How Karamo Brown from ‘Queer Eye’ learned to love his bald head

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

This article is part of CNN Style’s new Beauty series “As We Are.”
Karamo Brown is something of a self-esteem guru. Whether giving motivational speeches, campaigning for mental health or life-coaching on hit makeover show “Queer Eye,” he has built a career on his seemingly infectious sense of confidence.

But as the TV star was dishing out lessons in self-love during the first and second seasons of the Netflix series, he was also battling his own insecurities — and using makeup to cover his receding hairline.

In his early 20s, Brown had realized that his hairline was “about to hit the road,” a moment that, he recalls, felt “nerve-wracking.”

“No longer was I going to be desired, no longer was anybody going to value me because my hairline was creeping away… As a young person, you’re not taught how to process that; you’re not taught how to (love) what naturally happens to you.”

“Our hair is such a personal thing to us,” he adds. “It’s how you present yourself to the world; it’s how you show your style… When I used to go to the barbershop, when I had my full head of hair, that was the moment that I felt the coolest, I felt the proudest, I felt the sexiest.”

Brown decided to completely shave his head after shooting the second season of "Queer Eye."

Brown decided to completely shave his head after shooting the second season of “Queer Eye.” Credit: Courtesy of Karamo Brown

As well as using makeup to give himself the appearance of hair, Brown also built a sizable hat collection. (“I was like, ‘Oh, if I’m going to go out in the gay community, then I need a cool hat to match my outfit so that no one’s questioning what’s underneath,’ he says.) The decision to completely shave off his hair after shooting “Queer Eye” season 2 was, he says, was a difficult one.

“I wish I could say I felt empowered, but I didn’t,” the 41-year-old explains. “I was nervous. I felt uncomfortable. I was like, ‘Are people in a judging me?'”

Hailing from Houston, Texas, Brown rose to prominence through “The Real World: Philadelphia,” before taking on various reality TV shows and hosting roles. In 2018, he joined “Queer Eye” as one of the “Fab Five,” alongside fashion specialist Tan France, food and wine expert Antoni Porowski, design guru Bobby Berk and stylist Jonathan Van Ness.

On the makeover show, Brown assumes the role of “culture expert,” a part-mentor, part-therapist who encourages contestants to look inside themselves, not to others, for validation. Accepting his baldness meant practicing what he preaches.

“Everyone immediately was like, ‘Oh, your head looks good. Oh, you look smooth. Oh, let me touch your head.’ I was like, ‘Hold on. I’m not going to do what I did before, which was validate myself through (others’) comments.’

“So, I went home and I was like, ‘OK, I have to fall in love with this… I spent an hour or two in my bathroom, just rubbing my head, feeling on my head like, ‘Oh, you’re smooth.’ And that’s how I fell in love with it.

“And that day forward, I was the happiest man I’ve ever been, because I was no longer hiding or trying to be something I’m not.”

Brown pictured with a full head of hair in his yearbook photo.

Brown pictured with a full head of hair in his yearbook photo. Credit: Courtesy of Karamo Brown

In 2020, Brown launched a skincare range for bald (and balding) men, Mantl. With products including a cleanser and moisturizer for face and scalp, the brand was designed to “empower men who embrace their baldness” and “leave behind the outdated ideas of masculinity,” he says.

“We shouldn’t be saying to each other, ‘Look at your hair, that’s what’s going to make you beautiful. We say, ‘Look at you, because you are beautiful.'”

“My biggest goal is to make sure that people feel good (and) look good in their skin,” he adds. “It’s about helping men and women know that, yes, this is happening, but you can still love yourself and you still are beautiful.”

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An 11-year-old girl was shot and killed by a stray bullet in the Bronx, police say

The girl was shot in the abdomen when a man on a scooter attempted to shoot another person running down the street, NYPD Assistant Chief Philip Rivera said at a news conference. A bullet struck the young girl instead of the intended target, he said.

The girl was taken to the hospital in critical condition but later died from her injuries, police said.

At the time of the shooting around 4:50 p.m. Monday, two men on an electric scooter were chasing another man down Fox Street, Rivera said. The man riding on the back of the scooter fired at the man fleeing on foot and instead fatally struck the young girl, he said.

