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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 4:04 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 4:17 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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
Dakota22015190
Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
Scott846255
Wright775843
Olmsted665634
Sherburne587641
Clay498457
Carver474213
Blue Earth414116
Rice412836
Kandiyohi408122
Crow Wing359634
Otter Tail314322
Chisago311611
Nobles308730
Benton299451
Winona276930
Mower261623
Douglas260337
Polk256324
Morrison231629
Lyon218711
Beltrami217117
McLeod212812
Becker205415
Goodhue203228
Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
Mille Lacs153631
Freeborn15336
Le Sueur147011
Cass143710
Brown141315
Waseca139211
Pine13658
Meeker12879
Roseau11964
Hubbard114925
Martin113320
Wabasha10561
Redwood94619
Chippewa8877
Cottonwood8664
Renville86527
Dodge8600
Watonwan8544
Wadena8016
Sibley7934
Rock7779
Aitkin76730
Pipestone72518
Fillmore6990
Houston6984
Yellow Medicine64812
Pennington6478
Kanabec61913
Murray5873
Swift5838
Faribault5612
Pope5391
Clearwater5248
Stevens5103
Marshall4979
Unassigned49359
Jackson4881
Lake4226
Koochiching3926
Wilkin3895
Lac qui Parle3773
Lincoln3591
Norman3497
Big Stone3182
Mahnomen2964
Grant2796
Kittson2248
Red Lake2133
Traverse1481
Lake of the Woods1001
Cook720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
Dubuque923291
Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
Cerro Gordo357144
Marshall348546
Clinton331344
Buena Vista305414
Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
Marion205320
Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
Benton170619
Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
Hamilton11199
Clayton11175
Cedar108413
Harrison107729
Kossuth10667
Calhoun10617
Floyd105016
Mills10487
Fayette103910
Lyon10338
Butler10216
Poweshiek99313
Winneshiek97613
Iowa95812
Winnebago93023
Hancock8677
Grundy86311
Louisa86216
Sac8608
Chickasaw8574
Cherokee8484
Allamakee81811
Cass81623
Mitchell7984
Appanoose79312
Humboldt7715
Union7706
Shelby76511
Emmet76424
Guthrie75415
Franklin73921
Jefferson7142
Madison6864
Unassigned6690
Palo Alto6554
Keokuk5997
Howard5599
Pocahontas5584
Greene5250
Osceola5241
Ida48913
Clarke4874
Davis4709
Taylor4653
Montgomery46311
Monroe44412
Adair4418
Monona4352
Worth3630
Fremont3583
Van Buren3585
Lucas3256
Decatur3170
Wayne3007
Audubon2962
Ringgold2112
Adams1702
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