A campaign worker cleans the carpet before presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney takes the stage in Manchester, N.H., on April 24. After Romney swept five primaries that night — in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania — nearly everyone in America not named Newt Gingrich conceded that the Republican nomination fight was over.
Campaign photo diary: Out, damned spot!April 24, 2012
Trump baselessly claims the 'inept politicians' of Puerto Rico are trying to misuse disaster relief funding1:32 p.m.
Sandra Day O'Connor reveals dementia diagnosis, says she's leaving 'public life'12:18 p.m.
Mike Pence decries 'brutal' Khashoggi murder while touting US-Saudi 'alliance'11:27 a.m.
Trump officials zero in on 'voluntary' family separations to 'maximize deterrence' of migrants10:34 a.m.
Alex Jones screamed at a pile of horse poop on the ground, pretending it was Democrat Beto O'Rourke10:18 a.m.
Battleground district voters who dislike both parties prefer Democrats, poll finds10:18 a.m.
Airplane groper invokes a Trump-did-it-first defense10:01 a.m.
President Trump is going after Puerto Rico once again, this time with another unfounded claim.
The president on Tuesday claimed that the "inept politicians" of Puerto Rico are trying to use the "massive and ridiculously high amounts" of disaster relief funding they have received to "pay off other obligations." He didn't provide any evidence to back up his statement, but did make sure to note that the people of Puerto Rico in general are actually "wonderful."
The people of Puerto Rico are wonderful but the inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations. The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2018
Just hours earlier, a federal board approved a new financial reform plan for Puerto Rico, which is $70 billion in debt; the plan recommends spending cuts that some Puerto Rican officials find too strict, reports Reuters. The plan also projects a $30 billion surplus over the next 15 years, thanks to the proposed reforms and the $80 billion coming in for disaster relief following the destruction of Hurricane Maria. Although this recovery should help Puerto Rico's ailing economy, politicians have not suggested using the federal aid to help pay off "other obligations" like Trump claimed, Bloomberg reports. Neither the island's leaders nor members of the federal board have proposed spending the $80 billion on anything other than recovery efforts. Brendan Morrow
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is stepping away from public life due to progressing dementia.
In a Tuesday statement, the 88-year-old O'Connor said she was diagnosed "some time ago" with "the beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer's disease." This "condition has progressed," and now O'Connor says she is "no longer able to participate in public life." Still, she had some thoughts to share "while I am still able," she said.
O'Connor was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, appointed by former President Ronald Reagan in 1981. "As a young cowgirl from the Arizona desert," she wrote, "I never could have imagined that one day I would become the first woman justice." She retired from the court in 2005 at age 75, citing her husband's Alzheimer's diagnosis. Still, she remained devoted to "advanc[ing] civic learning and engagement," even founding a free online learning platform called iCivics — an organization that she said now reaches half the middle school and high school students in the country.
She recently left the office she kept at the Supreme Court and hasn't made a public appearance in the past two years, The Associated Press reported Monday. O'Connor said she would remain at home in Phoenix, Arizona. "While the final chapter of my life with dementia may be trying," she wrote, "nothing has diminished my gratitude." Read her full statement below. Kathryn Krawczyk
— Nicole Ninh (@nicninh) October 23, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence appeared at The Washington Post's "Transformers: Space" event on Tuesday to discuss the Trump administration's developing Space Force. But first, he had some of the administration's strongest words yet regarding Jamal Khashoggi's presumed murder.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed Tuesday that Saudi officials had been planning to kill Khashoggi inside Istanbul's Saudi consulate since September. U.S. intelligence is reportedly also skeptical of the Saudi claim that "rogue" operatives killed the U.S.-based Saudi journalist, who wrote for the Post. Still, President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been reluctant to decry Saudi Arabian officials for their alleged involvement in the murder.
Pence, meanwhile, didn't hesitate to call Khashoggi's death a "brutal murder" and a "tragedy" at Tuesday's Post event. "It was also an assault on a free and independent press," Pence said, additionally confirming that CIA Director Gina Haspel is currently in Turkey to investigate.
