Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

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President Trump says he hopes the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her will appear at a hearing next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to visit flood damages in North Carolina, Trump said he "really wants to see" Christine Blasey Ford testify on Monday. "If she shows up and makes a credible showing," Trump said, referring to Ford, "that'll be very interesting, and we'll have to make a decision."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' future was cast further into doubt on Wednesday after President Trump made clear how broad his displeasure is with the man he tapped to lead the Department of Justice.

"I don't have an attorney general," Trump told Hill.TV in an interview on Tuesday.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

President Trump has arrived in flood-soaked North Carolina, where under sunny skies, he's getting a firsthand look at the devastation that has killed dozens of people and displaced many thousands from their homes across the Southeast.

"We're ready ... to do whatever we have to do to make this perfect," Trump said Wednesday. "Nearly 20,000 federal and military personnel are supporting response efforts," he said. "More than 1.6 million meals have been delivered."

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Maria Butina, the Russian woman accused of working as an unregistered foreign agent, encouraged pro-gun demonstrations in the U.S. as early as 2014, according to messages provided to NPR.

Butina's work has been linked to Russia's attack on the 2016 election, but people who know her say she began trying to make her mark inside America years before.

NPR examined thousands of people who make up Butina's Facebook network, and reached out to a sample of more than two hundred individuals.

It's far from over in the Carolinas, and President Trump is on the way.

As the remnants of Hurricane Florence roll north along the Appalachian Trail, the floodwaters deepen and the death toll rises. The destruction will remain for longer than anyone knows.

And for the victims, the first days of desperation are giving way to despair.

That is why the president is fitting in a visit to the stricken region on Wednesday.

Updated at 11:00 p.m. ET

The Senate Judiciary Committee will move forward with a hearing scheduled for Monday on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, despite a request for further investigation from his accuser.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday insisted that many donations to predominantly conservative political nonprofit groups — what's often called dark money — be disclosed, seven weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The ruling closes, at least for now, a loophole that has allowed wealthy donors to finance aggressive ads while staying anonymous. Crafted by the Federal Election Commission nearly 40 years ago, the loophole flourished after the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

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President Trump today forcefully defended his Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination is currently in a state of uncertainty. Kavanaugh faces an accusation of sexual assault from decades ago when he was a teenager.

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Identity Politics Unmasked

22 hours ago

Political scientist Francis Fukuyama thinks identity politics is a disease. The cure? It can come from the country.

Left-wingers may deride national identities and far right-wingers twist them to racist ends, but he argues there is hope for unifying people and giving them a broad sense of purpose. Francis Fukuyama is in favor of national identities based on creed, like the American one, rather than identities based on race or heritage. He is keen on national service and suspicious of dual citizenship.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh will testify again on Monday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee after a California professor claimed he sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. The professor, Christine Blasey Ford, will also testify.

From The New York Times:

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

President Trump issued his most forceful defense yet of his embattled Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters during a press conference with Poland's president, Trump called Kavanaugh "a great man" and said that he feels "terribly" for the federal appeals court judge and his family.

Ahead of the midterm elections, NPR's Morning Edition wants to connect with parents expecting their first child. What issues matter to you this election? Share your story with us.

A producer may reach out to you to follow up on your response. Share your thoughts with us below or here.

Are you expecting your first child?

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.

When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, announced a hearing for next Monday to air a decades-old sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it didn't end the debate over how the Senate should handle the charges.

It intensified it.

Democrats are calling for a full FBI investigation of the allegation before a hearing, saying Monday is too soon.

Georgia will continue using its touchscreen voting machines ahead of the midterms despite security concerns about the technology, a U.S. District Court judge ordered late Monday.

But Judge Amy Totenberg rebuked Georgia and state election officials over their handling of election security.

Georgia is one of 14 states using machines that lack a paper trail that voters can verify for themselves.

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President Trump is defending his Supreme Court nominee.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

As the confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh neared, both parties had seen potential political benefits for them in the upcoming midterm elections.

For Republicans, it was a chance to energize the base by putting another conservative justice on the court, potentially reshaping it for a generation.

For Democrats, the specter of rolling back abortion rights, the Affordable Care Act and more was a way to further energize an already engaged liberal base to go to the polls.

Updated Sept. 18

The Justice Department, which the Trump administration says needs the controversial citizenship question added to the 2020 census, initially did not want to make the request, according to newly unredacted portions of a memo.

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