Police are looking for the shooter, as well as the man driving the scooter and the intended target of the bullet, Rivera said. NYPD released surveillance footage of the suspects and are asking the public for any information related to the crime.

“This is very, very difficult for us to accept,” Deputy Chief Timothy McCormack said at the news conference. “This is the second child that’s shot in this borough this year. An 11-month-old and now and 11-year-old. It is troubling that this is happening in our society today.”

The shooting comes as New York City is grappling with a 41% increase in overall major crime so far in 2022 compared to the same period last year, NYPD crime statistics show.
There have been more than 520 shooting victims in the city so far this year, the NYPD statistics show.
The victims include an 11-month-old girl who was shot in the face by a stray bullet in the Bronx in January while sitting with her mother in a parked car.
Last month, the city was wracked by a mass shooting in which a gunman fired more than 30 shots in a crowded subway car, shooting 10 commuters and causing 19 others to be injured in the ensuing panic, according to police.
At the beginning of the year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled an ambitious plan to combat gun violence in the city, which included initiatives to increase patrol officer presence on the streets, combat the flow of guns into the city and encourage prosecutors to move forward with gun charges more quickly.

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Baby formula manufacturer Abbott agrees to consent decree with FDA, could restart plant within 2 weeks, pending court approval

If a court approves the agreement, the company says, it could restart the site within two weeks. It would first resume the production of its specialty metabolic formulas EleCare and Alimentum, followed by Similac and other formulas.

After Abbott restarts the site, it will take six to eight weeks for the products to reach store shelves, it said.

The Justice Department said Monday that it had filed the proposed consent decree in federal court.

Abbott said it submitted a corrective action the FDA on April 8. But even before this formal response, it had been working on improvements, including reviewing and updating education, training and safety procedures for employees and visitors and updating protocols regarding water, cleaning and maintenance procedures at the facility.

Additionally, Abbott said it immediately took actions to address the items that the FDA raised at the conclusion of its inspection.

“Our number one priority is getting infants and families the high-quality formulas they need, and this is a major step toward re-opening our Sturgis facility so we can ease the nationwide formula shortage. We look forward to working with the FDA to quickly and safely re-open the facility,” Abbott Chairman and CEO Robert B. Ford said in a news release. “We know millions of parents and caregivers depend on us and we’re deeply sorry that our voluntary recall worsened the nationwide formula shortage. We will work hard to re-earn the trust that moms, dads and caregivers have placed in our formulas for more than 50 years.”

On hold for 72 minutes and apologetic customer service representatives: Testing out resources from the Biden administration's new website for parents looking for baby formula
During an inspection that spanned multiple dates in January, February and March, FDA investigators found Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria in several areas inside the plant.

Additionally, the FDA’s review of company records found that Abbott had detected Cronobacter bacteria in finished formula batches produced in 2019 and 2020.

In preliminary findings, the FDA reported that Abbott did not establish a system of process controls covering all stages of processing to prevent contamination of formula with microoganisms and that all surfaces that touched the infant formula were maintained to prevent contamination.

In the end, however, testing by the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the genetic sequences of the Cronobacter samples from inside the plant did not match any of the bacteria isolated from the sick children or the formula inside their homes, so there was no link found to the Sturgis facility.

Genetic samples from sick babies also did not match each other, suggesting that there was no link between their cases, Abbott said in its news release. Cronobacter bacteria is commonly found in the environment.

Additionally, Abbott said, no baby formula distributed to consumers tested positive for Cronobacter or Salmonella.

“Our safety and quality processes meet even the toughest scrutiny and we’re committed to continuously improving our processes and protocols,” Ford said. “Nutrition is fundamental to Abbott and to our goal of improving the lives of more than 3 billion people by decade’s end. We intend to set the standard for the industry, raising the bar on both safety and quality.”

CNN’s Laura Smitherman contributed to this report.

