Day 565: Reluctance.
1/ Rudy Giuliani to Robert Mueller: “We have a real reluctance about allowing any questions about obstruction” of justice. Trump’s lead attorney plans to largely rebuff Mueller’s latest offer for an in-person interview with Trump, which included questions about obstruction of justice. Instead of simply rejecting Mueller’s request out of hand, Giuliani expects to continue negotiating with Mueller since “the president still hasn’t made a decision and we’re not going to make a final decision just yet.” (Washington Post)
2/ Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Michael Cohen for tax fraud and whether income from his taxi-medallion business was underreported in federal tax returns. Cohen’s bank loans are also being scrutinized by prosecutors to see if Cohen made misrepresentations or false statements on loan applications. (Wall Street Journal)
3/ The Trump administration wants to make it harder for legal immigrants to become U.S. citizens. Trump’s proposal would prevent legal immigrants from obtaining citizenship or green cards if they’ve ever used social programs like the Affordable Care Act, children’s health insurance, or food stamps. The proposal is the brainchild of Stephen Miller and would not require congressional approval. If enacted, it would represent the biggest change to the U.S. legal immigration system in decades, and more than 20 million immigrants could be affected. (NBC News)
4/ Brett Kavanaugh argued that it’s a “traditional exercise of power by Presidents” to ignore laws they view as unconstitutional. “If the President has a constitutional objection to a statutory mandate or prohibition, the President may decline to follow the law unless and until a final Court order dictates otherwise,” Kavanaugh wrote in an August 13, 2013, opinion. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee made the 2013 assertion while defending George W. Bush’s use of signing statements to ignore laws passed by Congress. Kavanaugh served as White House staff secretary and had a role in coordinating Bush’s statements accompanying legislation he signed into law. (CNN)
poll/ 43% of Republicans think Trump “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” 36%, however, disagreed with the statement. 48% said they believed “the news media is the enemy of the American people” with 79% saying they believe “the mainstream media treats President Trump unfairly.” (Daily Beast)
Jared Kushner used to delete “critical” stories about his friends and real estate peers while he was in charge of the New York Observer. Kushner would sidestep editors and instead order web developers to remove the stories directly from the Observer’s website. (BuzzFeed News / New York Magazine)
Voters will cast ballots in five states today — Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, and Ohio. Here’s what to watch for. (NBC News / New York Times)
Wilbur Ross has been accused of stealing as much as $120 million from former business partners. A lawsuit by David Storper alleges that Ross stole his interests in a private equity fund, transferred them to himself, then tried to cover it up with bogus paperwork. (Forbes)
The EPA will allow manufacturers to use asbestos to create new products. The agency will no longer consider the effect or presence of substances in the air, ground, or water in its risk assessments when assessing new products. Asbestos-related deaths total nearly 40,000 annually. (Architects Newspaper)
The Mendocino Complex fire is now the largest wildfire in California history, and stretches across more than 283,000 acres. So far, firefighters have only been able to contain 30% of the fire. Trump, meanwhile, blamed the fires on “bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized,” complaining that the water needed is being “diverted into the Pacific Ocean.” Cal Fire refuted Trump’s claim, saying “We have plenty of water to fight these fires … The current weather is causing more severe and destructive fires.” (Los Angeles Times / ABC 7 News)
📰 Paul Manafort’s Trial: A daily recap. Instead of writing summary recaps of the trial, I’m going to provide a few daily links to the live coverage. At the conclusion of the trial, I’ll write a proper abstract.
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