10 Things in Politics: Trump is seeking to change election oversight

By Brent D. Griffiths

Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go — click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.

Here's what we're talking about:

With Phil Rosen.

A split photo of Texas' attorney general, Ken Paxton; the Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem; the chair of the South Carolina GOP, Drew McKissick; and US Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia.
Clockwise from top left: Texas' attorney general, Ken Paxton; the Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem; the chair of the South Carolina GOP, Drew McKissick; and US Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia.
Photos by: Bob Christie/ AP; AP Photo/Meg Kinnard; House Television via AP; Brandon Bell/Getty Images

1. THE MIDTERMS: Getting on Donald Trump's good side is as easy as wailing about "election fraud." Months after losing the 2020 election, the former president remains fixated on clawing his way back. And many of Trump's midterm endorsements seem intended to elevate candidates who have backed his election-fraud claims.

Here's a look at some of the candidates he's backing so far:

  • Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, running for secretary of state: Finchem, pictured at the top right above, is considered a leader in Arizona's "Stop the Steal" movement and is among several Republican hopefuls who called for Arizona to decertify its election results. He's also promoted QAnon conspiracy theories.
  • Kristina Karamo, Michigan secretary of state: Karamo claimed to have witnessed "irregularities" in Detroit during the November election. The local GOP committee member and Wayne County Community College professor has gone all in on Trump's baseless claims of election tampering.
  • Texas' attorney general, Ken Paxton: Paxton, pictured above on the top left, is seeking a third term. He is known for his bid to overturn the 2020 election results with a lawsuit the US Supreme Court tossed out, and, like Trump, he's facing some of his own legal troubles, including an FBI investigation into allegations that he misused his power to help a donor. Among Paxton's primary challengers is George P. Bush, a son of Jeb Bush who is Texas' land commissioner and has said the election was not stolen.

Read more about how Trump is trying to put his political allies in charge of running elections.

2. Congress will be busy this week: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised last night that lawmakers would vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday, Politico reports. A procedural vote on the measure is still expected today, which is the date Pelosi originally agreed on with centrists in her party. House lawmakers also plan to vote this week on the core of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda, a $3.5 trillion plan that would dramatically expand the social safety net. There's little room for error, and it's still unclear whether Democrats will remain united in passing both pieces of legislation.

3. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party narrowly loses: Preliminary results indicate Merkel's center-right party had its worst showing in history, The Washington Post reports. It's also the first time in more than a decade in which the center-left Social Democrats topped Merkel's Christian Democrats. But the results are so close that both sides are pledging to try to form a government. More on the German election results.

4. Rep. Liz Cheney says she was wrong to oppose same-sex marriage: Cheney broke with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, in 2013 when she announced her opposition to same-sex marriage, causing a public rift with her sister, Mary, who is married to a woman. Mary Cheney applauded her sister for saying she was wrong, adding: "And as her sister — I have one more thing that I just have to say. I told you so." More on Liz Cheney's reversal.

congressional stock report lobbying federal government 4x3
Marianne Ayala/Insider

5. Thirty lawmakers have violated a law for stock trades: Insider and several other news organizations have this year identified 30 members of Congress who've failed to properly report their financial trades as mandated by federal law. Their excuses range from oversights, to clerical errors, to inattentive accountants. Check out the list.

6. WHO wants to revive its inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic's origins: World Health Organization officials tell The Wall Street Journal that the investigation will continue to explore whether the virus that causes COVID-19 emerged from a lab. The Biden administration, The Journal reports, has been among those pressing for the investigation to continue. The new group is expected to consist of about 20 investigators. There's no guarantee the new team will have access to China, which has consistently lashed out at the mere suggestion that the coronavirus could have leaked from one of its labs. Here's where the investigation stands, including Beijing's efforts to distract investigators by pressuring them to focus on a US military bioresearch facility.

Gayle King
Gayle King.
Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images

7. Big changes could be coming to CBS News: CBS News' copresident Neeraj Khemlani has been reaching out, personally and through intermediaries, to high-profile news talent to freshen up the company's programming and reposition CBS News as a pipeline for the streamer Paramount+, Insider reports. The network is also circling outside talent like MSNBC's Brian Williams and the "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi. Read more about what the future could hold for CBS heavyweights like Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell.

8. Rep. Matt Gaetz said Tucker Carlson was correct about the white nationalist "replacement" conspiracy theory: The Great Replacement theory has been used by white nationalists and white supremacists who argue that people of color are replacing white populations or people with European roots. In a tweet defending Carlson, Gaetz also called the Anti-Defamation League "a racist organization." The ADL had called for Fox News to fire Carlson over his promotion of the theory. More on his comments.

9. US government requests more personal data than any other country in study: The US had the most requests for Facebook and Twitter information, with 61,528 and 3,429 requests respectively. Facebook also saw six times the number of data requests from the US than from the second-highest country, Germany. The new TechRobot report examined requests from 20 countries in 2019 and 2020.

10. CDC director says trick-or-treating will be OK: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said children could safely go trick-or-treating on Halloween so long as they did so outdoors. The CDC is still advising against large indoor gatherings.

Today's trivia question: In honor of HBO's "The White House Plumbers," which filmed in Washington over the weekend, who was the Nixon aide responsible for coming up with the term the "plumbers"? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

  • Friday's answer: President Ronald Reagan recorded a video about his love for James Bond, including the line that "007 is really a 10." But the Reagan White House was furious when the video was used to promote the release of "Octopussy."