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Past US Headline News November 2018

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Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker continued to sit on the advisory board of a now-shuttered patent company after learning of multiple claims of fraud made against it by disgruntled customers, documents released Friday show. Whitaker advised World Patent Market, the Florida based company, beginning in 2014 and was often sought out for legal advice by its CEO, who would add Whitaker onto email chains where customers had complained, the documents show. The Federal Trade Commission has called the company "an invention-promotion scam that has bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars" in court filings. In May, World Patent Marketing agreed to pay a nearly $26 million judgment as part of a settlement agreement in the case. A judge has partially suspended that payment. According to internal communications released by the Federal Trade Commission on Friday, Whitaker was sent a handful of complaints from consumers who had reached out to him about the company.

U.S. law doesn’t allow the government to send asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait, seven legal experts tell HuffPost. President Donald Trump’s plan to make Central American asylum-seekers wait in Mexico while their cases move forward contains a fatal flaw, according to half a dozen experts interviewed by HuffPost: The obscure provision of immigration law underlying the plan specifically exempts immigrants from being forced to return to Mexico after applying for asylum. The White House is reportedly close to clinching a deal with Mexico’s incoming government to send asylum-seekers back across the southern U.S. border while their cases wind through America’s beleaguered immigration courts. But even if Mexico’s president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, supports the proposal, the “Remain in Mexico” plan is riddled with legal problems that cast doubt on its feasibility. The Trump administration’s apparent interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act is perhaps the most glaring.

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, who pleaded guilty in August to breaking campaign finance laws, made a surprise appearance in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday morning to plead guilty to a new criminal charge, the latest turn in the special counsel’s investigation of Mr. Trump and his inner circle. At the court hearing, Mr. Cohen admitted to making false statements to Congress about his efforts to pursue a Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. That real estate deal has been a focus of the special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives. In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Cohen played down the extent of his contact with the Kremlin about the potential project and made other false statements about the negotiations, which never led to a final deal. Mr. Cohen’s new guilty plea comes at a particularly perilous time for Mr. Trump, whose presidency has been threatened by Mr. Cohen’s statements to investigators. In recent days, the president and his lawyers have increased their attacks on the Justice Department and the special counsel’s office. The expected new guilty plea in Federal District Court marks the first time the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has charged Mr. Cohen. In exchange for pleading guilty and continuing to cooperate with Mr. Mueller, he may hope to receive a lighter sentence than he otherwise would. The move comes just two weeks before Mr. Cohen, 52, is scheduled to be sentenced for his earlier guilty plea. That case, which also included bank and tax crimes, was brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

Paul Manafort’s betrayal and double dealing against Robert Mueller and his special counsel team appears to be a desperate ploy designed to achieve a presidential pardon, which will fail, because Trump’s attorneys will advise him in ways similar to what I wrote here. I have long believed that the case for obstruction of justice involving efforts to impede the Mueller investigation is far stronger, based on publicly known evidence, than our public discussion would suggest. Additionally, I would assert that while a president can lawfully pardon almost anyone, for almost any crime, a pardon could also be crucial evidence in support of an obstruction of justice case, and potentially an additional count in an obstruction of justice case. If a pardon is offered to influence a witness in a criminal investigation, that pardon could indeed be a crime.  There has been evidence that earlier in the case, Trump’s lawyers discussed a pardon with Manafort’s lawyers. It has been reported as well that Trump’s former White House counsel, Donald McGahn, has spent many hours cooperating with Mueller and his team. Could McGahn have provided evidence about these alleged pardon discussions?

Newly released email shows the Russia truthers knew full well who supplied Wikileaks. They kept blaming a murdered staffer, even after his parents begged them to stop. Russian hackers weren’t the ones behind the theft of Democratic emails that upended the 2016 presidential race, conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi told his InfoWars fans last year. Instead, Corsi said, Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had stolen the emails and was murdered in revenge for the heist. But Corsi was lying. In an email to Trump confidante Roger Stone in 2016, Corsi acknowledged that in fact hackers were behind the email theft, according to newly released messages. Despite that admission, both Corsi and Stone played key roles promoting the conspiracy theory about Rich. Stone became one of the first major figures in Trump’s orbit to suggest Rich was murdered over the emails, tweeting on August 10, 2016 that Rich had “ties to DNC heist.” In 2017, after Rich’s parents begged right-wing media personalities to stop pushing conspiracy theories about their son, Corsi put the blame for the email theft on Rich in a three-part InfoWars series.

Furious over being denied a C.I.A. briefing on the killing of a Saudi journalist, senators from both parties spurned the Trump administration on Wednesday with a stinging vote to consider ending American military support for the Saudi-backed war in Yemen. The Senate voted 63 to 37 to bring to the floor a measure to limit presidential war powers in Yemen. It was the strongest signal yet that Republican and Democratic senators alike remain vehemently skeptical of the administration’s insistence that the Saudi crown prince cannot, with certainty, be blamed for the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While the vote showed widespread disapproval of the administration’s stance, it did not necessarily indicate that the measure would ultimately be approved.

Escalating his attacks on the special counsel investigation, President Trump said on Wednesday that a presidential pardon for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is “not off the table,” casting him and other subjects of the inquiry as victims of prosecutorial abuse. Although Mr. Trump had not discussed a pardon for Mr. Manafort, “I wouldn’t take it off the table,” he said in an Oval Office interview with The New York Post. “Why would I take it off the table?” He said that prosecutors for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had poorly treated Mr. Manafort, who was convicted of eight felonies this summer and pleaded guilty to two more. Though Mr. Trump is given to loose promises that go unfulfilled, the suggestion of a pardon was nonetheless remarkable. It came as his rhetorical attacks on Mr. Mueller have grown increasingly provocative — the president tweeted on Wednesday that prosecutors were “viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief” — and as leading Republican senators again thwarted an effort to protect Mr. Mueller from being fired.

An associate of the former Trump campaign adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. released documents on Tuesday showing that as the presidential campaign heated up in the summer of 2016, Mr. Stone tried to dispatch him to find out what information WikiLeaks had that could prove damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The associate, Jerome Corsi, said in an interview that he might be indicted on a charge of lying to federal investigators because he told them that he refused Mr. Stone’s request when in fact he passed it on to an intermediary. He said he had refused a plea deal offered by the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, because he did not intentionally lie, but merely forgot events of more than two years ago. Mr. Corsi’s dealings with Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors have caused alarm among the president’s legal team, who were informed of developments by Mr. Corsi’s lawyer. President Trump’s lawyers were especially troubled by a draft statement of offense against Mr. Corsi that was passed on to them, according to people familiar with the situation. In it, prosecutors claimed that Mr. Corsi understood that Mr. Stone was “in regular contact with senior members of the Trump campaign, including with then-candidate Donald J. Trump” when he asked Mr. Corsi in late July 2016 to “get to” Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

Sen. Chris Coons on Wednesday accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of protecting the president by blocking a vote on legislation that would shield special counsel Robert Mueller from White House interference. Asked directly on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe" whether McConnell (R-Ky.) was trying to protect the president, Coons (D-Del.) quickly replied "yes," citing support for legislation to shield Mueller from Senate Republicans across the ideological spectrum, including Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Calls to codify protections for Mueller and his investigation into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign have taken on more urgency this month after the president fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him on an acting basis with Matt Whitaker, who has criticized the Mueller investigation in the past.

President Donald Trump fumes against special counsel Robert Mueller in a tweet storm, claiming his probe of Russian interference is "ruining lives." Trump's attack echoes the salvos against the investigation recently launched by right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, who claimed a day earlier that he has rejected a plea deal offered by Mueller. The attacks also highlight lingering questions about the possibility of Trump granting pardons to some of the special counsel's targets — a notion the president's own lawyer appeared to entertain Tuesday.

President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter said there was “no intent to circumvent” with her use of private email for government business. Ivanka Trump spoke out on the controversy surrounding her use of private email for government business, claiming there’s “no equivalency” between what she did and the Hillary Clinton email scandal. “There really is no equivalency,” Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and a senior White House adviser, said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that aired Wednesday. She continued: “All of my emails that relate to any form of government work, which is mainly scheduling and logistics ... are all part of the public record. Everything’s been preserved.”

A lawyer for Paul Manafort, the president’s onetime campaign chairman, repeatedly briefed President Trump’s lawyers on his client’s discussions with federal investigators after Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel, according to one of Trump’s lawyers and two other people familiar with the conversations. The arrangement was highly unusual and inflamed tensions with Mueller’s office when prosecutors discovered it after Manafort began cooperating two months ago, the people said. Some legal specialists speculated it was a bid by Manafort for a presidential pardon even as he worked with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in hopes of a lighter sentence. Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of the president’s personal lawyers, acknowledged the arrangement on Tuesday and defended it as a source of valuable insights into the special counsel’s inquiry and where it was headed. Such information could help shape a legal defense strategy, and it also appeared to give Trump and his legal advisers ammunition in their public relations effort against the special counsel’s office. For example, Giuliani said, Manafort’s lawyer Kevin M. Downing told him that prosecutors hammered away at whether the president knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting where Russians promised to deliver damaging information on Hillary Clinton to his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. The president has long denied knowing about the meeting in advance. “He wants Manafort to incriminate Trump,” Giuliani declared of Mueller.

