into a room the number of people — that’s not quite fair — but nobody knew who I was. We had no money. That starts out totally different.”

And then there’s the Democratic Party in the era of President Donald Trump. It’s become more activist and more engaged, she said.

“This is in sort of a post-Trump era where Democratic primary voters are totally paying attention,” she said.

Meanwhile, activist and grassroots Democrats could be swayed by the Republican retention of the state Senate, viewing Cuomo as an enabler of that.

“Now, that’s the focus of the Indivisible groups,” she said. “Last time it was the Moreland Commission, this time it’s the Percoco trial and the Buffalo Billion trials. There’s a cumulative effect with these trials.”

Nixon will likely be the beneficiary of small-dollar donations — something that has not really been tried at a statewide level in New York, where contribution limits are far higher than the federal cap. Cuomo himself is a prodigious fundraiser, scheduling several major events this spring. He has at least $30 million in cash on hand for the re-election, a figure that could reach $45 million by the fall.

“I think over the next few months, people are actually going to get to know who she is,” Teachout said of Nixon. “I see this race about two totally different candidates.”

What About The Budget?

The political season and the state budget do not often so overtly as they are this year, with one declared candidate for governor in the Senate and Gov. Andrew Como facing a high-profile primary himself.

But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie does not expect the announced primary from Cynthia Nixon today will upset the apple cart in Albany when it comes to getting a budget done by next week.

“I think the governor is going to make his case. I’ve worked well with the governor and we’re going to try to put this budget together,” Heastie said. “There’s a time for politics and political campaigns, but right now the time is for us to put together a budget. I don’t think this is going to effect the governor at all.”

Asked if he’s ready to endorse Cuomo’s re-election, Heastie said, “We’re in the middle of negotiating a budget and asking about endorsements now is silly.”

The budget itself includes a number of political trip wires, from criminal justice reform, to transit issues for New York City, education spending and gun control. All deals that could conceivably get done, or fail to, would potentially become instant grist for Cuomo’s opponents on the left and right.

The Democratic-led Assembly in recent years has been more willing to challenge Cuomo on issues, especially when it comes to education.

But Heastie insisted Cuomo has been able to unify the Democratic Party in New York.

“I think he’s doing well at uniting everybody in the party,” he said.

Republicans Giddy Over Nixon Announcement

Cynthia Nixon’s announcement today that she will enter the race for governor has Republicans feeling a bit giddy.

Shut out of statewide office since 2007 and having faced a few divisive primaries themselves, Nixon’s plan to challenge two-term incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo has a chance for them to unite and expose some flaws in the Democrats’ unified front.

“I think it’s great that she’s doing it because it shows what I’ve been saying all along, whether you’re from the left, the right or the middle, people are tired of Gov. Cuomo,” said Sen. John DeFrancisco, a state lawmaker from Syracuse challenging Cuomo this year. “The bully method, it doesn’t matter what the law is, he’s going to do what he wants to d. People don’t believe this man is the right person to continue to lead the state of New York.”

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, the other Republican in the race, on Twitter posted that Nixon’s campaign was a way to have an “honest conversation” about the state.

“We welcome @CynthiaNixon to the race and look forward to a healthy and honest conversation about how we restore the people’s trust in the governor’s office,” he said.

Republicans still have a long road to winning statewide again. The party’s enrollment could fall to third behind Republicans and independents soon. The best shot for a nominee this year would be for Nixon or Cuomo to stay in the race through the general election and winning in a three-way contest.

Cuomo, too, has $30 million in cash on hand and, according to a Siena College poll, would trounce either DeFrancisco or Molinaro by identical margins.

Republicans have had their own issues when it comes to primaries, most recently the 2010 contest between Carl Paladino and former Rep. Rick Lazio, the party’s designated preferred candidate. Paladino, riding a crest of tea party-infused anger, won the race.

Cynthia Nixon Launches Campaign For Governor

Cynthia Nixon has launched her campaign for the Democratic nomination, taking on incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo in what will likely be a national, marquee battle over the Democratic Party in New York.

“New York is my home,” Nixon says in an announcement video. “I’ve never lived anywhere else.”

She adds: “Our leaders are letting us down. We are now the most unequal state in the country.”

The video first appeared on Twitter and includes a link to a fundraising page.

Nixon is an actress best known for her role in the Sex And The City franchise, but also as an advocate for public education.

A Siena College poll released Monday showed Cuomo with a wide lead over a potential Nixon challenge, conducted before she announced her candidacy.

But she has also assembled a formidable team of experienced campaign hands with Rebecca Katz and Bill Hyers, both of whom have worked with Cuomo’s Democratic rival, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In the video, Nixon cited issues she will raise in the campaign, including education inequality, but also transit, an issue that has bedeviled Cuomo over the last year.

Cuomo has the advantages, however, of incumbency: A deep well of organized political support from organized labor unions who have backed his campaigns and issue advocacy in Albany.

At the same time, Cuomo has enjoyed steady support from Democrats and self-identified liberals.

Still, Cuomo’s troubles this year include the conviction of his former top aide, Joe Percoco, on corruption charges last week.

The announcement comes as Nixon was believed to be assembling a campaign team. In recent weeks this month, Cuomo has unspooled endorsements from figures like Elton John, while other Democrats, including Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, urged her not to run. Cuomo has appeared at rallies with students against gun violence and promoted an early voting rally that was held by the liberal Indivisible group.

