Trump Whistleblower Heads to Primary: What to Know in Washington

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Trump Whistleblower Seeks Spanberger’s Seat: Primaries to Watch

Retired Army Col. Eugene Vindman attracted nationwide attention for his whistleblowing role in Donald Trump’s first impeachment. Now the former National Security Council lawyer is trying for a seat in Congress.

He’s one of seven Democrats vying for the nomination Tuesday in the 7th District, where Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) is giving up to run for governor in 2025 and partisan margins are narrow: Joe Biden won by 7 percentage points in 2020 and Spanberger was re-elected by 5 points in 2022.

  • Vindman, a first-time candidate, raised $5 million through May 29, more than three times the combined receipts of his six primary opponents.
  • The open Virginia seat has also attracted six Republican hopefuls, with a former Army Green Beret and a former Navy SEAL as the leading candidates.

Virginia’s primaries also include a race that’s exposed and worsened fissures within the fractious House Republican majority more than any other: Rep. Bob Good, who voted to remove Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as speaker and leads the Freedom Caucus, is in danger of losing his seat after antagonizing Trump and some members of his conference.

It’s also primary day in Oklahoma, where House Appropriations Chair Tom Cole (R) faces a test from a big-funding businessman new to the state. And, a Georgia Republican runoff favors a former Trump and McCarthy political aide.

Bloomberg Government’s Greg Giroux delves into the races. Read More


  • 2:00 p.m. — Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a briefing.
  • 3:30 p.m. —President Joe Biden will host a bilateral meeting with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO.


  • The House is out this week.
  • The Senate returns at 3 p.m. to vote on nominees.
  • For the full detailed agenda, read BGOV’s Congress Tracker.

McConnell Eyes Greater Spending Panel Role After Leadership Exit

Mitch McConnell, who is stepping down in November as Senate GOP party leader, is leaving his options open at the Appropriations Committee next year, including taking the gavel of the full panel or the subcommittee steering funding for the Pentagon.

McConnell has more seniority than any Republican other than Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), with a Senate career that spans nearly four decades. That could win the deference of his colleagues to wield a more concrete leadership role during the next Congress.

The Kentucky Republican could opt to seek the gavel of the Appropriations Committee if the GOP secures a Senate majority in November. Axios reported Friday he was eyeing such move. He could also look to lead that panel’s Defense subcommittee, according to two Senate Republican aides. Read More

More Happening on the Hill

DOJ Won’t Prosecute Garland for Contempt of Congress

The US Justice Department won’t prosecute Attorney General Merrick Garland over a referral by House Republicans to hold him in contempt of Congress.

US Lawmakers to Visit India to Strengthen Ties, Meet Dalai Lama

A bipartisan delegation of US lawmakers, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, will visit India to strengthen bilateral ties and meet exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

Amtrak’s ‘Galling’ Six-Figure Executive Bonuses Spur Crackdown

Republicans seek more transparency as fresh data shows that Amtrak’s CEO was paid a base salary of $490,000 in fiscal 2023 and saw two awards totaling $626,345 — an increase of $242,605 in total compensation from 2022.

Novo Nordisk CEO Will Testify at Senate Panel, Sanders Says

Senator Bernie Sanders says Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen has agreed to testify before a Senate Health committee hearing on the cost of Ozempic in September, according to a post on X.

Biden Looks to Hollywood for 2024 Boost

Celebrities, including Robert De Niro and Barbara Streisand, have enticed donors to back Biden’s reelection effort, but there’s little evidence they’ve energized their fans to come out in support. Meanwhile, a cadre of younger stars have yet to publicly back Biden in his race against Trump.

Biden tried to capitalize on celebrity support Saturday at a high-dollar fundraiser at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, joined by stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts, plus former President Barack Obama. The night is set to raise $28 million, according to the Biden campaign.

