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The Latest: Cotton lays out broad vision in Iowa speech

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, May 19, 2017 10:42 pm

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa The Latest on Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton meeting with Republican activists in Iowa (all times local):

9:40 p.m.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton says he's not in Iowa laying the groundwork to run for president, but is touching on familiar themes of those who have.

Sure, he told about 100 Iowa Republicans at a fundraiser Friday night in Council Bluffs he "loves Iowa so much I married a woman born here," referring to his wife Anna, who was born in Sioux City.

But, besides the typical Iowa pandering, Cotton laid out a broader vision. He called for the national unity that followed the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Cotton, who was elected in 2014, noted Republican President Donald Trump's victory, but grouped it generally with GOP wins in November that he attributed to general dissatisfaction with Congress and the federal government.

Yet despite those wins, Cotton called on his audience to aspire to better days.

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7:30 p.m.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton says he hopes during upcoming testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that former FBI director James Comey "will produce memos he is alleged to have written" about exchanges with President Donald Trump.

Cotton was scheduled to headline the Pottawattamie County Republican Party's annual fundraiser Friday in Council Bluffs in conservative western Iowa.

The senator tells The Associated Press, "We will explore the interchanges he had with the president and the circumstances that led to his dismissal."

However, Cotton declined to say whether he agreed with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate any collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia's interference with the campaign.

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4:50 p.m.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton is meeting with Republican activists in the early presidential testing ground of Iowa, walking a delicate path by raising his national political profile at a time of turmoil for Donald Trump's White House.

The 40-year-old freshman Republican senator was scheduled to headline the Pottawattamie County Republican Party's annual fundraiser in Council Bluffs in conservative western Iowa. It's a role thick with presidential implications despite Trump's solid standing among Iowa Republicans less than four months into his term.

Trump's hosts were calling Cotton's appearance an opportunity for Republican activists to meet a potential future leader.

Trump departed Friday on his first overseas trip as president amid the shroud of a special counsel's investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election.

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