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Buffalo supermarket shooting: Social media posts reveal suspected mass shooter spent months planning racist attack

Alleged gunman Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, New York, shared on the chat app Discord and online forum 4chan that he selected a particular ZIP code in Buffalo because it had the highest percentage of a Black population close enough to where he lived. Police and other officials have described the mass shooting as a hate crime.

In his posts, the suspect said he visited the Tops Friendly Market three times on March 8 to survey the layout as well as at the times of the day when there were the most customers. He planned his attack for mid-March, the posts say, but delayed the date several times.

The alleged gunman was taken into custody in the immediate aftermath and is under suicide watch after pleading not guilty to a first-degree murder charge, according to authorities.

  • Suspect visited supermarket day before attack: Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the suspect was at the Tops Friendly Market the day prior to the shooting “doing reconnaissance.” He was also there in early March, Gramaglia said.
  • Attack would have continued elsewhere had suspect not been stopped: The suspect had other “target locations” down the street, according to Erie County Sheriff John Garcia. Authorities found another rifle and a shotgun in his vehicle, said Garcia, who credited the quick arrival of two police officers with preventing other attacks.
  • Writing seen on suspect’s firearms: CNN has obtained a photo of two of the firearms inside the alleged gunman’s vehicle that were not used in the shooting. Writing is seen on the weapons, including the phrase “White Lives Matter” as well as what appears to be the name of a victim of a crime committed by a Black suspect.
  • Video shows gunman apologizing, sparing one person’s life: Video obtained by CNN and filmed during the shooting shows the gunman turning his weapon on a man who is curled up on the ground near what looks like a checkout lane. The man shouts, “No,” and the shooter then says “Sorry,” turns and walks away. The video ends at this point and it is unknown what happened next. It’s not clear why the man was apparently spared or why the gunman apologized.
  • Family has not visited suspect in jail: Investigators have spoken to the suspect’s family and described them as “distraught” and “sickened” by what happened, Sheriff Garcia said. The alleged shooter has met with his legal team while in custody, he said, but there have been no family requests to visit the shooter.
  • Federal charges may apply in shooting: Federal prosecutors are working to bring charges against the suspect in the coming days, law enforcement officials say, and would be in addition to state charges. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Saturday said the Justice Department was investigating the attack as a “hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.”
  • Presidential visit on Tuesday: President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are scheduled to visit Buffalo Tuesday and meet with the families of the shooting victims, first responders and community leaders.
Investigators work the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo on Monday, May 16, 2022.

Racist beliefs shared in rant allegedly from suspect

Since the shooting, officials have looked at what they say was the suspect’s racist intent and his history.

“We continue to investigate this case as a hate crime, a federal hate crime, and as a crime perpetrated by a racially motivated, violent extremist,” Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI Buffalo field office, said Sunday at a news conference.

The massacre follows other mass shootings in recent years in which authorities say a White supremacist suspect was motivated by racial hatred, including in El Paso, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina, and as far as Norway and New Zealand.
DHS chief Mayorkas says it's 'virtually impossible' to monitor all hate online
In a 180-page diatribe linked to the suspect, he said he subscribed to a “great replacement” theory, or the false belief that White Americans are being “replaced” by people of other races. Once a fringe idea, replacement theory has recently become a talking point for Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson as well as other prominent conservatives.
A year ago, the suspect landed on the radar of police as a student at Susquehanna Valley High School, officials said.

He made an “ominous” reference to murder-suicide through a virtual learning platform in June, the Susquehanna Valley Central School District said Monday. Though the threat was not specific and did not involve other students, the instructor immediately informed an administrator who escalated the matter to New York State Police, a spokesperson told CNN, adding the law limits what more school officials can say.

Community mourns loved ones lost

The 10 people killed on Saturday ranged in age from 32 to 86, police said, among them a former police officer who tried to stop the gunman and a number of people doing their regular grocery shopping. Of the 13 people shot, authorities say, 11 were Black.
The sadness and frustration were still palpable among many who came to the supermarket to pay respects and show their support.
'We didn't have much, and you took what was left'

“We are a community in Buffalo. If you are a Black and Brown person, you knew someone impacted,” said Phylicia Dove, a local business owner and activist. “This is the impact of White supremacy. This was not a case of mental health, this is someone who targeted an impoverished community heavily concentrated with poor Black people, and caught us in our most vulnerable moment.”