Pence acknowledged that Erdogan's statement "flies in the face" of Saudi Arabia's claims of innocence. But he went on to echo Trump and Pompeo, calling for a full investigation into the murder. Once that is complete, the U.S. will take retaliatory action "in the context of America's vital interests in the region," Pence said, pointing to the U.S.-Saudi "alliance" that he claimed has been "renewed" under Trump's leadership. Watch Pence's remarks below. Kathryn Krawczyk
— Washington Post Live (@postlive) October 23, 2018
The Trump administration wants a legally bulletproof policy to discourage Central Americans from crossing into the U.S. And it wants it now.
With "a series of intense closed-door meetings," White House officials are scrambling to craft a new immigration policy that could serve as a rallying cry ahead of the midterm elections, The New York Times writes. Planners are weighing three ways of replacing the current "catch and release" policy, with the most probable option being a "voluntary" reboot of family separation, officials tell the Times.
Rumblings of a family separation redux first emerged earlier this month, when The Washington Post reported that White House adviser Stephen Miller was pushing for a legally stronger version of the much derided "zero tolerance" policy. The new plan, known as "binary choice," would require parents to "choose between voluntarily relinquishing their children to foster care or remaining imprisoned together as a family," the Times reports. It aims to "maximize deterrence and consequences for families," and currently seems to be the administration's favorite option, a person familiar with the plan tells the Times.
Another proposed plan would process families on "a first-in, first-out basis" to hopefully clear out immigration courts' massive backlog, the Times reports. A third would again try to raise the standards for granting asylum.
As a migrant caravan makes its way to the U.S., President Trump has grown frustrated at how long it has taken to rebuild a legally solid migrant-deterrence policy, the Times reports. With the midterms drawing closer, Trump and the GOP will likely continue relying on anti-immigration rhetoric alone to drum up GOP votes. Read more at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk
Conspiracy-monger Alex Jones was on hand for the campaign rally with President Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in Houston Monday night, and he had a full conversation with a pile of horse poop.
Addressing the pile as "Beto" — as in, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), Cruz's Democratic challenger — Jones screamed attacks at his silent foe, making sure to glance up at the Infowars camera every few seconds. The performance was caught by Reason editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown, who was covering the rally:
Literally the first thing I encountered in the vicinity of the Cruz/Trump rally was Alex Jones screaming at a pile of shit pic.twitter.com/lxmPgjAmB5
— Elizabeth Nolan Brown (@ENBrown) October 22, 2018
Jones' rant is difficult to decipher as he is at least 20 feet from Brown, but he seems to take issue with O'Rourke's nickname, which Cruz and his allies have suggested is an attempt to appeal to Hispanic voters. Beto is a childhood moniker based on O'Rourke's full name, Robert.
Unfortunately for Jones, his interviewee wasn't giving him the answers he wanted. "Talk to me!" he yelled at the poop. "Treat me like a human!" Bonnie Kristian
Two weeks ahead of a likely tight election, Democrats' lead over Republicans in battleground districts has narrowed slightly, but there's at least one area where they've retained a decisive advantage.
A new Washington Post-Schar School poll of likely voters in 69 battleground districts found that of the 10 percent who have an unfavorable view of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, about 6 in 10 prefer the Democratic candidates in their area. This 15-point advantage for the Democrats is a shift from
These voters could be key, as all signs are pointing to a close election. Democrats overall have a slim three-point advantage over Republicans in this poll of battleground districts, which falls within the margin of error. That lead is down slightly from a Washington Post poll conducted earlier this month, in which Democrats had a four-point advantage.
The Democratic Party is looking to gain 23 seats in order to take the majority in the House. At the moment, they are favored to do so, while Republicans are expected to maintain control of the Senate.
This poll was conducted by speaking to 1,545 registered voters, including 1,269 likely voters, in battleground districts online or over the phone from Oct. 15 through Oct. 21. The margin of error is 3 percentage points. See more results at The Washington Post. Brendan Morrow
A Florida man named Bruce Michael Alexander has been charged with abusive sexual contact after he allegedly groped a woman on a flight from Houston to Albuquerque Sunday. His defense, per court documents: President Trump approves.
Alexander was seated behind the woman, identified only as C.W., while she napped. She reports she awoke to find him lifting her sweater and touching her near her bra line. C.W. wrote the first touch off as an accident, but about half an hour later, she says she was groped again. This time, she confronted Alexander and asked flight attendants to move him to another seat.
"After being placed in handcuffs" following landing, the criminal complaint against Alexander says, he asked officers about the sentence associated with his charge. He then invoked the Trump defense, telling them "the president of the United States says it's okay to grab women by their private parts."