Voters in competitive states prefer candidates who opposed Kavanaugh, poll findsOctober 12, 2018
Trump's top pick to replace John Kelly as chief of staff bows out, will also leave the White House12:10 a.m.
Rand Paul says he's 'concerned' and 'disturbed' by Trump's new pick for attorney generalDecember 9, 2018
China summons U.S., Canadian ambassadors to protest tech executive's arrestDecember 9, 2018
SNL asks: What if the Trumps were black?December 9, 2018
Trump rages over Comey's testimony and the 'Rigged Fraud' to prevent his presidencyDecember 9, 2018
Major winter storm brings unusual snow to SoutheastDecember 9, 2018
The fate of Theresa May's Brexit deal — and perhaps Brexit itself — remains uncertainDecember 9, 2018
Voters are factoring Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh into their midterm election decisions.
An NBC News/Marist poll released Friday found that many voters in Nevada, Minnesota, and Wisconsin would prefer to vote for a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh's confirmation.
In Nevada, where incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller is in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, 41 percent of voters said were more likely to vote for a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh, and 38 percent said they would favor someone who supported him. Rosen's campaign said she was "furious" over Kavanaugh's confirmation, while Heller said the judge was a victim of "smears and attacks."
Minnesotans are even more opposed to pro-Kavanaugh candidates. Incumbent Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison is facing a tougher challenge than anticipated in his bid to become the state's attorney general, in the face of domestic abuse allegations. His opponent, Doug Wardlow, is capitalizing on the controversy to boost his numbers, but 48 percent of voters say they'd pick a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh. Wardlow was a vocal supporter of Kavanaugh's confirmation, but only 30 percent of voters said they preferred that tactic.
In Wisconsin, 42 percent said they preferred a Kavanaugh opposer, while 33 said they wanted someone who supported the Kavanaugh pick. Another 22 percent said the issue made no difference in their voting decisions. Though the poll was conducted shortly before Kavanaugh was confirmed, it came after Kavanaugh had already testified to refute sexual assault allegations against him.
Surveyors polled 929 people in Nevada, 949 adults in Minnesota, and 943 in Wisconsin between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 by phone. The margin of error is between 3.7 and 4.5 percentage points. See more results at NBC News. Summer Meza
President Trump was so confident that Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, would be his next chief of staff that the White House has already drafted the announcement, The New York Times reports. Instead, on Sunday evening, Ayers confirmed that he is leaving the White House at the end of the year, around the same time as outgoing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Ayers, 36 and the father of young triplets, reportedly agreed to be Trump's chief of staff on a short-term basis, but Trump wanted a chief of staff that would stay through the rest of his first term. Ayers will apparently head a pro-Trump super PAC from Georgia.
"For decades, the job of White House chief of staff was once among Washington's most desirable jobs — a pinnacle of access and power," Politico notes. "It's a different story under Trump. A job that was once a ticket to Washington royalty has recently become a laughing stock."
Still, advisers to Trump were "stunned by the turn of events," and "one former senior administration official called it a humiliation for Mr. Trump and his adult children, an emotion that the president tries to avoid at all costs," reports Maggie Haberman at Times. "With a head of blond hair, Mr. Ayers somewhat resembles Mr. Trump in his younger days, a fact that the president often looks for as a positive signal. The president had an unusual affinity for Mr. Ayers, telling aides who expressed concern about Mr. Ayers that he liked him."
Trump downplayed the news, tweeting Sunday night: "Fake News has been saying with certainty it was Nick Ayers, a spectacular person who will always be with our #MAGA agenda. I will be making a decision soon!" Peter Weber
"I'm concerned that [Barr has] been a big supporter of the Patriot Act, which lowered the standard for spying on Americans," Paul said. "And he even went so far as to say, you know, 'The Patriot Act was pretty good, but we should go much further.'"
"I'm disturbed that he's been a big fan of taking people's property, civil asset forfeiture, without a conviction," Paul continued. "Many poor people in our country have cash taken from them, and then the government says, 'Prove to us where you got the cash, and then you can get it back.' But the burden is on the individual. It's a terrible thing called civil asset forfeiture. He's a big fan of that."
Paul noted he has not yet decided how he will vote on Barr's nomination. Watch the full interview below. Talk of Barr begins around the eight-minute mark, and Paul and host Chuck Todd also discuss Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Saudi Arabia, and more. Bonnie Kristian
Meng was taken into custody in Vancouver, Canada, on Dec. 1, at U.S. direction. She faces extradition to the United States, where she is accused of helping Huawei, a major electronics manufacturer, evade American sanctions on Iran.
Beijing said the arrest "severely violated the Chinese citizen's legal and legitimate rights and interests," calling it "lawless, reasonless, and ruthless, and ... extremely vicious." Canada should "release the detainee immediately and earnestly protest the person's legal and legitimate rights and interests," the statement said, "otherwise it will definitely have serious consequences, and the Canadian side will have to bear the full responsibility for it." Bonnie Kristian
What if the Trumps were black? That's the question asked in Saturday Night Live's trailer for Them Trumps, an imaginary new series from the makers of Empire.
Them Trumps has a solid concept and a strong line-up: President Darius Trump (Kenan Thompson), first lady Malika (Leslie Jones), Darius Jr. (Chris Redd), and L’evanka (Ego Nwodim). Where it struggles is length, as the black Trump can't seem to avoid arrest as easily as his white counterpart.
"Maybe I've done some dirty things. But I'm making America great again," Thompson's Trump rants. "And what these feds don't realize is that I'm the president, the most powerful man in the most respected office in the world. They can't lock me up, and even though I may be black—"
That's when the feds show up. Watch the full sketch below. Bonnie Kristian
The House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on Saturday evening released a transcript of former FBI Director James Comey's lengthy testimony from the day before — and President Trump, naturally, denied it all early Sunday:
On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked. Opened investigations on 4 Americans (not 2) - didn’t know who signed off and didn’t know Christopher Steele. All lies!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2018
Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2018
A major winter storm began Saturday in southeastern states, especially North and South Carolina, and is expected to bring unusually heavy snow through Monday. "Snowfall amounts in some locations will likely exceed a foot and result in several days of difficult or impossible travel, extended power outages, and downed trees," the National Weather Service warned.
Here are the NWS collaborated Key Messages for winter aspects of the southern storm, per our colleagues @NWSWPC. The most glaring concern is the expected snow accumulations and likely travel hazards from the southern Appalachians into parts of the Carolinas and southern VA. #snow pic.twitter.com/4ZAClPnE4u
— NWS (@NWS) December 8, 2018
Already more than 200,000 customers in the region have lost power, the bulk of them in North Carolina, and hundreds of flights were grounded Sunday. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) urged residents to stay safe indoors. "Snow may be beautiful, but it can also be treacherous, and I urge North Carolinians to take this storm seriously and get ready for it now," he said. Bonnie Kristian
The United Kingdom's House of Commons is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to proceed with Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for Brexit, the U.K.'s exit from the European Union.
But whether the vote will proceed as planned remains uncertain, as opposition inside and out May's Conservative Party makes its prospects look dim. Protest resignations from May's own government are expected Sunday and Monday, but May's office says the vote will go forward.
May has warned fellow Tories who oppose her plan that its failure may lead to a general election, a new government, and the "very real risk of no Brexit" at all.