Trump attacks likely House Intelligence chair as ‘little Adam Schitt’ on Twitter

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William McRaven as a “Hillary Clinton backer” and criticized the military for not having killed bin Laden sooner during a Fox News interview.”,”descriptionText”:”President Donald Trump dismissed retired Adm. William McRaven as a “Hillary Clinton backer” and criticized the military for not having killed bin Laden sooner during a Fox News interview.”},{“title”:”Florida’s manual recount completed”,”duration”:”02:49″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/18/florida-recount-complete-nobles-newsroom-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/18/florida-recount-complete-nobles-newsroom-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180409095217-01-nelson-scott-split-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/18/florida-recount-complete-nobles-newsroom-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”Official numbers released show Gov. 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Before the recount Scott had a lead of 12,603 votes. “},{“title”:”Why Trump declined to hear Khashoggi tape”,”duration”:”01:14″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/?refresh=1″,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2018/11/18/trump-hear-khashoggi-tape-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2018/11/18/trump-hear-khashoggi-tape-sot-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181118113714-trump-fox-khashoggi-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2018/11/18/trump-hear-khashoggi-tape-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”President Donald Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace he does not want to hear the tape that allegedly contains audio of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing because it is “a suffering tape,” and said he has been briefed on its contents. “,”descriptionText”:”President Donald Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace he does not want to hear the tape that allegedly contains audio of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing because it is “a suffering tape,” and said he has been briefed on its contents. “},{“title”:”Abrams won’t say Kemp is ‘legitimate’ governor”,”duration”:”02:33″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/18/stacey-abrams-brian-kemp-legitimate-georgia-governor-bts-sotu-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/18/stacey-abrams-brian-kemp-legitimate-georgia-governor-bts-sotu-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181118094738-stacey-abrams-conceds-11182018-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/18/stacey-abrams-brian-kemp-legitimate-georgia-governor-bts-sotu-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”CNN’s Jake Tapper presses Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on whether she believes Brian Kemp is the “legitimate” governor of Georgia.”,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Jake Tapper presses Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on whether she believes Brian Kemp is the “legitimate” governor of Georgia.”},{“title”:”Sotomayor: The 9 of us are now a family”,”duration”:”01:38″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/18/sonia-sotomayor-court-family-kavanaugh-sot-axe-files-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/18/sonia-sotomayor-court-family-kavanaugh-sot-axe-files-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181118164556-sonia-sotomayor-court-family-kavanaugh-sot-axe-files-vpx-00005309-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/18/sonia-sotomayor-court-family-kavanaugh-sot-axe-files-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/david-axelrod” target=”_blank”>David Axelrodu003c/a> about the current state of the court and welcoming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”,”descriptionText”:”Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/david-axelrod” target=”_blank”>David Axelrodu003c/a> about the current state of the court and welcoming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”},{“title”:”Flake: Protecting Mueller has to be priority”,”duration”:”01:21″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/18/jeff-flake-mueller-probe-matt-whitaker-sotu-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/18/jeff-flake-mueller-probe-matt-whitaker-sotu-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181118092642-jeff-flake-sotu-11-18-2018-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/18/jeff-flake-mueller-probe-matt-whitaker-sotu-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) discusses a bill he co-sponsored to protect the Mueller probe in the wake of Matt Whitaker taking over the role of acting attorney general.”,”descriptionText”:”Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) discusses a bill he co-sponsored to protect the Mueller probe in the wake of Matt Whitaker taking over the role of acting attorney general.”},{“title”:”Trump: I would help Pelosi if she needs votes”,”duration”:”00:47″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/17/president-trump-nancy-pelosi-votes-newday-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/17/president-trump-nancy-pelosi-votes-newday-sot-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181117081655-president-trump-11-17-2018-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/17/president-trump-nancy-pelosi-votes-newday-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”President Trump comments on working with Nancy Pelosi when Democrats take control of the House.”,”descriptionText”:”President Trump comments on working with Nancy Pelosi when Democrats take control of the House.”},{“title”:”Trump says US should rake like Finland to avoid fires”,”duration”:”02:34″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/17/trump-leaves-wildfires-fox-intv-sot-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/17/trump-leaves-wildfires-fox-intv-sot-newday-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181117163701-03-trump-camp-fire-1118-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/17/trump-leaves-wildfires-fox-intv-sot-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”President Donald Trump suggests poor land management is a contributing factor to raging wildfires in California. “,”descriptionText”:”President Donald Trump suggests poor land management is a contributing factor to raging wildfires in California. “},{“title”:”Trump lawyers balk at post-election questions”,”duration”:”01:40″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/16/trump-legal-team-mueller-transition-question-brown-sot-lead-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/16/trump-legal-team-mueller-transition-question-brown-sot-lead-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180126110058-03-mueller-trump-split-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/16/trump-legal-team-mueller-transition-question-brown-sot-lead-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”President Donald Trump and his legal team have taken issue with some of the questions from special counsel Robert Mueller that cover the transition period after the 2016 election, believing it could be off limits under executive privilege as they pertain to the presidency, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.”,”descriptionText”:”President Donald Trump and his legal team have taken issue with some of the questions from special counsel Robert Mueller that cover the transition period after the 2016 election, believing it could be off limits under executive privilege as they pertain to the presidency, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.”},{“title”:”Staffers prepare for purge as Trump lashes out”,”duration”:”02:17″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/16/tapper-monologue-trump-white-house-chaos-firefighters-conway-lead-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/16/tapper-monologue-trump-white-house-chaos-firefighters-conway-lead-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181116131705-president-donald-trump-i-wrote-my-own-answers-to-muellers-questions-sot-vpx-00000803-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/16/tapper-monologue-trump-white-house-chaos-firefighters-conway-lead-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”Sources say President Donald Trump has been in a foul mood as staffing chaos in his administration continues.”,”descriptionText”:”Sources say President Donald Trump has been in a foul mood as staffing chaos in his administration continues.”},{“title”:”House Republicans to subpoena Comey, Lynch”,”duration”:”01:38″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/16/james-comey-loretta-lynch-subpoena-perez-sot-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/16/james-comey-loretta-lynch-subpoena-perez-sot-nr-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180409115917-loretta-lynch-james-comey-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/16/james-comey-loretta-lynch-subpoena-perez-sot-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, in its final days in power, is planning to issue subpoenas to former FBI Director James Comey and President Barack Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch, according to a source with knowledge of the subpoenas.”,”descriptionText”:”The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, in its final days in power, is planning to issue subpoenas to former FBI Director James Comey and President Barack Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch, according to a source with knowledge of the subpoenas.”},{“title”:”Rep. Fudge, Pelosi have a ‘frank discussion'”,”duration”:”02:30″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/16/marcia-fudge-nancy-pelosi-conversation-serfaty-sot-nrvpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/16/marcia-fudge-nancy-pelosi-conversation-serfaty-sot-nrvpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181116153157-marcia-fudge-11-16-18-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/16/marcia-fudge-nancy-pelosi-conversation-serfaty-sot-nrvpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi met with prominent Democratic critics including Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio lawmaker who is considering whether to run for House speaker and challenge Pelosi, who is seeking a return to the role leading the party when it retakes the majority in the new Congress.”,”descriptionText”:”House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi met with prominent Democratic critics including Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio lawmaker who is considering whether to run for House speaker and challenge Pelosi, who is seeking a return to the role leading the party when it retakes the majority in the new Congress.”},{“title”:”George Conway: Administration is ‘dumpster fire'”,”duration”:”03:04″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2018/11/16/george-conway-trump-kellyanne-podcast-ath-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2018/11/16/george-conway-trump-kellyanne-podcast-ath-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181116201824-george-conway-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2018/11/16/george-conway-trump-kellyanne-podcast-ath-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, has become an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, explaining in a podcast he’d rather leave the US than vote for Trump again.”,”descriptionText”:”George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, has become an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, explaining in a podcast he’d rather leave the US than vote for Trump again.”},{“title”:”Judge orders WH to return Acosta’s press pass”,”duration”:”03:32″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/11/16/cnn-trump-lawsuit-hearing-acosta-stelter-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/11/16/cnn-trump-lawsuit-hearing-acosta-stelter-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181113161316-trump-acosta-split-111318-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/11/16/cnn-trump-lawsuit-hearing-acosta-stelter-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/”,”description”:”Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly sided with CNN on Friday, ordering the White House to reinstate chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.”,”descriptionText”:”Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly sided with CNN on Friday, ordering the White House to reinstate chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-bed935′,”,”js-video_source-featured-bed935″,true,true,’this-week-in-politics’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length

