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March 13, 2018

In the 2018 midterms, there are 23 House Republicans who will be seeking re-election in districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Though incumbent advantage is significant, such recent history makes these representatives vulnerable.

It does not, however, make them open to President Trump's presence on the campaign trail. Axios contacted the offices of all 23 and found just two — Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.) and Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) — who said they'd accept Trump stumping for them. Of the other 21, most ignored or dodged the question, but four explicitly said they did not want Trump's help.

"We have not requested the president's assistance and we don't plan on requesting his assistance," said the office of Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), one of those who preemptively turned Trump down. And Curbelo's office, though willing to have Trump involved, offered a tepid statement mentioning the representative's past appearances with both Trump and Obama. It concluded, "Anyone who wants to support Carlos' efforts and endorse his bipartisan approach to public service is welcome to do so." Bonnie Kristian

5:43p.m.

A group called "Black Americans for the President's Agenda" says that Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) is the lawmaker who will keep America from going "back to the bad old days of race verdicts, life sentences, and lynchings when a white girl screams rape."

A radio advertisement in support of Hill has reportedly been aired in Arkansas to promote support for the congressman among black voters. In the ad, two women discuss the sexual assault allegations that confronted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh ahead of his confirmation, and warn of the dangers of abandoning the presumption of innocence, "especially for black men."

"If the Democrats can do that to a white Justice of the Supreme Court with no evidence, no corroboration, and all of her witnesses including her best friend say it didn't happen, what will happen to our husbands, our fathers, or our sons when a white girl lies on them?" asks one woman.

"Girl, white Democrats will be lynching black folk again," the other responds. Listen for yourself below. Summer Meza

5:15p.m.

It "certainly looks" like missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, President Trump said Thursday, and there will be "very severe" consequences if Saudi Arabia is responsible.

Trump's assertion puts him in line with many White House senior officials — attorney Rudy Giuliani told The Washington Post that many in the administration believe Khashoggi was murdered. Turkish officials have said they have proof Khashoggi, who disappeared after entering Turkey's Saudi consulate on Oct. 2, was murdered by Saudi operatives. U.S. intelligence is likewise reportedly leaning toward blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi's apparent death.

But Trump has largely avoided discussing Khashoggi's disappearance, urging the public to wait for a completed investigation. Reports suggest Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has pushed the president to avoid blaming bin Salman for Khashoggi's suspected death.

Khashoggi's disappearance was the subject of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit with bin Salman in Riyadh earlier this week. During their meeting, bin Salman apparently phoned Trump to say he had no knowledge of what happened in the Saudi consulate. Trump on Wednesday said he will wait "for some results" before making a "very strong statement" regarding who was responsible for Khashoggi's death. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:09p.m.

U.S. immigration agencies are so overloaded with the influx of arriving migrants that they're housing detainees in Arizona motels, The New York Times reported Thursday.

A record 16,658 migrants were apprehended by Border Patrol in September, in part due to the skyrocketing number of people arriving at the southern border, and in part due to the Trump administration's effort to detain and prosecute a higher proportion of migrants.

"So many people are crossing the border — for the first time ever, we're putting them up in hotels,” Teresa Cavendish, director of operations for the nonprofit group Catholic Community Services told the Times. “I've not seen this in all my years working on this effort.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement coordinated with the nonprofit to drop 140 migrants at a "seedy motel" between two highways in Tuscon, Times reporter Miriam Jordan explained. The motel was transformed into a makeshift migrant shelter, offering the same services to migrants that other detention facilities do. Most migrants, who arrived at the motel in unmarked ICE vans, only planned to stay for one or two nights, just until relatives in the U.S. could send them bus tickets elsewhere.

Migrant shelters have quickly reached capacity in recent weeks in Arizona, prompting churches and nonprofits to open their doors to travelers. Advocacy organizations say hundreds of detained immigrants have been released every week because of the shortage of space and beds. "At this stage, there is no telling when this will slow," said Cavendish. "It doesn't feel like it's going to go down any time soon." Read more at The New York Times. Summer Meza

4:20p.m.

President Trump undeniably dominates Twitter. But when it comes to Facebook and Instagram, Democrats are running the game.