An independent autopsy conducted on the body of a transgender woman who died in ICE custody in May in New Mexico concluded that she likely died as the result of severe dehydration complicated by HIV infection but also found evidence she had been beaten. The body of 33-year-old Roxsana Hernandez Rodriguez, who was HIV positive when taken into ICE custody, showed deep bruising on the left and right sides of her chest that was not evident externally, according to the independent autopsy conducted on behalf of her family. The autopsy also found deep contusions on the left and right sides of her upper back. The "blunt force trauma of lateral thoracic walls and posterior thorax (are) indicative of blows, and/or kicks, and possible strikes with blunt object," according to the autopsy report.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has been investigating a meeting between former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in Quito in 2017 and has specifically asked if WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, were discussed in the meeting, a source with personal knowledge of the matter tells CNN. In November 2017, The Associated Press reported that Moreno publicly acknowledged meeting with Manafort and a group of Chinese businessmen who wanted to privatize the country's electric corporation. Moreno said the proposal was rejected. Earlier Tuesday, The Guardian reported that Manafort secretly met several times with Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, including around the time he was made a top figure in the Trump campaign. The Guardian, citing sources, said Manafort met with Assange in 2013, 2015 and in the spring of 2016. Both WikiLeaks and Manafort feature prominently in Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. In a court filing on Monday, Mueller accused Manafort of lying to investigators after agreeing to cooperate with the special counsel's office.

Trump ally met WikiLeaks founder months before emails hacked by Russia were published. Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told. Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House. It is unclear why Manafort would have wanted to see Assange and what was discussed. But the last apparent meeting is likely to come under scrutiny and could interest Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. A well-placed source has told the Guardian that Manafort went to see Assange around March 2016. Months later WikiLeaks released a stash of Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence officers.

It is unclear whether Adam Waldman’s 2017 visits had connection to Oleg Deripaska. A longtime US lobbyist for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska visited Julian Assange nine times at the Ecuadorian embassy in London last year, according to visitor logs seen by the Guardian. Adam Waldman, who has worked as a Washington lobbyist for the metals tycoon since 2009, had more meetings with Assange in 2017 than almost anyone else, the records show. It is not clear why Waldman went to the WikiLeaks founder or whether the meetings had any connection to the Russian billionaire, who is now subject to US sanctions. But the disclosure is likely to raise further questions about the extent and nature of Assange’s alleged ties to Russia.

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, repeatedly lied to federal investigators in breach of a plea agreement he signed two months ago, the special counsel’s office said in a court filing late on Monday. Mr. Manafort’s “crimes and lies” during a series of interviews with prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and the F.B.I. relieve them of all promises they made to him in the plea agreement reached in mid-September, investigators wrote in the filing. Defense lawyers disagreed. Mr. Manafort has been truthful with the special counsel’s office and has abided by the agreement, they argued in the same status report to Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Given the impasse between the two sides, Mr. Manafort asked that Judge Jackson set a sentencing date. The dramatic development in the 11th hour of Mr. Manafort’s case means, at a minimum, that prosecutors will not ask for a lighter punishment in return for his cooperation. They could also conceivably seek to refile bank fraud charges that they agreed to dismiss as part of the plea agreement.

General Motors Co said on Monday it will cut production of slow-selling models and slash its North American workforce in the face of a declining market for traditional gas-powered sedans, shifting more investment to electric and autonomous vehicles.

Corsi says he had forgotten "almost everything about emails in 2016" when he first spoke to Mueller's office about his contact with Julian Assange. Jerome Corsi, an ally of Roger Stone, says special counsel Robert Mueller offered him a plea deal  on one count of perjury related to statements about his contact with  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Corsi says he plans to reject the  deal. "They want me to say I willfully lied. I did not intentionally lie to (the) special counsel," Corsi told NBC News. Corsi  said he initially told Mueller's team in early September that he had no  recollection of being in communication with Assange in the lead-up to  WikiLeaks releasing thousands of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton  campaign chairman John Podesta. But Corsi said he amended his testimony  in a November interview after Mueller's investigators presented him with  a binder of his emails from 2016.

Ivanka Trump, who allegedly used a personal email account to send  hundreds of messages to White House officials last year, warned about  the dangers of such correspondence in her own 2009 book—noting at the  time that “there’s no hiding from what you’ve written.” “People  are so incredibly slapdash with their electronic messages, as if they  were some modern version of smoke signals that can disappear without a  trace,” Trump wrote. The Washington Post reported Monday that the president’s daughter had, throughout 2017, talked about White House business  using a personal email account from a domain she shared with her  husband, Jared Kushner. The newspaper reported advisors to the president  had been alarmed because of his many attacks on Hillary Clinton for  seemingly similar practices. “My friend Andrew Cuomo...tells me  that email is the key to prosecuting just about everyone these days,”  Trump wrote in 2009, referencing the current governor of New York. In the book, titled The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work,  she wrote email “can be retrieved in perpetuity so there’s no hiding  from what you’ve written in haste or just hoping it goes away.” Scans of  the book, available online, were highlighted in a report this week by  Raw Story.

Questions posed by two prominent Republicans over why Ivanka Trump  used a private email account for government business shows the dangers  ahead for the family of the U.S. president, it was reported. The  request for information by Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and South  Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy over the Ivanka case suggested that  parts of the GOP could be turning against the president and his  family, according to the The New York Times. The Washington Post reported that  the president’s daughter had used a personal email account throughout  2017 to send hundreds of messages to White House officials. Johnson, who chairs the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, requested information over whether Ivanka Trump had received any training in compliance "under the Presidential Records Act."

President Donald Trump's recent comments about "Obama judges" who ruled against him captured headlines and even drew scrutiny from the chief Supreme Court justice, but judges appointed by Democrats aren't the only to rule against the Trump administration. The president this week argued the 9th District Court of Appeals consistently rules against the policies of his administration, calling it a "disgrace." He blamed the loses on "Obama judges," a reference to those who were appointed by former president Barack Obama. A war of words broke out between Trump and Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts Wednesday over the president's angry comments about judges who rule against him. Roberts, in a rare rebuke of a sitting president, said the country doesn't have "Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges."

The military is leaving the southern border, and the caravan hasn’t even arrived yet. The Pentagon is set to begin a drawdown of its 5,800 troops from the Southwest border as early as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told POLITICO today—even as the approaching caravan of refugees prompted U.S. customs officers to close a port of entry near Tijuana, Mexico. All the active-duty troops that President Donald Trump ordered sent to the border before the midterm elections should be home by Christmas, said Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, who is running the mission from San Antonio, Texas. In other words, the president spent millions in taxpayer dollars on a stunt that failed completely. Despite the withdrawal, Trump insisted on Sunday that the U.S. is basically under siege, tweeting “the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it,” saying that the caravan “causing crime and big problems in Mexico” and directing the migrants, who we’re sure are checking social media right now to “Go home!”

A state judge ruled on Friday that a lawsuit by the New York State attorney general could proceed against President Trump and the Trump Foundation over allegations of misused charitable assets, self-dealing and campaign finance violations during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Trump’s lawyers had argued that the court did not have jurisdiction over Mr. Trump, as president, and that the statutes of limitations had expired in the case of some of the actions at issue. They also contended the attorney general’s office suffered from a “pervasive bias” against Mr. Trump. In her 27-page ruling, Justice Saliann Scarpulla disagreed. “I find I have jurisdiction over Mr. Trump,” she wrote.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly been investigating Stone for months. Jerome Corsi, a conservative conspiracy theorist associated with Roger Stone, is negotiating a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, The Washington Post reported Friday citing an unnamed person with knowledge of the talks. NBC News confirmed that negotiations are in progress. The talks could help Mueller and his team determine whether President Donald Trump or anyone working on his campaign coordinated with WikiLeaks in the 2016 hack on Democratic National Committee emails to boost the Trump campaign. No deal has been finalized, however, and talks could still fall apart. Corsi has previously said that he met with Mueller’s team for 40 hours’ worth of interview sessions and expects an indictment that could land him in prison for the rest of his life.

Black Friday deals could become less appealing after 2018 because of incoming tariffs from President Donald Trump's trade war with China. 2018 has not seen widespread price increases of consumer goods because the tariffs are not all in place yet, and their effects do not immediately filter down to consumers. By this time next year, however, the full effects are likely to be felt. "It's almost like this year and next year are two different worlds," one retail head said. Major outlets have said publicly that their prices are likely to go up soon. This year could be the last truly cheap Black Friday as long as President Donald Trump maintains his trade war with China. Increased tariffs on Chinese goods so far have not been widely felt by the typical US consumer, and this Black Friday has seen another onslaught of deals. But by this time next year, the consequences of measure including 25% tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods will have made their way to store shelves and hampered retailers' ability to offer rock-bottom prices.

President Trump in an early-morning tweet the day after Thanksgiving demanded funding for a wall at the Southern border as part of a "major border security package." "Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will include funding for the Wall," Trump wrote from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will include funding for the Wall. After 40 years of talk, it is finally time for action. Fix the Border, for once and for all, NOW!

