President Trump “used a [Cleveland] roundtable on taxes Saturday to campaign for” Rep. Jim Renacci (R) “and to assail undocumented immigrants for taking advantage of U.S. laws he derided as weak.” Trump: “We need your vote, we need your help, so go out and help Jim. Get it done.”
Trump also said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) “‘does not think the way we think’ on immigration, health care and other issues. And he warned Ohioans not to think of Brown as an independent voice, but rather as part of ‘a block’ of Democrats in Washington.” (Washington Post)
A fundraising email from Trump “over the weekend raised $50k online from nearly 1,000 donors by Sunday afternoon.” (BuzzFeed)
“Renacci, who for months was angling for a Trump endorsement while he was running for governor, said in an interview … following the roundtable that the president’s kind words for him further solidified he was the true pro-Trump candidate.” (cleveland.com)
“Renacci is cloaking himself in the Trump aura, hoping that he can replicate the success that Mr. Trump found in this state in the 2016 presidential election. But it is a cloak that may rest uncomfortably on the shoulders of an affluent, soft-spoken businessman cut far more from the mold of the old Republican Party than Mr. Trump’s new one.” (New York Times)
J’ACCUSE! Investment banker Mike Gibbons (R) “on Friday filed a lawsuit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court that alleges … Renacci … lied about him in … ads [that] falsely describe Gibbons as ‘liberal’ and ‘anti-Trump,’ incorrectly claim he ‘donated to efforts to attack and defeat Donald Trump,’ … wrongly said that ‘Gibbons himself admits he’s no conservative, describing himself as ideologically flexible,’” and that “Gibbons has told people he’s ‘personally pro-life, but would vote pro-choice in Washington.’” (cleveland.com)
ALL ABOARD. Tea Party Express endorsed Gibbons. (release)
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"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.
"The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms. Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of 'Project Lakhta,' a foreign influence operation they said was designed 'to sow discord in the U.S. political system' by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and the National Football League national-anthem protests."