“Rep. Ann Wagner (R-02) is taking a second look at entering Missouri’s Senate race, three Republican sources say. Wagner’s rethinking comes after” state Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) “stumbled in recent days. Her chances of ultimately entering the race are low, all three sources said. But Republicans in Missouri have approached her about reconsidering the contest, and two sources said she discussed it with other members at the GOP’s congressional retreat in West Virginia this week.”
“In a statement, a top aide to Wagner did not directly address whether Wagner was thinking of entering the Senate race.”
Brecht Mulvihill, Wagner’s campaign manager: “The congresswoman is focused on her important and pressing work in the U.S. House and Missouri’s Second Congressional District.” (Politico)
In July, Wagner had surprisingly announced she would not challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).
SURVEY SAYS. Hawley leads the current GOP primary field with 49 percent of the vote, according to a poll released Saturday by Remington Research Group and Missouri Scout (1,095 LVs). The same survey “found that all other candidates were polling in the single digits, while 40 percent of voters remain undecided.”
Meanwhile, at the Missouri Republican Party’s convention this weekend, “Hawley …. disappeared …. by Saturday afternoon. He hosted a breakfast event with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) in the morning, but canceled his scheduled appearance at a panel of statewide elected officials that afternoon and left for Columbia without plans to return for that evening’s dinner and keynote address. … The party and his campaign said that Hawley had to attend to a family function, but offered no more specific details.” (Kansas City Star)
WEIGHING IN. Blunt “said Friday that he hadn’t read Hawley’s controversial comments on sex trafficking.”
“Blunt will be supporting Hawley’s candidacy, but on Friday he downplayed his involvement in recruiting the 38-year-old attorney general to the race.”
Blunt: “I was not particularly involved in recruiting him to the race, but I’m going to be helping him and I think he’d be a great colleague.” (Kansas City Star)
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"Democrats are threatening to take the GOP to court to keep Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), who’s been charged with insider trading, on the November ballot. New York Democrats believe they have a better shot of flipping the ruby-red, Buffalo-area seat if the embattled congressman’s name stays on the ballot, and want to keep Republicans from replacing him with a potentially less-toxic candidate." According to New York election law, must run for another office, move out of state or die to be removed from the ballot. A local Democratic leader called it "borderline fraud" to keep Collins on the ballot.
"A federal judge has found a witness in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the ruling Friday after a sealed hearing to discuss Andrew Miller’s refusal to appear before the grand jury. Miller is a former aide to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone."
Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates said in court today that "he conspired with Manafort to falsify Manafort’s tax returns. Gates said he and Manafort knowingly failed to report foreign bank accounts and had failed to register Manafort as a foreign agent."