Failed Chicago mayoral contender William Kelly (R) announced that he’s “exploring a bid to challenge” Sen. Mark Kirk (R). Kelly called Kirk “a disaster,” and attacked the senator’s “physical condition.”
Kelly: “When I see them carrying Mark Kirk around, it’s like the political version of Weekend at Bernie’s. “¦ What is making it even more sickening is that our governor, Bruce Rauner (R), is the one who’s propping him and carrying him around and pretending that’s everything OK for his own political purposes.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D), who has endorsed Kirk’s likely Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-08), came to Kirk’s defense.
Durbin: “Sen. Kirk has apologized for some of his comments, and I accept that. All of us in public life have said things we wish we could have say differently, but he’s made those mistakes. We disagree on some issues. We continue to try and find ways to work for the good of this state.” (WBGZ)
SIDE SHOW: “A whistle-blower lawsuit dating back to” Duckworth’s “tenure as head of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs is set for an initial hearing Tuesday in a trial expected to play out next year during her pursuit of a U.S. Senate seat.”
“One of the employees,” at a veterans home “says she was fired by” Duckworth for being “insubordinate.” Butler “later was put on leave instead. … On Friday, Republicans released a 2007 email from Duckworth that includes her writing of Butler: ‘I screwed up in firing her since she actually is to be put on disciplinary leave first.’” (Chicago Daily Herald)
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"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.