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Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump’s court picks

The Senate is bracing for an end-of-the-year brawl over President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to “we go high” Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor’s race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny MORE‘s judicial nominations.

Republicans view filling the lifetime court seats as their top priority and are expected to confirm as many nominees as possible before the Senate adjourns for the year, infuriating Democrats and their allies who are powerless to stop Trump’s picks.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover Trump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship As Democrats gear up to challenge Trump in 2020, the key political divide will be metropolitan versus rural MORE (R-Ky.) is already teeing up votes for two nominations — Jonathan Kobes to be an 8th Circuit Court judge and Thomas Farr to be a district court judge — for when senators return from their Thanksgiving recess.

And Republicans expect McConnell to barrel through more nominations before Dec. 14, the chamber’s target date to wrap up their work for the year.

“That’s Sen. McConnell’s No. 1 priority is to continue to move judges,” said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump’s backing may not be enough on criminal justice reform Congress should ban life without parole sentences for children  Senate GOP discussing Mueller vote MORE (R-Texas), the second-ranking Republican.

There are 35 judicial nominees available for votes on the Senate calendar, leaving more nominations than days left in the Senate’s work schedule to confirm the picks.

McConnell has pledged that he will move each of Trump’s nominees who are out of committee by the end of the year. If he’s going to make good on that plan, he’ll either need a final nominations package or keep the Senate in session through the holidays.

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonTrump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship McConnell: Criminal justice bill unlikely this year Cotton opposes Trump-backed criminal justice bill MORE (R-Ark.) said McConnell has pledged he won’t leave any court nominees behind, adding that it was up to Democrats to determine when they wanted to leave town.

“It’s really up to them whether they want to confirm those on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, or whether they want to confirm them earlier in December by yielding back the time,” Cotton told radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Republicans have been confirming Trump’s judicial nominees at a rapid clip, setting a record for the number of appeals judges confirmed during the first two years of an administration.

McConnell recently touted the record number of circuit judges at the Federalist Society’s Antonin Scalia Memorial Dinner, adding that “there will be more before the end of this current Congress.”

Though Republicans have the first unified GOP government in a decade, McConnell says he views judicial nominations as the party’s best chance of having a long-term impact on the direction of the country.

Underscoring the importance on the nominations, the issue came up during a recent White House meeting between Trump, McConnell, Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyTrump on border wall funding: ‘This would be a very good time to do a shutdown’ Kellyanne Conway: Trump could shut down government for wall funding On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board MORE (R-Ala.) and Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneBipartisan Senate bill would penalize illegal robocalls Hillicon Valley: Russian-linked hackers may have impersonated US officials | Trump signs DHS cyber bill | Prosecutors inadvertently reveal charges against Assange | Accenture workers protest border enforcement work | App mines crypto for bail bonds Senators push bipartisan bill to crack down on robocalls MORE (R-S.D.) to discuss the end-of-the-year agenda.

“McConnell discussed that that was one of his priorities and how important it was,” Shelby said after the meeting.

The GOP’s hardball tactics have infuriated Democrats and their allies, who cannot stop Trump’s picks without help from Republicans.

People for the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker called Kobes and Farr the latest examples of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship Overnight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — GOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing plan | Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs next year | Grassley opts for Finance gavel McConnell: Criminal justice bill unlikely this year MORE (R-Iowa) and McConnell’s “reckless and irresponsible approach to rubber stamping Trump’s dangerous judicial nominations,” adding that the two senators “have debased the Senate in pursuit of their ultra-partisan agenda.”

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDems wonder if Sherrod Brown could be their magic man Election Countdown: Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor’s race | Latest on Florida recount | Booker, Harris head to campaign in Mississippi Senate runoff | Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority Entrepreneur touts big solutions, endorsements in discussing presidential bid MORE (D-Mass.) seized on McConnell’s decision to tee up Farr’s nomination, saying he was making a “last-ditch effort” and warning that Farr, if confirmed, will “keep working to disenfranchise African Americans and communities of color.”

Tensions have been running high for months over judicial nominations, with Republicans accusing Democrats of “obstruction” and Democrats arguing McConnell and Grassley are destroying Senate norms in order to fill the courts with conservative judges.

The frustrations boiled over during Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughTrump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship Sotomayor: Kavanaugh now part of the Supreme Court ‘family’ The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to ‘temporarily reinstate’ Acosta’s press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race MORE’s confirmation fight, with Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) acknowledging that relations on the Judiciary Committee are still “a little tense.”

But Democrats are powerless to stop Trump’s nominees on their own after they went nuclear in 2013 and lowered the 60-vote filibuster for most nominations to a simple majority. Republicans followed suit in 2017 and nixed the 60-vote hurdle for Supreme Court picks.

In a further blow to Democrats, Grassley is moving circuit court nominees over the objection of home-state senators. The Senate has confirmed nominees even though one home-state senator didn’t return their blue slip, a sheet of paper that indicates if they support the nomination.

But if Republicans want to max out the number of judicial nominees they could confirm they’ll need to defuse a fight with a member of their own party: Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny Sunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover Veteran political reporter says New Hampshire voters have ‘hunger’ to moderate political turbulence MORE (Ariz.).

