Dems plot Supreme Kavanaugh revenge; DHS responds to report of China spying through Amazon, Apple

THE LEAD STORY – DEMS VOW KAVANAUGH FIGHT IS NOT OVER: Democratic politicians appear eager to try and channel voter anger over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to voter turnout in November … The realities are that Democrats have a better chance at regaining control of the House than they do the Senate. They need to win 23 more seats to take over the House. The hope is that women – already frustrated with President Trump – turn out in droves for the midterms. “I really think this is going to drive women out to the polls in unprecedented numbers,” Katie Hill, a Democratic House candidate in California, said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she will request that the government make public the FBI’s supplemental background report into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, indicating the Democrats’ fight against Kavanaugh is not over … In a letter to her Democratic colleagues, Pelosi said her Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request also would cover “transcripts of interviews, instructions from the White House, and any communications to the FBI from Senate Republicans regarding the scope of the investigation,” production of which she said was “important to set the record straight.” The Senate narrowly confirmed Kavanaugh’s appointment to the high court on Saturday, days after the FBI completed its report. Kavanaugh was sworn in shortly afterward.

Democrats have complained that the bureau was not given time to thoroughly explore the allegations against Kavanaugh, which dated from his days in high school and college in the early 1980s. Republicans have argued that the supplemental FBI investigation instigated by wavering GOP senators and ordered by the White House turned up no corroborating witnesses to the claims. Democrats have threatened to investigate and impeach Kavanaugh if they retake the House and are using his Supreme Court confirmation to rally their angry base and women’s groups and bring voters to the polls for next month’s midterm elections.

FLORIDA IN TROPICAL STORM MICHAEL’S CROSSHAIRS: Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Sunday that he had declared a state of emergency in 26 counties in the state’s Panhandle and Big Bend regions as forecasters predicted Tropical Storm Michael would make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane later this week … Scott also announced that he was activating 500 members of the Florida National Guard to assist with planning, logistics and storm response. The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Michael had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and warned that the threat to residents along the northeastern U.S. Gulf Coast was “increasing.” The forecast called for the storm’s eye to move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico between Monday night and Tuesday night and approach the Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

‘PROGRESS’ IN NORTH KOREA: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and Kim Jong Un made “significant progress” in negotiations for North Korea to denuclearize and that he expected more developments in yet-to-be-scheduled second summit between President Trump and Kim … “It’s a long process,” Pompeo told a small group of reporters in the South Korean capital of Seoul where he traveled after meeting with Kim in Pyongyang on Sunday. “We made significant progress. We’ll continue to make significant progress and we are further along in making that progress than any administration in an awfully long time.”

Pompeo was not specific about the details of his meeting with Kim. He has repeatedly refused to discuss details of negotiations, including a U.S. position on North Korea’s demand for a declared end to the Korean War and a proposal from Seoul for such a declaration to be accompanied by a shutdown of the North’s main known nuclear facility. The U.S. and Japan have pushed for the North to compile and turn over a detailed list of its nuclear sites to be dismantled as a next step in the process; the North has rejected that demand.

CHINA SPY GAMES: The Department of Homeland Security said this weekend it had “no reason to doubt” denials from Apple and Amazon of a report that Chinese spies placed surveillance chips in their server hardware … The report by Bloomberg News, which cited unidentified U.S. officials, said the malicious chips were inserted into equipment supplied by Supermicro Computer Inc. to American companies and government agencies. It also said Chinese military operatives added components to Supermicro products made at factories in China, including code that caused the products to accept changes to their software and to connect to outside computers. Apple denied the report on Thursday, telling FOX News that the story was “inaccurate” and its sources “wrong or misinformed.” In a statement of its own, Amazon said it had found “no evidence to support claims of malicious chips or hardware modifications.” In a statement released Saturday, the DHS said that it was “aware” of the report, but added: “Like our partners in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story.”

TAYLOR SWIFT CAN NO LONGER ‘SHAKE IT OFF’: Taylor Swift — the pop star who notably has strayed from politics — broke that silence on Sunday, writing on Instagram that she’ll be voting for Tennessee Democrats in the midterm elections Swift, 28, slammed Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn in an Instagram post, saying she does not represent her Tennessee values. “As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” Swift told her 112 million Instagram followers. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.” The Grammy award-winning singer concluded she’ll be voting for Democrats Phil Bredesen for the Senate, and Rep. Jim Cooper, who’s running for re-election.

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