After Debate, Trump Rips Beto O’Rourke, Endorses Former Rival Ted Cruz
‘Beto is a Flake!’ president tweets

President Donald Trump criticized Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke after his debate with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Less than a week before he heads to the Lone Star State to headline a rally for Sen. Ted Cruz, President Donald Trump is already priming his supporters by attacking Cruz’s opponent.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Short-lived stint for Bono, Lieu’s wife on the ballot, and the Stanley Cup is in the Capitol

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Man to Plead Guilty to Sending Threatening Letters to Trump Jr., Stabenow
Court appearance for Daniel Frisiello scheduled for late morning in Boston

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., was among the targets of threatening letters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Massachusetts man is expected to plead guilty Wednesday morning in connection to sending threatening letters, some including white powder, to Donald Trump Jr., Sen. Debbie Stabenow and a congressional candidate.

Daniel Frisiello planned to admit to sending six letters with white powder, and plead guilty to a total of 19 related charges, the Salem News reported last month.

Mia Love Claims FEC Cleared Her — Others Say Not So Fast
Utah GOP rep raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for primary race she didn’t face

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, has been nagged by an ongoing dispute about money she raised for a primary race that never happened. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Utah Rep. Mia Love does not appear to be out of the woods just yet over a complaint filed with the Federal Elections Commission over funds she raised for a GOP primary race she allegedly knew she would not have.

That’s despite Love claiming in a statement Monday night that the FEC has cleared her of any wrongdoing after she agreed to re-designate roughly $370,000 in campaign contributions made between the GOP nominating convention in April and the June primary date, when Love did not face a Republican challenger.

Markwayne Mullin Says He’ll Fight Avenatti
Oklahoma congressman responds to Trump antagonist’s challenge to Donald Trump Jr.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., said he’s ready to climb into the cage with lawyer Michael Avenatti after he challenged Donald Trump Jr. to a mixed martial arts fight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., a former professional mixed martial arts fighter, challenged lawyer Democratic lawyer Michael Avenatti to “meet him on the mat.”

Avenatti and Donald Trump Jr. have sparred on Twitter in recent weeks over special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and Avenatti’s rumored presidential ambitions. The rivalry took a surreal turn last week, when Avenatti challenged Trump Jr. to a “three-round mixed martial arts fight” with the proceeds going to charity. 

Trump Getting Plenty of 2020 Company on the 2018 Campaign Trail
Democrats will be making their own Western campaign swings in the week ahead

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who visited Culinary Worker’s Union Local 226 in Las Vegas to launch early voting in 2016, will be back this Saturday in Vegas. Also pictured, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is getting ready for a swing through the Mountain West for campaign rallies, but he won’t be alone. Many of his potential 2020 rivals are hitting the trail themselves, serving as surrogates for Democratic candidates in 2018.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will find himself in Nevada on the same day as one of the president’s “Make America Great Again” spectacles Saturday, though they might as well be on different planets.

Their Districts Are at Risk. But They Still Vote ‘No’ on Climate Action
High waters and toxic blooms haven’t scared these lawmakers

Storm surge and waves from Hurricane Michael batter homes in the Florida Panhandle community of Shell Point Beach on Oct. 10. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

He lives just half a mile away from the beach in Sarasota, Florida, but Len Seligman, a local musician, has barely enjoyed the sun and sand by the waterside recently, discouraged by the stench of dead fish and other marine animals washed ashore, poisoned by toxic algal blooms.

“In the last few months, there have only been a few days that it’s been tolerable,” the 63-year-old retired computer researcher said. “You just can’t breathe when the red tide is bad.”

Lobbyists in D.C. Inch Away From Saudi Cash
Some bail, while others wait to see what comes of Mike Pompeo’s trip

President Donald Trump meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia at the White House in March 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Washington lobbyists still on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s payroll amid fallout from the presumed death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are awaiting the outcome of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to the region this week before making any further moves.

Pompeo met Tuesday in Riyadh with Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the brash young second-in-command of the royal government, and planned to head Wednesday to Turkey where Khashoggi was last seen.

Republicans With Fundraising Struggles Have Outside Help — For Now
GOP groups had previously warned lawmakers to step up their game

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., has been outraised by his Democratic opponent, Katie Hill, but Congressional Leadership Fund is still spending for him in California’s 25th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Scores of Republicans were once again outraised by their Democratic opponents in the recently concluded third quarter. And GOP outside groups now have to decide how to best allocate their finite resources with less than three weeks to go until Election Day. 

The two major Republican groups that spend in House races — the National Republican Congressional Committee and the House leadership-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund — have already begun to move money to different races, as have their Democratic counterparts, in an end-of-cycle process known as “triage.”

Cory Gardner Has a Really Good Mitch McConnell Impression
Take Five: Gardner’s staff wants him to act cool in front of celebrities

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., never got to tell Powers Boothe that he loves “Red Dawn.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Cory Gardner’s impression of Mitch McConnell was spot-on as he described that time during the tax debate when the pair talked marijuana.

The Colorado Republican has embraced the cannabis industry. But some of his colleagues aren’t so sure.

Capitol Ink | Red Wave

NewDemPAC Helps Candidates Navigate Trump, Raise Money
Political arm of New Democrat Coalition has endorsed 38 recruits

NewDemPAC has endorsed Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger, who’s challenging GOP Rep. Dave Brat in the 7th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With 38 endorsed candidates, the political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is hoping to play a significant role helping Democrats win the House majority next month, and in doing so, grow their own business-friendly caucus. 

The coalition’s political action committee, founded in 2005, got involved in races earlier than ever before this cycle — at times choosing favorites in competitive primaries. It also hired a political director for the first time and has been able to help raise more than $2 million for candidates from members and donors.

The Political Class Got 2016 Wrong. Could We See a Repeat?
What’s possible is sometimes more important than what’s probable

The difference between what was probable and what was possible in 2016 was the difference between a President Clinton and a President Trump, Winston writes. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

So said Sherlock Holmes in “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” and the great detective’s observation may well apply to the upcoming midterm elections.

Lindsey Graham Sees Big Election Night for Senate Republicans
Speaking at Heritage Foundation, Mitch McConnell was predictably more reserved

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is upbeat about the chances for big Senate Republican wins on Election Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham is very bullish on the chances of Republicans expanding their Senate majority on Election Day in three weeks.

“We’re off to the races. Everything is breaking our way,” the South Carolina senator said Tuesday night. 

Donald Trump Complains Saudis Are ‘Guilty Until Proven Innocent’ on Khashoggi
President compares to Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process

President Donald Trump, seen here meeting with Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in the Oval Office at the White House, has defended the Saudis as accusations of their role in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi mount. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)