“I feel more insulted than anything,” resident Darius Morgan told CNN. Born and raised in Buffalo, Morgan said of the gunman, “How dare you come in here? How dare you take this from us? We grew up here, this is our home, and they came in and destroyed it.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced $2.8 million in funding for the victims and their families, according to a statement from her office. GoFundMe has also compiled a list of verified fundraisers dedicated to helping in the wake of the tragedy.

CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Nicki Brown, Laura Ly, Jenn Selva, Victor Blackwell, Amanda Watts, David Williams, Jamiel Lynch, Shimon Prokupecz, Evan Perez, Eric Levenson, Holly Yan, Steve Almasy and Jon Passantino contributed to this report.

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Indian couple sue their only son for not giving them grandchildren

New Delhi

A couple in India are suing their son and daughter-in-law – for not giving them grandchildren after six years of marriage.

Sadhana and Sanjeev Prasad, who live in Haridwar, a city in northern Uttarakhand state, filed a petition this month seeking 50 million Indian rupees (about $643,000) in damages from their son, 35, and his wife, 31.

In the petition, viewed by CNN, the couple claim they spent about 20 million Indian rupees (about $257,000) raising their son, who is an only child.

“They raised him, educated him, made him capable, made him a pilot – which was expensive,” said the couple’s legal representative, Arvind Srivastava, on Monday.

“They see people in their neighborhood playing with their grandchildren and feel like they should also have one.

“They said they didn’t marry (their son and daughter-in-law) off so that they can live alone … So they said that in the next year, either give us a grandchild or give us compensation.”

Srivastava said that as the couple ages, “there is no-one to take care of them,” and that “all parents wish to be grandparents one day.”

CNN has not been able to contact the couple’s son and daughter-in-law, and it’s not clear if they have secured legal representation. A procedural hearing for the case is scheduled for Tuesday.

According to the petition, the Prasads also bought a car for their son and daughter-in-law, and paid for their honeymoon.

The lawsuit primarily targets the son and daughter-in-law – but the petition also lists complaints against the daughter-in-law’s family.

Though this kind of lawsuit is rare, the topic of familial obligation has long been controversial in India, where carrying on the family line and caring for elderly parents and in-laws is often seen as a filial duty.

It’s also sometimes a legal duty: parents can claim a monthly allowance from their adult children under a federal law that seeks to protect parents and senior citizens who may not be able to take care of themselves.

A number of related cases have made headlines in India in recent years, such as a family dispute over monthly allowances in 2020 that culminated in a Supreme Court judge telling the sons involved, “Don’t forget, you are everything because of (your father).”

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May 16, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

A wounded service member of Ukrainian forces from the besieged Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol is transported on a stretcher out of a bus, which arrived under escort of the pro-Russian militart in Novoazovsk, Ukraine, on Monday, May 16.
A wounded service member of Ukrainian forces from the besieged Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol is transported on a stretcher out of a bus, which arrived under escort of the pro-Russian militart in Novoazovsk, Ukraine, on Monday, May 16. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

It is early morning in Kyiv and a Ukrainian military base not far from the Poland border was targeted in a Russian missile attack.

If you’re just reading in, here’s what you need to know about the latest actions in the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian military base targeted: A Ukrainian military base about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the border with Poland was targeted in a Russian missile attack early Tuesday morning, according to information from Maksym Kozytsky, the head of the Lviv regional military administration. Kozytsky gave no further details in a late-night Telegram post, saying only that further information would be released in the morning.  

Combat mission fulfilled: Ukrainian forces said they have fulfilled their “combat mission” in the besieged city of Mariupol, in a new statement. “The ‘Mariupol’ garrison has fulfilled its combat mission,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in the statement. “The Supreme Military Command ordered the commanders of the units stationed at Azovstal to save the lives of their personnel,” the statement read.

