Briefing National – November 14, 2017

  • The Justice Department is looking into whether to appoint a special counsel to probe the Clinton Foundation and a 2010 decision by the Obama administration to allow a Russian group to buy a company that owned access to uranium in the U.S. [New York Times].
  • Woah! Donald Trump Jr. was in contact with Wikileaks at the time the website was publicly releasing emails Russian hackers stole from the Clinton campaign. Most of the messages from Wikileaks went unanswered by Trump Jr., but he did make other top officials in the Trump campaign aware of the communications [Atlantic].
  • The latest Roy Moore news:
    • A fifth woman has come forward alleging that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager and Moore was in his 30’s [New York Times].
    • More Senate Republicans call on Moore to leave the race, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [Washington Post].
    • Some Senate Republicans are threatening to expel Moore if he wins December’s election. The Senate has not expelled a member in more than 150 years [Politico].
    • Despite the Republican National Committee ending a joint fundraising agreement with Moore, there are still several paid Republican staffers on the ground in Alabama helping out with Moore’s campaign [BuzzFeed].
    • Moore was allegedly banned from a local mall in Alabama because of his habit of hitting on teenage girls there [New Yorker].
  • It wasn’t just Russia! Governments in 30 countries spread disinformation online to quell unrest or influence elections [Recode].
  • Whoops! A Trump judicial nominee failed to disclose he’s married to a White House lawyer on a list of family members who might present a conflict of interest [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump taps Alex Azar, a former executive with pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services [New York Times].
  • The number of hate crimes in the U.S. rose for the second straight year [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1666 – The first blood transfusion took place in London. Blood from one dog was transfused into another.
  • 1899 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completed the trip in 72 days.
  • 1969 – NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.
  • 1986 – The White House acknowledged the CIA’s role in secretly shipping weapons to Iran.
  • 1995 – A budget standoff in Congress forces the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.