The House Judiciary Committee has issued subpoenas for James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, and Loretta E. Lynch, the former attorney general, as part of an investigation into their handling of inquiries into Hillary Clinton’s email server and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The subpoenas, issued on Wednesday by Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, the committee’s chairman and a Republican, require Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch to appear in closed-door sessions with members of Mr. Goodlatte’s committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Mr. Comey has been called to appear on Dec. 3, and Ms. Lynch a day later. On Twitter, Mr. Comey objected to the format that Republicans are demanding for the interview. “I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions,” he said. “But I will resist a ‘closed door’ thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see.” - Republicans refused to ask hard questions or issue subpoenas to people related to Trump and Russian interference in to our elections but have no problems issuing subpoenas for a closed case.

President Donald Trump struck a nakedly political tone during a Thanksgiving call with US service members stationed around the world as he steered the conversation toward controversial political topics. Speaking with a US general in Afghanistan, Trump likened the fight against terrorists to his efforts to prevent a group of migrants from illegally entering the United States, and he assailed federal judges who have ruled against his administration. The President also pressed the commanding officer of a Coast Guard ship in Bahrain on trade before touting his trade policies and arguing that "every nation in the world is taking advantage of us. US Presidents have traditionally called troops stationed abroad during the holidays to boost morale and remind the country of their service, making Trump's rhetoric yet another striking break from the norms of presidential behavior. After the call wrapped, Trump entertained more than two dozen questions from reporters and once again discredited a CIA assessment about the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "This was, sadly, predictable and avoidable," said retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, a CNN military and diplomatic analyst. "The President's conduct on that call, the manner in which he politicized it, demonstrated an utter and complete disregard for what military service means."

In a rare moment of direct criticism, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rebuked President Trump on Wednesday for the president's description of a federal judge who ruled against his asylum policy as "an Obama judge." Within hours, the president fired back on Twitter, launching an unusual conflict between the executive and judicial branches. "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts said in a statement. "What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them." "That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for," Roberts said. Roberts has never responded to any president so directly and publicly before. "Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have 'Obama judges,' and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country," tweeted Trump.

Former White House counsel John Dean—one of the central figures during the Watergate scandal—has suggested that President Donald Trump’s behavior may be worse than that of disgraced former President Richard Nixon. Dean made his comments following reports that Trump had pressured the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute former FBI director James Comey and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Speaking on CNN, host John Berman suggested to Dean that such a plan was “the definition of Nixonian.” According to a Tuesday report in The New York Times, Trump’s efforts to prosecute two of his most prominent adversaries received pushback from White House counsel Don McGahn, who left his post last month.

President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation. The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment. The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. It took on additional significance in recent weeks when Mr. McGahn left the White House and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting attorney general. - Donald J. Trump is the one who needs to be investigated he is a crook, a con man, a liar and possible a Russian asset.

"Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" the president said of whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew of the journalist's slaying. President Donald Trump, in exclamation point-filled formal presidential statement, said Tuesday that his administration would stand by Saudi Arabia's rulers and take no actions against them over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In the extraordinary statement, which featured six exclamation points from the president, Trump called the "crime" against Khashoggi "terrible" and "one that our country does not condone." But he again stopped well short of pointing blame at Saudi Arabia — despite NBC News and other reports last week that the CIA concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's killing — and cast questions over who killed the journalist.

All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday. The 5,800 troops who were rushed to the southwest border amid President Donald Trump’s pre-election warnings about a refugee caravan will start coming home as early as this week — just as some of those migrants are beginning to arrive. Democrats and Republicans have criticized the deployment as a ploy by the president to use active-duty military forces as a prop to try to stem Republican losses in this month’s midterm elections. – Donald J. Trump used our troops as a prop he said we were under attack before the elections now that the election are over is the attack over or was it just another Trump lie to get his supports riled up?

For years, I helped write President Obama's jokes for the White House Correspondents' Dinner. I spent weeks worrying about what the President would say. But I also worried about what the night's headliner, a professional comedian, would say about us. Over the last six decades some of America's best-known entertainers -- Bob Hope, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Paula Poundstone, Jay Leno, Wanda Sykes, and many more -- have taken the mic just steps from the commander in chief. I can't I say I looked forward to President Obama (and his team) being made fun of in public. Neither, I imagine, did President Nixon's staff, or President Reagan's, or President Bush's. But if you're the president, getting roasted once a year comes with the territory. It's tradition. Or at least, it was tradition. On Monday, after complaints from the Trump administration, the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) announced that its headliner for April 27, 2019, will be historian Ron Chernow. - Donald J. Trump cannot take the heat like all bullies he can dish it out but cannot take it when it is aimed at him.

Faced with a Washington Post report that Ivanka Trump had regularly used a private email account to conduct government business in 2017, the explanation from her side went like this: She didn't know that was wrong! I'm not kidding. Here's the key snippet from the Post story (bolding mine): "Some aides were startled by the volume of Ivanka Trump's personal emails — and taken aback by her response when questioned about the practice. She said she was not familiar with some details of the rules, according to people with knowledge of her reaction." Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump lawyer Abbe Lowell, said something similar in a statement following the Post story. (Again, bolding is mine.) "While transitioning into government, until the White House provided her the same guidance they had to others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family," Mirijanian said.

CNN's Jim Acosta has returned to his post at the White House following a court ruling that forced the Trump administration to reinstate his press pass. Now President Trump is vowing to create "rules and regulations" for how White House reporters act. He says "you have to practice decorum" at the White House. "It's not a big deal," Trump told Fox News in an interview on Friday. "What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct, etcetera. We're going to write them up. It's not a big deal. If he misbehaves, we'll throw him out or we'll stop the news conference." Friday's ruling by federal judge Timothy J. Kelly was an initial victory for CNN in its lawsuit against Trump and several top aides. The suit alleges that CNN and Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights were violated by last week's suspension of his press pass. Kelly did not rule on the underlying case on Friday. But he granted CNN's request for a temporary restraining order on Fifth Amendment grounds. And he said he believes that CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail in the case overall.

The Justice Department inadvertently named Julian Assange in a court filing in an unrelated case that suggests prosecutors have prepared charges against the WikiLeaks founder under seal. As CBS News correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti reports, Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London -- in large part out of fear that if he leaves he'll be extradited to the U.S., and this latest revelation could be an indication that his fear is well founded. Assange's name appears twice in an August court filing from a federal prosecutor in Virginia, who was attempting to keep sealed a separate case involving a man accused of coercing a minor for sex. Any charges against Assange could help illuminate whether Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. It would also suggest that, after years of internal wrangling within the Justice Department, prosecutors have decided to take a more aggressive tact against the secret-sharing website. The Washington Post reported late Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, that Assange had indeed been charged. CBS News has not been able to confirm that.

The U.S. military’s deployment to the southern border seems to have climaxed, more than a week after the midterm elections and long before the bulk of the Central American migrant caravan is expected to arrive at the U.S. border with Mexico. The mission once dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot (but not anymore) is scheduled to run for another month, which the commander in charge, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, described as a “hard date.” He also told Reuters that he has no “indications that CBP is going to need us to do our work for longer than that.” He also said that he thought troop levels had reached their peak and that while “we might increase by a hundred here or there,” they probably wouldn’t. About 6,000 troops are deployed at the border in California, Arizona, and Texas.

He has no idea what he’s doing, but what else is new? In some ways, the friendliest Donald Trump interviews are the most revealing. Given the opportunity to ramble and free-associate without any pushback whatsoever, you can see what channels his mind naturally follows. His latest interview with the Daily Caller shows a president who’s fundamentally out to sea. The sycophantic interviewers can’t get Trump to answer a policy question of any kind, no matter how much of a softball they lob at him. The only subjects he is actually interested in talking about are his deranged belief in his incredible popularity and how that popularity is not reflected in actual vote totals because he’s the victim of a vast voter fraud conspiracy. It’s the kind of thing that would be a bit sad if it were just your elderly uncle ranting about his past glories, but Trump mixes it in with authoritarian asides and the fundamental reality that whether he cares to do the actual job or not, he is ultimately the president of the United States.

The president was unusually specific in his attacks against the special counsel. With his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team this week, and with his son, Donald Trump Jr., speculating that he himself will soon be indicted, President Donald Trump apparently couldn’t contain himself anymore. “The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess,” he tweeted on Thursday morning. “They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts.” He added, without providing evidence, that Mueller’s team was “screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want,” and called the investigators “thugs,” “a disgrace to our Nation,” and “highly conflicted.”

President Trump announces the 'First Step Act,' a bipartisan criminal justice reform plan that would lead to a change in sentencing recommendations. Trump said the bill includes reasonable sentencing reforms and keeps dangerous and violent criminals off the streets. "Today I'm thrilled to announce my support for this bipartisan bill that will make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time, so important," Trump said Wednesday.

