Good Thursday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• Three of the Republican senators who could decide Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation condemned comments by President Trump that mocked Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual assault. [Read the story and President Trump’s remarks]
• After weeks of not directly attacking Dr. Blasey, Mr. Trump and his Republican allies have embarked on a more aggressive effort to raise questions of her credibility. [Read the story]
• Senate Republicans have challenged Dr. Blasey’s testimony from last week with a sworn statement from a former boyfriend who contradicted her assertions about her experience with polygraph tests. [Read the story]
• When Senator Mitch McConnell arrived in Washington this week to resume the battle over the Supreme Court nomination, he was confronted by a group of female protesters. His response was to stare straight ahead and keep walking. “We will not be intimidated by these people,” he said on Wednesday. [Read the story]
• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would withdraw from a 1955 treaty it signed with Iran, hours after the International Court of Justice ordered the United States to ease some sanctions on the country. [Read the story]
• This year’s midterms carry enormous political stakes, but if history is any guide, the vast majority of eligible voters will stay home on Election Day. [Read the story]
• None of the 36 candidates Republicans are fielding for governor this year are black or Hispanic. Some party members say it’s a result of Mr. Trump’s offensive language on race. [Read the story]
• Tennessee’s Senate election pits a self-described “hard-core” pro-Trump Republican against a centrist, pro-business Democrat in a race that’s seen as a microcosm for others around the country. [Read the story]
• Eric Blankenstein, a top Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official, apologized to staff after a racially charged blog post he wrote in 2004 as a University of Virginia law student became public. [Read the story]
• President Mike Pence is expected to signal a far tougher American line on China in a speech on Thursday. [Read the story]
• Melania Trump, the first lady who is known to shy away from the spotlight, embarked on her first major solo international trip this week to several countries in Africa. [Read the story and see photos]
Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Margaret Kramer in New York.
Check back later for On Politics With Lisa Lerer, a nightly newsletter exploring the people, issues and ideas reshaping the political world.
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