Flake, who is retiring in January, is refusing to support judicial nominees until he gets a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

“The hope here is that we bring this to a vote and that we can approve some more judges,” Flake said. “There’s a circuit court judge that I helped get nominated that we would like to see on the 9th Circuit. She’s noncontroversial. There are other noncontroversial judges that we ought to be moving through, but the priority here has to be to protect the special counsel.”

No Republicans have said that they will help Flake block nominations on the Senate floor, but the party holds an 11-10 majority on Judiciary Committee meaning controversial nominations, which are regularly passed along party lines, will be blocked at committee level until Republicans can appease Flake or win over a Democrat.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — GOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing plan | Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs next year | Grassley opts for Finance gavel McConnell: Criminal justice bill unlikely this year Trump’s backing may not be enough on criminal justice reform MORE (D-Ill.), a member of the panel, praised Flake’s tactics, saying he has “struck at the heart of the Republican agenda.”

“They are more determined to approve judges than anything else that they’re working on,” Durbin said.

Republicans discussed how to break Flake’s impasse during their final closed-door caucus lunch before the Thanksgiving recess, but didn’t reach a decision. A GOP senator suggested giving him a symbolic, nonbinding “sense of the Senate” vote, but Flake rejected that offer.

It’s not the first time Flake has issued an ultimatum over judicial nominations. He briefly opposed circuit court picks over Trump’s tariff policy but dropped his opposition when he got a procedural vote related to trade policy.

With Flake on his way out, McConnell could simply wait until next year. If a nominee isn’t confirmed by the end of the year, the White House needs to renominate that person — a timely, but not fatal, process.

Republicans will have anywhere from a 52- to 53-seat majority next year. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) clinched a victory over Democratic Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDems seek to overhaul voting rules in Florida legal fight  Election Countdown: Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor’s race | Latest on Florida recount | Booker, Harris head to campaign in Mississippi Senate runoff | Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority Trump’s take on midterms: ‘Epic’ win in Senate, ‘better than other sitting Presidents’ in House MORE on Sunday. In Mississippi, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) and Mike Espy (D) are battling in a runoff scheduled for Nov. 27.

McConnell noted during the Federalist Society event that the Senate was in the “personnel business” and that Republicans would have an “enhanced majority” to confirm judges next year.

“The American people have smiled on the Senate … we’re going to keep doing it for two more years,” he said.

And Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover Trump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship On The Money: Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority | Grassley opts for Finance gavel, setting Graham up for Judiciary | Trump says China eager for trade deal | Facebook reeling after damning NYT report MORE (R-S.C.), who’s expected to take over as Judiciary Committee chairman next year, pledged that he would work to confirm conservative judges if colleagues pick him to lead the panel.

“If I am fortunate enough to be selected by my colleagues to serve as chairman, I will push for the appointment and Senate confirmation of highly qualified conservative judges to the federal bench,” Graham said.

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NASCAR at Homestead-Miami LIVE updates: Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson take stage wins in championship race

Joey Logano took the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship on Sunday, beating out “The Big Three” of Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

The 28-year-old embraced the underdog mentality all season long, rebounding from missing the playoffs in 2017 and going on to take down the top three drivers in the sport all season on the final day of the season.

Logano won only two races during the regular season, and had the worst odds out of the Championship 4 drivers for Homestead. Harvick, Truex and Busch combined for 20 races this season. Logano only had 2 wins prior to Homestead and clinched his spot in the Championship 4 by winning the opening race in the Round of 8 at Martinsville in controversial fashion, wrecking Truex at the end of the race. 

The Championship 4 finished the race in order, with Truex, Harvick and Busch trailing Logano when the checkered flag flew. For Truex, it was his final race behind the wheel of the Furniture Row Racing No. 78, as the team will not field a car next season with Truex migrating to Busch’s team Joe Gibbs Racing.

Ford EcoBoost 400 results

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Brad Keselowski
  6. Matt Kenseth
  7. Chase Elliott
  8. Clint Bowyer
  9. Aric Almirola
  10. Kurt Busch
  11. Austin Dillon
  12. Denny Hamlin
  13. Kyle Larson
  14. Jimmie Johnson
  15. Ryan Newman
  16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  17. Ryan Blaney
  18. Jamie McMurray
  19. AJ Allmendinger
  20. David Ragan
  21. Bubba Wallace
  22. Ty Dillon
  23. Chris Buescher
  24. William Byron
  25. Paul Menard
  26. Matt DiBenedetto
  27. Erik Jones
  28. Michael McDowell
  29. Alex Bowman
  30. Daniel Suarez
  31. Landon Cassill
  32. JJ Yeley
  33. Ross Chastain
  34. Corey LaJoie
  35. BJ McLeod
  36. Kyle Weatherman
  37. Timmy Hill
  38. Tanner Berryhill
  39. Regan Smith

Here’s how it went down at the end: 

Kyle Busch’s crew chief Adam Stevens opted to keep the No. 18 on the track when Logano, Truex and Harvick pit with 30 to go. The move nearly backfired as Busch was about to get passed by Harvick with 20 to go, but Busch’s departing teammate Daniel Suarez went spinning and brought out the much needed caution for the No. 18 team.

