Bernie Moreno

Kellyanne Conway takes sides in Ohio Senate primary

The former White House counselor will serve as a senior adviser

Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is expected to engage in relatively few races this election cycle


Kellyanne Conway, who served as campaign manager and counselor to former President Donald Trump, has been named a senior adviser to Ohio Senate hopeful Bernie Moreno, taking sides in a race that has become a fight over which GOP candidate is closest to the former president. Conway, who managed Trump’s successful 2016 presidential bid, is part of a broader campaign organization that Moreno announced Thursday. In a statement, she called Moreno “a conservative, a political outsider, and a successful businessman just like President Donald J. Trump.”

Moreno is running in a crowded Republican primary in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman. The leading contenders, including former state Treasurer Josh Mandel and former state party chairwoman Jane Timken, have been aggressively attaching themselves to Trump. During a private sit down with the president at his South Florida golf club last month, the candidates auditioned for the ex-president in a “Hunger Games”-like showdown.

Trump has not endorsed a candidate in the contest, which many senior Republicans describe as the most wide-open Republican Senate primary in the country. Conway stressed that her involvement for Moreno did not indicate that Trump would be endorsing him.

“My conversations with President Trump are private. I would never dangle or promise President Trump’s endorsement to any candidate. That is his alone to grant or withhold,” she said.

Conway and Moreno attended functions last week at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Conway addressed contributors and met privately with Trump several times during her visit, according to sources. Moreno, meanwhile, attended a conference hosted by the Conservative Partnership Institute, an organization overseen by Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.

Conway had a long career in political consulting prior to managing Trump’s campaign, serving as a pollster for Republican candidates up-and-down the ballot. Conway, who has been writing a book, is expected to engage in relatively few races this election cycle.

Moreno, a technology executive and luxury car dealer who donated to the former president’s reelection effort, recently launched his campaign with a video stressing the need to “protect Trump’s victories.”

He has highlighted his support from several Trump administration officials, including former acting director of national intelligence Ric Grenell and former U.S. ambassadors Jamie McCourt and Ed McMullen.

Moreno’s campaign also announced that it had brought on Jamestown Associates, a media firm that worked on Trump’s presidential campaign.

Others on Moreno’s campaign team include veteran consultants Chris Hansen, a former National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director, and Chip Englander. Emily Moreno, who is the candidate’s daughter and worked on Trump’s reelection campaign, is also a senior adviser. Parker Briden, a former aide to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, will be campaign manager.

Read more

Jeff Sessions claims he’s clueless about his DOJ’s snooping on Congress

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.

Watchdog investigates seizure of Democrats’ phone data

The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.

Trump feared Democrats would replace Biden with Michelle Obama, book claims

Donald Trump called Joe Biden a “mental retard” during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Biden went on to beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump deemed a landslide when it was in his favor against Clinton in 2016.

Intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters

The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol was “planned in plain sight” but intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters, a Senate investigation has found. The Capitol police intelligence division had been gathering online data since December about plots to storm the building on 6 January, including messages such as: “Bring guns. It’s now or never.” But a combination of bad communications, poor planning, faulty equipment and lack of leadership meant the warnings went unheeded, allowing the insurrectionists to overrun the Capitol and disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died.