Vice President Pence and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat next to each other and chatted briefly at the East Asia Summit in Singapore, in a conversation that also included National Security Advisor John Bolton. Pence and Putin "discussed the upcoming G20 Summit and touched on the issues that will be discussed when President Trump and President Putin are both in Argentina for the summit," according to the vice president's press secretary, Alyssa Farah. The G20 Summit will be held in Buenos Aires at the end of November. The Pence-Putin encounter drew attention in part because of the renewed rivalry between the two Cold War foes — a complicated relationship that includes U.S. charges of Russian interference in its elections.

Donald Trump Jr.'s business trip to India will cost U.S. taxpayers almost $100,000 in fees related to the Secret Service agents guarding him and other costs, The Washington Post reports. Documents The Post obtained through the Freedom of Information Act showed that the trip cost over $97,805 for hotel rooms, airfare, car rental and overtime for Secret Service agents across the weeklong trip in February. The Post did not specify if the cost was unusual when it comes to protecting members of presidential families abroad.

“Such an ironic Op-Ed title coming from you @senatemajldr - don’t you think?” Democrat Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot who captured headlines earlier this year for her attempts to unseat Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), said on Twitter. Such an ironic Op-Ed title coming from you @senatemajldr - don’t you think? https://t.co/RFJVeRp6z4 — Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) November 13, 2018. Remember all the times when @SenateGOP acted in a bipartisan way over Merrick Garland? Or ever?” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said on Twitter. Pocan was referring to the Republican refusal to hold a confirmation hearing for former President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Remember all the times when @SenateGOP acted in a bipartisan way over Merrick Garland? Or ever? Me neither. https://t.co/8ew8zVDPue — Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) November 13, 2018. "Perfect. Let’s invest in infrastructure, reduce Rx drug costs & take care of Dreamers. *All things Trump says he supports," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) also said on Twitter in response to McConnell's op-ed. "But are you still the obstructor who in 2010 said 'The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.'" he asked. Swalwell was referring to remarks the Republican made in 2010 when he said that defeating Obama was his highest political goal. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he said then. He also said in 2016 he wished Republicans “would have been able to obstruct more” parts of Obama’s agenda while in office.

More than 12,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in Arkansas have lost coverage for not complying with the state’s work requirements, according to data released by the state on Thursday. In the past month alone, 3,815 beneficiaries lost coverage for failing to meet the work requirements for three straight months. Arkansas began phasing in work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries in August. In the three months the requirements have been in effect, 12,128 people were removed from Medicaid and are locked out until Jan. 1. In addition, there are 6,002 people with two strikes against them who are at risk for losing coverage next month. Arkansas became the first state ever to implement work requirements, after gaining approval from the Trump administration earlier this year. Under the rules, which took effect in June, recipients must work, go to school, volunteer or search for jobs for at least 80 hours a month or be stripped of their coverage until the following year.

A political clobbering, bickering aides and now a public grenade launched across the White House by the first lady have placed President Donald Trump in a position he loathes: backed into a corner. A week after standing in the East Room and declaring victory in the midterm elections, the President is isolated and growing more furious by the day. He's openly speculating about replacing more members of his Cabinet, though so far has stopped short of executing the dismissals, leaving those aides in a career purgatory. At an election night party at the White House, Trump left attendees guessing when he was spotted in a huddle with a potential replacement for his chief of staff, John Kelly, who himself stood awkwardly in a corner. "Yes, he's pissed -- at damn near everyone," a White House official said, noting the mood in the Oval Office is darker than normal this week. After nearly a month straight of campaigning before adoring crowds, the applause has gone silent and the President has retreated. The tempest has led to rampant speculation inside the building about the fates of other senior staffers, some of whom are beginning to plan their exits.

Donald Trump said Wednesday that one of his great achievements as president is lowering the media's favorability among Americans, claiming a victory in his crusade against what he considers unfair press coverage at the same time that CNN is suing his administration to restore one of its reporter's revoked White House credentials. The president, in an interview with the Daily Caller on Wednesday, said he believes Americans are starting to see many media outlets — Trump named CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC — as "fake news." – Donald J. Trump dislikes facts and attacks real news while prompting the fake news and alternative facts promoted by on Fox and the right wing.

Facebook said Thursday that it had ended its relationship with a Washington-based consulting firm, Definers Public Affairs, which spread disparaging information about the social network’s critics and competitors. The move followed a New York Times article on Wednesday that described the kind of work that Definers did on Facebook’s behalf. Among other things, Definers worked to discredit activist protesters that were against Facebook, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tried to deflect criticism of the social network by pressing reporters to look into rivals like Google.

Facebook has gone on the attack as one scandal after another — Russian meddling, data sharing, hate speech — has led to a congressional and consumer backlash. Sheryl Sandberg was seething. Inside Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, top executives gathered in the glass-walled conference room of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. It was September 2017, more than a year after Facebook engineers discovered suspicious Russia-linked activity on its site, an early warning of the Kremlin campaign to disrupt the 2016 American election. Congressional and federal investigators were closing in on evidence that would implicate the company. Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled. Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.

Larissa Boyce was 10 when her coach, John Geddert, forced her legs into a split so hard she cried. He pulled her right leg up toward his torso, sending shooting pains through her groin and hamstrings, and he kept pulling. “Racking,” as it’s called, was common practice at the gym, but it was evidently too much for Larissa’s mother, who marched onto the mats and told Geddert to take his hands off her daughter. From then on, Larissa would train under Kathie Klages, a relatively low-key coach with unruly red hair and glasses at Michigan State University’s Spartan youth gymnastics team. Klages, like Geddert, considered herself a dear friend of an athletic trainer named Larry Nassar and sent her gymnasts to him.

White House Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel has left her post, following a high-profile row with US First Lady Melania Trump. A White House spokeswoman said Mrs Ricardel "departs the White House to transition to a new role within the administration". She did not elaborate. Mrs Trump this week said that Mrs Ricardel "no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House". The two reportedly feuded during a tour of Africa in October. The removal of Mrs Ricardel comes amid reports in US media that President Donald Trump is considering a shake-up in the White House West Wing. Mr Trump may be preparing to remove White House Chief of Staff John Kelly or Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the reports say.

A bipartisan effort to provide legal protections for special counsel Robert Mueller and his Russia investigation failed on the Senate floor Wednesday.  Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware attempted to force a vote on a bill that would prevent Mueller from being fired without “good cause.” Their efforts came in light of Jeff Sessions being forced out of his post as attorney general last week and the subsequent appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. In his new role, Whitaker takes Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s place as the lead overseer of the Russia probe. Sessions had previously recused himself of all Justice Department activity related to the investigation into Russian meddling. Now, lawmakers are concerned that Whitaker’s objectivity is compromised because of his vocal criticism before joining the administration. Flake and Coons sought unanimous consent from their Senate colleagues for the measure late Wednesday but that failed after an objection from Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. - Mitch McConnell is doing his part to protect Donald J. Trump by not allowing protection to be put place for the Mueller probe.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, has been arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence on Wednesday, police told ABC News.

The White House asserts that it can pick and choose which journalists are given a permanent pass to cover it, according to a court filing by the Justice Department on Wednesday. The filing was the government's legal response to CNN and Jim Acosta's lawsuit over the recent suspension of Acosta's press pass. Tuesday's lawsuit against President Trump and several of his top aides alleged that the ban violates CNN and Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights. Most of the country's major news organizations have sided with CNN through statements and plan to file friend-of-the-court briefs. But the Trump administration, in a sharp break with decades of tradition, is asserting that it has "broad discretion" to limit reporter access to White House buildings and events.

It's not your imagination: President Trump, who regularly makes a point of personally insulting public figures who challenge or displease him in any way, taps into an especially toxic well of vitriol when aiming his attacks at black Americans. This week alone, Trump berated CNN correspondent Abby Phillip ("What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions.") He said of April Ryan, a reporter and CNN contributor who has covered the White House for 21 years: "You talk about somebody that's a loser. She doesn't know what the hell she's doing." And at a post-election press conference, when Yamiche Alcindor of "PBS NewsHour" began to ask about accusations that his rhetoric may have emboldened violent white nationalist groups, Trump interrupted with, "I don't know why you say that. That is such a racist question." The three women -- all of them gifted, accomplished professionals -- will be covering politics long after Trump has left the White House. They join a long list of athletes, entertainers, journalists and politicians who Trump routinely attacks as "dumb," "not qualified" or some such insult. None of this is subtle or secret; that would defeat the purpose. For Trump, loudly and publicly denigrating black figures is the whole point. - Donald J. Trump is racist white nationalist who projects his weakness on to others.

“They are trying to steal this election. It’s not going to work." Republican lawmakers seem to be increasingly implying that voting counts is the same as stealing an election. On Friday, President Donald Trump said that there was “theft” in the Florida elections and “electoral corruption” in the Arizona elections, two other states where votes are still being counted. In Arizona, as of Friday night, Democratic candidate Krysten Sinema was leading her Republican opponent, Martha McSally, by more than 20,000 votes. Republican groups in Arizona filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the state’s process for counting mail-in ballots. - Republicans want to deprive some of their rights to vote. All votes should be counted otherwise you are depriving someone their right to have their vote counted.

Trump’s decision to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with a Trump loyalist has been widely decried, and even Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano says the move is illegal.

