1/ Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings after the midterm elections on whether Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia and if Trump obstructed justice during the probe. Rod Rosenstein has indicated that he wants Mueller’s probe to conclude as soon as possible. The findings may not be made public since Mueller can only present the findings to Rosenstein, who can then decide what is shared with Congress and what is publicly released. Trump, meanwhile, has signaled that he may replace Jeff Sessions and there are rumors that Rosenstein could resign or also be fired by Trump after the election. (Bloomberg)

  • 📌 The Re-up: Day 613. Rod Rosenstein did not resign, but “offered to resign” in discussions with John Kelly. Rosenstein and Trump will meet on Thursday to discuss the deputy attorney general’s future at the Justice Department. Rosenstein went to the White House this morning for a meeting where he “expect[ed] to be fired.” The news follows reports that Rosenstein discussed the idea of wearing a wire last year to secretly record Trump in order to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the President from office. Rosenstein has been overseeing Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired with those efforts. Noel Francisco, the solicitor general, would take on oversight of Mueller’s investigation and could fire or limit the investigation. (Axios / New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg / CNN / Wall Street Journal / CNBC)

2/ Rosenstein defended Mueller’s investigation as “appropriate and independent,” contrasting Trump’s description of the probe as a “witch hunt” and “rigged.” Rosenstein added that the investigation has revealed a widespread effort by Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. (Wall Street Journal)

3/ A senior Treasury Department employee was charged with leaking confidential government reports about suspicious financial transactions related to Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, the Russian embassy and accused Russian agent Maria Butina. Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards disclosed suspicious activity reports related to Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russia. SARs are submitted by banks to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions. (Reuters / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post)

  • 📌 The Re-Up: Day 601. Federal investigators are looking into a series of suspicious financial transactions involving people who attended the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. The transfers reveal how Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire with strong ties to Trump and Putin, used overseas accounts to distribute money through a web of banks to himself, his son, and at least two people who attended the meeting. Investigators are focusing on two bursts of activity: one occurring shortly before the Trump Tower meeting and one immediately after the 2016 election. (BuzzFeed News / The Hill)

  • A federal judge rejected Paul Manafort’s request to wear a suit to his sentencing hearing, because the former Trump campaign chairman is now a convicted felon who has lost the right to wear street clothing in all his court proceedings. (Politico)

4/ Trump asked Turkey for audio and video recordings related to missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – “if it exists.” Turkish officials claim they have audio recordings that prove Khashoggi was beaten, drugged, killed and beheaded in the Saudis’ Istanbul consulate. Saudi officials have denied any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi. Before leaving Riyadh, Mike Pompeo said the Saudis didn’t want to discuss “any of the facts” in Khashoggi disappearance. (Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / CBS News)

  • Saudi Arabia promised the Trump administration $100 million to help efforts to stabilize areas in Syria this summer — the money was deposited the same day that Mike Pompeo landed in Riyadh for meetings with the kingdom’s leaders about Khashoggi. (New York Times)

  • Pompeo said Saudi officials pledged to hold any wrongdoers accountable, but suggested that any possible U.S. response would be weighed against its “important relations” with the kingdom. Paul Ryan, meanwhile, called Khashoggi’s disappearance “really disturbing” and that the episode “could be a real setback” for Saudi Arabia, but predicted that a great deal of the kingdom’s relationship with the U.S. “will persist no matter what.” (Washington Post)


  1. Trump won’t accept blame if Republicans lose control of the House in the midterms. “No, I think I’m helping people,” Trump said regarding his campaigning and endorsements of Republican candidates. “I don’t believe anybody’s ever had this kind of an impact,” despite supporters telling him “‘I will never ever go and vote in the midterms because you’re not running and I don’t think you like Congress.’” Earlier this month, Trump urged supporters to vote, telling the crowd, “Pretend I’m on the ballot.” (Associated Press / Washington Post)

  2. A Jefferson County senior center ordered 40 African-American senior citizens to get off a bus taking them to vote. Jefferson County’s administrator said the county government considered the event a “political activity,” which isn’t allowed during county-sponsored events. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / The Hill)

  3. Mitch McConnell said Republicans could try again to repeal the Affordable Care Act if they win enough seats in the midterm elections. He called the failed 2017 effort to repeal the healthcare law a “disappointment.” (Reuters)

  4. A federal judge ordered the immediate implementation of an Obama-era rule designed to help students defrauded by for-profit colleges have their federal student loans forgiven. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos initially delayed the rules in 2017 while the Education Department worked on its own set of regulations, which a different federal court called “arbitrary and capricious” and ordered the department to reverse. (CNN / Wall Street Journal)

  5. Trump accused Michael Cohen of lying under oath and giving “totally false” testimony in his August plea deal to campaign finance violations. Cohen alleged that he coordinated with Trump on a hush-money scheme to silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. Trump characterized Cohen as just “a PR person who did small legal work” for him, who only struck a deal to “achieve a lighter sentence.” (NBC News)

  6. Cohen met with state and federal law enforcement officials investigating Trump’s family business and charitable organization. The group included the federal prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, who charged Cohen in August, and officials from the New York Attorney General’s office. (CNN)

  7. Trump will withdraw from a 144-year-old postal treaty that allowed Chinese companies to ship small packages to the U.S. at a discounted rate. The White House claimed the treaty gives countries like China and Singapore an unfair advantage by flooding U.S. markets with cheaper e-commerce packages. (New York Times / Politico)

  8. Trump will ask each of his Cabinet secretaries to cut 5% of their respective budgets. On Monday, the Treasury Department reported a $779 billion budget deficit for fiscal year 2018 — a six-year high and a 17% jump from the prior period. (CNBC / Bloomberg / Reuters)

  9. Trump claimed he has a “natural instinct for science” when it comes to climate change. Trump’s scientific description of climate change was that it “goes back and forth, back and forth.” (Politico)