Briefing National – October 19, 2017

  • Members of the Trump campaign team pushed out social media content from one of the most notorious Russian “troll farms” during the run-up to the 2016 election [Daily Beast].
  • Sen. John McCain will join two Democrats in calling for regulations on Facebook and increase disclosures for online political ads. Russia was able to influence voters last year through social media targeting [Axios].
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to discuss his conversations with President Donald Trump before he fired former FBI Director James Comey during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday [New York Times].
  • Former Trump campaign chief Corey Lewandowski met with Senate investigators on Wednesday as part of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump is under fire for allegedly making an insensitive remark to the widow of a US serviceman killed during an ambush in Niger. The widow, along with a Florida Congresswoman, claim Trump told the woman her husband “knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt,” during a phone call. Trump vehemently denies saying that [CNN].
  • Trump offered to send the grieving father of a US soldier killed in Afghanistan $25,000 from his personal account, but the check was not mailed until yesterday after the media started asking questions about it [Washington Post].
  • President Trump may visit the DMZ during a trip to South Korea next month, but there are some in the White House who don’t think that’s a good idea [Washington Post].
  • A new national poll shows most Americans think North Korea is the most pressing threat facing the U.S. right now [NBC News].
  • Drain the swamp? Not so much. Trump’s administration has only followed through on one of five proposed ethics reforms he promised to implement [Politico].
  • Worth watching. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is rankling the feathers of his fellow justices, most notably Justice Elena Kagan [Slate].
  • Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran, who is 79 years-old, says he will not retire from Congress despite speculation that his mental acuity is failing. Recently, Cochran needed a staffer to remind him where the Senate chamber was [Politico].
  • Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore says NFL players who don’t stand for the national anthem are breaking the law (they’re not) [Time].

On this day in history:

  • 1781 – At Yorktown, Virginia, representatives of British Commander Lord Cornwallis hand over his sword and formally surrender to George Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau.
  • 1789 – John Jay is sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
  • 1933 – Germany withdraws from the league of nations.
  • 1960 – The United States imposes a near-total trade embargo against Cuba.
  • 1973 – President Richard Nixon rejects an Appeals Court decision that he turn over the Watergate tapes.
  • 1987 – Black Monday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%.