Fired FBI chief James Comey used his private Gmail account hundreds of times to conduct government business — and at least seven of those messages were deemed so sensitive by the Justice Department that they declined to release them. The former top G-man repeatedly claimed he only used his private account for “incidental” purposes and never for anything that was classified — and that appears to be true. But Justice acknowledged in response to a Freedom of Information request that Comey and his chief of staff discussed government business on about 1,200 pages of messages, 156 of which were obtained by The Post.

Under a different GOP president, Republicans likely would have kept the House. On Wednesday, Ezra Klein argued that the 2018 elections showed that Republicans are paying the “Trump tax,” suffering at the polls because they are attached to a president who is surprisingly unpopular given national political and economic conditions. I think this is right, but I wanted to expand a bit on what it means and try to put a “price” on that tax. The Trump tax is conceptually the difference between where President Trump’s approval ratings are and where a more typical Republican president’s would be given national conditions. A Vox analysis in 2016 suggested that Trump was running several points behind a generic Republican presidential nominee in that election.

Before being booted by Trump, Sessions limits consent decrees, making it harder to stop rampant police misconduct. In a final act before leaving the Trump administration, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed a memorandum on Wednesday restricting the ability of federal law enforcement officials from using "court-enforced agreements to overhaul local police departments accused of abuses and civil rights violations." As the New York Times first reported, the new memorandum, announced by the Justice Department Thursday, limits the use of what's commonly referred to as consent decrees, which are court-enforced deals between the Department of Justice and local governments, used by the Barack Obama administration more than a dozen times, to enact reform in some of the most notoriously violent and corrupt police departments.

In 2014, Whitaker was paid to advise a shady company. One that’s under investigation by a department he heads. The nation’s acting top law enforcement official was aligned with a company that is currently under investigation by the department he now oversees. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was paid $9,375 in 2014 by a Florida company called World Patent Marketing Inc. to serve in an advisory role, and, as a former U.S. attorney, vouch for the business’s general good standing. World Patent Marketing Inc. is now the subject of an ongoing criminal inquiry by the FBI, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. And as of Wednesday, Whitaker is serving as attorney general, a role that could give him ultimate oversight into that investigation.

It’s been a stratospheric rise. Over the course of 14 months, Matthew Whitaker has gone from being part of Washington’s right-wing political furniture to overseeing the Justice Department, if only for a maximum 210-day statutory limit. Whitaker, who once called for a special counsel investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use, is now President Trump’s choice to oversee the Russia probe. His time in the years before joining government show him raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in part by heading The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) from October 2014 to September 2017. The group devoted most of its time under Whitaker’s tenure to calling for investigations of Hillary Clinton and alleging ethical violations by other leading Democrats. The group’s most recent tax filing indicates Whitaker received a salary of $402,000 in 2016 as the group’s executive director, as it paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to conservative DC mainstays.

The Senate's top Republican expressed confidence Friday that the Russia investigation will be allowed to run its course, saying President Donald Trump has never signaled to him that special counsel Robert Mueller could be fired. Speaking to reporters in his home state, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also predicted that Matthew Whitaker's stint as acting attorney general will be short. McConnell said he thinks the president will "pretty quickly" send the Senate a nominee for a new attorney general. McConnell, a close Trump ally who said Friday that he talks frequently with the president, insisted that Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in 2016 is not under threat. - Everyday Trump attacks the Mueller investigation everyday Trump talks about firing everyone involve in the Muller investigation. Now Donald J. Trump has fired Jeff Sessions who could not protect him and put a flunky in place to oversee the Mueller investigation to protect his ass. Mitch McConnell is full of shit and needs to pull his head out of his ass.

Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence of president’s participation in transactions that violated campaign-finance laws.
As a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request. What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting. Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump. Less than a year later, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pecker to quash the story of a former Playboy model who said they’d had an affair. Mr. Pecker’s company soon paid $150,000 to the model, Karen McDougal, to keep her from speaking publicly about it. Mr. Trump later thanked Mr. Pecker for the assistance. The Trump Tower meeting and its aftermath are among several previously unreported instances in which Mr. Trump intervened directly to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters with women, according to interviews with three dozen people who have direct knowledge of the events or who have been briefed on them, as well as court papers, corporate records and other documents.

Sam Clovis, who was co-chair of Trump’s 2016 campaign, said Whitaker is “a dear friend.” President Donald Trump’s pick for acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, is a close friend of Trump’s 2016 election campaign co-chair, and a former government ethics chief said the friendship makes Whitaker unable to oversee impartially a politically charged investigation into the campaign. Matthew Whitaker, named on Wednesday to replace Jeff Sessions, will directly oversee Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible links between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials. Whitaker publicly criticized Mueller’s investigation before he was hired as Sessions’ chief of staff last year.

The Trump administration levied additional sanctions Thursday on Russia for human rights abuses and illegal economic activity in Crimea, just days before President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin head to Paris for a gathering of world leaders. The move is another example of the Trump administration's willingness to at times be tougher on Russia than the president's rhetoric suggests. Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Putin, even as Congress passed a bill last year to punish Russia for its involvement in the 2016 election and its invasion of Crimea.

China has been front-loading exports to the US ahead of a looming rise in tariffs in January. Chinese stocks tumbled Friday on trade-war fears and worries about a slowing Chinese economy. Experts are pessimistic about the outcome of a meeting between the two countries' presidents at the G20 summit later this month. Chinese exports to the US have risen this year as the country looks to get as many goods as possible off its shores before steeper tariffs arrive in January. "This growth is due to exporters' concern that the 10% tariffs on $200 billion of exported goods to the US will rise to 25% on 1 January 2019, which has led them to front-load exports," ING said in a report on Friday. Exports grew 15.6% year-on-year, up from an original consensus of 11.7% growth. Once those tariff hikes kick in, these figures are likely to weaken, ING said.

A federal appeals court in California has blocked the Trump administration from immediately terminating an Obama-era program protecting from deportation young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, ruled unanimously in favor of a lower court's preliminary injunction against the administration's attempt to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program allows about 700,000 young immigrants to stay and work in the United States. In January, U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request to keep DACA operational while its future was being litigated.

Sen. Graham attempts to defend his change of tune. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is attempting to explain his reversal on a 2017 threat that there would be “holy hell to pay” if President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Although Sessions got the boot this week, Graham vowed instead to work with Trump “to find a confirmable, worthy successor.” When confronted with his previous comments on Thursday, Graham chuckled. “When was that? What year?” he asked. “July of 2017,” Fox News host Martha MacCallum replied. “Things have changed.” Graham noted that he had altered his position months ago.

Whitaker linked to defunct 'scam' company. Matthew Whitaker, the acting US attorney general, was on the advisory board of a Florida company that was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission and served with a $26 million judgment earlier this year for what court documents called "a scam that has bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars." The company, World Patent Marketing, promised to help inventors get patents. Whitaker was named as an advisory board member in October 2014 and Federal Election Commission filings showed the company's owner donated $2,600 to Whitaker's campaign when he was running for the US Senate. A payment record also shows Whitaker was paid at least $9,375 by the company from October 2014 to February 2016, and was due to be paid an additional $7,500 in 2016 and 2017, but it is unclear whether he received that money.

The South Carolina senator once warned the president not to fire Jeff Sessions. Now, he’s singing a different tune. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) once vowed that there would be “holy hell to pay” if President Donald Trump ever fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Yet when Sessions got the boot on Wednesday ― his letter said he resigned at the president’s request ― Graham offered a different message. “I look forward to working with President Trump to find a confirmable, worthy successor so that we can start a new chapter at the Department of Justice and deal with both the opportunities and challenges our nation faces,” he said in a statement online.
 
Even though he survived his re-election bid, Nunes will no longer be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, so Nunes will lose his chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, and with it his ability to protect President Donald Trump. This is not inconsequential for Nunes. The California congressman rose from obscurity during the first two years of Trump's term by repeatedly carrying the president's water, even when that meant undermining his credibility as an ostensibly impartial overseer of the Trump-Russia investigation.

He said that 'as a former US Attorney, I would only align myself with a first class' business. The FTC said it took customers for over $25 million, with some losing 'life savings.' Our new acting attorney general was listed on the advisory board of a patent marketing company that federal authorities shut down as a fraudulent scheme that bilked aspiring inventors of millions of dollars and intimated that those who publicly complained might have to deal with a “security team” of Israeli ex-special forces operators schooled in Krav Maga.

Acting AG Matthew Whitaker ‘is on record as being more interested in propping up Trump than in upholding the rule of law,’ one Justice Department lawyer says. Acting Attorney General Mark Whitaker, named to head the Justice Department after Jeff Sessions was fired Wednesday, has a close relationship with President Trump and has expressed hostility toward special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe—which he may now oversee. “Whitaker is on record as being more interested in propping up Trump than in upholding the rule of law,” one DOJ trial attorney told The Daily Beast. “It’s hard to have confidence that he’ll do anything other than what the president had said in his tweets.”

White House sources said the A.G. didn’t leave voluntarily. Meanwhile, the president has put a loyalist in charge of the special counsel investigation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, a move that potentially threatens the independence of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president. In an op-ed last year, Whitaker called on Mueller “limit the scope of his investigation” into the president. He wrote that Mueller was “dangerously close to crossing” Trump’s self-declared “red line” of investigating Trump family finances.