The announcement also comes as Albany is entering the thick of budget season, with a spending plan scheduled to pass by later next week.

Nixon is not the only candidate in the Democratic primary. Former state Sen Terry Gipson and comedian-activist Randy Credico have also announced their intentions to run.

Cuomo’s re-election campaign responded in a statement saying, “It’s great that we live in a democracy where anyone can run for office. Governor Cuomo has delivered more real progressive wins than any other Democrat in the country, including passing marriage equality, the strongest gun safety law in the nation, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition, paid family leave, record setting funding for public education, expanding and protecting healthcare for our most vulnerable, and banning fracking. We look forward to building on that record as we continue to fight and deliver for New York families statewide.”

Republican Lawmakers Targeted In Robocall For Child Victims Act

Supporters of a measure that would make it easier for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits released robocalls on Monday aimed at four Republican state senators urging them to back the bill.

The measure would expand the statute of limitations for criminal and civil cases against those accused of molestation and sexual misconduct.

The robocalls from the group New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators has released calls in the home districts of Sens. Elaine Phillips, Carl Marcellino, Sue Serino and Chris Jacobs. The recordings feature survivors and victims of childhood sexual abuse who have ties to the lawmakers’ districts, telling callers that the bill has been blocked in the chamber.

Supporters of the legislation want the bill to include a one-year look-back window for sexual abuse claims that are yet to be addressed or heard in court — a key sticking in the negotiations over the bill.

Senate Republicans have not ruled out the passage of the bill this year, which was included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed spending plan that is expected to pass next week.

Slaughter Funeral Will Be Open To Public At Rochester’s Eastman Theatre

The general public will be welcome at a Friday morning funeral service for long-time Congresswoman Louise Slaughter in Kodak Hall at Rochester’s Eastman Theatre. The funeral starts at 11 a.m. and will celebrate the life of the well-known Democrat, who passed away in Washington, D.C. last week.

She is survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. The family will also receive members of the community during calling hours Wednesday (2 p.m. – 7 p.m.) and Thursday (4 p.m. – 8 p.m.) at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services in Rochester.

The family is also starting a new foundation, The Louise & Bob Slaughter Foundation, named after the congresswoman and her late husband. They are requesting the public make a memorial contribution to it in lieu of flowers.

The foundation will support causes in the community that were important to the Slaughters. Contributions can be mailed to 14 Manor Hill Drive, Fairport, NY 14450.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office said he is ordering flags at half staff on Friday to correspond with Rep. Slaughter’s funeral.

SD-37: Killian Ad Focuses On School Aid

The second TV ad from Republican state Senate candidate Julie Killian released Monday calls attention to school aid for Westchester County, knocking Albany for what she said is failing to send suburban schools their fair share.

“As parents, we work hard to teach our kids to play fair,” she says in the ad. “Clearly, a lesson the Albany politicians didn’t learn. Instead of Westchester students getting their fair share of state school funding, Albany sent almost 200 million dollars meant for our kids to New York City schools.”

The ad is part of Killian’s campaign in a special election scheduled for April 24 to flip a Senate seat in the suburban district that was vacated this year by George Latimer, now the Westchester County executive.

Killian faces Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer in what is expected to be a key race for control of the narrowly divided chamber.

The seat is the linchpin of a deal to unite the factions of Democrats in the chamber.

Stewart-Cousins: ‘All Voices’ Should Be Included In Budget Deliberations

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins last month was under the impression that she would be included in top-level talks surrounding the state budget and reforming the state’s sexual harassment laws.

Now, she is not so sure.

In an interview with WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom, Stewart-Cousins said Monday morning she is yet to be contacted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office about a sit-down meeting on the issue with the other legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.

A Cuomo administration spokeswoman in February told The Wall Street Journal Stewart-Cousins would be included in the talks regarding changes to the state’s sexual harassment guidelines. Stewart-Cousins is the only woman among the five legislative leaders in Albany.

“I think I took away from it what people who would take it from it — that there would be some inclusion certainly around the sexual harassment piece,” she said in the interview. “I think we’re at a pivotal time. We need, frankly, all voices. My conference represents half of New York. I think it’s important we be included in the discussion.”

The budget is scheduled to pass March 29 — the end of next week.

“We’ve got two weeks and so far we’ve got no indication I will be part of the deliberations,” she said. “As always we are advocating for our positions. I made that clear at the outset when we had to debate the budget resolution that was passed by the Senate Republicans week.”

Cuomo last week met with the legislative leaders last week at the governor’s mansion.

“So far, nothing has happened that’s different,” she said.

Reese Witherspoon Pushes Cuomo To Investigate Vance

Actress Reese Witherspoon on Monday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to open an investigation into Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance over his office’s handling of rape allegations against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Vance has come under criticism for his office’s decision, so far, to not bring charges against Weinstein.

“TIME’S UP calls on Gov. Andrew Cuomo @NYGovCuomo to open an investigation of NY County DA, Cyrus Vance @manhattanDA, & the DA office to determine why no one prosecuted #HarveyWeinstein for sexual abuse crimes against one of his accusers, Ambra Battilana,” Witherspoon posted to Twitter.

The tweet comes as Albany is reviewing its own sexual harassment procedures and potentially making changes to how settlements over harassment cases are handled and a ban on taxpayer-funded settlements.

Cuomo last year returned the thousands of dollars Weinstein donated to his campaign.