Morning Spin: Retiring Paul Ryan could be more 'liberated' in dealing with Trump, Democrat says

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks on Capitol Hill on Jan. 11, 2018. A Democratic congressman from Illinois said the retiring Ryan now might be more “liberated” in dealing with President Donald Trump.
House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks on Capitol Hill on Jan. 11, 2018. A Democratic congressman from Illinois said the retiring Ryan now might be more “liberated” in dealing with President Donald Trump. (Zach Gibson / Getty Images)

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi said the exiting Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan might be more "liberated" in dealing with President Donald Trump.

"Dealing with President Trump is no walk in the park. I don't think it's any secret he and the president don't necessarily see eye to eye on a variety of issues," said Krishnamoorthi, who represents the northwest and west suburban 8th Congressional District, said on WGN AM-720.


"That being said, I was a little disappointed that he hasn't been more forceful in pushing back on the president with regard to a variety of issues, and he's kind of ceded some of our legislative prerogative in Congress to the president," the Schaumburg congressman said. "I'm hoping that maybe now that he's somewhat liberated, he'll do that in the remaining months."

Krishnamoorthi said he thought Ryan was "sincere" in saying he was retiring to spend more time with his family, since his father died when Ryan was 15.

But he also said Ryan "probably sees the likelihood of him serving as the next speaker going down with each passing day."

Ryan's departure comes amid expectations of a motivated Democratic turnout in the fall, which has prompted several ambitious challenges to Republican incumbents, including several districts in Illinois.

"I think Democrats are increasingly hopeful about taking the majority back. I think the chances are looking better every day," Krishnamoorthi said. (Rick Pearson)

What's on tap

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will give a "Building on Burnham" address.

*Gov. Bruce Rauner is on a trade mission to Poland and Germany.

*Chicago Housing Authority CEO Eugene Jones will speak to the City Club of Chicago.

*The week ahead: On Tuesday, the Illinois House and Senate return to Springfield. And Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board President Mariyana Spyropoulos is at the City Club. On Wednesday, the City Council meets.

From the notebook

*LaRaviere attacks: Mayoral candidate Troy LaRaviere says Mayor Emanuel "should be in pinstripes" because he tried to cover up a fraudulent contract for a Chicago Public Schools principal training program.


Appearing on the WLS Radio "Connected to Chicago" program that aired Sunday, former CPS principal LaRaviere told host Bill Cameron it's "beyond naïve" to think Emanuel didn't know about problems with $23 million in no-bid contracts the school district gave to SUPES Academy. Emanuel's handpicked school CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett was sent to federal prison last year for taking kickbacks from SUPES.

"(Emanuel) is notorious for micromanagement," LaRaviere said. "If they knew about it and didn't say anything about it, which we know is the truth, then that's a cover-up."

"He should be in pinstripes right now, but he's still the sitting mayor of our city," LaRaviere said. "He seems to know how to weather a storm, to talking point his way through a storm and move on to the next crisis."

In response, Emanuel spokesman Pete Giangreco said: "We choose not to respond to childish name calling."

In addition to LaRaviere, challengers to Emanuel's 2019 re-election bid include former police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, businessman Willie Wilson, former Chicago Public Schools CEO and gubernatorial candidate Paul Vallas, and tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin. Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer continues to weigh a run.

If Emanuel or no other candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote in February, the top two vote-getters would square off in a runoff election in April. (John Byrne)

*Sister Jean stand-in: Emanuel had Loyola men's basketball coach Porter Moser on his podcast to discuss the Ramblers' improbable run to the Final Four as an 11 seed.

*Blagojevich goes after Rauner over Snapchat: Former first lady Patti Blagojevich took the Rauner campaign to task via social media over a Snapchat filter that fitted users with her husband's iconic hair and Bureau of Prisons number.

In the bottom corner of the filter, a cartoon depiction of Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker holds a sign that reads "Break Out Blago."

"Please take down that disgusting Snap Chat filter using my husband's name, number and likeness," Blagojevich tweeted. "You know I have daughters who are of the age of most Snap Chat users. It is so callous of you to so casually inflict this emotional distress upon them."

*On the "Sunday Spin": Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson's guests were Tribune reporter Hal Dardick; Northwestern Law School senior lecturer Jason DeSanto; and Krishnamoorthi. The "Sunday Spin" airs from 7 to 9 a.m. on WGN-AM 720. Listen to the full show here.

What we're writing

*Cook County tax officials take excess campaign donations from appeals firms, ethics panel says.


*Gay rights advocates want Illinois schools to be required to teach LGBT history.

*Rod Blagojevich likely down to last legal hope as U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to take up his appeal.

*Riverwalk rising: City banking on boom to pay off cost of river transformation.

*With settlement of jilted spouse's lawsuit, an archaic state law nears a quiet end.

*Supreme Court case could make sales tax-free e-commerce sites tougher to find.

*Look beyond the Obama center plans — here's a water-filled vision for Jackson Park.

What we're reading

*Three weeks after March for Our Lives, gun rights advocates rally at state capitols across U.S.

*Michael Ferro sells stake in Chicago Tribune parent Tronc to McCormick Media for $208.6 million.

*Why objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

Follow the money

*Campaign finance reports are due by midnight. They'll update in real time here.

*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.

Beyond Chicago

*New U.S. sanctions against Russia could come this week.

*Trump suggests via Twitter Comey should be in prison. Comey calls Trump "morally unfit."

*Barbara Bush in failing health.

*Oregon retiree gets $76,000 monthly pension.


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