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May 16, 2018

5-16-2018 Political Nuggets….

Washington Brief

  • The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to advance Gina Haspel’s nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sending the measure to the full Senate, where she is poised to win confirmation. So far, two Republicans – Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky – have announced their opposition to Haspel, while four DemocratsSens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota have come out in support of her. (USA Today)
  • The Trump administration dismissed threats by North Korea to cancel an upcoming summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Washington’s denuclearization demands, with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying the president “is ready if the meeting takes place.” Trump said, “We’ll have to see” regarding the meeting, but noted he would insist on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in the talks. (The New York Times)
  • The Office of Government Ethics said a $130,000 payment made in 2016 by Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, to adult film star Stormy Daniels should have been included on the president’s financial disclosure form that was filed last year. In his most recently filed form, Trump characterized the disclosure related to Cohen’s payment as optional, but OGE acting Director David Apol sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stating that it was required to have been reported as a liability on the previous form. (Politico)
  • Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta secured the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in November, and Sen. Deb Fischer (R) defeated four GOP challengers to win her primary in Nebraska. In Idaho, former state Rep. Paulette Jordan became the first woman to be the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in the state, where she’ll face Lt. Gov. Brad Little in November. (The Associated Press)
  • The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm that announced earlier this month it would shut down and declare bankruptcy, according to a U.S. official and other people familiar with the inquiry. Investigators have sought to question former employees and banks that handled Cambridge Analytica’s business, as part of a probe that appears to focus on the company’s financial dealings and how it acquired and used personal data pulled from Facebook Inc. and elsewhere, according to the unnamed sources. ( The New York Times)
  • A federal judge rejected an attempt by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, to dismiss an indictment against him, with Manafort arguing that special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment was flawed. The judge ruled that Mueller’s prosecution of Manafort on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent was “squarely” within the authority granted to Mueller last year. (Politico)
  • American have softened their views of North Korea over the past year, with fewer than half of U.S. voters now describing the country as an enemy, according to a new poll conducted before North Korea threatened to cancel the June 12 summit with Trump. Forty-five percent of registered voters described North Korea as an enemy, down 19 percentage points since July, and 32 percent of respondents say the situation with North Korea has improved, up from 7 percent in July. (Morning Consult)

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