So far this election cycle, Democrats are drawing in far more shares, comments, and likes than Republicans on the two platforms, analysis from The New York Times found. Yet in some of the the closest Senate and gubernatorial races, Republicans tend to end up on top.

Across a 30-day period, Democrats running for the House, Senate, and governors' seats got a combined 15.1 million Facebook interactions to Republicans' 5.4 million, per the Times' analysis. Democrats running for Senate propelled that lead, drawing 10 million engagements to Republicans' 2.2 million. That's mostly thanks to a few superstar candidates — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) — who tallied 86 percent of Democratic Senate candidates' Facebook engagements. Instagram, meanwhile, tips even further in Democrats' favor.

But in a few Senate races that are down to the wire, Republicans have managed to topple Democrats' Facebook advantage. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) got 15,000 more Facebook likes, shares, and comments than her opponent, former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D), the Times shows. Blackburn leads Bredesen by an average of 6.5 points across polls, per RealClearPolitics. Tight Senate races in Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, and Arizona similarly saw Republicans on top. And in many of those same races, Republicans saw a 94 percent boost in Facebook engagement after Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's Senate testimonies.

The Times looked at more than 53,000 posts from nearly every Republican or Democrat running for the House, Senate, or a governor's seat to complete its analysis. Check out more data at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:00p.m.

Jared Kushner seems to think the mounting international tensions sparked by Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance will blow over.

President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser has urged him to stand by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, thinking the outrage sparked by the suspected murder of a Washington Post columnist "will pass," The New York Times reports.

Kushner reportedly pointed to other recent incidents that the public largely moved on from, such as when 40 children were killed in a Saudi-led airstrike last month. CNN reports that Kushner and the crown prince have a close relationship and have communicated privately on WhatsApp.

Saudi Arabia is considering placing blame for Khashoggi's suspected death on one of the crown prince's advisers, reports the Times. Officials will reportedly admit that bin Salman ordered General Ahmed al-Assiri to capture Khashoggi so he could be brought to Saudi Arabia for interrogation, but will say he didn't authorize Assiri to kill him. Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month to obtain a marriage document and has not been heard from since. The United States has reportedly been briefed on the Saudis' plans to blame Assiri.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the United States would give Saudi Arabia a few more days to complete its investigation, at which point they will examine the facts before deciding whether to respond. Read more at The New York Times. Brendan Morrow

2:33p.m.

Sexual abuse allegations in Pennsylvania's Catholic Church are now the subject of a federal investigation, two sources told The Associated Press on Thursday. The Department of Justice has reportedly subpoenaed the state's Catholic dioceses for confidential files regarding the allegations.

This reported investigation comes after an August grand jury report unearthed the names of more than 300 Pennsylvania priests accused of child sex abuse. The massive report soon triggered similar investigations in other states, including New York.

Pennsylvania's statute of limitations prevented further investigation into a number of the report's allegations, though two priests were charged after its release, AP notes. Under federal law, a number of sex abuse crimes, including sex abuse with a minor, have no statute of limitations. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:07p.m.

Up next for Netflix? Some really bad PR, apparently.

Netflix executives are "nervous" about an upcoming Wall Street Journal investigation into its company culture, NBC News reported Thursday. While no specifics about the forthcoming article have been revealed, Netflix evidently expects something similar to The New York Times' 2015 investigation into Amazon, which described a "bruising" and "punishing" workplace where employees openly weep on a regular basis and are encouraged to sabotage one another.

The Times' exposé on Amazon also alleged that some workers dealing with illnesses or personal tragedies were "edged out" and not given any recovery time. One woman said that while fighting breast cancer, she became in danger of being fired and was put on a performance review plan. Unsurprisingly, the company dealt with substantial fallout following the article's publication.

Now, Netflix employees have reportedly been told to brace for a "critical" article about its culture apparently along those lines. The article will arrive at a time when the streaming giant has been enjoying some great press and growth. The company earlier this week announced that it beat its subscriber estimate in the third quarter of 2018, sending its stock soaring after a disappointing second quarter, per CNN.

But depending on the contents of the article, it remains to be seen how long-lasting any effects might actually be. As NBC News points out, three years after that New York Times investigation into Amazon, LinkedIn still ranks it as the #1 most desirable company in America. Brendan Morrow

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