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: 557665

Reported Deaths: 7104
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1161051683
Ramsey48076856
Dakota42704422
Anoka38757416
Washington25072274
Stearns21100219
St. Louis16883298
Scott16071117
Wright14862127
Olmsted1278097
Sherburne1068280
Carver986845
Clay784790
Rice7657102
Blue Earth699540
Kandiyohi629581
Crow Wing619886
Chisago551650
Otter Tail545273
Benton533897
Mower451332
Goodhue445572
Douglas444071
Winona439149
Nobles400848
Morrison396359
McLeod396055
Isanti380159
Itasca375553
Beltrami373557
Polk366567
Steele364114
Becker356548
Lyon349048
Carlton330752
Freeborn328529
Pine312721
Nicollet308342
Brown294839
Mille Lacs283850
Le Sueur271322
Todd269230
Cass250826
Meeker238137
Waseca231421
Martin213529
Wabasha19983
Roseau198019
Hubbard172541
Renville172543
Dodge17203
Redwood166535
Houston162514
Cottonwood157521
Fillmore15179
Pennington151219
Chippewa146737
Wadena145021
Faribault144219
Sibley136710
Kanabec132022
Aitkin128936
Watonwan12579
Rock123119
Jackson117610
Yellow Medicine110919
Pipestone110026
Pope10316
Murray10299
Swift100118
Marshall85617
Stevens82310
Lake78419
Clearwater77914
Koochiching77513
Wilkin77112
Lac qui Parle73622
Big Stone5654
Lincoln5602
Grant5518
Norman5229
Mahnomen5088
Unassigned48578
Kittson46822
Red Lake3877
Traverse3605
Lake of the Woods3073
Cook1460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 358375

Reported Deaths: 5826
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56091605
Linn20328330
Scott19153235
Black Hawk15566306
Woodbury14917221
Johnson1408481
Dubuque13169203
Dallas1090996
Pottawattamie10769162
Story1032447
Warren556986
Clinton538390
Cerro Gordo523486
Webster508391
Sioux506973
Marshall477274
Muscatine461596
Des Moines441965
Wapello4254120
Buena Vista421940
Jasper407870
Plymouth398179
Lee368555
Marion354875
Jones293355
Henry286437
Bremer279460
Carroll279352
Crawford262440
Boone258933
Benton250355
Washington249250
Dickinson242543
Mahaska225250
Jackson218242
Kossuth213163
Clay211325
Tama206771
Delaware203339
Winneshiek194733
Page190421
Buchanan188931
Cedar184623
Fayette183041
Wright180535
Hardin180142
Hamilton178249
Harrison176673
Clayton167155
Butler162534
Mills158820
Cherokee157138
Floyd155442
Lyon154941
Madison154319
Poweshiek152833
Allamakee149151
Iowa145724
Hancock143734
Winnebago136231
Grundy135432
Cass134854
Calhoun133211
Jefferson130935
Emmet128840
Shelby128637
Sac127319
Louisa127249
Appanoose126647
Mitchell125241
Union123232
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie118029
Franklin112921
Palo Alto111022
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10020
Clarke98324
Keokuk94830
Monroe94128
Ida89633
Adair84532
Pocahontas83721
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75716
Lucas74923
Worth7118
Taylor65412
Fremont6149
Decatur5909
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4939
Adams3314
Rochester/St. Mary'S
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Cooler for the next couple of days
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