The caution allowed Busch to come down pit road and get fresh tires for the end of the race, but more importantly, after a fast restart in the top stall (given to him by teammate Denny Hamlin), Busch emerged from pit road head of the other Championship 4 drivers with less than 20 to go.

Truex took the lead from Busch on the restart as Logano shot into second place. Logano then proceeded to take the lead from Truex with 12 to go. While we could have scripted a battle between Logano and Truex coming to the checkered flag, it never happened. Logano drove on unchallenged once passing Truex with 12 to go to win his first career Cup Series title.

Live blog

Miss any of the action? Relive it through our race live blog below. 

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Bloomberg gives Johns Hopkins a record $1.8 billion for student financial aid

Former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Sunday he is giving a record $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University to support student financial aid at his alma mater and make its admissions process “forever need-blind.”

The gift, believed to be the largest private donation in modern times to higher education, is a landmark in a growing national movement to make elite universities more accessible to students from low- to middle-income families.

It will enable the private research university in Baltimore to eliminate loans from financial aid packages for incoming students starting next fall, expand grants for those in financial need and provide relief to many current undergraduates who had previously taken out federal loans to pay their bills.

In years past, Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels said, the university struggled to achieve its goal of welcoming all talented students regardless of their means or backgrounds.

“Our dedicated financial aid endowment was simply too small,” Daniels said. “Now, as a consequence of Mike Bloomberg’s extraordinary gift, we will be fully and permanently need-blind in our admissions and be able to substantially enrich the level of direct assistance we provide to our undergraduate students and their families.”

Bloomberg, who graduated from Hopkins in 1964, wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times that his gift is intended to support the idea that opportunities should be based on merit and not wealth. “This will make admissions at Hopkins forever need-blind; finances will never again factor into decisions,” he wrote.

With the donation, the 76-year-old businessman and politician underscored his philanthropic commitment at a moment when he is mulling a run for the presidency in 2020 as a Democrat. (He also has been a Republican and an independent in his political career.) Bloomberg had given $6.4 billion to education and other causes before Sunday’s announcement.

Now, his total lifetime giving to Hopkins alone will exceed $3.3 billion.

The gift will reverberate throughout higher education as selective colleges and universities seek financial resources that will enable them to recruit more students from lower- and middle-income families. Direct aid from colleges is crucial because the maximum federal Pell Grant provides $6,095 a year for students in need, less than a tenth of what many selective private schools charge for tuition, fees, and room and board. Some, including Hopkins, charge $70,000 a year.

Bloomberg’s gift will help Hopkins make up the difference, and it challenges others to do the same for colleges elsewhere.

“What he’s raising here is a call to action across the board, to institutions, to donors and particularly to policymakers to make sure that American higher education is an engine of social mobility,” said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, which represents colleges and universities.

“This is a very, very big gift in all capital letters,” Mitchell said. “A remarkable gift in many ways.” Often, major gifts focus on endowing faculty positions or building laboratories and classrooms. This one is endowing aid.

“This isn’t about buildings, the university bureaucracy or anything else,” said Jon Schnur, an adviser to Bloomberg on education. “It’s all about directly supporting these students.”

Comparing donations across eras is difficult. Inflation calculators show the $7 million bequest from Johns Hopkins in 1873 that established the namesake university would be worth far more than $100 million today.

The Chronicle of Higher Education tracks major donations to higher education since 1967. Two $1 billion gifts top that list: A 1999 pledge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a program called Gates Millennium Scholars and a 2006 pledge from the Anil Agarwal Foundation to establish Vedanta University in India.

Now, Bloomberg has eclipsed that mark. It’s the latest in a series that started with a $5 donation to Hopkins the year after he graduated.

Bloomberg in recent years has championed an initiative to secure pledges from selective colleges to add tens of thousands of low- to moderate-income students to their rolls. More federal and state funding, he said, will be crucial for achieving that goal. He also has financed efforts to provide those students with more effective college counseling.

For Hopkins, the latest gift is a milestone in a several-year effort to diversify its student body. The university has about 25,000 students, federal data show, including roughly 6,000 undergraduates. It enrolls about 1,300 freshmen a year to its main campus in Baltimore.