In forcing out Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the president seems to want a lawman he can control. Robert Mueller, the special counsel, always knew he was running the Russia investigation on borrowed time. That time may have just run out on Wednesday afternoon, when President Trump ousted his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, less than 24 hours after Republicans lost their eight-year lock on the House of Representatives. So who’s going to protect Mr. Mueller now? The bad news is, well, pretty much everything else. Mr. Whitaker — who has been called the “eyes and ears” of the White House inside the Justice Department by John Kelly, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff — has expressed a Trumpian degree of hostility to the investigation he is now charged with overseeing. He has called it a “witch hunt” and, in its earliest months, wrote an opinion piece arguing that Mr. Mueller was coming “dangerously close” to crossing a “red line” by investigating the president’s finances. He has suggested there was nothing wrong in Mr. Trump’s 2017 firing of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, and he has supported the prosecution of Hillary Clinton. In an interview last year he described “a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.” In 2014, he headed the political campaign for Iowa state treasurer of Sam Clovis, who later became a Trump campaign aide and, more recently, a witness in the Russia investigation. Conflicts of interest like this are what led Mr. Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. That was the ethical thing to do, even if it sent Mr. Trump into a spiral of rage.

President Trump threatened Wednesday to retaliate with a “warlike posture” should the new Democratic House majority use its subpoena power to launch investigations into his administration, warning that any probes would jeopardize prospects for bipartisan deals. During a lengthy and at times combative White House news conference, Trump repeatedly praised Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who could reclaim the speaker’s gavel she lost eight years ago, and said his chances of striking agreements on legislation were greater with a divided government. Trump said that he would react aggressively to any attempt to look into possible corruption in his administration or investigate his personal finances or conduct in office, as Democratic leaders have said they are planning to do. He vowed to respond with “warlike posture” that would extinguish any hopes for bipartisan progress. - Donald J. Trump is running sacred he knows he is guilty of crimes against America he going to try to shut down any investigation to protect himself from investigation.

Trump repeatedly attacked Sessions, one of his earliest supporters, for recusing himself from Russia investigation. Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has been fired by Donald Trump, ending a long-running feud with the president over the Russia investigation. Sessions said in a letter to Trump on Wednesday: “At your request, I am submitting my resignation”. He took credit for reversing a recent rise in violent crime and for taking a hardline stance on illegal immigration and gangs. - Donald J. Trump is running sacred he knows he is guilty of crimes against America he going to try to shut down the Mueller investigation to protect himself from investigation.

"Apparently, Scott Walker gave billions in subsidies to a Tawainese company, so that it would despoil land in Wisconsin while paying Chinese workers to make iPhones." Wisconsin's Koch-funded Republican Gov. Scott Walker lavished the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn with over four billion in taxpayer subsidies last year in a deal that he claimed would create 13,000 jobs in the state, but that agreement is increasingly looking like a massive con-job amid new reports on Tuesday that Foxconn is planning to bring in Chinese workers to fill spots that the governor insisted would be filled by Wisconsinites. "If Foxconn has to import Chinese engineers to Wisconsin, that would be yet another insult to Wisconsin taxpayers," Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, told Common Dreams. "This is already The Great Disappearing Jobs Deal of recent U.S. history. It's also the biggest mega-subsidy deal ever given to a foreign-based company. How tone-deaf would it be if the best-paid jobs don't even go to Wisconsin taxpayers?"

For its last show before the midterm elections, "Saturday Night Live" took on a familiar target: Fox News.

In an interview with CNN's Kate Bolduan, Executive Director of the Georgia Democratic Party Rebecca DeHart called Republican gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp's accusation that the Democrats tried to hack the state's voter registration system an "egregious abuse of power."

NBC and Fox News said in separate statements on Monday that their networks will no longer air the Trump campaign's racist anti-immigrant advertisement.

Facebook has stopped the Trump campaign from running its racist anti-immigration commercial as an ad on the site.
"This ad violates Facebook's advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it. While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution," Facebook said in a statement Monday afternoon.

President Donald Trump is closing the 2018 campaign in a familiar key: Making barely-veiled racial attacks in hopes of driving a portion of his base to vote. In Indianapolis over the weekend, Trump, describing his presidential predecessor, said "Barack," then paused, then drew the letter "H" (for Obama's middle name "Hussein") in the air. Trump has talked about Obama lots and lots of times over the past two years, but it's only the weekend before the election that he decides to note Obama's middle name -- or middle initial -- in this way. Ask yourself why. And then give me one reason other than to remind voters that Obama's middle name is "Hussein." And then explain to me how reminding people that that is Obama's middle name isn't playing on racial animus? On Saturday in Florida, Trump said that Andrew Gillum, the African-American Democratic nominee for governor, was "not equipped" to do the job. "It's not for him," added Trump. Gilllum, who is the mayor of Tallahassee, spent more than a decade on that city's commission prior to ascending to his current post in 2015.  Trump has repeatedly insisted that Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is black, is "not qualified" for the job which she is seeking. Trump didn't elaborate, but it's unclear what he objected to in Abrams' resume; she is a graduate of Yale Law School and was minority leader of the Georgia state House prior to this bid. In a vacuum, you could write off these three incidents to the arguments lots of Republicans make when asked about Trump: He's an equal opportunity offender! He's said plenty of nasty things about white people, too! But we don't live in a vacuum. And the truth of Trump's life as a politician is that he has repeatedly shown a willingness to engage in the sort of racial dog-whistling -- and, sometimes, outright whistling -- that he knows motivates some portion of his base.

President Trump embarks Monday afternoon on a final three-state election swing that will close out an us-against-them midterm campaign built on dark themes of fear, anger, division, nationalism and racial animosity. The president’s thundering warnings about “left-wing mobs” and a migrant “invasion” have inflamed the passions of a country, energizing conservatives he hopes to mobilize to hang onto control of Congress while exasperating opponents who accuse him of fear-mongering and demagogy.

Minutes after the DOJ announced it will work to protect voting rights on Tuesday, the president blasted out what can only be read as an attempt to scare potential voters. Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place in Tuesday’s Election (or Early Voting). Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2018. The threat concluded an early-morning rant from the president about various Democratic senators running for re-election, and CNN, which Trump accused of being the true culprit in voter-suppression efforts. With the midterm vote less than 24 hours away,Trump’s warning and overtly hostile effort to protect the Republican-controlled House and Senate breaks from his own justice department, which—after weeks of scrutiny for its silence in light of various suppression efforts—is now publicly committed to a fair election.

As video of the smirking Bracamontes, who boasts that he would kill more police if he could, and scenes of Central American migrants appear, the ad pins all of the blame for the killings on Democrats. The ad concludes: “President Donald Trump and Republicans are making America safe again.” This narrative has a big problem: It’s false. Trump’s ad claims that Democrats let Bracamontes in and that they let him stay. But the reality is that he snuck over the border under both a Democratic (Clinton) and a Republican (Bush) and was deported under both presidents. He returned again when a Republican (Bush) was president. Then he remained in the country through Obama’s term — but it was a Republican local official who dropped the pending case. Pinning the blame on any political party for Bracamontes’s killing spree is a fool’s game. No one let him in, and no one let him stay; he kept sneaking back in and escaped notice until he murdered the police officers. The president earns Four Pinocchios

Disinformation in its purest form. President Donald Trump — perhaps feeling some heat in the lead-up to the midterm elections, in which his party is expecting heavy losses — told a pretty desperate lie Sunday. New Fox Poll shows a “40% Approval Rating by African Americans for President Trump, a record for Republicans.” Thank you, a great honor! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2018. One problem: There’s no such poll.

On Wednesday, minutes after President Trump posted an incendiary campaign ad falsely accusing Democrats of flooding the country with murderous illegal immigrants, virulent racists on an online message board erupted in celebration. “I love it. We should be making videos like this,” one said. Another approvingly compared the ad to “With Open Gates,” a viral 2015 video about the dangers of European immigration that drew praise from prominent neo-Nazis and white nationalists, and was broadly condemned by anti-hate groups. These posts, which appeared on the politics forum of 4chan, an online message board known for hosting extreme speech and graphic imagery, were not a one-off. In recent weeks, as Mr. Trump and his allies have waged a fear-based campaign to drive Republican voters to the polls for the midterm elections on Tuesday, far-right internet communities have been buoyed as their once-fringe views have been given oxygen by prominent Republicans. These activists cheered when Mr. Trump suggested that the Jewish billionaire George Soros could be secretly funding a caravan of Latin American migrants — a dog-whistle reference to an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that has been advanced by neo-Nazis and white nationalists for years. They roared their approval when Mr. Trump began stirring up fears of angry, violent left-wing mobs, another far-right boogeyman. And they have found traces of their ideas in Mr. Trump’s rhetoric, including his concern for an obscure land rights conflict involving white farmers in South Africa and his references to asylum-seeking migrants as “invaders.”

