“Lawyers for Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, notified the president’s legal team in recent days that they could no longer discuss the special counsel’s investigation, according to four people involved in the case, an indication that Mr. Flynn is cooperating with prosecutors or negotiating such a deal,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Flynn’s lawyers had been sharing information with Mr. Trump’s lawyers about the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining whether anyone around Mr. Trump was involved in Russian efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”
This news comes after reports that Bijan Kian, a former business associate of Flynn, “has become a subject of special sounsel Robert Mueller’s investigation for his role in the failure of Flynn’s former lobbying firm to disclose its work on behalf of foreign governments,” NBC News reports.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) November 22, 2017
Paul Manafort “took at least 18 trips to Moscow and was in frequent contact with Vladimir Putin’s allies for nearly a decade as a consultant in Russia and Ukraine for oligarchs and pro-Kremlin parties,” McClatchy reports.
“Even after the February 2014 fall of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych, who won office with the help of a Manafort-engineered image makeover, the American consultant flew to Kiev another 19 times over the next 20 months while working for the smaller, pro-Russian Opposition Bloc party. Manafort went so far as to suggest the party take an anti-NATO stance, an Oppo Bloc architect has said. A key ally of that party leader, oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, was identified by an earlier Ukrainian president as a former Russian intelligence agent, ‘100 percent.’”
“It was this background that Manafort brought to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which he joined in early 2016 and soon led. His web of connections to Russia-loyal potentates is now a focus of federal investigators.”
“It’s hard to think of two easier stands to take in American politics than condemning Nazis and denouncing child sex-abuse, and yet…” https://t.co/9pFenK4g1k
— Adrienne LaFrance (@AdrienneLaF) November 21, 2017
Two more women have told HuffPost that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) touched their butts in separate incidents. These are the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week.
”The two additional women, who said they were not familiar with each others’ stories, both spoke on condition of anonymity. But their stories, which describe events during Franken’s first campaign for the Senate, are remarkably similar — and both women have been telling them privately for years.”
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he plans to stay in the U.S. Senate despite sexual misconduct allegations against him by four women and will try to win back Minnesotans’ trust.
Franken said that he “feels terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly.” He called himself “a warm person” who likes to hug people when they’re being photographed with him, but clearly, his embrace “crossed a line for some women.”
A new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll in Minnesota finds that just 22% of Minnesotans surveyed said Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) should remain in office. Another 33% say he should resign, while 36% say he should wait for results of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.
Nate Silver: “I think Democrats have underestimated how seriously voters are taking the Franken allegations and how hypocritical it makes them look.”
I agree, but some lowlife dumbfuck principle-less former purists disagree.
Me on backing Doug Jones and the response.
Opposing a man who took a 14 year old girl on a “date,” during which he attempted to defile her in his disgusting white underwear, shouldn’t be a particularly noteworthy position. https://t.co/XEhBfNWsHE
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) November 22, 2017
“The fact that there was any doubt in anyone’s mind about who the president was blows my mind.”
— Former President George W. Bush, quoted by Politico, adding that Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld “didn’t make one fucking decision.”
This fall, we hosted Training Days across the country to teach young leaders how to become more active in shaping their own communities. pic.twitter.com/41jsVJtaLz
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) November 21, 2017
Joshua Holland at the Nation says there is a path to Medicare for (Almost) All.
“But, as I wrote in August, these bills represent the most disruptive and difficult possible route to a comprehensive national health-care system. They’re too easy to misrepresent. Like any other deep reforms, they’d face concerted opposition from the right, centrist Democrats and health-care providers. But they’d face another obstacle, too: Because they compel so many people to give up their existing coverage for the promise of something better—all within a short period of time—they’re almost guaranteed to spark a popular backlash. Without strong popular support, these approaches are doomed to fail….
So consider an alternative approach, one that combines the audacity of the Sanders and Conyers plans with an understanding of the difficulties involved in restructuring a sector of the economy that accounts for one out of every 11 American jobs.
We could roll Medicaid’s low-income coverage, the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other public spending into the Medicare system, creating a very large pool of people insured through that program. We can empower it to negotiate with providers, and then expand the program’s coverage, as a benefit, to older working people, children, and the poor. And we can then open up this new Medicare for the rest of the population—individuals and businesses—to buy into, voluntarily and at their own pace.”
My effort to try to stop a bad piece of conventional wisdom about VA from congealing: https://t.co/MMMAWEyrxU
Virginia isn't deep blue. It's trending blue & could get there. But still light blue. So you can't yet explain away all R losses (e.g. VA-GOV) there only citing blueness pic.twitter.com/kbgREaH0cb
— David Byler (@databyler) November 21, 2017
Bret Stephens: “Many years ago, I committed an offense for which famous men are now being publicly, and rightly, shamed. I patted an office secretary on her behind. I won’t offer the usual lame defense that I didn’t know my advance was unwanted or that social attitudes were different back then.”
“My only excuse is that at the time of the incident I was about 7 years old.”
“I remember the moment because of what happened immediately afterward. The secretary, who worked at my father’s business in Mexico City, turned around and slammed a heavy stack of papers on my head. I marched indignantly over to my dad’s office to report her behavior — only so that he could march me over to her desk and have me apologize. He followed that up with a stern warning never to do anything of the sort again.”
“I don’t remember the secretary’s name. But what a service she did me by giving me a knock I’ll never forget, one that took courage and self-respect considering I was her boss’s son. What a service, too, that my dad defended her and gave me the talking-to that he did. It’s a lesson every boy should get — loud, clear, and early — from a male role model.”
An Israeli source told Vanity Fair about a meeting between a small group of Mossad officers and other Israeli intelligence officials at CIA headquarters just weeks before the inauguration of Donald Trump.
“The meeting proceeded uneventfully; updates on a variety of ongoing classified operations were dutifully shared. It was only as the meeting was about to break up that an American spymaster solemnly announced there was one more thing: American intelligence agencies had come to believe that Russian president Vladimir Putin had ‘leverages of pressure’ over Trump, he declared without offering further specifics.”
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) November 22, 2017
“The 14-year-old girl that was there, I can tell you right now if it was my daughter, I’d break his face, I’d break his fingers, and I’d probably do a lot worse.” — Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA), in a CNN interview, saying he didn’t “feel comfortable” with Roy Moore’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
“There is no compassion whatsoever in the White House. I’m just beside myself with sadness because our president is a bully, our president is a punk, and he just doesn’t get it. I don’t know where he was raised, but his family didn’t do a good job raising that guy.” — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D), quoted by NBC Philadelphia.
A federal judge, on Wednesday, overturned a Texas ban on the most common form of second-trimester abortion, ruling the prohibition is unconstitutional and places an “undue burden” on women seeking the procedure. The Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 8 in May and Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law shortly after. Abortion providers filed suit against the state and Judge Lee Yeakel of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas issued a temporary injunction in August blocking the law from going into effect until the courts could rule on its constitutionality.
The Texas law, the New York Times notes, “would require doctors to stop the fetus’s heart before performing a dilation-and-evacuation abortion, except in a medical emergency. D&E abortions, as they are known, involve dilating the woman’s cervix and removing the fetus in pieces. This is the safest method available in the second trimester, but opponents say the procedure, which they often refer to as ‘dismemberment abortion,’ is barbaric.”
While addressing Coast Guard members, President Trump promised increased funding for the military and told them about all the new equipment that it’s buying, the Washington Postreports.
And he promised that U.S. allies won’t get equipment that is quite as good because “even if they’re allies, you never know about an ally; an ally can turn.”