Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has met at least 10 times with politicians and business leaders from Kentucky in response to requests from the office of her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to documents provided to Politico by the watchdog group American Oversight.
Politico said that in some cases, those people later received what they were hoping for from Chao’s department, including infrastructure grants — although the documents don’t indicate the meetings led to those outcomes. Politico said American Oversight obtained the emails under the Freedom of Information Act. The group’s executive director and founder, Austin Evers, said they show an unusually close relationship between a Senate leader and a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet — and that “Secretary Chao built a political operation in her office to favor Kentucky.” McConnell has represented the state in the Senate since 1985.
DOT, wrote Politico, said no such favoritism exists, and that any agency “would be responsive to the requests of the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.” Asked about the propriety of setting up meetings for constituents, a spokesperson for McConnell told Politico that “the Leader regularly advocates for Kentuckians with Members of the Cabinet and agencies of the federal government.”
Klobuchar a self-described ‘tough boss’: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota Democrat running for president, confronted reports that she created a hostile work environment by telling voters in New Hampshire she’s a “tough boss” sometimes.
Speaking at a CNN town hall, Klobuchar said, “Am I a tough boss sometimes? Yes. Have I pushed people too hard? Yes,” she said in response to a voter’s question. “But I have kept expectations for myself that are very high,” she continued. “I’ve asked my staff to meet those same expectations.”
Sanders’ cash resources: Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his entry into the presidential race on Tuesday, and as the Center for Public Integrity notes, he’s got significant cash on hand.
His Senate campaign committee was flush with $9.1 million going into 2019, and his separate “Bernie 2016” presidential campaign committee still had nearly $4.7 million going into 2019. By law, notes the Center for Public Integrity, Sanders may take money from both accounts to use toward his presidential bid.
Roger Stone apologizes: USA Today reports Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, said he didn’t mean an Instagram post to be a threat against the federal judge presiding over his criminal trial. Instead, Stone said the now-deleted post was a “random photo” taken off the internet. He also apologized in court documents filed Monday.
USA Today said the original post showed a photo of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson with a backdrop that appeared to include the crosshairs of a gun.