SCOTUS WATCH —Chief Justice JOHN ROBERTSToday’s temporary halt to a lower court ruling that ordered the IRS release former Presidents was due to take effect today DONALD TRUMP’sTax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, which allows the full Supreme Court review the matter. More from CNN’s Ariane de Vogue and Tierney Sneed
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THE TRUMP TAKE —Trump appeared on CHRIS STIGALL’sPodcast today to talk about the midterms and a range of topics, including the attack. PAUL PELOSIAnd YE). Here’s what he said about the elections: Trump predicted that the House would flip for Republicans because of a focus on crime, but he wasn’t as certain about the upper chamber. “I think we have a chance of picking up the Senate. If you would have asked me that question three months ago, I would not have said that.” More from WSJ’s Alex Leary … Listen to the podcast
WHAT TO WATCH ONLINE — There’s a duo of enlightening new reports up today that detail some things to watch on social media as the midterms reach their finale.
— Follow us on Twitter:As ELON MUSKHe continues to take over the platform. Bloomberg’s Kurt Wagner, Edward Ludlow, Jackie Davalos, and Davey Alba reportThat “most people who work in Twitter’s Trust and Safety organization are currently unable to alter or penalize accounts that break rules around misleading information, offensive posts and hate speech, except for the most high-impact violations that would involve real-world harm, according to people familiar with the matter. Those posts were prioritized for manual enforcement, they said.”
Policy in actionThey note that “people who were on call to enforce Twitter’s policies during Brazil’s presidential election did get access to the internal tools on Sunday, but in a limited capacity, according to two of the people. The company is still utilizing automated enforcement technology, and third-party contractors, according to one person, though the highest-profile violations are typically reviewed by Twitter employees.”
The answer:YOEL ROTH— Twitter’s head of Safety and Integrity, and one of the highest-ranking company executives to survive the Musk transition — confirmed the report: “This is exactly what we (or any company) should be doing in the midst of a corporate transition to reduce opportunities for insider risk. We’re still enforcing our rules at scale.”
— Truth Social: Despite all of the trials and tribulations that Trump’s Truth Social has endured since its launch, the platform is growing in popularity and reach. “The website had 1.7 million unique visitors in September, according to estimates from Similar Web, a company that monitors web traffic. That barely registers as competition against mainstream sites like Facebook and Twitter. But it towers over its closest social media rivals, including Gab, Parler, Gettr, MeWe and Minds, which averaged about 360,000 unique visitors from the United States that month,” NYT’s Stuart Thompson and Matthew Goldstein write.
This is the case: “‘How many of you are on Truth Social?’ KARI LAKE, the Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, who has repeatedly sowed doubt about election integrity, said at a recent rally. The crowd erupted in applause. ‘If you’re not on it, go there and get on it quick.’”
Next, what to watch: “The site has become a key organizing platform for election deniers ahead of the midterms, stoking concerns about voter fraud and spreading rumors about problems at the polls. One group used the site to promote stakeouts of ballot drop boxes in a search for illegal voting, posting a picture on Truth that went viral and helped spur similar efforts in at least 10 states.
CLICKER — “Anthony Fauci, Clive Davis, Ava DuVernay, and More Take Their Place in the National Portrait Gallery,” by Vanity Fair’s Kayla Holliday
Good Tuesday afternoon. What are the other notable Americans missing from the Portrait Gallery, aside from my Playbook friends? Drop me a line at [email protected].
WHERE THINGS STAND — “Republican Election Prospects Rise as Inflation Overshadows Abortion, WSJ Poll Finds,” by WSJ’s Joshua Jamerson: “The survey, conducted about two weeks before Election Day, suggests that abortion rights are less important in voting decisions than voters indicated in the summer, after the Supreme Court in June ended the federal constitutional right to abortion. Republicans have regained momentum since then and now hold a slight edge over Democrats, 46% to 44%, when voters are asked which party they would support in their congressional district if the election were held today.”
— “On election eve, the state of the U.S. economy is a blurry one,” by AP’s Paul Wiseman
ON THE AIRWAVES — “Key feature of GOP midterm ads: Half-truths and misleading claims,” by WaPo’s Azi Paybarah: Some “GOP ads are showing a breathtaking disregard for accuracy and clarity, with Republican candidates and their allies twisting tangential elements into baseless or misleading claims.”
ABORTION ON THE BALLOT — “Kentucky voters asked whether there’s a right to an abortion,” by AP’s Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Ky.: “The question reads: ‘To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.’”
TRUST ISSUES — “GOP push to monitor voting in Texas’s Harris County spurs outcry,” by WaPo’s Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Amy Gardner in Houston: “Local Democratic officials have said the move is an effort to intimidate voters — and asked the Justice Department to send federal observers in response.”