This year, about 15 percent of freshmen qualify for Pell Grants. Through Bloomberg’s gift — to be distributed “essentially immediately,” according to a Bloomberg aide — Hopkins plans to take steps to raise that share to at least 20 percent. It also will advertise widely for the first time that its highly competitive admissions process is “need-blind” — meaning that financial circumstances are not taken into account as the school chooses a class. And it will advertise that it will meet the full financial need of the students it admits, without asking them to take out loans.

That formulation — need-blind, meeting full need, omitting loans from aid packages — is the gold standard for accessibility in college admissions. U.S. News & World Report counts only 18 wealthy institutions, including six in the Ivy League, that are able to reach it.

For the past eight years, Hopkins quietly held to a need-blind policy in admissions, Daniels said. But it has been reluctant to advertise that policy because of the fear that it might have to pull back from the promise.

“The truth of the matter was that our program was really being held together with spit and bubble gum,” Daniels said. “Now, we’re obviously in a very different place.”

Daniel Porterfield, a former college president who is president and chief executive of the Aspen Institute, said Bloomberg’s gift raises the bar for schools in the Ivy League and elsewhere because it establishes a promise of full access in the future.

“Now they’ll have to ask themselves: Can they also make that commitment in perpetuity?” Porterfield said.

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If Not Pelosi, Who? The Question Hovers Over a Simmering Rebellion

WASHINGTON — What if House Democrats tried to stage a coup and nobody showed up?

That is the predicament facing Democrats as a quiet rebellion simmers in their ranks to block Representative Nancy Pelosi of California from being speaker. Inside the Capitol and at nearby watering holes and restaurants, there are hopeful whispers among a small band of Democrats that a fresh-faced new leader will come forward to challenge Ms. Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for 15 years.

But so far, no one has emerged to take her on. As much as some House Democrats, including several among the wave of newcomers elected this month, say they want to shake up a calcified party leadership, would-be challengers are keenly aware of the immense power Ms. Pelosi wields, and fearful of institutional retribution and reputational damage if they step forward to test the status quo.

Democrats who had hoped to release a letter clearly demonstrating that Ms. Pelosi did not have the votes to become speaker pulled back on Friday, hoping to garner more than the 17 signatures that they said they had collected. Representative Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, who is considering a run against Ms. Pelosi, said she was still undecided.

And Ms. Pelosi, a legendary legislator, vote-counter, campaigner and fund-raiser who served as speaker from 2007 to 2011, has expressed supreme confidence that she will be elected again in January. She has enlisted powerful allies to weigh in on her behalf and worked to build an air of inevitability around her bid, including through a letter of support circulated by a veteran lawmaker, Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, and signed by 61 Democratic women as of Friday afternoon. (An additional four women elected this month have since said publicly that they will back her.)

Ms. Pelosi has effectively dared a challenger to come forward, declaring, “Come on in, the water’s warm.” Privately, her allies have taken to using a sharper axiom: “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.”

Still, while so far it is a threat without a face, the rebellious Democrats are eyeing the most consequential challenge yet to Ms. Pelosi’s tenure as their leader. It has the potential to set off an intraparty feud that would dim the afterglow of Democrats’ sweeping midterm election victories and mar the opening days of their majority.

The situation leaves a fog of uncertainty around the party’s coming leadership elections. While Ms. Pelosi should easily win the backing of a majority of her fellow Democrats in a closed-door vote this month to gain the nomination, a much more intriguing vote will take place Jan. 3, when she must garner the support of a majority of the House to regain the speaker’s gavel.

At the moment, the number of Democrats said to be committed to voting against her would be enough to prevent her from getting the 218 votes she needs. That margin could change depending on a number of pending House races, but the most she could afford to lose would be 19, if no Republicans support her and every member present casts a vote.

The unpredictability highlights the fact that Democrats lack a stable of young leaders serving in key positions on Capitol Hill. And it speaks to the customs of a House Democratic caucus that has had the same three people at its helm for more than a decade — Ms. Pelosi, 78, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, 79, and Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, 78 — discouraging all but the most daring from mounting a challenge.

“It’s a fate you fear — people worry about a future of irredeemable obscurity should they undertake that task and inevitably lose,” said Representative Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia, who is backing Ms. Pelosi. “You can look at the past, and those intrepid souls who have done it are mostly no longer here.”

Ms. Pelosi, the only woman to be House speaker, controls a vast array of levers of power within her caucus, including committee appointments, funding for staff salaries and office space, and all manner of other opportunities.