The latest on the Azovstal steel plant: More than 260 people have been rescued from the besieged Azovstal plant — including 53 seriously wounded, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said. She said that “53 seriously injured people were evacuated from Azovstal to a medical facility in Novoazovsk [in territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic] for medical care.” “Another 211 people were taken to Olenivka through the humanitarian corridor. An exchange procedure will be carried out to return them home.”

Sweden and Finland announce efforts to join NATO: The Swedish government said on its website that it has decided to apply for NATO membership. Earlier Monday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Sweden should join NATO together with neighboring Finland to “ensure the safety of Swedish people.” Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he would not approve Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership if they sanction Turkey. And Russian President Vladimir Putin said Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO will not create a threat to Russia, but the “expansion of military infrastructure into this territory will certainly cause our response.” US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said on Monday that there’s “strong bipartisan support” in the US to help Finland become a member of NATO and that he thinks the US Congress will vote “as rapidly as possible” — likely before the chamber’s August recess — to support Finland’s application to join the alliance. 

Russian oil ban and sanctions: European Union leaders were unsuccessful in reaching unanimity on banning Russian oil during a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers, Josep Borrell, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, said Monday. Borrell said “unhappily” it was not possible to reach an agreement on a sixth sanctions package against Russia, telling reporters that “we are with the same difficulties about unanimity on the oil ban.” The EU has proposed banning all oil imports from Russia by the end of this year and removing the country’s biggest bank, Sberbank, from the SWIFT international payments network.

EU cuts growth forecasts and raises inflation outlook as impact of Ukraine war continues: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause European growth to slow and inflation to rise at a faster than expected rate, according to the latest EU Commission economic forecasts. It says that the war has caused commodity prices to rise, disrupted supply chains and increased uncertainty. The EU predicts that eurozone GDP will increase by 2.7% this year and 2.3% in 2023. That compares to previous forecasts of 4% and 2.8%. The EU Commission also says inflation in the eurozone is projected to increase to 6.1% in 2022. It is then predicting the rate to drop off sharply to 2.7% in 2023. In its winter forecasts, the EU was forecasting inflation of 3.5% in 2022 and 1.7% in 2023.

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Are Republicans about to blow the Pennsylvania Senate race?

The Senate minority leader has spent the entire 2022 election telling anyone who will listen that a) Republicans should win back the majority this fall and b) the easiest way to blow it is to nominate candidates who can’t appeal to general election voters.

That quartet were Republican nominees for Senate in 2010 and 2012. They all won primaries fueled by tea party outrage but ultimately lost general elections because they proved unable to expand their appeal beyond the GOP base.

And now, McConnell may we watching it happen all over again.

With just hours to go before the Pennsylvania primary, it’s clear that Kathy Barnette, a little known conservative, is a real threat to beat TV doctor Mehmet Oz and wealthy businessman David McCormick for the Republican nomination in a state seen as critical to the party’s majority hopes.

Barnette has not been vetted in anything close to the way Oz and McCormick have and, in truth, it may be too late to stop her momentum. In just the last few days, a series of Islamaphobic tweets from Barnette have come to light as have questions about her military service.
“It’s the job of the media to do the vetting,” Barnette told Steve Bannon on Monday. “And they’ve been derelict in their duty like they are derelict in so many other things. It’s not my job. It’s not my fault that they didn’t vet me.”

(In truth, if Barnette wins, the campaigns of Oz and McCormick will kick themselves for not seeing her as a threat early enough.)

If Barnette wins, at least one prominent Republican — not named Mitch McConnell — thinks the party will be in deep trouble in November.

“Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats,” said former President Donald Trump late last week. “She has many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted.”

If Barnette winds up as the nominee, you can bet you will be seeing that quote again — in TV ads.

The Point: Republicans can’t say Mitch McConnell didn’t warn them.

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US Air Force tests troubled hypersonic missile

The Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon was successfully released from a B-52H bomber off the coast of Southern California on Saturday and attained hypersonic speeds, the Air Force announced on Monday, without releasing any more details about the test itself, such as the duration of the flight or its altitude.

“This was a major accomplishment by the ARRW team, for the weapon enterprise, and our Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, the Air Force’s program executive officer for weapons.

