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Kanye West’s presidential bid bolstered by Republican operatives in at least five states

One elector trying to get rapper Kanye West on the presidential ballot in Wisconsin is married to a former chairwoman of a Republican county committee and was photographed with President Trump at his inaugural.

In Arkansas, a Republican operative who signed West’s ballot petition was at one point interviewed to be Trump’s campaign manager for his 2016 bid.

And West’s ballot petition in Ohio was signed by a lawyer who has previously represented state Republican campaign committees.

West’s presidential effort has largely sputtered since he formally filed to run as an independent candidate representing the ‘‘Birthday Party’’ in July. He has held just one campaign rally last month in North Charleston, S.C., where he appeared onstage wearing a bulletproof vest and broke down in tears, prompting his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to post messages on Instagram asking for the public’s ‘‘compassion and empathy’’ as he struggles with bipolar disorder.

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But in at least five states, Republican activists and operatives — including some who have publicly supported Trump and a lawyer who has worked for his 2020 campaign — have been involved with efforts to try to get the rapper on the November ballot, according to an examination by The Washington Post of public filings and social media posts. Their involvement raises the specter that his candidacy is being propped up by a GOP-driven effort to siphon votes from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Trump told reporters this past week he had ‘‘nothing to do’’ with helping West get on the ballot but added that he likes West ‘‘very much.’’

Jason Miller, a senior campaign adviser, also said the Trump campaign was not involved in helping West get on the ballot.

But rather than discouraging the effort to put another competitor on the ballot, Miller added that he believes West’s efforts on behalf of prison sentencing reform have been ‘‘admirable.’’

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Washington Post

Pelosi: Election threats from Russia, China aren’t equal

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday the threats of interference in the US presidential election from Russia and China are not equal, pointing to a more serious risk with Moscow’s efforts to boost President Trump’s reelection bid.

“They’re not equivalent,” said Pelosi, a California Democrat. “Russia is actively 24/7 interfering in our election. They did so in 2016, and they are doing so now.” She urged intelligence agencies to “put more information out there” on the specific nature of the threats.

An intelligence report last week said Russia was already using a “range of measures” to undercut Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, and promote Trump with misinformation on social media. The statement Friday by William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, also said that China does not want Trump to win a second term and has accelerated its criticism of the White House, and that Iran is also hoping Trump will lose.

Pelosi said trying to equate China and Russia on the threat of foreign election interference doesn’t tell the story.

“The Chinese, they said, prefer Biden — we don’t know that, but that’s what they’re saying, but they’re not really getting involved in the presidential election,” she said.

Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, said Sunday that the United States is taking any threat to US elections seriously. He said that China has engaged in cyberattacks and phishing “with respect to our election infrastructure.”

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Associated Press

Biden vows to block Alaska mine project if elected

JUNEAU, Alaska — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Sunday that if he’s elected, his administration would stop a proposed copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.

“It is no place for a mine,” the former vice president said in a statement to news media. “The Obama-Biden Administration reached that conclusion when we ran a rigorous, science-based process in 2014, and it is still true today.”

The Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama administration proposed restricting development in the Bristol Bay region but never finalized the restrictions. The agency retains the option to invoke that so-called veto process again if it decides to do so.

The mine would be built near headwaters of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. Conservation and local tribal groups say they fear the mine will devastate the fishery.

Biden said the salmon fishery is an economic powerhouse that should be protected for Alaska Natives and fishermen, according to The Anchorage Daily News.

An environmental review released by the Army Corps of Engineers last month — and assailed by critics as deficient — stated that under normal operations, the alternatives it looked at “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”

Associated Press

Controversy puts spotlight on runoff in Georgia

DALLAS, Ga. — Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for Congress — and is unrepentant about her racist rhetoric and support for the QAnon conspiracy theory.

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With the runoff for the Republican nomination in the conservative district approaching, some voters seem unaware of Greene’s controversial views, or shrug it off.

Greene received the most votes in the June 9 Republican primary for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District but failed to win outright. She now faces fellow Republican John Cowan, a neurosurgeon, in a runoff election Tuesday for the open seat.

The district, which stretches from the outskirts of metro Atlanta to the largely rural northwest corner of the state, is heavily conservative, and the winner of the runoff is likely to earn a ticket to Washington.

Shortly after the initial primary, Politico revealed a series of videos where Greene, who is white, expresses racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim views. In one of the videos she claims there’s an “Islamic invasion” into government offices. In another, she says Black and Hispanic men are being held back by “gangs and dealing drugs,” later adding, “it’s not white people.” She also has touted an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros, who is Jewish, collaborated with the Nazis..

Associated Press