“I think there’s probably a natural fear of having something taken away from you,” said Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky, another supporter of Ms. Pelosi’s, who hastened to add — twice — that he had “never seen her retaliate against anybody.”

Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a rising star in his party who had been the object of intense speculation as a possible challenger to Ms. Pelosi, is instead running for chairman of the Democratic caucus. He argued that potential challengers were not coming forward simply because of a calculation that Ms. Pelosi could not be beaten.

“No one’s a better vote-counter than Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi,” Mr. Jeffries said on Friday, alluding to Ms. Pelosi’s background as the daughter of Thomas J. D’Alesandro Jr., a mayor and congressman from Baltimore whose political operation was also a family affair, and her early exposure to tallying votes and tracking favors and transgressions.

“It’s not clear to me that there’s a risk factor,” Mr. Jeffries added, “but I think that there are some who have made the determination that she clearly has the votes to be the speaker-designee, and therefore there’s no utility in moving forward with a race if there’s no clear pathway to success.”

Whatever the reason for the reluctance, the lack of a clear challenger has perplexed many Democrats, including some newly elected lawmakers who vowed during their campaigns not to support Ms. Pelosi, many of them from more moderate districts where she is unpopular.

“That tells you something, doesn’t it? And that’s a problem,” said Representative-elect Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, who promised during her campaign not to back Ms. Pelosi and says she will keep her vow. “I want to vote for somebody who will be a new messenger for change, and who will work toward bipartisan policies.”

“There’s an effectiveness that comes with being a fresh voice that I think is important,” Ms. Spanberger said last week on her first full day in Washington since being elected.

Yet fresh voices have been hard to come by, even as a group of rebels led by Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who challenged Ms. Pelosi for minority leader in 2016, and Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts say one is sorely needed.

Representative Kathleen Rice of New York, one of the 17 lawmakers who signed the letter pledging not to vote for Ms. Pelosi, said no challenger would emerge until it was a mathematical certainty that Ms. Pelosi could not get enough votes on the House floor to clinch the speaker’s post.

“The whole concept of ‘you can’t beat somebody with nobody’ is a Nancy Pelosi talking point,” Ms. Rice told reporters last week. “I get it, it’s pretty compelling. But because of the dynamic that she has set up in harnessing all the power at the top, the first step is showing that she cannot get to 218, and then I believe the challengers will emerge.”

Ms. Pelosi is toiling to nail down the support she needs to make sure that never happens. At a meeting Friday of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, a group she rarely visits, Ms. Pelosi argued that allowing her adversaries to take her down would thwart the will of a majority of the party and leave it paralyzed in the same way that the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus has stymied House Republicans.

Norman J. Ornstein, a scholar on Congress at the American Enterprise Institute, said the spectacle of a floor fight over the speakership would do lasting damage to the Democratic majority, setting a narrative that any leader would be powerless to counter.

“It’s going to be about Democratic disarray,” Mr. Ornstein said. “This is almost the definition of a circular firing squad, and the impact that that could have on 2020 is quite significant.”

For now, the prospect is a mere hypothetical, but the lack of a named challenger has not made the battle among Democrats any less bruising. On Friday, Mr. Moulton criticized Ms. Pelosi’s leadership, saying in an interview with MSNBC that she had failed to bring gun safety measures to the floor when she had the chance.

The comment infuriated Ms. Pelosi and her allies, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence quickly issued a statement effusively supporting her candidacy for speaker.

“There were two reasons we couldn’t pass gun control: One was the Republican majority, and the other was people like Tim Ryan,” said Mark Glaze, an adviser to the Brady Campaign and a former executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety, alluding to the fact that Mr. Ryan, a centrist, once had an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. (He has since returned donations and distanced himself from the group.)

Mr. Glaze said the criticism appeared to be part of a “weird jihad to oust Nancy Pelosi,” who, he added, was “routinely one of the most aggressive people in the room” pressing for strong gun safety measures.

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Florida’s 1st black nominee for gov challenged GOP dominance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida’s young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor’s office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state’s first black nominee for the post.

Gillum, whose refrain had been “bring it home” as he recounted stories of growing up poor in the state, concluded his campaign with a Facebook video he recorded alongside his wife in a park.

In his four-minute plus video , Gillum congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis and also vowed to remain politically active even though his term as mayor of the Florida capital of Tallahassee ends next week. Of his future plans, Gillum said: “stay tuned.”

Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature.


His final act as a candidate was less confrontational than that of another prominent African-American candidate in this year’s midterm elections: Stacy Abrams in neighboring Georgia ended her campaign for governor on Friday, ceding to a Republican with an unapologetically indignant tone establishing herself as a leading voting rights advocate.

“This has been the journey of our lives,” said Gillum, appearing in the video with his wife, R. Jai Gillum. “Although nobody wanted to be governor more than me that this was not just about an election cycle. This was about creating the type of change in this state that really allows for the voices of everyday people to show up again in our government, in our state, and in our communities. We know that this fight continues.”

Gillum’s concession came hours before Florida’s counties must turn in their official results at noon Sunday after tense days of recounting ballots in both the gubernatorial and a U.S. Senate contest — two nationally watched midterm elections that have keep the presidential swing state on edge since Election Day.

Gillum’s brief remarks came hours after President Donald Trump, who at one point in the campaign had sharply criticized Gillum, praised him for running a tough race.


“He will be a strong Democrat warrior long into the future – a force to reckon with!” said Trump in a Twitter post.

Gillum had initially conceded to DeSantis on election night, but he retracted it as the razor-thin margin between the two candidates narrowed. But he still trailed DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes following a legally required machine recount. Counties are wrapping up a hand recount this weekend and must submit their official results by noon Sunday.

Gillum’s concession assures Florida Republicans will retain their grasp on the governor’s office since Jeb Bush’s term starting in 1999.

DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before DeSantis even entered the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and visited Florida two more times to help the Republican in the final days of the election.

DeSantis’s campaign did not respond to Gillum’s remarks, pointing instead to a statement the former congressman put out two days ago.

“Campaigns are meant to be vigorously debated contests of ideas and competing visions for the future,” DeSantis said. “The campaign for governor achieved this objective as evidenced by historic voter turnout from people of all parties across our state. But campaigns of ideas must give way to governing and bringing people together to secure Florida’s future. With the campaign now over, that’s where all of my focus will be.”

DeSantis stumbled out of the gate after winning the Aug. 28 primary, telling Fox News that voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum.

Despite implications that DeSantis is racially insensitive — an idea he angrily disputed during a debate — he is poised to officially win the state that Trump carried in 2016. He has promised to keep intact many of the same policies on education and health care that have been in place by previous Republican governors.

DeSantis ran as a political outsider despite serving three terms in Congress and running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 before dropping out of the race when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio decided to run for re-election.

DeSantis is a former Navy officer who graduated from Yale University before getting his law degree at Harvard University.

He gained name recognition during the primary with more than 100 appearances on Fox News, often to defend the president.

DeSantis ran a largely negative campaign, calling Gillum a socialist and saying he oversaw one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden cities in the state. Trump joined in on the criticism, tweeting similar messages. The corruption allegation stemmed from a continuing FBI investigation into City Hall that Gillum has said he is not a target of and is cooperating with; the charge that Tallahassee had the state’s highest crime rate was false.

Gillum portrayed DeSantis as racially divisive, repeatedly pointing out his “monkey this up” comment.

“I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist,” Gillum said previously.

Gillum’s announcement came as most Florida counties were winding down their hand recount in the state’s contentious U.S. Senate race. The smattering of results publicly posted Saturday showed that Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was only gaining a few hundred votes in his bitter contest with outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican.

State officials ordered a manual recount earlier in the week after a legally required machine recount showed that Scott led incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson by about 12,600 votes. More than 8 million voters cast ballots in the race.

Nelson and Democrats filed several lawsuits following the close election, challenging everything from the state’s signature mismatch law to deadlines for mail-in ballots.

If the 76-year-old Nelson loses, it would likely spell an end to a lengthy political career that stretches back four decades. Nelson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. A win for Scott would mark his third victory since the multimillionaire businessman launched his political career in 2010. In each race, Scott has barely edged his Democratic opponent.

State law requires a machine recount in races where the margin is 0.5 percentage points or less. Once that recount was complete, if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or less, a hand recount is ordered. Local canvassing boards only review ballots where a vote was not recorded by voting machines.

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RB Devin Darrington’s finger wag costs Harvard a TD vs. Yale

In the fourth quarter of Harvard‘s 45-27 win over Yale on Saturday, Crimson running back Devin Darrington went up the middle for a 27-yard score, but he wagged a finger as he outran a defender toward the goal line and was called for taunting.

The penalty negated Darrington’s touchdown, and Harvard was forced to settle for a field goal in Boston.

“The bottom line is: He was wrong,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “He was wrong. It’s that simple. It was the right call; he was wrong. I’m just so grateful to our team that he didn’t have to learn that the absolute hard way of trying to live with that for a year or however many years.”

On the Crimson’s next possession, Darrington again broke loose, gaining 27 yards to the 6. Two plays later, he took it in from the 4 to give Harvard a 37-27 lead.

Darrington, a sophomore, finished with 91 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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