Election 2016

Credit Photo: Andrew Malone (Flickr)

Updated at 3:18 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is accusing China of trying to interfere in the U.S. political process in an effort to undermine the president and his agenda in the upcoming midterm elections.

In a speech to the Hudson Institute on Thursday, Vice President Pence amplified the charge leveled by President Trump last week. Pence said China has used covert actors, front groups and propaganda in an attempt to sway U.S. public opinion.

Republican senators came out of a top-secret briefing room Thursday to say that a supplemental FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has produced no new corroborating evidence. Two undecided Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, have also weighed in.

Last week, Facebook announced the most serious security breach in its history, in which unknown hackers were able to log onto the accounts of nearly 50 million Facebook users.

Editor’s Note: This interview includes discussion of rape and sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing or offensive.

Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, published a new memoir this week in which she details her side of the ongoing legal saga involving the president.

Noonletter, Oct. 4, 2018

Oct 4, 2018
Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Boondocks broadband

How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm if they can’t stream Netflix?

The Federal Communications Commission sent seven grants to Kansas totaling $4.7 million to expand  rural access to broadband internet.

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) says he has complete confidence in the "integrity and thoroughness" of the FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

A federal grand jury in Pennsylvania has indicted seven Russian military intelligence officers, accusing them of hacking into U.S. and international anti-doping agencies and sports federations and of accessing data related to 250 athletes from about 30 countries.

Updated at 10:12 p.m. ET

Judge Brett Kavanaugh issued a mea culpa of sorts on the eve of a key Senate vote that could determine whether or not he reaches the Supreme Court, admitting in an op-ed that his testimony last week forcefully defending himself from sexual assault allegations "might have been too emotional at times."

An annual assessment by the Center for Political Accountability shows many S&P 500 companies are spending less on direct donations to political races and election-related causes than in recent years. Additionally, those S&P 500 companies that are still making political donations are moving toward more transparency. Changing political winds and growing publicity risks have created a climate in which major corporations are finding it’s safer to cut direct political ties.

Most of the Twitter accounts that spread disinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign remain active now, according to an ambitious new study released on Thursday.

Knight Foundation researchers examined millions of tweets and concluded that more than 80 percent of the accounts associated with the 2016 disinformation campaign are still posting — even after Twitter announced back in July that it had instituted a purge of fake accounts.