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May 6, 2014

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has been quietly practicing a unique method of outreach to constituents.

A new profile from The Washington Post follows Scott as he takes a turn volunteering at a Goodwill center in Greenville, and talking to people there in order to learn about their stories — without actually telling them who he is.

In the almost year and a half since being appointed to the Senate by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Scott, a conservative Republican, has embarked on an unconventional listening tour, wandering his state in blue jeans, talking to folks without ever saying who he is. He's mopped up the floors of a burrito joint, manned a shoe shop, and ridden the bus through rough neighborhoods in Charleston.

Scott, the only African-American Republican currently in Congress, is widely expected to be elected in his own right this November. Eric Kleefeld

10:34 p.m. ET
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Democrat Doug Jones will be the next senator representing Alabama, The Associated Press, Fox News, and The New York Times project.

The former U.S. attorney defeated Republican Roy Moore in a contentious election that took a turn last month when several women came forward and accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s. Moore had the support of President Trump, who recorded robo-calls on his behalf. Catherine Garcia

10:10 p.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The results are still coming in for Alabama's special Senate election between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore, and with 86.7 percent of precincts reporting, they are tied with each having 49.2 percent of the vote.

Moore was far ahead in the polls until several women accused him in recent weeks of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s, and in the days leading up to the election, Moore and Jones were in a dead heat. Moore has the support of President Trump, who recorded robo-calls on his behalf. The race will decide who will fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Catherine Garcia

9:32 p.m. ET
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White House attorney Ty Cobb says that on Tuesday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced he's finished the interviews he requested with about two dozen current and former White House witnesses as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Attorneys have refused to say which White House officials have been interviewed, but it's been reported that White House communications director Hope Hicks, White House counsel Don McGahn, former chief of staff Reince Priebus, and former spokesman Sean Spicer have all spoken with investigators. Mueller could still ask for additional interviews with the staffers and others who have not yet been questioned.

Cobb had said he thought the interviews would be finished by Thanksgiving and Mueller would announce the investigation was complete by the end of the year, but one attorney representing a senior Trump administration official in the probe told Politico that's a "nonsensical" timeline. "You say what you need to say to keep the sun coming up in the morning, but if you woke Ty Cobb up in the middle of the night and ask him if he thinks this is really going to be over in three weeks I think his answer is, 'Are you f—ing kidding me? Of course it won't.'" Catherine Garcia

8:26 p.m. ET
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Should Roy Moore win the Alabama special Senate election Tuesday night, Senate Republicans will meet Wednesday morning to discuss where they go from here, several Republicans with knowledge of the meeting told NBC News.

Moore has been accused by several women of groping them when they were in their teens and he was in his early 30s, and several GOP lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have said that if Moore is elected, he will immediately undergo an ethics probe. During the meeting, they will decide as a group if they will seat Moore on any committees or let him participate in policy discussions, NBC News reports. Catherine Garcia

8:09 p.m. ET
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During a speech in Washington on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he's ready to start talking directly with North Korea, without any preconditions.

"Let's just meet," he said in front of the Atlantic Council. "We can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it's going to be a square table or a round table. Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work toward." Previously, the U.S. has said it would only start discussions with Pyongyang if they talked about North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons.

Tillerson also said that for any talks to move forward, there would need to be a "period of quiet" without any missile or nuclear tests. He's taking a more measured approach than President Trump, who regularly insults North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un by calling him "Little Rocket Man" and "short and fat." Catherine Garcia

6:59 p.m. ET
Al Drago/Getty Images

As it stands now, the tax bill Republican lawmakers are working on in the hopes of getting it to a final vote next week would lower the corporate tax rate to 21 percent and the top individual tax rate from 39.6 to 37 percent, The New York Times reports.

The versions of the bill passed by the House and Senate dropped the corporate tax rate to 20 percent. The individual rate is being lowered due to the concern of wealthy taxpayers who are afraid that because the Republicans want to eliminate several individual deductions, their taxes will go up, the Times says. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said progress is being made on the legislation and a deal could be reached late Tuesday. Republicans want to have the text out by Friday, ahead of a Senate vote on Monday and a vote in the House on either Tuesday or Wednesday. Catherine Garcia

6:04 p.m. ET
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Ted Crockett, a spokesperson for Alabama Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore, really didn't want to answer a question Tuesday on whether Moore thinks homosexuality should be illegal. But CNN's Jake Tapper eventually nailed him down.

"Homosexuality is a sin in the biblical sense. That is where Roy Moore is in the state of Alabama," Ted Crockett initially responded. When the CNN host then asked if Moore thought that the Bible should be the law of the United States, the exasperated spokesman told him that America was founded on the Bible. "Jake you don't understand," Crockett said after Tapper brought up the Constitution's separation of church and state. Finally, Tapper asked, "Here's my question for you, sir: Does [Moore] think that homosexual conduct should be illegal? It's a yes or no question." Crockett held his mouth open and blinked before answering, "Probably."

Crockett, who is apparently unaware of the concept of irony, continued on to say, "We've got too many people that are winging it [in Washington]. They're fooling with women they shouldn't be fooling with. They ought to love their wives. Roy Moore loves his wife."

Crockett's boss has been accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls, dating teenage girls (which he did not exactly deny), and trolling Alabama malls to pick up teenage girls while in his 30s. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver predicted Monday that Moore has about a 70 percent chance of winning Tuesday's special election for Alabama's Senate seat. Kelly O'Meara Morales

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