China needs natural gas. The United States has tons of it. But Donald Trump has smothered the potential for trade between the two countries, effectively preserving the trade deficit his trade war was supposed to eliminate. That view emerged Friday among panelists at the U.S.-China Forum hosted by the University of Chicago. It was CNBC contributor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera who pointed out the lost opportunity to address the trade deficit: "I think it would also help solve this trade-deficit obsession that the president has, right? if we started selling them a lot more natural gas."

The three corporate giants complained that the Obama administration was being unreasonable and stood their ground, according to people briefed on the investigations. After President Trump took office, they looked to his administration for a more sympathetic ear — and got one. Across the corporate landscape, the Trump administration has presided over a sharp decline in financial penalties against banks and big companies accused of malfeasance, according to analyses of government data and interviews with more than 60 former and current federal officials. The approach mirrors the administration’s aggressive deregulatory agenda throughout the federal government. The New York Times and outside experts tallied enforcement activity at the S.E.C. and the Justice Department, the two most powerful agencies policing the corporate and financial sectors. Comparing cases filed during the first 20 months of the Trump presidency with the final 20 months of the Obama administration, the review found: A 62 percent drop in penalties imposed and illicit profits ordered returned by the S.E.C., to $1.9 billion under the Trump administration from $5 billion under the Obama administration;  A 72 percent decline in corporate penalties from the Justice Department’s criminal prosecutions, to $3.93 billion from $14.15 billion, and a similar percent drop in civil penalties against financial institutions, to $7.4 billion; A lighter touch toward the banking industry, with the S.E.C. ordering banks to pay $1.7 billion during the Obama period, nearly four times as much as in the Trump era, and Mr. Trump’s Justice Department bringing 17 such cases, compared with 71.

For two decades, domestic counterterrorism strategy has ignored the rising danger of far-right extremism. In the atmosphere of willful indifference, a virulent movement has grown and metastasized. White supremacists and other far-right extremists have killed far more people since Sept. 11, 2001, than any other category of domestic extremist. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has reported that 71 percent of the extremist-related fatalities in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were committed by members of the far right or white-supremacist movements. Islamic extremists were responsible for just 26 percent. Data compiled by the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database shows that the number of terror-related incidents has more than tripled in the United States since 2013, and the number of those killed has quadrupled. In 2017, there were 65 incidents totaling 95 deaths. In a recent analysis of the data by the news site Quartz, roughly 60 percent of those incidents were driven by racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, antigovernment or other right-wing ideologies. Left-wing ideologies, like radical environmentalism, were responsible for 11 attacks. Muslim extremists committed just seven attacks. These statistics belie the strident rhetoric around “foreign-born” terrorists that the Trump administration has used to drive its anti-immigration agenda.

A white supremacist group that targeted Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum with racist robocalls is now targeting Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. The prerecorded phone message features a voice impersonating Oprah Winfrey, who was in Georgia on Thursday stumping for Abrams, and contains racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric. "Over the last few weeks we've seen increasing desperation from many dark corners trying to steal the election, cheat, lie, and prey on people's fears rather than having the respect to listen to voters and speak to their hopes," Collazo said. She added that it was "pathetic" that Kemp "has only now suddenly decided to find a conscience as polls are tightening and Georgia voters are making it clear that they reject the kind of hate he and his allies have been spewing around the state. The same neo-Nazi group had targeted Gillum with racist robocalls after he won the Democratic Florida gubernatorial nomination in the late-August primary and again in October. It also sponsored robocalls in Iowa, using Mollie Tibbetts' death to attack Latinos and promote white supremacy, according to the Des Moines Register.

The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration's request Friday to stop a lawsuit brought by youths who are seeking to hold the government accountable for failing to do enough to fight climate change. The administration had asked the court to halt the lawsuit, saying it was "misguided" and a "radical invasion of the separation of powers." In its unsigned order, the court said the administration had not reached the high bar necessary to halt the lawsuit for now. But the justices suggested that the government might be able to seek relief at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals at a later stage of the litigation. The vote total was not released, Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch said they would have ruled in favor of the administration.

Trump comments perceived by some as encouraging violence. President Donald Trump on Thursday praised a congressman’s past assault on a reporter, making it the latest example where he appears to encourage or support violence.  This is far from the first time that Trump aides, including Sanders, have disputed the idea that Trump, both as a candidate and now as president, condones violence. Here are some examples: "If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell ... I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise," he said on Feb. 1, 2016. "Get him out," he said of a protester. "Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court. Don't worry about it." "When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just seen them thrown in, rough. I said, 'Please don’t be too nice,'" he said. "Any guy that can do a body slam, he is my type!" Trump said on Thursday to cheers. - Donald J. Trump encourages violence then as usual, he never takes the blame for what he does and always blames someone else.

Trump ramps up fear rhetoric as midterm elections near. Half of registered voters think that President Donald Trump is encouraging politically motivated violence in the United States in the way he speaks, but essentially as many say the media are doing the same in the way they report the news, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The Senate intelligence committee has asked the National Rifle Association to provide documents on its connections to Russia—including documents related to a 2015 trip some of its top leaders made to Moscow. That’s according to two sources briefed on the committee’s activities. The NRA’s Russia connections have drawn growing public scrutiny after a key figure in Russian outreach to the powerful gun lobby, Maria Butina, was indicted in July on charges of being an undeclared Russian operative connected to the country’s intelligence apparatus. Butina sought to use guns as a lever to tilt the Republican Party in a pro-Kremlin direction, creating a political firestorm for the NRA in the wake of her arrest. The intelligence committee’s document request is just one part of the aftermath. Butina, whose Russian political patron Alexander Torshin is a senior figure in the country’s powerful central bank, ran a Russian gun-rights organization called the Right to Bear Arms.

Sen. Jeff Flake called the web video tweeted by President Donald Trump on Thursday "sickening," telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he doesn't "like the tone that President Trump has taken with regard to blaming immigrants." "This notion that this is all the Democrats' fault is just wrong," the Arizona Republican said Friday on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," noting that in 2013, every Senate Democrat had voted in favor of a bipartisan immigration bill, which Flake called "the last real vote we had on substantial immigration reform." In an attempt to hype up his base voters ahead of the midterm elections next week, Trump has focused his incendiary rhetoric on immigration, dubbing this campaign cycle the "election of the caravan" -- a reference to the group of migrants traveling north toward the US border through Mexico.

"Right now Republicans are all ‘Look the economy’s so good,'" he said. “Where do you think that started? When did that start?” President Barack Obama said at a Florida rally on Friday. “They’re talking about how ‘Oh look how many jobs we created.’ The economy created more jobs in the last 21 months that I was in office than it did in the 20 months after I left office. And at the time they were saying how terrible the economy was,” he said.

Trade deficit up 1.3% in September to 7-month high of $54 billion. The numbers: The nation’s trade deficit rose 1.3% in September to a seven-month high as imports set a fresh record, confounding efforts by the Trump White House to bring deficits down. The deficit edged up to $54 billion from a revised $53.3 billion in August, the Commerce Department said Friday. It’s the second biggest monthly trade deficit since Donald Trump became president in January 2017. What’s more, the trade deficit with China set a new record despite U.S. tariffs meant to punish the country for what the U.S. considers unfair trade practices. The U.S. trade deficit added up to almost $447 billion in the first nine months of 2018. That compared to about $404.5 billion in the same span in 2017. The U.S. is on track to post its biggest deficit in a decade.

They have been touted as the faces of illegal immigration, chilling examples of murderous men. The remorseless cop-killer who smirked and swaggered in court. The gang member who shot a high school football star in the head. The homeless man who sent a bullet into the back of a young woman strolling along the pier. Time and again, these three California cases have been hoisted and heralded by President Trump as the most lethal argument against immigration reform. His diatribes have been met with waves of criticism by those who assert that Trump is scapegoating immigrants as a racist, fear-mongering tactic to influence voters. The argument also runs in the face of numerous studies that say illegal immigration has been at historic lows over the last several years and that an overwhelming correlation exists between immigrants and low crime rates.  His diatribes have been met with waves of criticism by those who assert that Trump is scapegoating immigrants as a racist, fear-mongering tactic to influence voters. The argument also runs in the face of numerous studies that say illegal immigration has been at historic lows over the last several years and that an overwhelming correlation exists between immigrants and low crime rates. “As the undocumented population increases, the violent crime rate tends to go down. And we see this across the four main measures we think of with violent crime — robbery, rape, homicide and assault,” said Michael T. Light, a sociology professor at the University of Wisconsin who co-authored a study published in March.

Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman struggled to explain even basic details of their allegations—like the spelling of the accuser’s name. A press conference intended to publicize sexual assault claims against special counsel Robert Mueller collapsed in spectacular fashion on Thursday, after the pro-Trump operatives behind the event failed to demonstrate a grasp of even basic details about their accuser or explain why they had repeatedly lied about their project. Mueller has asked the FBI to investigate the effort from publicity-hungry Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman and pro-Trump Twitter personality Jacob Wohl, which has been dogged by accusations that they offered women money to accuse Mueller of sexual misconduct. But the prospect of an FBI investigation was the least of Wohl and Burkman’s problems on Thursday. Throughout their 45-minute press conference, the two men repeatedly contradicted themselves and each other, giving cryptic non-answers that convinced approximately zero people in attendance that their allegations were anywhere close to the truth.

