“Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is expanding his efforts to unseat sitting Senate Republicans in primaries next year. … Bannon has added” Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) “to the ranks of incumbents he plans to take on.’”
“And that’s ‘just a partial list,’ a source familiar with Bannon’s plans said.”
“Bannon’s efforts to unseat Barrasso are an indication that he is willing to break from Trump.”
“A White House official said Trump and Barrasso are tight. They talk frequently on the phone, particularly during the health care fight, and the President appreciated how Barrasso was willing to go on TV and defend efforts to repeal Obamacare.” (CNN)
MONEY. In the Wisconsin Senate race, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) “is one of a growing number of Republican candidates around the country who spent the first months of this year courting megadonors and even announcing their support before formally launching campaigns, in the same manner that Jeb Bush and others did for months during the last presidential race.” In Missouri, state Attorney General Josh Hawley ‘(R) “has not officially entered the race against” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) — but the Club for Growth has already lined up a donor pledging to match donations of up to $5 million to support Hawley. “The identity of the donor is unknown, but billionaire business executive David Humphreys has donated millions to Hawley in the past.” And when “celebrated author J.D. Vance (R) considered mounting a bid for Senate in Ohio earlier this year, he lined up $15 million in pledges for a supportive super PAC before deciding not to go through with a campaign, according to a strategist with knowledge of Vance’s plans.” (Politico)
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Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is expected to plead guilty to a raft of new tax and fraud charges filed against him by special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday. Gates is expected to cooperate with Mueller's investigation.
Robert Mueller announced new charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort advisor Rick Gates. "The new indictment contains 32 counts, including tax charges." The pair had been indicted on 12 charges in October. Since then, Gates's attorneys have asked to be excused from the case.
The FBI has reported that it failed to respond to a warning from "a person close to" Nikolas Cruz, the teen accused of killing 17 people at Parkland High School on Thursday. "It was the second time the FBI apparently failed to follow up on Cruz." On the first occasion, it failed to properly investigate Cruz after it was reported to them that he left the following comment on a Youtube video: "Im going to be a school shooter."
Florida Governor Rick Scott called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign following revelations that the FBI had failed to adequately investigate multiple warnings about Parkland High School gunman Nikolas Cruz. “The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,'" said Scott. '...We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act.'" According to an FBI statement, the FBI failed to inform local offices of information regarding "Cruz's desire to kill people, erratic behavior, disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting."