The House Oversight Committee chairman believes Trump’s attorneys may have lied about Cohen’s payments to women alleging they had affairs with the president
“It now appears that President Trump’s other attorneys — at the White House and in private practice — may have provided false information about these payments to federal officials,” [Elijiah] Cummings (D-Md.) wrote in a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
Cummings named Sheri Dillon and Stefan Passantino as the two attorneys who might have made false statements to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), citing documents the committee obtained from the office.
According to Cummings, Dillon “repeatedly stated to federal officials at OGE that President Trump never owed any money to Mr. Cohen in 2016 and 2017.” Passantino, who served as deputy White House counsel for compliance and ethics, reportedly told OGE that Trump and Cohen had a “retainer agreement” — a claim that was later contradicted by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
The 9/11 fund is running out of money and victims will suffer
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund plans to cut future payouts in half — and in some cases by as much as 70 percent — as it struggles with a surge of new claims from those who have gotten sick and the families of those who have died, officials announced Friday.
The fund was opened by the federal government in 2011 to compensate for deaths and illnesses linked to toxic exposure at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pa., after terrorists crashed four hijacked airliners in 2001. To date, the $7.3 billion fund has paid about $5 billion to roughly 21,000 claimants. About 700 were for deaths that occurred long after the attacks.
Four injured in Aurora, Illinois shooting
Multiple people have been injured at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois, on Friday and a shooter has been apprehended, authorities said.
Officers responded to reports of an active shooter at the Henry Pratt Company, the city announced just after 2 p.m. CST. The Aurora Police Department tweeted at 3:30 p.m. that the situation “has been secured. Shooter is no longer a threat to the area.”
At least two patients have been admitted at Amita Health/Presence Mercy Medical Center, the hospital told NBC News. There is no information on their conditions yet.
Another two patients are being treated at Rush Copley hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Heartbreaking: The worst person you know just made a great point
Look, the only national emergency is that our president is an idiot.
Kamala Harris lands a big endorsement
Dolores Huerta, the iconic labor and civil rights leader who co-founded what became the United Farm Workers, is endorsing Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) for president, according to a statement shared first with POLITICO.
Huerta, who started the National Farmworkers Association alongside the late Cesar Chavez, is also signing onto Harris’ campaign as a California co-chair, joining Rep. Barbara Lee, a former Congressional Black Caucus chair, who endorsed Harris on Wednesday.
Huerta’s backing is a significant development in the early stages of the 2020 campaign and gives the California senator a leading voice in the labor movement and among Latinos nationally.
Sarah Sanders joins the club
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has interviewed White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, she told CNN on Friday.
“The President urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel. I was happy to voluntarily sit down with them,” Sanders said in response to a question from CNN.
The interview is one of the final known interviews by Mueller’s team. It came around the same time as the special counsel interviewed former White House chief of staff John Kelly, well after a number of other senior officials, including former White House communications director Hope Hicks and former press secretary Sean Spicer, were brought in for questioning.
Roger Stone ordered to shut up
Colin Kaepernick strikes a deal with the NFL
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid have reached a settlement with the NFL concerning their collusion grievances against the league, it was announced Friday.
“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” attorney Mark Geragos and the NFL said a joint statement issued Friday. “As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”
Kaepernick filed a grievance last fall under the collective bargaining agreement alleging collusion against signing him to an NFL contract.
British students walk out to protest inaction on climate change
Thousands of schoolchildren and young people have walked out of classes to join a UK-wide climate strike amid growing anger at the failure of politicians to tackle the escalating ecological crisis.
Organisers said more than 10,000 young people in at least 60 towns and cities from the Scottish Highlands to Cornwall joined the strike, defying threats of detention to voice their frustration at the older generation’s inaction on the environmental impact of climate change.
Anna Taylor, 17, one of the most prominent voices to emerge from the new movement, said the turnout had been overwhelming. “It goes some way to proving that young people aren’t apathetic, we’re passionate, articulate and we’re ready to continue demonstrating the need for urgent and radical climate action.”
Why these people spent Valentine’s Day with Howard Schultz
“We bought these tickets before he said he might run. We’re not fans. I’m definitely not broadcasting that I’m here on social media; I’m anonymous,” said Courtney Adams, a nanny who had driven almost three hours with her sister-in-law to be here because she didn’t want to eat the ticket. “I mentioned we bought these tickets before he said he might run for office, right?”
“Valentine’s Day is always a disaster,” said Tom Sheeran, sitting beside his date, Theresa Harrison, in a center pew. “Restaurants are always crowded, roses are expensive, people are miserable, so how could this be any worse?”
“My wife’s in Ethiopia. and I didn’t have any plans for Valentine’s Day, so why not?” Selcuk Karaoglan said. “But I don’t really even like Starbucks.”
The border crisis is fake, but the military housing crisis is real
Deeply troubled by military housing conditions exposed by Reuters reporting, the U.S. Army’s top leadership vowed Friday to renegotiate its housing contracts with private real estate firms, test tens of thousands of homes for toxins and hold its own commanders responsible for protecting Army base residents from dangerous homes. …
The Reuters reporting described rampant mold and pest infestations, childhood lead poisoning, and service families often powerless to challenge private landlords in business with their military employers. Many families said they feared retaliation if they spoke out. The news agency described hazards across Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps base housing communities.
Here’s where Trump’s getting his border wall money
In addition to $1.375 billion included in the bill passed by Congress, Trump plans to draw money from a mixture of drug forfeiture funds, military projects and other accounts.
Trump is eyeing about $600 million from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund and $2.5 billion from a Defense Department drug interdiction program, according to officials.
In addition, the president wants to use $3.6 billion in military construction funds to help build his new border barriers.
This one is going to come back to bite him
That’s a new one
Not really making the case for his emergency
Trump announces his intention to declare a national emergency
This should go over well in Texas
Stephen Miller, Russ Vought and others had AM call with surrogates to sell deal. Said quick construction would “shock” people, effort is being made to keep California from having jurisdiction to sue, most action will be in Texas, Trump will “veto” any move to block declaration.
They also promised aggressive use of eminent domain.
Reminder: Trump is 72, not 2
Trump can be combustible and sometimes acts rashly when he feels cornered, so some Republican senators spent recent days on the phone, soothing him and trying to persuade him to hold his fire. McConnell also asked Trump to withhold judgment until the details of the deal were finalized.
Democrats decided in the final days they needed to be careful with their language, worried they could provoke Trump into another shutdown.
“He doesn’t seem to work on a totally rational basis,” Schumer said in the Post interview. “Little comments throw him off.”
Trump gets his first primary challenger
Former Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld is launching a presidential exploratory committee to challenge President Trump in the Republican primaries, saying the country is “in grave peril” and he “cannot sit quietly on the sidelines any longer.”
Weld becomes the first Republican to officially announce he is exploring a run against Trump, and sets up a potential match-up in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire presidential primary and in other states.
Doesn’t sound like a guy gearing up for a Senate run
Beto O’Rourke is hitting the road again, this time for the Midwest.
Following a massive rally in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, on Monday, the former Texas congressman and potential presidential candidate will visit with students at University of Wisconsin, Madison on Friday. He will then travel to Chicago, where he will address a national conference of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute on Saturday. Julián Castro, who has already declared for president, is also scheduled to speak at that event.