The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly signaled it may allow states to release more ozone air pollution, commonly known as smog, dirtying the air in those states and neighboring ones, but the agency did not review the health impact of such a move. The Trump administration's position is outlined in a highly technical guidance memo about plans states must create and submit for EPA approval under the Clean Air Act's good neighbor requirements. It was sent in August to EPA regional offices and posted on the agency's website, but not announced to the public. The memo introduces the idea of increasing the threshold for how much smog a state can dump on its neighbors -- known as cross-state pollution -- before taking action to reduce emissions. Under the Trump administration's new guidance, states that are currently finalizing their plans can consider adopting a looser standard than would have been allowed under the Obama administration. The new one part per billion standard means a state can emit 43% more pollution across state lines than before. Smog is a byproduct of air pollutants including greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change. It can originate from sources including power plants, refineries and factories. Smog can reduce the ability of the lungs to function, and especially impacts children, people who are active outside, or those who have respiratory diseases. It is linked to breathing issues and conditions such as asthma. - Under the Donald J. Trump administration business will allowed to pollute our air and water killing millions of children, family members, friends, co-workers and fellow Americans.

Shane Huntley has seen every form of state-sponsored cyberattack, first as an Australian intelligence officer and now as director of Google’s most advanced team of threat detectors. So when he was asked what surprised him the most about the 2018 midterm elections, his response was a bit counterintuitive. “The answer is surprisingly little on the hacking front, at least compared to two years ago.” He paused, and added: “And that reassures some people, and it scares some people.”

J. Mark Metts, a 60-year-old partner at one of this city’s prestigious law firms, had never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate until 2016. Now he and some of his neighbors in the moneyed River Oaks enclave of Houston are about to oppose a Republican once again, to register their disapproval of President Trump. “With Congress not really standing up to Trump, this election is becoming a referendum,” Mr. Metts said, explaining why he would no longer support the re-election of Representative John Culberson, an eight-term Republican.

A survey from Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics shows a more politically mobilized crop of young Americans leaning away from Trump and the GOP in the midterms in near-equal proportions. At the same time, the 18-to-29-year-old respondents appear to exhibit more support for some progressive policies. Forty percent of them said they will definitely vote in the upcoming elections, according to the study. The newest generation of voters are more energized to vote in the midterm elections than they have been in previous cycles — but not for President Donald Trump or the Republican Party, a recent poll found. The survey, released Monday by Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics, shows a more politically mobilized crop of young Americans leaning away from Trump and the GOP in the midterms in near-equal proportions, even as the majority party's core issues — immigration, jobs and the economy — rank among their highest concerns.

Brian Kemp plans to join President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Macon instead. The final televised debate between Georgia gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams (D) and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) has been canceled after the Kemp’s 11th-hour decision to pull out of the Sunday forum. He has decided to campaign that day with President Donald Trump in the city of Macon instead. Abrams and Kemp, who are running neck-and-neck in the hotly contested race, each blamed the other for the cancellation, which organizer WSB-TV confirmed Wednesday. “We regret that we had to cancel, but once Secretary Kemp pulled out at the last minute, the candidates could not agree to a new time,” Misti Turnbull, the station’s news director, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In a blistering statement, Abrams suggested Kemp was callously “breaking promises” to Georgians, while a spokesman for Kemp said Abrams had been “offered multiple days, times and venues” as alternatives for their dialogue and was “ducking Georgia voters because she can’t defend her extreme, radical agenda on live television.”

Court documents unsealed after nearly 45 years show that a federal grand jury in February 1974 was prepared to indict former GOP President Richard Nixon on four criminal counts for his role in the 1970s Watergate scandal that led to his resignation. The charges, including bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and obstruction of a criminal investigation, would have been for Nixon and his administration’s attempt to cover up the break-in and wiretapping of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at The Watergate Hotel in D.C. Five men were arrested on June 17, 1972, for their involvement in the matter. The men attempted to photograph DNC documents and wiretap DNC officials’ phones, potentially sabotaging the Democrats' chances at unseating Nixon in the upcoming 1972 presidential election. The draft of the indictment from a Washington grand jury stated that “from on or about March 21, 1973…Richard M. Nixon unlawfully, willfully and knowingly did combine, conspire, confederate and agree together and with co-conspirators…to commit bribery…obstruct justice…and obstruct a criminal investigation.”
The man accused of mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats, other high-profile liberal figures and CNN had been plotting the "domestic terrorist attack" for months, prosecutors said. The FBI searched electronic devices belonging to the suspect, 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, and discovered files containing the addresses of his intended victims, as well as return labels that match those used on the padded mailing envelopes carrying the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), according to a letter from prosecutors sent Tuesday to the judge presiding over Sayoc's case in Florida. "The defendant conducted a domestic terrorist attack targeting at least 15 victims," Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, wrote in the letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres of the Southern District of Florida. "Metadata from the electronic devices indicates that the defendant started planning the attack as early as July 2018."

Why Republicans can’t tell the truth about their health care plans. The scale of the Republican Party’s lying about their health care policy is, as Sarah Kliff writes, stunning. The Republican Party is driving legislative and judicial efforts to gut protections for people with preexisting conditions that are now the law of the land. At the same time, they are running ads about their commitment to protecting people with preexisting conditions that feature the very elected officials suing to negate those protections, and President Donald Trump is saying, well, this: "Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not! Vote Republican" - Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018. That’s not exaggeration. It’s not spin. It’s not misleading. It’s a lie. It’s pure up-is-downism. It’s a flagrant foul committed against reality. It’s scandalous, and it should be treated as a scandal. As Sarah notes, 14 percent of voters say protecting people with preexisting conditions is their top priority. The essence of elections is that voters have a clear idea of what the two parties intend to do so they can make an informed choice between them. The fact that the president is trying to utterly deceive them is important.

President Trump said he believes there are more people traveling with the migrant caravan than has been reported in the media — because he’s “pretty good at estimating crowd size.” “You have caravans coming up that look a lot larger than it’s reported actually,” Trump told ABC News in an interview published Wednesday. “I’m pretty good at estimating crowd size, and I’ll tell you they look a lot bigger than people would think.” The United Nations refugee agency, which has helped coordinate relief efforts, said last week that about 7,000 people were traveling with the caravan bound for the US border. The Mexican government has said there are 3,600 participants. The number has shifted as some people have joined and others left as the caravan made its way from Honduras to Guatemala and then Mexico. The president has previously griped about crowd size estimates, including when he claimed the media misrepresented the number of people attending his inauguration. - Remember when Donald J. Trump lied about the size of his inauguration.

Nearly two years into his presidency, Donald Trump is still lying about his crowd sizes at rallies and campaign events around the country. At a rally in Houston on Monday evening, the president boasted, without evidence, that there were 50,000 people were watching the event outside the arena. Contradicting Trump's account, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted that there were only 3,000 people watching outside the Toyota Center, where Trump rallied in support of his former foe Senator Ted Cruz in his re-election bid.

Kurdish intelligence has documented scores of attacks around former ISIS strongholds. ISIS militants set up a checkpoint on a highway in northern Iraq and kidnapped a man from his car. They blew up an electric tower, cutting power to Hawija, a former ISIS stronghold. They kidnapped two people from a health center. They injured six with a car bomb. They killed a municipal worker. They killed a police officer. They beheaded a Kurdish soldier and attacked an Iraqi base. They kidnapped a security officer from his home. All these attacks and dozens more came in the last two months. They provide a small window into the hundreds of incidents tracked over the last year by an intelligence service in Iraq that show a rise in ISIS attacks in the country — undercutting the Trump White House’s claims that the group has been defeated. The data shows that ISIS routinely launches attacks around its former strongholds in northern Iraq — and it aligns with an increase in attacks that analysts have tracked across the country.

The attackers who killed notorious mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger at a high-security federal prison in West Virginia tried to cut out his tongue, a federal law enforcement official said. Bulger, 89, was beaten beyond recognition in the fatal attack Tuesday at the Hazelton prison in Bruceton Mills. The South Boston mobster died a day after he was transferred there from another facility -- the victim of the kind of brutality he once handed out. In the world of organized crime, cutting out the tongue is a popular punishment for people who snitch or cooperate with law enforcement officials.

Less than one week before election day. Wisconsin is officially the fourth state to condition Medicaid recipients’ health care on work, even as two other states are currently being sued for their requirements. The Trump administration approved Gov. Scott Walkers’ long-sought policy on Wednesday, less than a week before election day, when he faces a tough race against Democrat challenger Tony Evers. The state estimates more than 5,000 will no longer have Medicaid coverage due to Wednesday’s changes. It’s also the only state of the four that have work requirements but didn’t expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of poverty level. People between ages 19 and 49 who make less than 100 percent of poverty, or about $12,000 annually for a single person, will have to work and report 80 hours a month to keep health coverage. If they fail to report work for 48 consecutive months and don’t qualify for an exemption, they’ll be locked out of coverage for six months. More than 4,100 people in Arkansas lost Medicaid coverage for failing to comply with work requirements for three months.

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