All recent Democratic presidents have sought to transform the loyal fan bases and name recognition of Hollywood elite into support. But Biden’s team has struggled to make the endorsements stick this year—especially among young people displeased with his handling of the Israel-Hamas war and other issues. The toxic nature of the political debate may also be keeping celebrities on the sidelines. Read More

  • Biden will also head to the Hamptons this month as he vies to bring in more campaign cash than Trump. The event will be held June 29 at the estate of hedge fund manager Barry Rosenstein, according to an invite seen by Bloomberg, which listed no other names. Read More

More People, Power, and Politics

Biden Team Unveils $50 Million Ad Campaign Tied to Trump Debate

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is kicking off a $50 million June advertising blitz, targeting minority voters in battleground states ahead of his debate with Donald Trump next week.

Bidenomics Leaves a Blue State Industrial Heartland Behind

President Joe Biden’s trio of legislative packages designed to revive US manufacturing prowess is already helping regions from upstate New York to West Virginia. To the frustration of its local development agency, one that’s getting left behind is a cradle of the American industrial revolution: the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts.

Trump’s New Tariffs Would Feel Like Taxes, Economists Warn

If he returns to the White House, Donald Trump has pledged to enact a 10% across-the-board tariff on imports that he says will raise billions of dollars in revenue to pay for more tax cuts.

Trump Plan to Exempt Tips From Taxes Could Cost $250 Billion

Donald Trump’s new proposal to exempt tips from taxation would add between $150 billion to $250 billion to the federal budget deficit over 10 years, a budget watchdog group forecast on Monday.

Oil, Gas Group Urges Biden, Trump to Push for Energy Permitting

The American Petroleum Institute on Monday released an energy policy roadmap ahead of the year’s first presidential debate on June 27 between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

One in Four Voters Are Double-Haters, Rejecting Trump and Biden

The ranks of the double-haters — voters who say they don’t like either major party presidential candidate — are at a historic high and make up one-quarter of the electorate, according to a new analysis from Pew Research Center.

House Republican Garret Graves Won’t Seek Reelection

Republican Garret Graves won’t seek reelection to his US House seat in Louisiana, according to a statement from his office.

Also in the News

Harris to Announce Aid to Bolster Ukraine’s Battered Energy Grid

US Vice President Kamala Harris announced a $1.5 billion package of humanitarian assistance and aid to repair Ukraine’s energy sector as part of her meeting Saturday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at a summit in Switzerland on Russia’s war.

Zelenskiy Vows to Forge Ahead as Summit Risks Falling Short

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed to press ahead in broadening international support for his war-battered nation as a leaders meeting in Switzerland risked falling short in finding a path for a “just peace.”

US Drug Price Bargaining Power Won’t Tame Big Pharma

The government’s new authority is limited to just 10 medicines purchased by Medicare, and manufacturers may charge more for years before negotiations kick in.

US Can Enforce Drug Trafficking Law in Broad Area of ‘High Seas’

The US can enforce a law aimed at curbing drug trafficking on the high seas, even in the exclusive economic zones of other countries, the Eleventh Circuit ruled Friday.

Boeing Whistleblower Tips to FAA Soar Since Door Panel Blowout

The Federal Aviation Administration received more than 11 times as many Boeing Co. whistleblower reports in the first five months of this year compared to all of 2023, according to data the agency shared with Bloomberg News.

Trump-era EPA Meddled in PFAS Science, Agency Watchdog Finds

In the final days of the Trump administration, a political appointee at the EPA ordered a last-minute review of the hazards of a “forever chemical,” triggering delay, confusion, and significant changes to a nearly final work product, the agency’s inspector general found in a Friday report.

Talks Advance to Form First Attorney Union at Justice Department

Environmental lawyers are attempting to form the first known union of litigating attorneys in Justice Department history, a campaign sparked by return-to-office mandates and fears of political intervention, employee and labor organizers said.

A Covid Lifeline for Businesses Has Become a Curse for the IRS

The Employee Retention Credit started as a lifeline to businesses struggling to keep people employed during Covid-19. Four years and a flood of fraud later, the IRS has no clear path to seeing the program through, and businesses are failing while awaiting their refunds.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at; Jeannie Baumann in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at; Giuseppe Macri at

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