House GOP leaders speak out amid tight Pa. race, WH shake-up – live stream

Last Updated Mar 14, 2018 10:13 AM EDT

House Republicans are holding their weekly press conference on Wednesday amid a razor-thin congressional race in Pennsylvania and just coming off a stunning staff shake-up for the Trump administration that left much of Washington stunned.

By 1 a.m. Wednesday, Democrats had all but declared victory in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district, with hundreds of absentee votes outstanding. Republican candidate and Trump-backed Rick Saccone would have to win a significant margin of the remaining votes to declare victory.

Saccone will plan to submit petitions on Tuesday to run in the 14th congressional district should he officially lose his bid in the 18th district, CBS News’ Nicole Sganga reported overnight. Saccone, who will be in legal meetings all day Wednesday, is not expected to concede.

During Republicans’ Wednesday meeting, Ryan’s message to caucus members was that the race was much closer than it needed to be. He also stressed to Republicans that the Pennsylvania race should be seen as a sort of wake-up call for the 2018 midterms. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Ohio, warned reporters at the press conference, “Remember, we have to be careful about making sweeping predictions” when it comes to the narrow race in Pennsylvania. 

And after President Trump made a shocking change to his Cabinet by firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominating CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him, Speaker Paul Ryan, in a written statement, thanked Tillerson for his service and went on to say “Mike is razor-sharp, a dedicated patriot, and possesses the type of excellence that makes him an outstanding choice to be our next top diplomat.”  

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