How Foreign Influence on Social Media Affects Elections

CHARLOTTE, NC — Facebook said this week that it has detected and removed 32 pages and fake accounts that it identified – built to sow divisions in the U.S. and potentially disrupt the midterm elections. Earlier, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri announced thwarted attempts to break into her office’s accounts.

The tactics are similar to those our intelligence agencies say have been used by Russia to influence elections in the U.S. and other countries.

Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee has scheduled an open meeting to examine how foreign intelligence agencies conduct influence campaigns in the U.S. through various social media platforms.

Trump’s Plan To Aid Farmers Impacted By Trump’s Trade War

Political contributor Mary C Curtis weighs in on the local impact and President Trump’s plan to offer aid to US farmers caught in his trade war.

Trump is promising 12 billion dollars in emergency relief to help farmers hurt by retaliation from other countries, like China and the European Union.

President Trump’s Walk-back

CNN – Donald Trump did something he rarely does — admit a mistake. The President has been taking a pounding from both sides of the political aisle over his comments during the Helsinki, Finland, summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. So Trump tried some cleanup at the White House, now saying he misspoke when he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Reading prepared remarks to reporters in the Cabinet Room, Trump said, “The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.” He also said he accepted the US intelligence community’s conclusion that the Russians meddled in the election, something he wouldn’t do while standing right next to Putin on Monday. But even this came with a caveat from Trump: “It could be other people also.”

Trump’s Crucial Meetings with NATO and Putin

CHARLOTTE, NC — While in the U.S. a judge orders the Trump administration to speed up the unification of parents and children separated at the border, and both political parties gear up for a contentious fight over a Supreme Court nominee, the president heads overseas. But it won’t be a vacation; instead he will have crucial meetings with allies and Russia. This is against a backdrop of Trump’s sharp critiques of allies and warm words for Putin.

A Contentious Fight over a Supreme Court Vacancy

If you thought it was going to be a slow summer in Washington, think again. When Justice Anthony Kennedy resigned, it meant the justice who was most considered a swing and unpredictable voter could be replaced with someone who leaned even more to the right. Democrats, who saw Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stall President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, want to delay President Trump’s pick (the second vacancy he has filled) until after the midterms.

A simple majority vote is all that is needed in the Senate. A key to activity from the both parties could hinge on the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, and whether its fate hangs in the court’s balance.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster Holds Off Primary Opponent: The Trump Effect?

One of President Donald Trump’s earliest and most loyal supporters won a key primary runoff Tuesday, as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster fended off a challenge from a self-made millionaire to secure the Republican gubernatorial nomination. The vote tested the heft of Trump’s endorsement in South Carolina, where McMaster was elevated to the governorship he’d long sought early last year following the departure of Nikki Haley to serve as U.N. ambassador.

Can Washington Advance Policies that Secure the Border Humanely?

The images of children behind chain-link walls and audio of children crying for parents have touched hearts around the country and the world. Administrations and legislators of both parties have struggled with uncertain and unsettled immigration policy. But since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced “zero-tolerance” this year, Trump administration policy has separated children from parents on our Southern border as their asylum cases work their way through the legal system.

Singapore Summit: Was It a First Step to Peace?

CHARLOTTE, NC — As promised, the June 12 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took place in Singapore, with flags of both countries, the red carpet and a much-photographed handshake. Dennis Rodman even showed up, giving the occasion a reality-show air.

But what was accomplished and what happens next?

Education or Segregation? Fight Over HB 514

CHARLOTTE, NC — It’s called House Bill 514, steadily working its way through the North Carolina General Assembly, and if passed, it could change North Carolina’s education landscape in historic ways. What is at stake?

What Is the Line Between Politics and Culture? Ask Roseanne.

CHARLOTTE, NC– After Roseanne tweeted a racist insult, her hit TV show was canceled. Entertainment, as well as sports, supposed escapes, are political in 2018.

Mary C. Curtis weighs in.