Grim dossier claim spurs speculation about possible Russian rubout

A bombshell revelation made public Tuesday that "somebody's already been killed" as a result of the publication of an unconfirmed anti-Trump dossier has sparked speculation that it was a reference to an ex-KGB agent mysteriously found dead in his car a year ago in Moscow.

Iranian FM in Russia for talks on nuclear deal, Syria

MOSCOW (AP) - Iran's foreign minister is visiting Moscow for talks focusing on the future of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and the situation in Syria, where both nations support President Bashar Assad.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized the need for close cooperation to safeguard the nuclear ...

Maryland governor to propose term limits for legislators

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he will propose term limits for state legislators.

The Republican governor made the announcement Tuesday, a day before lawmakers gather for their annual 90-day legislative session.

Hogan's proposal would limit state lawmakers to two consecutive four-year terms. The governor is making ...

Senate Democrats slam Trump with report on Russian meddling

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hammered President Trump in a new report that claims his administration "has largely ignored" the ongoing threat of Russian meddling designed to undermine democracies across the Western world.

"President Trump is squandering an opportunity to lead America's allies and partners to build a ...

J.D. Vance Is Now Seriously Considering Running For Senate In Ohio

J.D. Vance (second from right)

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

J.D. Vance is now seriously considering a US Senate campaign in Ohio and discussing the prospect with Republicans in Washington, following overtures from party donors and leaders who believe he would be their best candidate.

The author of the best-selling memoir Hillbilly Elegy previously had ruled out a bid. But Josh Mandel, who had been the frontrunner in the GOP primary, dropped out last week, citing a health issue involving his wife. His surprise decision has shaken up the race.

“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing since Friday,” said Jai Chabria, an adviser to Vance who joined Vance in Washington this week for meetings with those encouraging his candidacy.

“The amount of support for J.D. Vance is incredible,” Chabria told BuzzFeed News. “People are starting to realize he has the best message to beat [Democratic incumbent] Sherrod Brown. J.D. is giving serious consideration toward this, because there are very serious people asking him to run.”

Ohio Republicans are interested in Vance, too. Several close allies of Gov. John Kasich, who has ruled out a Senate bid, were urging him to run last year, before Vance initially announced he would not be a candidate. With Mandel now out of the picture, a Draft J.D. Vance website appeared Monday, not long after allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed that McConnell had spoken with Vance in recent days and was very high on his potential candidacy.

Another name in the mix is US Rep. Jim Renacci, who is running for governor but has received encouragement to move into the Senate race. Renacci, though, has made his Senate candidacy contingent on a blessing from President Donald Trump, who has yet to weigh in on the race.

"If the president would call, I would consider it, because I would need his help really at this late part of the game," Renacci said Tuesday during an interview with Cleveland radio station WTAM. "But again, my commitment is still to try and change the state of Ohio, and if I can do that in a Senate seat with the backing of the president because he wants me to do it, I would clearly consider it only at that time."

It’s not certain the call from Trump will come in time for Renacci to switch gears for a Feb. 7 filing deadline. The White House has not responded to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, self-funding investment banker Mike Gibbons, who had emerged as Mandel’s strongest primary challenger, remains in the race and is working to convince GOP activists that he would be the party’s best option against Brown in the fall. He has pledged another $5 million to his campaign, and on Wednesday he announced endorsements from a slate of conservative leaders, including two who had served as county chairs for Mandel’s campaign.

Hillbilly Elegy was seen as key to understanding the Appalachian and white working-class voters who carried Trump to the White House. He recently returned to his native Ohio to promote a public policy agenda, fueling speculation about his political future.

Vance, who voted for independent Evan McMullin for president in 2016, has been critical of Trump at times — and that could make his GOP path tricky in a state Trump won.

"He used rhetoric that's not in the best interest of the party or country," Vance said in a 2016 interview with "I happen to think that conservatism, when properly applied to the 21st Century, could actually help everybody. And the message of Trump's campaign was obviously not super-appealing to Latino Americans, black Americans and so forth. That really bothered me. "

Mike Biundo, a strategist for Gibbons, emphasized Vance's past criticism of Trump in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

"Mike Gibbons was a co-chair for President Trump in Ohio and never wavered in his support for the president," Biundo said. "J.D. Vance effectively voted for Hillary Clinton when he voted against President Trump. There's only one candidate in the race who would support the president: Mike Gibbons."