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Don Blankenship lost his bid for U.S. Senate in the West Virginia GOP primary earlier this month, but now he's announced plans to mount a third-party challenge as a member of the Constitution Party.

Democrats and Republicans who have led the Justice Department's criminal division are writing to Congress to push for a vote on the Trump administration's nominee for the post.

The five former government officials are urging senators to advance the nomination of Brian Benczkowski, whom they praise for his "professional experience, temperament and integrity." The officials said Benczkowski respects the Justice Department and "will work hard to protect the independence and integrity of this important institution."

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The two candidates running for governor in the Georgia Democratic primary on May 22 have plenty of similarities: they're both women named Stacey; they're both former legislators in the Georgia House of Representatives; they're both lawyers; and they're both calling for similar progressive policies, such as expanding Medicaid.

But Stacey Abrams is black. And Stacey Evans is white. The color of their skin is the most obvious, if not superficial, difference between the two women.

And it's led to a racialized campaign full of competing strategies on how you win.

Trent Buskirk looks the part of a data wonk's data wonk. He stepped to the microphone and wanted to lighten the mood.

So he told a joke.

Have you heard the one about the three people from a company who went out to lunch? One is the marketing director, one the head of operations and the third, the survey researcher.

They decide to take a car. The marketing director has his foot on the gas, the ops guy has his foot on the brake, and the survey researcher is looking out the back window telling them where to go.

Morning News Brief

May 21, 2018

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I guess you could say President Trump is essentially ordering the United States Department of Justice to investigate itself.

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President Trump says that, on Monday, he will order an investigation into whether the FBI and the Department of Justice "infiltrated or surveilled" his campaign "for political purposes," potentially setting up a showdown between the president and his intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

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At least six prominent defenders of women's rights in Saudi Arabia were detained this week, six weeks before the kingdom's ban on women from driving is due to be lifted June 24.

When targeting his message to white evangelical voters, President Trump has often focused on traditional priorities for social conservatives, such as abortion and religious freedom.

Roger Stone, a longtime adviser of President Trump, complained of partisan behavior by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on Sunday, but also speculated that he could be under investigation by Mueller for a crime unrelated to coordinating with Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

"It is not inconceivable now that Mr. Mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime, pertaining to my business, or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election," Stone said, in an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press.

Democrats may hold 49 votes in the Senate but for all practical purposes, they have been completely disarmed when it comes to opposing President Trump's judicial nominees.

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