Briefing National – October 20, 2017

  • The Senate approves a budget deal, which allows Congress to take up their tax reform package [Politico].
  • Former President’s George W. Bush and Barack Obama in separate speeches deliver a stinging rebuke of the current administration without mentioning Donald Trump by name [New York Times].
  • Gen. John Kelly, President Donald Trump‘s chief of staff, says he was “stunned” and “brokenhearted” that a Florida Democratic Congresswoman politicized Trump’s call to the widow of a slain soldier [Fox News].
  • Curious. Former President Bill Clinton asked the State Department for clearance to meet with a board member of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom while he was traveling for a paid speaking engagement in Moscow [The Hill].
  • CIA Director Mike Pompeo says that U.S. intelligence agencies determined Russia’s interference in the 2016 election did not affect the outcome. However, that statement is not true, as a previous report reached no conclusions about the effect of Russia’s meddling [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump promised to deliver an emergency plan to combat the opioid crisis next week. Problem is such a plan does not exist, and his aides are now scrambling to come up with one [Politico].
  • Kathleen Hartnett White, President Trump’s pick to be the White House senior adviser for environmental policy, once called the belief in global warming as a “kind of paganism” for “secular elites” [CNN].
  • President Trump is offering help to three Republican senators who are being targeted for a primary challenge by Steve Bannon in 2018 [Politico].
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi jokes that she wished Mitt Romney were president instead of Donald Trump [Boston Globe].
  • President Trump’s and Vice President Pence released a petition demanding that NFL players stand for the playing of the national anthem [New York Daily News].
  • The number of Americans without health insurance is on the rise again [Huffington Post].
  • A federal judge is refusing to wipe out the guilty verdict against controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio despite the pardon he received from President Donald Trump [Politico].
  • Pollution has killed one out of every six people worldwide since 2015 [CNN].
  • NOAA says this winter may be warmer than average because of La Nina [CNN].

On this day in history:

  •  1803 – The United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1818 – The Convention of 1818 is signed between the U.S. and U.K., which settles the Canada-United States border along the 49th parallel for most of its length.
  • 1947 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevented some from working in the industry for years.
  • 1973 – “Saturday Night Massacre”: President Richard Nixon fires Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refused to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Cox was finally fired by Robert Bork.