Feb 19, 2019

Marc Short to become Pence's chief of staff

Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Marc Short is set to become Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, according to sources with direct knowledge and first reported by the New York Times.

Why it matters: Short is the only senior official who has left the Trump administration and later returned. He previously served as President Trump's head of legislative affairs before resigning in July to work in the private sector.

  • During the past 6 months, Short served as a senior fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs, worked as a CNN commentator and did general government consulting for corporate and investor clients.

Behind the scenes: Pence has been searching for a new chief since Nick Ayers resigned at the end of last year after turning down an offer to be Trump's chief of staff. In the meantime, Pence's deputy chief of staff, Jarrod Agen, has been a caretaker chief.

Go deeper: Republicans launch new group to lobby Congress on USMCA

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Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.

O'Brien rejects intelligence report of Russia effort to re-elect Trump

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien. Photo: Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien repeatedly rejected on ABC's "This Week" an assessment from a congressional briefing led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected.

Why it matters: The report put the Trump administration under fresh scrutiny in regard to steps it has been taking to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. encountered in 2016.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Italy becomes site of largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures as it confirmed a spike from three to 132 cases in matter of days, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health