Briefing National – October 18, 2017

  • Two Senators have crafted a deal to fund subsidies to health insurers President Trump has moved to cut off [New York Times].
  • It took President Trump 12 days to reach out to the families of four U.S. Special Forces soldiers who were killed in Niger. As he was taking heat for the delay, Trump tried to make the issue a political one by taking a swipe at former President Obama [Washington Post]. 
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller‘s team has interviewed former White House press secretary Sean Spicer as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election [Politico].
  • Here’s how Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, funded the “troll factory” that wreaked havoc online during the 2016 election [CNN].
  • A new national poll says nearly half of Americans believe that the media makes up stories about Donald Trump [Politico].
  • White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says tax reform may slip into 2018 if Congress can’t pass a budget resolution this week [Bloomberg].
  • An internal White House document alleges that a weakened manufacturing base leads to more abortion, divorce and domestic violence. The document was making the rounds while the Trump administration was preparing to renegotiate NAFTA and threatening to withdraw from other trade agreements. The assertions contained in the document were presented without data to back them up [Washington Post].
  • The Trump administration is pushing for an increase in federal immigration jails to hold the thousands of undocumented immigrants ICE agents are arresting [USA Today].
  • Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is hitting up big GOP donors to help fund his effort to primary sitting Republican Senators [Politico].
  • NFL owners will not penalize players for kneeling during the national anthem [New York Times].
  • The National Archives have been warning the Trump administration to follow document preservation laws [Politico].

On this day in history:

  • 1648 – Boston Shoemakers form the first American labor organization.
  • 1776 – The border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was established. Dubbed the “Mason-Dixon” line, it became the unofficial boundary between North and South.
  • 1851 – Moby-Dick by Herman Melville was published.
  • 1867 – The United States takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million.
  • 1898 – The United States takes possession of Puerto Rico from Spain.
  • 1974 – The jury in the Watergate cover-up trial heard a tape recording in which U.S. President Richard Nixon told aide John Dean to try to stop the Watergate burglary investigation before it implicated White House personnel.