AND JUST FOR GOOD MEASURE — “The truth about election fraud: It’s rare,” by WaPo’s resident fact checker Glenn Kessler
BATTLE FOR SENATE
WALKER LATEST — “Woman who accused Herschel Walker of pressuring her into having abortion says ‘honesty matters,’”ABC: “The woman, whom ABC News agreed to call Jane Doe, told ABC News in her first on-camera interview that she decided to come forward after another woman made similar claims that Walker had also pressured her into having an abortion. Speaking with Juju Chang, co-anchor of ABC News’ ‘Nightline,’ the woman said that in 1993 she became pregnant amid a yearslong affair with Walker, saying they saw each other ‘several times a week, usually in the mornings’ and that they were in love.
“‘[Walker] was very clear that he did not want me to have the child. And he said that because of his wife’s family and powerful people around him that I would not be safe and that the child would not be safe,’ the woman said. ‘I felt threatened and I thought I had no choice,’ said the woman, who has come forward on camera for the first time since making her allegations public at a press conference last week with her attorney, GLORIA ALLRED.”
THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN — “Mehmet Oz’s medical research was rejected in 2003, resulting in 2-year ban,” by WaPo’s Lenny Bernstein and Colby Itkowitz: “In May 2003, MEHMET OZ was the senior author on a study that explored a hot topic at the time: Whether heart bypass surgery conducted with the aid of a heart-lung machine impaired a patient’s cognitive function more than surgery conducted without the machine.
“Oz’s research was scheduled to lead off the scientific session of the 83rd annual American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) conference, according to a program from the event, where physicians in that specialty convene to discuss developments in their field. But Oz was forced to withdraw his work and was banned from presenting research to the organization for the next two years.”
MASTERS OF HIS FATE — “Libertarian Candidate Drops Out of Arizona Senate Race and Endorses Masters,” by NYT’s Shane Goldmacher: “MARC VICTOR, the Libertarian candidate, and [Republican BLAKE] MASTERS spoke on Monday for a 20-minute recorded conversation that Mr. Victor is expected to publish, according to a person familiar with the conversation. Mr. Victor had made such a conversation a precondition to quitting, technically offering such an opportunity both to Mr. Masters and to [Democratic Sen. MARK] KELLY.”Recent polls have shown Victor to have received between 1 and 6 percent.
ON THE RECORD — “Republicans Claim They’ll Fix Inflation. We Asked 8 GOP Senate Candidates How,” by Esquire’s Jack Holmes: “The campaigns of Oz, [Sen. MIKE] LEE, Walker, and Masters did not respond, while the others all offered the eerily similar responses that you can find [in the story]. Usually, these solutions came in the form of pointing out horrible things the Biden administration has done. Not mentioned: global supply shocks tied to the pandemic shutdown, monopoly power and corporate concentration*, corporate profits, the war in Ukraine, OPEC, housing (the main driver of inflation through much of 2022), or the Federal Reserve.”
THE CHUCKWAGON ROLLS ON — “Schumer Can Take the Insults, if It Helps Keep Democrats in Power,” by NYT’s Jesse McKinley
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS — “These Cooks, Waiters and Casino Workers Could Swing the Senate,” by NYT’s Brett Anderson in Las Vegas
BATTLE FOR HOUSE
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RATINGS GO RIGHT —Today, the Cook Political Report released its latest House ratings. The topline, via Dave Wasserman “10 more blue state districts move in Republicans’ direction, including #CA47 Rep. KATIE PORTER (D) from Lean D to Toss Up.” See the full list of changes … Read the CPR writeup
Via Steve Shepard
— Illinois/New York:The NANCY PELOSIHouse Majority PAC is a House-linked organization, which just received a cash injection from the former New York mayor MIKE BLOOMBERGIs. up with three new ads in blue-leaning suburbs where the party hasn’t been advertising yet this morning, all focusing on abortion access. Two candidates are running on Long Island (NY-04 and NY-03), and this ad is meant for Democratic Rep. SEAN CASTEN’s reelection in Illinois ends: “This isn’t a fire drill: [GOP candidate] KEITH PEKAU is a serious threat to women everywhere.”
— Pennsylvania: United Democracy Project’s new ad attacks Democrat SUMMER LEEFor being in the 12th Congressional District “really radical.”AdImpact reports that the AIPAC-linked group spent just shy of $1million on the ad, after spending $2.3million opposing Lee in primary.
— Georgia:The MITCH McCONNELL-linked Senate Leadership Fund airs the police bodycam footageDemocratic Sen. RAPHAEL WARNOCK’s now-ex-wife accusing him of domestic violence (police didn’t charge Warnock and found no evidence of injury), then pivots to knocking Warnock on his voting record. “Warnock didn’t just hurt his own family,”A narrator tells the story. “He’s hurting yours.”
