Political Junkie

Map showing the new congressional districs in NC.
ILLUSTRATION BY FIVETHIRTYEIGHT / NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Now that incumbent North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis lost his Republican primary challenger Garland Tucker, will he stick close to President Trump or try to appease centrists in the state? Political Junkie Ken Rudin analyzes Tillis’ strategy with host Frank Stasio.

Gordon Sondland's face in focus, with his nameplate reading 'Ambassador Sondland' out of focus in front of him.
Andrew Harnik / AP

This week’s impeachment hearings featured bombshell testimony, but is it reliable? Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, testified Wednesday and confirmed a quid pro quo with Ukrainian leaders —  a meeting with President Donald Trump in exchange for investigations into the president’s political rivals.

The House has voted to formalize an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. As expected, the vote was divided along party lines, with two Democrats voting against the inquiry.

Picture of Elijah Cummings speaking.
US Senate Democrats

More explosive and fast-moving news from the Trump White House this week.

Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff at a press conference.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Impeachment is once again at the center of this week’s newscycle. Now Congress has text messages from U.S. diplomats discussing President Donald Trump’s interactions with the Ukraine.

A close-up photo of Cokie Roberts.
Wikimedia Commons

The journalism community is in mourning over the loss of veteran broadcaster Cokie Roberts. Considered one of the founding mothers of NPR, Roberts blazed trails for women in journalism while helping to set the tone and standard for the emerging field of public radio.

Andrew Yang at a speaking event in front of an American flag.
Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons

Two long-awaited special elections in North Carolina are just days away. On Tuesday, Sept. 10 voters will cast ballots in the 3rd and 9th Congressional Districts.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump accused Jewish Americans of being disloyal if they vote for Democrats. The comments evoke the anti-Semitic idea of “dual loyalty” and that Jewish citizens are more loyal to Israel than to their own countries. What kind of impact will this have on the 2020 election?

A vigil in Dayton, Ohio.
Mega Jelinger / AFP/Getty Images

With the nation still in shock and mourning over back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last weekend, political leaders are being forced to address gun control. President Donald Trump spent the week speaking out against hate and visiting the impacted areas while also attacking any naysayers on Twitter.

President Trump is expected to use federal records to collect data on citizenship.
Noah Forston / NPR

The investigation into President Donald Trump continues as the House Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for several current and former Trump officials including son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kusher. The Democrats are in search of proof of obstruction of justice.

The US Supreme Court's ruling on North Carolina's gerrymandered districts was released on Thursday.
Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that political gerrymandering is beyond the reach of federal courts. Is this good news for Democrats or Republicans? Political Junkie Ken Rudin weighs in on what the gerrymandering decision means for North Carolina in particular.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she will step down as press secretary by the end of June 2019.
Evan Vucci / AP

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be stepping down at the end of June, as announced through tweets from President Donald Trump. Sanders has been in Trump’s press office since his 2016 presidential campaign.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his first public statement Wednesday since the release of his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His main message: Read the report. Beyond that, he highlighted that charging a sitting president with a crime “was not an option.”

Bill Herndon / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wrherndon/4588634635

Earlier this week Alabama’s governor signed into law an effective ban on abortion in the state. Other states, like Missouri, Louisiana and Ohio are also moving in a similar direction.

Joe Biden
Jeff Tiberii

With the release of the Mueller report, some Democrats are calling for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. Several Democratic presidential candidates have gone on record to say they support impeachment including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security

Acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady is the latest to step down from the Department of Homeland Security. The week began with the departure of Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security secretary.

Robin Hayes in front of the American flag
Mike Spencer / AP

A U.S. District Court indicted the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party Robin Hayes earlier this week on charges that include bribery, wire fraud and aiding and abetting. Hayes allegedly tried to funnel money to the reelection campaign of the state’s insurance commissioner. What does this indictment mean for the state’s Republican Party?

