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Politics

Political news from North Texas, across the state and beyond.

Updated at 8:47 p.m. ET

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was defiant and visibly angry as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon, rebutting earlier emotional testimony from the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford.

Updated at 9:24 p.m. ET

During a rare press conference Wednesday, President Trump sent mixed messages about the fate of his embattled Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The stakes are high for Thursday's Capitol Hill hearing, pitting Trump Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault — an accusation Kavanaugh has denied — when they were both in high school more than three decades ago.

JORGE SANHUEZA-LYON / KUT

Public radio stations in Texas want to know what you want to know about the 2018 elections.

What topics do you want to hear more from the candidates about? Is education at the top of your list? How about roads, or taxes, or the environment?

Let us know and we'll do our best to give you as much information as possible before you head to the polls.

Updated at 7:47 p.m. ET

President Trump attacked Brett Kavanaugh's second accuser Tuesday, saying she "has nothing" on the Supreme Court nominee and was "totally inebriated and all messed up" during a college party at which, she said, Kavanaugh exposed himself to her.

Trump, at a photo op during his visit to the United Nations, said the accusations were part of a "con game being played by Democrats."

When President Trump delivers his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, one phrase is unlikely to show up: "rocket man."

A lot has changed since Trump used that derisive nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his address at the U.N. last year — remarks where he also said the United States would "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary.

Updated at 1:06 p.m. ET.

President Trump defended his "America First" agenda in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, in effect spiking the football at what his secretary of state described as the "Super Bowl of diplomacy."

The president boasted that he's accomplished more during his time in office than almost any previous administration — a claim that drew immediate laughter from the assembled diplomats and other world leaders.

Trump pressed ahead, undaunted.

"I didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK," he said.

Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/Pool Photo

At their first debate in Texas’ 2018 U.S. Senate general election campaign, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, and incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, traded blows Friday over a range of issues that included immigration and criminal justice. 

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago, will testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Attorneys for Ford reached an agreement with committee staff on Sunday after days of negotiations over the conditions and details of her appearance. The terms of their agreement provide that Kavanaugh will also appear before the committee, but he will not be in the room while Ford is speaking or being questioned.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her in high school, has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, her attorneys said Saturday.

Bipartisan negotiators have tentatively agreed to work toward a Thursday hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee with Kavanaugh and Ford, but talks continue on a final agreement, according to multiple congressional sources.

Tom Fox / The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool

It was more duel than debate Friday night in Dallas as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke went after each other from the start. Snappy and heavy on snark, Cruz and O’Rourke held nothing back in the first of three debates.

Tom Fox / The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool

Guns, the Second Amendment, school shootings and this month's shooting death of Botham Jean were all testy topics for Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke during Friday night's U.S. Senate debate at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Updated at 11:53 p.m. ET

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school, rejected an ultimatum given by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

O'Rourke: Richard W. Rodriguez/AP; Cruz: AJ Mast/AP

Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, face off Friday night in the first of three debates. 

This matchup has become one of the most closely watched in the 2018 midterm election season, as Cruz tries to hold off O'Rourke and what Democrats hope will be a "blue wave."  

The Texas Senate race wasn't supposed to be competitive this year. But thanks to an imaginative campaign, Beto O'Rourke has energized Democrats, drawing huge crowds and raising tens of millions of dollars in what was initially seen as a long-shot bid to defeat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party in the 1980s, have begun discussing terms of her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

"She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety," Debra Katz, Ford's lawyer says in an email to committee aides first reported in the New York Times and confirmed by NPR.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Republican Pete Flores' upset victory in a Democratic-friendly Texas Senate district Tuesday night has spurred GOP jubilation and Democratic soul-searching with less than two months until the November elections.

A former classmate of Christine Blasey Ford tells NPR that she does not know if an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh took place as she first suggested on social media.

"That it happened or not, I have no idea," Cristina King Miranda told NPR's Nina Totenberg. "I can't say that it did or didn't."

That's different from what Miranda wrote Wednesday in a now-deleted Facebook post that stated definitively, "The incident DID happen, many of us heard about it in school."

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/ Bob Daemmrich: Cruz

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, leads Republican incumbent Ted Cruz by 2 percentage points among likely voters, according to an Ipsos online poll released Wednesday in conjunction with Reuters and the University of Virginia. O’Rourke has been closing the gap over the last several months, but this is the first poll that puts him ahead of Cruz.

You've probably heard about the “blue wave” that’s forecast to sweep U.S. elections this November. Some expect it to flip dozens of congressional seats from red to blue, turning control of the U.S. House over to Democrats. And there’s even a slight chance that Democrats could win enough seats to take control of the U.S. Senate.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

The Senate Judiciary Committee will move forward with a hearing scheduled for Monday on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, despite a request for further investigation from his accuser.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz / Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leads his Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke by 9 percentage points among likely voters, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

The Texas Tribune

Editor's note: This story has been updated to add comments from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, called Monday for "bipartisan participation" in addressing sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh that have thrown the prospects of his pending confirmation vote into chaos.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault more than three decades ago, Christine Blasey Ford, will both testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 24. The committee was supposed to vote on the nomination this Thursday but faced pressure after Ford went public with her allegation over the weekend.

Ford and Kavanaugh both agreed to testify under oath before the committee.

Updated at 9:41 p.m. ET

A vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court was at risk of delay on Sunday as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee from both parties said allegations of sexual assault from 35 years ago may require additional review.

Credit Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune: O'Rourke / Robin Jerstad, Texas Tribune: Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, have agreed to three debates before Election Day.

FEMA is rolling out a new tool as it begins to deal with now-tropical storm Florence. It's a rumor-control webpage.

Unfounded rumors — what might be called "fake news" — have been a problem in coping with recent disasters, according to Gary Webb, a professor and chair of emergency management and disaster science at the University of North Texas.

"Disasters do create a great deal of uncertainty, confusion and anxiety," Webb said, "and, as a result, there is the potential for rumors to propagate."

UPDATED 6:46 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh strongly pushed back on an allegation of sexual misconduct from more than 30 years ago. The allegation was made in a letter by a woman who said the incident took place in high school.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," Kavanaugh said in a statement.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Republican lawmakers in the Texas Senate were sitting pretty last year. Now, with less than two months until Election Day, they are finding that keeping that supermajority in the Senate is no longer a sure thing.

In a troubling sign for Republicans less than two months before November's elections, Democrats' advantage on the question of which party Americans are more likely to vote for in November is ballooning, according to a new NPR/Marist poll.

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