"President Trump named John R. Bolton, a hard-line former American ambassador to the United Nations, as his third national security adviser on Thursday, continuing a shake-up that creates one of the most hawkish national security teams of any White House in recent history. Mr. Bolton will replace Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer who was tapped last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation but who never developed a comfortable relationship with the president." Bolton was an outspoken advocate of military action during the George W. Bush administration, and has "called for action against Iran and North Korea."
CA-21: Former nominee Emilio Huerta (D) ended his campaign to oust Rep. David Valadao (R) from a Central Valley-based district that Hillary Clinton won by 15 points. “Huerta had just about $100,000 in the bank as of Dec. 31 and did scant campaigning. … Several Central Valley Democratic Party sources who requested anonymity … said they expect” engineer T.J. Cox (D) “to announce a run next week. Cox has been running in a crowded field in the nearby” CA-10 “but owns a home and business in Fresno.”
“Huerta’s exit has some Democrats who were concerned he was a weak candidate breathing a sigh of relief. Elected officials and Democratic party operatives” said “they felt the candidate’s mother pressured them to keep other candidates from entering the race.” (Los Angeles Times)
CA-49: Air Force veteran Christina Prejean (D) “announced Friday night that she is dropping out of the race to succeed” retiring Rep. Darrell Issa (R), “citing the large number of her fellow Democrats seeking the seat.” Prejean: “In the military, we say `One team, One fight,’ and our focus is always on the mission. As a proud Democrat and progressive, we are on the same team, and our mission is to flip the 49th. (CBS 8)
“All five Democrats” in the race for Issa’s seat “were expected to take part in the forum, but the candidates, one-by-one, began to back out just hours before the start time, leaving a single contender on the stage.” Environmental attorney Mike Levin (D) “was left uncontested with a packed house of voters, the sole benefactor of his opponents’ decision to ditch the event,” which was billed as a “candidate viability forum.” (Mother Jones)
CA-50: “The California Republican Party on Saturday put its endorsement behind” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) “his re-election to Congress, giving a boost to his embattled campaign. …While the county-level GOP had already endorsed Hunter, and it is common for the state GOP to follow those recommendations, controversy swirling around the Alpine congressman raised some question as to whether he would secure enough votes for the state backing.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
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"When a Russian news agency reached out to George Papadopoulos to request an interview shortly before the 2016 election," deputy communications director Bryan Lanza encouraged him to respond. "You should do it," Lanza wrote in a September 2016 email, "emphasizing the benefits of a U.S. 'partnership with Russia.'" The Trump campaign has "sought to paint the 30-year old energy consultant as a low level volunteer" in the campaign, but recently disclosed emails show that Papadopoulos had contact with "senior campaign figures" in the Trump campaign, "such as chief executive Stephen K. Bannon and adviser Michael Flynn," who encouraged him to "broker ties between Trump and top foreign officials."