Mark Harris at hearings into allegations that his campaign committed election fraud.
Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

The North Carolina State Board of Elections is calling for a new vote in the state’s 9th Congressional District. The unanimous decision came after four days of dramatic hearings into allegations of election fraud by the campaign of Republican Mark Harris. 

Women members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., center, cheer after President Donald Trump acknowledges more women in Congress during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech struck analysts as both bipartisan and deeply divided. He called for unity and shared bipartisan victories, and he also promised he would build a border wall and warned lawmakers that there cannot be peace and legislation while there are ongoing investigations. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to reporters a day after officially postponing President Donald Trump's State of the Union address until the government is fully reopened, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Donald Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone was arrested early this morning. He is the sixth Trump adviser or official charged in Robert Muller’s investigation. Plus, as Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi battle for power, federal employees will miss their second paycheck since the partial government shutdown began more than 30 days ago. 

In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 file photo, Vice President Mike Pence, center, listens as President Donald Trump argues with House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington.
Evan Vucci / AP Photo

Will there be a government shutdown? President Donald Trump held a televised meeting this week with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to talk about immigration. Trump promised to shut down the government if Democrats do not agree to his demand of $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, people hold signs during a protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Washington
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

How will the disappearance of a Saudi journalist and dissident affect the relationship between the United States and oil-rich Saudi Arabia? Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Turkey over two weeks ago and hasn’t been seen since. Turkish officials say they have audio and video recordings proving a gruesome death.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh continue this week, and many have described them as a circus. Angry protesters repeatedly disrupted proceedings and were dragged out of the hearings. And Democrats themselves protested on the first day that they did not have sufficient time to review more than 40,000 pages of documents they received hours before the hearings were set to begin. 

flag-draped casket of Sen. John McCain
Alex Brandon / AP

Federal judges ruled again that North Carolina’s Congressional map is unconstitutional due to partisan gerrymandering. In their ruling, the judges left open the option to order redrawing the districts before the 2018 election. What impact could this ruling have on the midterm elections and congressional control? 

Dana Verkouteren / AP Photo

Republicans declared victory in the Ohio special election even though thousands of provisional ballots have yet to be counted. What do the results mean for the November elections? Though these tight races may signal a blue wave, there’s also a pink wave with women breaking a record for the number of gubernatorial primary wins.

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement this week and sparked panic among many Democrats. During his time on the nation’s highest bench, he cast deciding votes on LGBTQ rights, abortion and the death penalty. President Trump has vowed to replace Kennedy’s seat with a more conservative justice.

Kim Yong Chol, left, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting, Thursday, May 31, 2018, in New York.
Seth Wenig / AP Photo

The week kicked off with White House officials working overtime to save the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been photographed in New York enjoying dinner and drinks with the leader’s right hand man, Kim Yong-chol. Will the stepped up efforts save the summit?

photo of eastman amongst red and blue baloons, speaking at a podium
Nati Harnik / AP Photo

Female candidates swept primary elections in Pennsylvania and Nebraska this week. Will this wave continue into the November midterm elections? And Wednesday’s teacher rally in Raleigh is part of a wave of teacher protests in red states. What impact could this have on the midterms?

photo of rudy giuliani
Carolyn Kaster, File / AP Photo

Rudolph Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City and now member of President Donald Trump’s legal team, told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Wednesday that Trump repaid the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump followed up on Twitter the next morning and backed up some of what Giuliani stated adding “money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll (sic) in this transaction.” The repayment claim goes against what Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen have previously said.

photo of Nikki Haley speaking at the United Nations
Julie Jacobson / AP Photo

This week marked another rift in the Trump administration, this time over imposing new sanctions on Russia. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the president would announce those new sanctions during her appearance on Sunday talk shows. On Tuesday, a top White House official negated that comment and blamed Haley’s statement about sanctions on “momentary confusion.” Haley shot back, saying “I don’t get confused.”

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