— Kansas:Former GOP Governors BILL GRAVESAnd MIKE HAYDENDemocratic Gov. LAURA KELLYin the latest ad from the DGA’s Kansas affiliate.
— Florida:GOP Gov. RON DeSANTISMiami-based mixed-martial art welterweight endorsed it JORGE MASVIDAL in DeSantis’ latest Spanish-language ad.
PLANNING PREVIEW — As House Republicans anticipate returning to the majority in the next Congress, they’re already planning its energy agenda, including “faster approvals of fossil fuel projects and probes of how the Biden administration is spending its hundreds of billions in climate dollars,” Josh Siegel and Kelsey Tamborrino report. The goal, lawmakers say, is to keep the focus on voters’ frustrations with gasoline prices.
Details: “The GOP effort would include components of a strategy that top House Republican KEVIN McCARTHY released in June that called for measures to stimulate oil and gas production, ease permitting regulations and seek to reduce reliance on China and Russia for critical materials. It also would propose actions that lawmakers of both parties may be able to agree on, such as faster approvals for low-carbon energy sources like renewable power, small nuclear reactors and hydrogen.”
AMERICA AND WORLD
PUT TO THE TEST — “Griner Case Tests Deal-Making in Biden’s Push to Free Captives Held by U.S. Foes,” by Bloomberg’s Courtney McBride: “A spate of high-profile releases from Venezuela and Russia in recent months highlights Biden’s eagerness to secure Americans’ release even if the cost is setting free criminals convicted in U.S. courts of law. BRITTNEY GRINER’s case, in which the U.S. has proposed trading away notorious Russian gun-runner VICTOR BOUT, measures the limits of that new approach.”
FOR YOUR RADAR — “2-Minute Showers and a Flotilla of Gas Shipments: Europe Braces for Winter,” by NYT’s Liz Alderman and Patricia Cohen … “Israelis vote again, as political crisis grinds on,” by AP’s Tia Goldenberg
WATCHING THE WATCHERS — “NSA Watchdog Concluded One Analyst’s Surveillance Project Went Too Far,” by Bloomberg’s Jason Leopold, Katrina Manson, and William Turton: “An ‘experienced’ analyst working at the National Security Agency developed a surveillance project about a decade ago that resulted in the unauthorized targeting and collection of private communications of people or organizations in the U.S., newly unearthed documents show. An investigation into the matter, which hasn’t been previously reported, found that the analyst ‘acted with reckless disregard’ and violated numerous rules and possibly the law, according to a 2016 report by the NSA’s Office of Inspector General.”
YIKES — “U.S. banks report more than $1 billion in potential ransomware payments in 2021,” by CNN’s Sean Lyngaas
FED FILES — “Fed Meeting to Focus on Interest Rates’ Coming Path,” by WSJ’s Nick Timiraos
INFLATION NATION — Inflation could end up saving the ultra-wealthy next year nearly $700,000 on the tax that’s imposed on their assets when they die, Brian Faler writes. “The hike is coming as a major reduction in the estate tax pushed through by the Trump administration is slated to expire in the next few years.”
BEYOND THE BELTAWAY
REFORM REPORT — “States struggle with pushback after wave of policing reforms,” by AP’s Denise Lavoie, Tatyana Monnay and Juliette Rihl: “Some of the initial reforms have been tweaked or even rolled back after police complained that the new policies were hindering their ability to catch criminals. And while governors in all but five states signed police reform laws, many of those laws gave police more protections, as well. More than a dozen states only passed laws aimed at broadening police accountability; five states only passed new police protections.”
KNOWING KAITLAN COLLINS — “The meteoric rise of CNN’s Kaitlan Collins,” by WaPo’s Jeremy Barr: “How fast was Collins’s rise? Just eight years ago, she was blogging about MILEY CYRUS’s latest tattoos and SHIA LaBEOUF’s trip to rehab — the quintessential starter job of the digital media era. But thanks to an easy screen-presence and hard-earned reporting chops, she has now catapulted to a co-anchor seat on the just-launched ‘CNN This Morning’ — an attempt by new network leader CHRIS LICHT to reinvent a block of programming that has long trailed its cable-news rivals in the ratings.”
MEDIA MOVE — Allison PrangShe is joining POLITICO to work as a reporter for the sustainability team. She was previously a Wall Street Journal reporter covering breaking news.
TRANSITION — Ted EllisDirector of coalitions and member services at the Republican Study Committee. He was previously the director for coalitions for Americans for Prosperity.
This newsletter has been revised to reflect a change of quotation from The New York Times about social media platform statistics. According to the Times’ updated story, traffic data from Truth Social competitors included unique visitors from the United States only.