The ARRW is a hypersonic weapon that uses a booster rocket to accelerate the missile to speeds in excess of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. A hypersonic glide vehicle then separates from the booster and glides at high speed toward its target.

The Air Force has struggled with the testing of the AGM-183A ARRW in the past, and the program suffered three flight test failures before this latest success. Last month, the Air Force said that flight test anomalies had pushed back the schedule for the weapon’s completion. The first complete test of the missile and booster rocket was delayed until sometime in the next fiscal year, which begins in October.

One day before this test, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall acknowledged the problems that the ARRW program has encountered.

“The program has not been successful in research and development so far,” Kendall told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “We want to see proof of success before we make the decision about commitment to production, so we’re going to wait and see.”

The Pentagon has placed an increased emphasis on hypersonic weapons development after lawmakers became concerned that the US was falling behind the Chinese and Russian programs. Last year, China successfully tested a hypersonic weapon that orbited the globe before hitting its target. More recently, Russia became the first nation ever to use hypersonic weapons in war when it launched its Iskander and Kinzhal missiles at Ukraine. The Pentagon said that Russia has used between 10-12 hypersonic weapons since the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine.

In mid-March, the US successfully tested its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), but kept it quiet to avoid escalating tensions with Russia as President Joe Biden was about to visit Europe.

The HAWC was launched from a B-52 bomber off the west coast in the first successful test of the Lockheed Martin system. A booster engine accelerated the missile to high speed, at which point the air-breathing scramjet engine ignited and propelled the missile at hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 and above.

The test came days after Russia says it used its own hypersonic missile during its invasion of Ukraine, claiming it targeted an ammunition warehouse in western Ukraine.

Even with the increased focus on hypersonic weapons, the Air Force secretary urged a note of caution about their importance.

“What we want to look at is what’s the most cost effective mix of weapons,” Kendall told lawmakers. “There is certainly a role for hypersonics in that, and we need to invest in that and procure them in some quantities, but there’s still an open question in my mind about what’s the most cost effective mix.”

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North Carolina primary election: Major outside spending boosts Trump-backed Budd

A Budd victory would deliver the former President another key win during the busy month of May primaries — and in a state Trump carried twice during his presidential bids. But despite Trump’s early support for the congressman over former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker, which came as a surprise announcement at last year’s state GOP convention, Budd struggled to break out from the pack until the final months of the race.

Budd has had substantial help from the Club for Growth, which has backed him since his 2016 primary for the US House, when the group helped him emerge victorious from a 17-person primary. In this cycle’s Senate race, the Club’s super PAC has spent more than any other group on either side of the aisle, dropping just under $12 million in ads to attack McCrory and Walker.

All of that spending has made the North Carolina race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr one of the most expensive of the cycle — and it has worked to the benefit of Budd.

“People make a lot of the Trump endorsement, but the Club for Growth money was more significant. A Trump endorsement opens the door to Trump base voters, but it doesn’t seal the deal,” said Doug Heye, a longtime Republican operative who is from North Carolina. “The Club’s spending built up Budd’s name ID and undercut McCrory, who has struggled to develop a working message the entire campaign.”

The North Carolina Senate race is one of the few races this cycle where Trump and the Club are aligned after a notable spat in Ohio and a more recent split in Pennsylvania. Trump’s candidate prevailed over the Club-backed candidate in Ohio’s GOP Senate primary earlier this month, while the Club-backed candidate is giving the Trump-backed candidate a run for his money in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary on Tuesday.

After a slow fundraising start, Budd caught up with McCrory, who entered the North Carolina race with establishment support. Heading into the final weeks of the primary, Budd had narrowly eclipsed McCrory in total money raised, and his campaign has spent $2 million on ads compared to McCrory’s $1.69 million. A pro-McCrory super PAC, Carolina Senate Fund, has spent just over $1 million, far below the Club’s big investment.

The former governor, who lost reelection in 2016 at the same time Trump carried the state, has failed to capitalize on that aforementioned establishment support, and was unable to find an effective attack on Budd. In March, McCrory released a TV ad criticizing Budd for past votes against bringing voting against a bill to bring sanctions against Russia and accusing Budd of praising Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

“While Ukrainians bled and died,” McCrory said in a voiceover, “Congressman Budd excused their killer.” As noted in a CNN Fact Check, the ad misleadingly omits comments in which Budd sharply criticized Putin.

