The Biggest Stories in American Politics This Week


From the hearings on Capitol Hill for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and social media executives to stunning revelations about the Trump administration, here are five of the biggest stories in American politics this week. (And some links if you want to read further.)

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings ended the way they began: with partisan charges and remarkable tension.

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Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearing lasted four days.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

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The White House was caught off guard by revelations in a new book and an anonymous Op-Ed essay.

President Trump denounced a critical Op-Ed from an anonymous White House official, calling it “gutless.”Published OnCreditCreditImage by Doug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Trump lashed out repeatedly this week over an onslaught of revelations that several of his staff members have quietly plotted to undermine or curb a number of his decisions.

In a sprawling, highly anticipated book by Bob Woodward, the White House is depicted as an often out-of-control operation where former aides stole papers from the president’s desk and derided the commander-in-chief. And in an anonymous Op-Ed published in The New York Times on Wednesday, a senior administration official described a “quiet resistance” where some aides stayed to prevent what they saw as Mr. Trump’s instability.

A parade of top White House officials and cabinet secretaries rushed on Thursday to deny that they had done the things described in Mr. Woodward’s book or written the anonymous essay. Mr. Trump said on Friday that he wanted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the source of the article.

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Top executives from Facebook and Twitter faced congressional questioning over the manipulation of their platforms’ services and influence.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, and Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter on Wednesday.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, both testified before Congress this week over their companies, moderation of online content and how to handle foreign influence in American elections.

Twitter said it would permanently suspend Alex Jones, the far-right conspiracy theorist, and the account of his Infowars website. It is the latest indication that Mr. Jones — who tussled with a senator on Capitol Hill on Wednesday — may be brought down by the conspiracy theories that propelled him to notoriety.

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Two Democratic insurgent candidates met different results in midterm primaries.

Ms. Pressley beat a 10-term Democratic incumbent and is set to become the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress.Published OnCreditCreditImage by Sarah Rice for The New York Times

Ayanna Pressley, an upstart liberal candidate, defeated 10-term Representative Michael Capuano in a primary on Tuesday, and is set to become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. But in Delaware, Senator Tom Carper fought off a primary challenger from another insurgent Democratic candidate.

Both Ms. Pressley and Mr. Carper are expected to be in Congress next year: No Republican candidate is on the ballot in Massachusetts and Mr. Carper is favored to win his general election in November.

On Friday in Illinois, former President Barack Obama made his debut on the 2018 campaign trail, assailing Mr. Trump by name for the first time and beginning his own blitz of appearances to help Democrats take control of Congress.

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George Papadopoulos became the first former Trump adviser to be sentenced because of the special counsel’s investigation.

George Papadopoulos was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty last year to lying to the F.B.I. and agreeing to cooperate in the Russia investigation.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in prison for lying to the F.B.I. about his meetings with Russian intermediaries before the 2016 presidential election. He is the first former Trump adviser to be sentenced; three others have pleaded guilty or are waiting for sentencing.

Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel leading the investigation, will accept some written answers from Mr. Trump on questions about whether his campaign conspired with Russian election interference.

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