Thursday News: Nine months late


ROBERT PITTENGER ANGRY BECAUSE HIS INCOMPETENCE IS POINTED OUT: Cooper requested $929 million in aid from the federal government’s latest funding bill in April. Congress approved $8.2 billion for emergency and disaster relief as part of the $1 trillion spending deal, but HUD awarded North Carolina only $6.1 million – less than 1 percent of Cooper’s request – setting off a minor partisan squabble in what has been a largely bipartisan effort to deliver dollars for North Carolina. Cooper, a Democrat, called it “an incredible failure by the Trump administration and congressional leaders to turn their backs.” “Shame on the governor,” said Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger, whose district includes Robeson County and the majority of Cumberland and Bladen counties. “(Cooper) threw us under the bus like we weren’t doing our job.”

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN HAS PARTICULARLY AGGRESSIVE BRAIN TUMOR: Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee with a well-known maverick streak that often vexes his GOP colleagues, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, his office said in a statement Wednesday. The 80-year-old lawmaker has glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, where McCain had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday. "Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot," his office said in a statement. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, more than 12,000 people a year are diagnosed with glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive type of tumor. The American Cancer Society puts the five-year survival rate for patients over 55 at about 4 percent.

TRUMP DOG-WHISTLES RABID CONSERVATIVES TO VOTE OUT GOP SENATORS WHO OPPOSED TRUMPCARE: At the lunch, the president also threatened electoral consequences for senators who oppose him, suggesting that Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., could lose his re-election bid next year if he doesn't back the effort. The president also invited conservative opposition against anyone else who stands in the way. "Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you're fine with Obamacare," Trump proclaimed. Trump's remarks injected a new level of turmoil into the GOP, potentially setting up Senate Republicans to take the blame with angry conservatives for failing to fulfill a long-standing GOP vow.

TRUMP JR AND OTHERS CALLED TO TESTIFY IN SENATE NEXT WEEK OVER RUSSIA MEETING: Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort have been scheduled to testify before the Senate judiciary committee on July 26, the panel announced Wednesday. President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is also expected to appear before the Senate intelligence committee on Monday. A source told CNN Kushner's testimony would be behind closed doors. The interest in Trump Jr. and Manafort builds on already intensive congressional investigations. In June 2016, the President's eldest son agreed to meet with someone described as a "Russian government attorney" after receiving an email offering him "very high level and sensitive information" that would "incriminate" Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to emails Trump Jr. publicly released last week. Manafort and Kushner attended that June 16 meeting.

ROY COOPER OVER THE HUMP WITH 53% APPROVAL RATING: Gov. Roy Cooper’s approval rating has increased to 53 percent in an opinion poll released Tuesday by Morning Consult, a Washington-based media company that ranked governors’ popularity after polling 195,000 registered voters across the country. The poll found that 28 percent of North Carolina registered voters disapprove of Cooper, and 20 percent said they had no opinion. Morning Consult released a similar poll last week of U.S. senators’ approval ratings. In North Carolina, Sen. Thom Tillis had a 41 percent approval rating (with 31 percent disapproving) and Sen. Richard Burr had a 45 percent approval rating (with 32 percent disapproving), a 4-point increase for Burr from the previous Morning Consult survey earlier this year.