Sen. Tim Scott Joins the Race
Happy Tuesday! WhatsApp—a messaging app used daily by 2 billion people—will now allow users to edit messages for 15 minutes after sending them.
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Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina formally announced Monday he is running for president. A prominent black Republican who spearheaded police reform talks after the murder of George Floyd and an experienced fundraiser with about $22 million already on hand for his campaign, Scott has nevertheless been polling in the single digits. He joins an increasingly crowded Republican primary field that includes former President Donald Trump and fellow South Carolinian, former Gov. Nikki Haley, among several others.
- President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy concluded a meeting Monday without an agreement on raising the debt ceiling. McCarthy said they had a “productive” conversation, noting broad agreement on the need to reduce the deficit but major differences on the specifics of spending cuts and/or tax hikes to do so ahead of the June 1 deadline.
- The Kremlin claimed Monday Russian forces were battling an incursion by “Ukrainian saboteurs” into Russian territory north of the eastern Ukrainian town of Kharkiv. Ukrainian intelligence officials, meanwhile, said the attackers—which some unconfirmed footage indicated had captured Russian armored vehicles—were fighting on behalf of Russian opposition groups unaffiliated with Kyiv.
- Chinese authorities on Sunday ordered “critical national infrastructure operators” to stop using American tech company Micron Technology’s microchips in its computer systems, citing “serious network security risks” after a two-month investigation by Beijing’s technology watchdog. The move against Idaho-based Micron, the biggest United States-based producer of microchips, follows a U.S. ban on exports of advanced microchip technology late last year. The Commerce Department said China’s restrictions were without “basis in fact.”
- E. Jean Carroll, the writer who earlier this month won $5 million in damages in a civil case against former President Donald Trump, said Monday she is seeking additional funds for disparaging comments Trump made at a CNN town hall event the day after he was found liable for defamation and sexual abuse. During the town hall, Trump echoed his previous comments about Carroll, calling her allegations “fake” and saying she was a “wack job.” In a court filing, Carroll’s lawyers wrote she is seeking $10 million in damages as part of another lawsuit—originally filed in 2019—for comments Trump made while president.
- Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware announced Monday he will not seek reelection for a fifth term in his solid blue seat in 2024. Carper said he would campaign for Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Democrat and Delaware’s only House representative, to replace him.
- The Department of the Interior announced Monday that Arizona, California, and Nevada have agreed to draw less water from the Colorado River in exchange for payments from the federal government—an attempt to preserve the drought-stricken river’s water supply for cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles. The federal government will pay around $1.2 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funds to irrigation districts, cities, and Native American tribes for the water cuts, which are the equivalent of a 10 percent reduction in water use from the three states. The states have also agreed to an additional 3 percent usage decrease that is not tied to federal payments.
It’s Tim Time
After months of reports that he would challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination—after the fundraising, the demure refusal to confirm or deny, the trips to key swing states—South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott officially announced his candidacy Monday. A devout Christian and longtime conservative with a made-for-politics backstory, Scott still faces a mighty steep climb out of single-digit polling to secure the nomination.
Declan is out of the office as we write this edition of TMD, so he can’t stop us from shamelessly commending to you his 2020 in-depth profile of Scott. But here’s the short version: Raised by a single mom, Scott hoped to attend college on a football scholarship before a car crash derailed his dreams. He became a Christian during college and sold insurance before working his way from local to national politics, defeating the son of segregationist Strom Thurmond for a House seat. Then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley—now Scott’s opponent in the presidential race—appointed him to the Senate in 2013, and he won his latest reelection in November with a strong 63 percent of the vote.