The Club’s super PAC responded with an ad blasting McCrory as a liberal and highlighting clips of Budd criticizing Putin.

The flap over Putin did little to change the trajectory of Budd’s slow and steady rise in private and public polls. Nor did the persistence of Walker, the former congressman seen as a rival with Budd for the most conservative votes in the primary. Walker resisted calls for him to drop out following Trump’s endorsement of his former colleague, but he has not proven to be a major drag on Budd’s consolidation of conservative support. Army veteran Marjorie Eastman has raised significantly less money but could still siphon off some votes from the leading men in the race.

The winning candidate only needs to surpass 30% of the vote to avoid a runoff election.

The winner of the Republican primary will likely face Democrat Cheri Beasley, the former chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, in the general election. Beasley has been the frontrunner for the nomination since two of her most formidable rivals dropped out and endorsed her.

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DHS chief Mayorkas says it’s ‘virtually impossible’ to monitor all hate online

Asked if DHS should have caught the 180-page racist screed posted online and attributed to the suspected gunman, Mayorkas said: “No, because are we monitoring every expression of hate on the internet and social media? That would be virtually impossible.”
Instead, Mayorkas argued the question is whether an individual who has been encountered by the mental health system should be able to purchase guns. State police had previously taken in the 18-year-old suspect — who allegedly shot and killed 10 people on Saturday — for a mental health evaluation following a “generalized threat” while he attended Susquehanna Valley Central High School, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said over the weekend.

“We have to equip people in communities to identify signs of mental health issues and especially if those signs are coupled with expressions of intent or interest in committing acts of violence,” Mayorkas said.

The Department of Homeland Security has participated in calls with the Justice Department and the broader law enforcement community in the wake of the Buffalo attack. “What law enforcement wants to see from us is as real-time, actionable information as we can provide with respect to the threat landscape. What do we know?” the secretary told CNN.

“We have a vantage point that a local law enforcement agency would not have. We understand the national picture,” he added. “They want us to push that information out as quickly as possible and provide as fulsome of information set as we can.”

Mayorkas told CNN earlier Monday that the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, but declined to call it a domestic terrorist attack. “With respect to the tragic events of this past Saturday, it is being investigated, as the FBI articulated, as a hate crime,” Mayorkas told CNN’s Jeremy Diamond. “The term domestic terrorism is a legal term, and because the investigation is ongoing, I won’t — I won’t employ that term.”

Federal prosecutors are working to bring charges against the shooting suspect, law enforcement officials said. Those charges are expected in the coming days, and would be in addition to state charges. The suspect was charged with first-degree murder Saturday. He has pleaded not guilty.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Saturday said the Justice Department was investigating the attack as a “hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.”

Title 42 remains uncertain

Mayorkas’ remarks on the Buffalo shooting Monday evening came as he traveled to the Texas-Mexico border amid uncertainty over the future of a Trump-era pandemic restriction, known as Title 42. The public health authority, which allows officials to turn migrants away at the US-Mexico border, is set to end on May 23 but an ongoing lawsuit may thwart those plans.

The department has been actively preparing for a potential surge in migrants when the authority lifts. Those plans also require coordination with partners to the south.

“It has to involve countries to the south of our border. It cannot be the United States alone at its border. It has to involve a regional solution to what is a regional challenge,” Mayorkas said.

DHS is working to strike migration agreements with “many” countries, though those arrangements might vary by country. The US has already struck agreements with Costa Rica and Panama.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, meanwhile, has fiercely criticized the administration over its handling of the border, launching his own operation along the state’s shared border with Mexico and busing migrants released from custody to Washington, DC. Abbott is among a slew of Republican governors who have pushed back on the administration’s immigration policies.

Asked whether DHS can collaborate with GOP governors amid the pushback, Mayorkas told CNN, “We have collaborated with state and local leaders of both parties. It is unhelpful when actions are taken outside of a collaborative environment.”

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