"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."
Sen. Thad Cochran (R) announced he will resign from the Senate on April 1, citing health reasons. “Cochran’s retirement means that” Gov. Phil Bryant (R) “will have 10 days to appoint an interim senator. A special election would then be held on Election Day in November to fill the rest of … Cochran’s term, which expires in 2020.”
“Multiple Republican officials said … Bryant was likely to pick somebody who would run for the seat in November, avoiding a caretaker. The question now is whether” state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) “will drop his challenge to” Sen. Roger Wicker (R) and run for Cochran’s seat. McDaniel said in a statement Monday that “all options remain on the table.”
“Republicans close to the governor said he would not choose” McDaniel to replace Cochran. If Bryant does not appoint himself, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump have encouraged, “the governor is expected to consider Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who is also thought to want to run for governor when … Bryant becomes term-limited in 2019, and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R). Other possibilities include” state House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) and state Auditor Stacey Pickering (R). (New York Times)
Former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy (D) said Monday he has “strong intention to run” for Cochran’s seat. (Jackson Clarion Ledger)
IN THE MIX. State Rep. David Baria (D), who announced his challenge to Wicker last week, “indicated he would not switch races, but he was far from definitive in his written statement. (Jackson Clarion Ledger)
Correction: A previous version of this post misstated Espy’s plans.
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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."