Another One
January 11, 2021

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was the latest Trump administration official to announce his resignation Monday, stating that he'll step down from his post at the end of the day, with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Pete Gaynor taking over, presumably, until the Biden administration arrives.

Wolf didn't specifically mention the deadly riot at the United States Capitol riot last week, which prompted him to release a statement imploring President Trump to "strongly condemn the violence that took place," as a reason for his resignation. He instead referred to court rulings that found he wasn't serving his role lawfully, and therefore lacked authority to make policy decisions.

Last week, Trump withdrew Wolf's nomination to formally lead the department, a move the White House denied had anything to do with Wolf's criticism about the riots. Tim O'Donnell

December 9, 2020

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has become the latest government official to test positive for COVID-19.

Wolf received the positive diagnosis during a "routine test" on Tuesday, he said in a Wednesday statement. "I have no symptoms and feeling well," Wolf added, saying he would be working remotely as he quarantines at home with his wife Frances. "My positive test is a reminder that no one is immune from COVID," Wolf continued, reminding Pennsylvanians to wear a mask, stay home, and socially distance."

Pennsylvania, like the rest of the country, is currently seeing an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. It has seen case counts grow by more than 50 percent over the past few weeks, and ICU beds throughout the state are 80 percent full as well, according to Health and Human Services Department data.

Wolf has had a more nationally prominent role over the past month as his state provided some of the deciding votes that gave President-elect Joe Biden the presidency. Kathryn Krawczyk

November 20, 2020

Another member of the Senate's Republican leadership has tested positive for coronavirus.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who was just elected the next chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, announced Friday he had tested positive for COVID-19 that morning. He joins Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who tested positive earlier this week, in working from home until he tests negative. Scott advised everyone to wear a mask, social distance, and "listen to public health officials" as Thanksgiving approaches — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned everyone against traveling for the holiday.

Both Scott and Grassley knew earlier this week they had been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and missed a pivotal vote to advance President Trump's Federal Reserve Board nominee Judy Shelton. Kathryn Krawczyk

November 12, 2020

Corey Lewandowski, President Trump's 2016 campaign manager who's still close with the president, has tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times first reported and Lewandowski later confirmed.

Lewandowski's diagnosis comes after he attended Trump's election-night party in the White House, as well as spent days holding press conferences in Philadelphia as part of Trump's legal challenges to the election. Lewandowski reportedly believes he contracted the virus while in Philadelphia, but told CNN he feels fine and will stay home to avoid spreading the virus.

It's unclear just when Lewandowski contracted the virus or when he would've become contagious with it. But former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and everyone else hanging around Lewandowski over the past few days appear to be at risk of exposure. Video of Lewandowski's appearance at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference shows a maskless Giuliani hanging awfully close, while Lewandowski's other rallies featured a mass of Trump supporters around him as he yelled through a megaphone. Kathryn Krawczyk

August 19, 2020

Former Rep. Charlie Dent's 2020 vote may be an indicator of how Pennsylvania will lean in November's election.

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Republican told CNN he would be endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Dent resigned in 2018 after refusing to vote for President Trump in the 2016 election, and now joins a wave of Republicans explicitly supporting Biden.

Dent is supporting Biden because the country needs "to return some sense of normalcy to the function of government," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday. "this isn't about right or left, it's not about ideology," Dent, a CNN contributor, continued. "To me, it's about right or wrong, stability versus instability, security versus insecurity, you know, normal versus abnormal."

Dozens of Republicans have endorsed Biden over the past few weeks, with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Cindy McCain even appearing at the Democratic National Convention to support him. And Dan Wasserman of The Cook Political Report doesn't think Dent will be the last. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 4, 2020

The United States on Friday reported 57,497 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, the largest single-day total in the country since the pandemic began. It was the seventh time in nine days the U.S. set a new record, and at least 20 states set new highs for the average number of daily new infections over the last seven days.

Florida reported the most new cases at 9,488, and hospitals in at least two Texas counties are reportedly at full capacity, prompting county judges to urge people to shelter in place during the Independence Day weekend. Some governors and mayors have attempted to limit holiday celebrations in their states and cities and are either mandating or encouraging people wear masks, but there is concern the weekend will help keep cases rising. President Trump, for his part, held a large gathering at the base of Mount Rushmore on Friday evening, and attendees reportedly flouted public health guidelines.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases across the globe surpassed 11 million Friday. Read more at The Washington Post and CNN. Tim O'Donnell

May 14, 2020

Apparently one Senate investigation just wasn't enough.

On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.) announced his committee would be opening an investigation into Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI investigation into possible ties between President Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia. Graham's announcement comes just a few weeks after the Senate Intelligence Committee released its own report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, and months after the Department of Justice released its own report on the probe's origins.

Hearings on "all things related to Crossfire Hurricane" will begin in early June, Graham said Thursday. "Our first phase will deal with the government’s decision to dismiss" the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who Trump fired after he admitted to lying to the FBI. Flynn was indicted under former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe. The Justice Department moved to drop Flynn's charges last week after it concluded the FBI "conducted" an investigation into Flynn "without any legitimate investigative basis." The Senate Judiciary Committee will look into what Graham called "unmasking requests made by the Obama administration officials," but declined Trump's request to mandate former President Barack Obama be brought in.

The Justice Department's inspector general did determine there were several flaws in the FBI's FISA applications to surveil a Trump aide, but said they didn't mean there was "political bias" in Mueller's investigation. The GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee meanwhile concluded Russia did try to interfere in the 2016 election on Trump's behalf. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 9, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden has picked up an endorsement from yet another former Democratic rival.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Monday endorsed Biden for president, saying the former vice president "won't only win — he'll show there's more that unites us than divides us." In an email to supporters, Booker also said that "while I'm no longer running for president, I still know that to win, Democrats need a nominee who understands that the way to beat Donald Trump is to bring people together."

Booker joins the growing list of former Democratic candidates for president who have backed Biden after he recently picked up endorsements from Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D).

The New York Times reports Booker and Harris will both appear with Biden at a Monday night rally in Detroit, and Booker will also campaign with Biden in Flint, Michigan. Michigan is one of six states set to hold its primary on Tuesday, a week after Biden dominated on Super Tuesday and became the heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination. A CNN poll of registered voters on Monday showed Biden leading Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by 16 points nationally. Brendan Morrow

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