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Inside Politics: Kavanaugh vs. Giuliani?

Democrats delve into Brett Kavanaugh's old memos as his confirmation hearing approaches, can Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker be beat, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson's questionable claim about Russian hacking, and the White House insists President Trump's vacation is anything but—it's all on Inside Politics.

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 5:01 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 5:17 PM

Here are the stories our D.C. insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1. Trump's working vacation

The President spent the past week at one of his favorite places -- the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

But the White House wants everyone to know: this was no vacation.

"They are insisting the President was only there because they were doing renovations to the White House," CNN's Kaitlan Collins said. "Even though they did not mention these renovations before the President left to go to New Jersey."

Trump brought with him a table affixed with the presidential seal, in case anything needed to be signed. And the White House is releasing daily descriptions of his day -- which has included dinners with corporate titans like Apple CEO Tim Cook and Fox mainstays like Sean Hannity.

"It's not unusual for presidents to vacation," Collins said. "But Trump has long criticized his predecessors, his most recent one specifically, for golfing and going on vacation. So he tries to maintain that he's doing that when in fact he's golfing and on vacation."

2. Can Dems knock off Scott Walker?

Wisconsin holds its primary this week, with energized Democrats looking to pick a gubernatorial nominee who can finally beat Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

"Walker won in 2010, the Democrats tried to recall him but he won again, and then he won in 2014. So three for three," FiveThirtyEight's Perry Bacon said.

There are eight Democrats running for their party's nomination, none of whom are particularly well-known. They include the state's school superintendent, the mayor of Madison, a firefighter, and a farmer. A recent poll had "Undecided" topping the field.

"In a big Democratic year probably, if they can't beat Scott Walker this time maybe he'll be governor forever," joked Bacon.

3. Sen. Nelson's Russia claim

Things got strange last week in Florida's heated Senate race, which pits incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson against the sitting Republican Gov., Rick Scott.

Sen. Nelson suggested that the Russians have penetrated some counties' voting systems, a claim that drew scrutiny from state officials, who said they have no evidence to back up Nelson's claim.

"Nelson cited Mark Warner and Richard Burr, the two leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to make his case," CNN's Manu Raju reports. "But then Richard Burr issued a vague statement, not confirming it, not denying it, and saying talk to the FBI or Homeland Security."

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio issued his own statement that didn't dispute what Nelson said, but didn't confirm it either.

Even if Nelson's claim is true, Raju said it raises a number of questions. "Should he have disclosed information that perhaps is classified? Did he get out ahead of a news story?"

4. Kavanaugh gliding toward confirmation?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley says Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing will be right after Labor Day -- even if Democrats don't have all the documents they've demanded from Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush White House.

And Democrats may be resigning themselves to the fact that they won't have the votes to block his confirmation.

Politico's Eliana Johnson said there's been no smoking gun in any of the documents released so far.

"Even with Neil Gorsuch, we saw accusations of plagiarism and some other things, and we haven't really seen anything like that with Kavanaugh," Johnson said. "So I'm looking to see whether he'll glide to confirmation or whether anything like that will come up."

5. Kavanaugh v. Giuliani

The documents Democrats seem most focused on are the ones that reveal his views on presidential power -- especially the newly-relevant question of whether a president can be subpoenaed.

Kavanaugh has unique insight into that question from his time as a deputy to Ken Starr, who issued and then withdrew a subpoena to President Bill Clinton after negotiating a deal for testimony in the Monica Lewinsky case.

Kavanaugh has argued that a sitting president cannot be indicted -- but "Inside Politics" anchor and CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King said newly-released documents reveal an interesting wrinkle.

"They actually offer Democrats fodder to mock the Trump legal strategy," said King. "Kavanaugh wrote it was a 'weak' legal argument to assert, as team Trump does, that a president cannot be subpoenaed to testify," added King. "And writing back then about articles of impeachment against Clinton, Kavanaugh said refusing for months to testify while repeatedly lying to the public and key witnesses about key facts were credible pieces of an obstruction of justice count."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1731003

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1803711843
Cuyahoga1698662655
Hamilton1144371544
Montgomery810251405
Summit726231210
Lucas636141027
Butler57225814
Stark543091183
Lorain42754645
Warren36183417
Mahoning36035788
Lake32696501
Clermont31523369
Trumbull27614620
Delaware27394185
Licking26829344
Medina26290353
Fairfield24812287
Greene24540373
Clark22327390
Portage21504283
Richland21257342
Wood20300248
Allen19119326
Miami17456352
Columbiana17014335
Muskingum16873207
Wayne15873307
Tuscarawas14579362
Marion13440196
Ashtabula12927237
Erie12790199
Scioto12556188
Pickaway12308155
Ross11780226
Hancock11623175
Geauga11042179
Lawrence10698172
Belmont10509234
Huron9867159
Jefferson9687228
Union963775
Sandusky9428166
Seneca8993161
Knox8869176
Washington8714159
Darke8435181
Athens841897
Ashland8102152
Auglaize8018120
Shelby7551135
Defiance7418117
Crawford7356150
Fulton7262113
Brown7217116
Logan7061111
Guernsey700586
Mercer6959100
Highland6807120
Clinton6547106
Williams653899
Madison652590
Preble6334140
Putnam6288122
Champaign585187
Jackson584597
Perry570579
Ottawa5689102
Coshocton5688108
Morrow521765
Fayette497272
Hardin4947100
Gallia474278
Van Wert469395
Pike467678
Adams4619110
Henry439280
Hocking412493
Holmes4035141
Wyandot379275
Carroll371178
Paulding326351
Meigs307561
Monroe236861
Noble221549
Morgan219039
Harrison215253
Vinton189138
Unassigned06
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 10°
Angola
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 15°
Huntington
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 9°
Decatur
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 10°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
24° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 11°
Colder air continues to filter into the region, and we will experience the coldest day since February 2021.
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