Nov 29, 2018

Tim Scott will oppose controversial Trump nominee

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Thursday that he will oppose Thomas Farr's nomination to the federal bench in North Carolina, effectively killing the controversial Trump nominee's confirmation.

The backdrop: All 49 Senate Democrats have pledged to oppose Farr’s nomination, citing his record of supporting election policies that have been labeled by federal courts as racially discriminatory. Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has promised to vote against all of President Trump's judicial nominees until the Senate approves a bill aimed at shielding special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired. With that said, Scott's opposition means Farr's confirmation will fail at least 51-50 in the Senate.

"Confirming judicial nominees is one of the most important responsibilities of a United States Senator. I take my role in that process very seriously, as we want to ensure the judicial branch remains honest, fair, and impartial ...
This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed light on Mr. Farr's activities. This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr's nomination."
— Sen. Tim Scott in a statement

Go deeper: Trump judicial pick in limbo, seen as a threat to voting rights

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Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

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

Jim 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.