“Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) announced her long-expected reelection campaign Wednesday, one day after attending dinner at the White House and one week after President Trump visited her home state and praised the incumbent. As Trump inexplicably grants the North Dakota Democrat political cover in a state that delivered his fourth-largest victory margin, the field to face Heitkamp is far from settled. GOP state Sen. Tom Campbell jumped into the race last month, giving Republicans their first major candidate, while Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) is still leaving strategists guessing about whether he will give up the safe, at-large House seat to run a grueling challenge to Heitkamp.”
“In an interview, Campbell pledged to stay in the Senate race, regardless of Cramer’s plans, but noted that Cramer was supportive of his campaign when the two spoke ahead of his announcement.”
“I think he’s probably leaning toward staying where he’s at,” Campbell said. “But that is not what he said. He just isn’t ready, and I was ready, and the time was right, so I jumped in. We can’t wait any longer because it’s a big race.” (Hotline reporting)
In declaring her reelection, Heitkamp said the White House dinner “really cemented” her decision to run. “There is a real opportunity for people who want to find compromise in this country,” she said, adding, “If you only elect hard-liners on one side of the aisle or the other side of the aisle, we don’t get the business of government done.” (KFGO)
In a statement released late Wednesday morning, Heitkamp said she cares “too much about North Dakota not to run.” (release)
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"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."
President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.
In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."
President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.