Jan 3, 2018

Keep your eye on John Bolton in 2018

Bolton visits the White House in October. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

John Bolton will be in the mix this year. The hawkish former UN ambassador — whose name I often hear mentioned when sources game out the next phase of Trump's national security team — launches on Thursday what he says will be a $1 million advertising campaign to support Kevin Nicholson in the Republican Senate primary in Wisconsin.

Why this matters: Bolton remains an influential, if controversial, voice in Republican foreign policy, advocating a tear-it-up position with the Iran nuclear deal and muscular military actions around the world.

  • This is the first time Bolton has weighed into a Republican primary, and if history's any guide he'll have a lot of money to play with this cycle.
  • Through the past two campaign cycles he's raised and spent more than $20 million through his various groups, including his super-PAC. Bolton told me his goal is to raise and spend $25 million in the 2018 midterms.

Why Nicholson? Bolton tells me he's impressed by Nicholson's credentials — a former Marine who was once a high-profile college Democrat but became a Republican after his time in the service.

  • He said he looks for two things in the candidates he supports: First that they share Bolton's view of "America's place in the world" and second that they have the potential to be an "opinion leader" when they arrive in Washington.
  • The hawkish senator Tom Cotton — who Bolton supported and has become a major force in D.C. and could one day be Trump's CIA director — is a good example of what Bolton is searching for.
  • Bolton says he expects to endorse and financially support as many as 90 candidates for Congress this cycle. I'm told that the last two cycles, he gave to more than 70 and 80 candidates, respectively.

Go deeper

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Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy