Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro on 2020: “I have every interest in running. … Part of the process of figuring out whether I’m going to run is going to listen to folks and feel the temperature of voters.” Castro, on Trump: “This guy is taking the country in the completely wrong direction and he’s hurting people while he’s doing it. I have a completely different vision for the country and this seems like an important moment to turn things around.” (NBC News)
RETREAT. In addition to former Vice President Joe Biden, former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) will also attend “the annual House Democratic policy retreat on Wednesday, which is being held over three days at a resort in Cambridge, Md.”
“Holder and McAuliffe are poised to speak about the work they’re doing with Obama and other Democrats to push for changes in how state governments draw legislative boundaries.” (Washington Post)
CUOMO. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) “has signed an executive order that bans all New York state agencies and authorities from conducting business with companies that tolerate or promote discrimination. … The Democrat also said he’s supporting legislation that will ban the use of a ‘gay panic’ defense in which a person charged with attacking someone attempts to blame the victim’s sexual orientation for a violent reaction. … Illinois and California are the only other states that ban the gay panic defense.” (AP)
KENNEDY. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) on 2020: “I am not perturbed at all about the prospect of a big, messy primary for Democrats.”(Politico)
TRUMP ACCUSER, NOW A CANDIDATE. “Rachel Crooks, who during the 2016 presidential election claimed Trump once kissed her without her consent, is running for the state legislature in Ohio. … She adds her name to the record number of women candidates in 2018, the next step of the feminist wave that began with the Women’s March last year. A Democrat and first-time candidate, Crooks says she was stirred to run because, despite the #MeToo movement felling powerful men in a broad range of industries, the president has escaped the consequences of his alleged sexual abuse.” (Cosmopolitan)
FLORIDA. The Florida Democratic Party announced Monday “that it has hired Juan Peñalosa to be its new executive director.” (Tampa Bay Times)
FACEBOOK. “Friday was the deadline for Facebook to comply with a longstanding Seattle law requiring companies to disclose detailed information about the political ads they sell targeting local elections.
“Specifically, the law in Seattle says that Facebook … must disclose, upon request, ‘the exact nature and extent’ of such ads, the ‘names and addresses’ of people who purchased the ads, and specific payment details.
“But Wayne Barnett, executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, says the barebones spreadsheet that Facebook sent him on Friday is a woefully inadequate disclosure. … ‘We gave Facebook ample time to comply with the law,’ Barnett said ‘but their two-page spreadsheet doesn’t come close to meeting their public obligation. I’ll be discussing our next steps this week with the City Attorney’s office.’” (The Stranger)
FBI MEMO. “The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Monday in favor of publicly releasing a classified memo that Democrats say undermines allegations by … Trump and his allies that the FBI abused its spying powers while investigating his campaign. Trump has five days to review the request to release the memo, which was written by committee Democrats.”(Politico)
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"President Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director under President Barack Obama, citing what he called Mr. Brennan’s “erratic” behavior. The White House had threatened last month to strip Mr. Brennan and two other Obama administration officials — Susan E. Rice, the former national security adviser; and James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence — of their security clearances." Mr. Brennan has been highly critical of Trump on Twitter and in television appearances.
The FBI have investigated "a series of cyberattacks over the past year that targeted a Democratic opponent of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher," widely seen as the "most pro-Russia and pro-Putin member of Congress." The hacks against his Democratic opponent, Hans Keirstead, "began in August 2017 with a spear-phishing attempt... sent to Keirstead’s work email address," which was ultimately successful. Later attacks focused on his twitter account, and "Keirstead's campaign’s website and hosting service." Keirstead fell "125 votes short of advancing to the general election in one of the narrowest margins of any congressional primary this year," and has since endorsed Rohrabacher's opponent Harley Rouda.