CA GOV: The California Secretary of State’s office said businessman John Cox’s (R) ballot proposal “to overhaul California’s Legislature by adding thousands of elected officials … he failed to collect enough signatures. … Cox said it was ‘too early’ to draw any conclusions, adding that his team planned to go into some of the counties and review the signatures that were rejected.” (Sacramento Bee)
“The three top Republican candidates shared a debate stage for the first time Tuesday and spent more time shredding each other personally than taking stands on policy.” Former Rep. Doug Ose (R): “I haven’t spent six years in the Legislature doing nothing, and didn’t move here from Illinois without knowledge of California.” State Assemblyman Travis Allen: “I have never lost an election. … These candidates here are both three-time losers.” Cox: “We’re not going to change California with more politicians.” (San Francisco Chronicle) The Republicans for the first time also assailed Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) “as immoral philanderers in a debate Tuesday, pillorying the rivals over their past affairs.” (Sacramento Bee)
GA GOV: Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) “collected about $1.2 million this fundraising period, amassing roughly $2.9 million from 2,400 donors since he jumped in the race last year. He reported Wednesday he has $2.1 million of that cash haul on hand.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Former state Sen. Hunter Hill (R) “will report Wednesday that he raised $1.1 million this period and has amassed about $2.2 million since he jumped in the race in April. He’s got … about $1.5 million … on hand.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) advisers said they “worry that if the primary runs its full course, it will get harder for the campaign to go into a potential general election at full strength. That’s in part because of a big gamble by Abrams: running an expensive, aggressive field campaign almost from the very start.” (BuzzFeed)
ID GOV: State Rep. Paulette Jordan (D) “is giving up her seat in the Idaho Statehouse to focus on her run for governor.” (KIVI)
NY GOV: America Rising PAC “on Tuesday unveiled a Web site attacking” Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) “over the ‘pay-to-play’ allegations against Joseph Percoco, who’s accused of pocketing more than $300,000 in bribes from companies doing business with the state.” The site, thirdcuomoson.com is “in reference to Cuomo’s likening of Percoco to a brother during his 2015 eulogy for … the late Gov. Mario Cuomo (D).”
TX GOV: “Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is spending about $1 million a month on his re-election. … [N]early 96 percent of Abbott’s new contributions came from Texas. The average donation was $390, he said.” (Dallas Morning News)
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Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg."
"The Justice Department asked its internal watchdog to examine if there was any impropriety in the counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, after the president demanded Sunday that the department investigate the motives behind the inquiry. Earlier Sunday, in one of a series of tweets targeting the probe into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump wrote: 'I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!'"