Sheldon and Miriam Adelson give $25 million to help Republicans keep their majority in the Senate
- Republican megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson combined to give $25 million last month to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to protecting the GOP majority in the U.S. Senate.
- The donations mark the latest bid by the casino magnate and his wife, a physician, to support Republican candidates during this fall's midterm elections.
- In May, the Adelsons dished out $30 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC which aims to keep Republicans in control of the House.
- Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of casino behemoth Las Vegas Sands Corp., separately has given $371,500 to Republican joint fundraising committee Protect the House.
- Other prominent donors to the Senate Leadership Fund last month include the billionaire Koch brothers' Koch Industries, which gave $500,000; coal miner Murray Energy, which gave $15,000; and former Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson, who gave $30,000.
Russian hackers targeted U.S. conservative think-tanks, says Microsoft
- The software giant said it thwarted the attempts last week by taking control of sites that hackers had designed to mimic the pages of The International Republican Institute and The Hudson Institute.
- The International Republican Institute has a roster of high-profile Republican board members, including Senator John McCain of Arizona who has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s interactions with Russia, and Moscow’s rights record.
- It has also examined the rise of kleptocracy, especially in Russia and has been critical of the Russian government, the New York Times reported.
- The type of attack is known as “spear fishing,” in which the hackers trick victims into entering their username and password into the fake site in order to steal their credentials.
- Facebook said late last month it had removed 32 pages and fake accounts from its platforms in a bid to combat foreign meddling ahead of the U.S. votes.
Microsoft seized websites created by Russian hackers to target Republican think tanks
- The cyber political wars continue to rage, and have now taken a strange turn.
- Microsoft has released a detailed report that says a Russian military group that targeted U.S. elections in 2016 is back to its old tricks.
- As part of the announcement, Microsoft said it was expanding its suite of security tools that it hopes will help users identify such attacks and take steps to protect themselves.
- Microsoft counsel Brad Smith also called on other tech companies to step up their efforts against Russian attempts to interfere in elections.
- In the most recent cases, the New York Times said the groups targeted appeared to be GOP think tanks that had broken with President Trump by continuing to criticize Russian President Putin and calling for more sanctions.
- Reuters reported that Russian officials have denied the charges.
Microsoft uncovers and stops new Russian hacking attempts targeting Republican institutions — but danger looms ahead of the US midterm elections
- Microsoft said Tuesday it has uncovered new Russian hacking attempts targeting U.S. political groups ahead of the midterm elections.
- The company said that a hacking group tied to the Russian government created fake internet domains that appeared to spoof two American conservative organizations: the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute.
- The revelation came just weeks after a similar Microsoft discovery led Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who is running for re-election, to reveal that Russian hackers tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate her Senate computer network.
- The hacking attempts mirror similar Russian attacks ahead of the 2016 election, which U.S. intelligence officials have said were focused on helping to elect Republican Donald Trump to the presidency by hurting his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump complained to wealthy donors in the Hamptons about Jerome Powell’s rate hikes
- President Donald Trump said he expected Jerome Powell to be a cheap-money Fed chairman and lamented to wealthy Republican donors at a Hamptons fundraiser on Friday that his nominee instead raised interest rates, according to three people present.
- The Federal Reserve has raised rates five times since Trump took office, including twice this year under Powell.
- The president nominates the Fed’s chairman and other governors in Washington, but the agency is independent and has historically frustrated presidents by raising interest rates without regard for politics.
- Trump has publicly lamented the central bank’s recent rate increases, but his private remarks to donors are the most personal criticism of Powell’s performance to emerge so far.
- Powell and his colleagues have justified a cautious approach toward increasing rates by pointing to sluggish inflation, which has shown no sign of jumping significantly past the Fed’s 2 per cent target.
Nancy Pelosi is under fire, but ousting her isn't the answer
- Even though Clinton came from the Democratic Leadership Council, supporting market-based policies, welfare reform and being tough on crime, the Republicans acted as if he were further to the left than George McGovern, a former staunch liberal congressman and the Democratic Party's candidate in the 1972 presidential election.
- Although Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is relatively conservative on economic policy and tends to hover in the center on foreign affairs, his Republican opponents still attack him as an acolyte of the left, rather than a product of Clinton-era Democratic politics.
- The new Democratic leader would be characterized as being just as much of a liberal extremist who threatened the nation, and Republicans would capitalize on their vast media echo chamber to support their point of view.
GOP Rep. Steve Stivers is leading the fight against a Democratic 'blue wave' this fall, but Trump isn't making his job any easier
- No one in American politics faces a steeper 2018 challenge than Rep. Steve Stivers, the Ohio Republican who leads his party's effort to retain its House majority in midterm elections.
- Harwood: The people who have turned away from the president and the Republican Party the most are more affluent, suburban, college-educated voters who are doing best in the economy.
- Harwood: Do you think that focusing hard on Pelosi poses any risk for you in a year when women, especially college-educated women, seem to be powering the Democratic campaign?
- Harwood: How do you feel about two things: one, when President Trump talks about the Iraq War as a disaster that should never have happened?
- Stivers: I don't think either of the presidential candidates of the major parties were role models for my son and daughter.
This exclusive 'boot camp' for congressional staffers is trying to make America bipartisan again
- The scandals will be invented by the organizers of the "oversight boot camp," an exclusive two-day workshop for Hill staffers designed to foster bipartisanship in congressional investigations.
- The boot camp is hosted by the Project on Government Oversight, where Rood works, the Levin Center, where Bean works, and the Lugar Center, a D.C. think tank named after Richard Lugar, a Republican former U.S. senator from Indiana.
- Kurt Bardella, who served as a spokesperson for Rep. Darrell Issa while the California Republican ran the House Oversight Committee, said that he believed it was possible that Congress could pursue greater bipartisanship — but that it depended on the results of the November midterms.
- In a book she published this week, "Financial Exposure: Carl Levin's Senate Investigations into Finance and Tax Abuse," Bean argues that Levin and his Republican counterparts on the Senate's investigations subcommittee were able to conduct bipartisan, fact-based investigations for a period of 15 years.
A Costly CIA Mistake, a Campaign Hack, and More Security News This Week
- There's no such thing as summer vacation in security, and researchers started off this week by disclosing a problematic flaw in Intel processors that undermines the company's so-called secure enclave offering, and potentially other capabilities like virtual machines.
- Plus, an analysis of five body camera models found that the devices are deeply insecure and vulnerable to an array of attacks, including the troubling potential for footage manipulation.
- It has been unclear how the Chinese government knew who to target, but US officials told Foreign Policy this week that Chinese operatives compromised the CIA spy network thanks to flaws in what was supposed to be a secure communication system.
- LA officials say the devices are necessary to manage safety threats and the city is considering purchasing other types of body scanners as well.
Black in the White House: Meet Ja'Ron Smith
- Washington (CNN) - In the wake of Omarosa Manigault Newman's departure from the West Wing in December and recent tell-all book rollout replete with accusations of racism, a senior White House official was asked simply: Who is the most senior black aide on President Donald Trump's staff?
- Even as Smith has played a role in the White House's public efforts to demonstrate engagement on issues that matter to communities of color, he still does not work in the West Wing, nor does he hold the title that Manigault Newman did before her departure: Assistant to the President, a title that comes with the maximum salary of $180,000.
- Daris Meeks, who worked as a domestic policy adviser to Vice President Mike Pence rejoined the private sector and Mary Elizabeth Taylor, who was the deputy director of Legislative Affairs of Nominations has been nominated for a State Department position.