Briefing National

  • 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.
  • Welp! North Korea officials are warning the situation on the Korean peninsula "has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war could break out any moment" [Associated Press].

  • A new nationwide poll shows President Donald Trump's approval rating holding steady at just 37% [CNN].

  • Sen. John McCain blasted "half-baked, spurious nationalism" during a speech directed at the supporters of Donald Trump on Monday night [Politico].

  • President Donald Trump called an impromptu press conference on Monday where he blasted the news media ("fake"), his low poll numbers ("fake") and blamed Democrats, the NFL and other groups for the ills facing America [Politico].

  • During his impromptu talk with the media, Trump made the demonstrably false claim that other presidents, including President Obama, did not contact the families of American troops killed in the line of duty. The false statement drew an immediate backlash [New York Times].

  • President Trump reportedly is seeking a bipartisan deal with Congress to shore up Obamacare [Politico].

  • Worth watching. New Jersey is reportedly offering up to $7 billion in incentives to lure Amazon to build their second headquarters there [Wall Street Journal].

  • Members of President Donald Trump's administration are growing increasingly worried that their tax reform proposal will fall in the Senate just like the effort to repeal Obamacare [Politico].

  • President Trump will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic. He also said he would re-examine his nomination of Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) to be the nation's drug czar following a report he sponsored legislation to help drug companies avoid government interference when distributing large amounts of painkillers [Washington Post].

  • Even though President Donald Trump likes to attack big media organizations as "fake news," his actions while in the White House have strengthened the big media conglomerates while hurting smaller groups [Axios].

  • This is weird. The Las Vegas security guard who was shot by the Las Vegas gunman before he opened fire on an outdoor concert has disappeared [Los Angeles Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1781 - British General Charles, Earl Cornwallis surrenders at the Siege of Yorktown.

  • 1888 - Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie).

  • 1931 - Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.

  • 1933 - Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States.

  • 1973 - OPEC declared an oil embargo on countries supporting Israel in its war with Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The ensuing energy crisis created a gasoline shortage in the United States, prompting long lines at the pump.

  • 1979 - The Department of Education Organization Act is signed into law creating the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • President Donald Trump reportedly will extend the March 5 deadline for the DACA program if Congress does not act [Washington Post].

  • President Trump plans to scrap government subsidies that help insurance companies pay costs for low-income people in yet another effort to destabilize the Affordable Care Act [New York Times].

  • President Donald Trump will announce a new, more aggressive policy toward Iran that could include more sanctions related to that country's support for terrorist networks and its ballistic missile program [CNN].

  • The head of a government agency tasked with conducting background checks says he has "never seen that level of mistakes" when asked about the omissions in White House adviser Jared Kushner's security clearance application [CNN].

  • The IRS has temporarily suspended a $7 million no-bid contract they gave to Equifax following reports the credit agency's website may have been breached a second time [Politico].

  • Twitter may have deleted data related to Russian agents who allegedly used the platform to help Donald Trump's presidential bid. The loss of that data may hamper the investigation into Russia's meddling into the 2016 election [Politico].

  • Russian operatives used the popular mobile game "Pokemon Go," as well as YouTube and Tumblr to influence voters during the 2016 election [CNN].

  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has revived an arcane military ritual at the agency's headquarters which involves raising or lowering a special flag to indicate whether he is in the building or has left [Washington Post].

  • The toll from the wildfires sweeping across northern California continues to rise. 31 people are dead, which is the most from a single wildfire in state history [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 54 - Emperor Claudius dies from poisoning under mysterious circumstances; his 17-year-old stepson Nero succeeds him.

  • 1269 - The present church building at Westminster Abbey is consecrated.

  • 1792 - The cornerstone of the White House is laid. It would be November 1800 before the first presidential family - that of John Adams - moved in.
  • A partisan fight over the future of the Affordable Care Act could lead to a government shutdown in December. Democrats are vowing to pin the blame on Republicans if premiums skyrocket next year after President Donald Trump took executive action to end some payments meant to subsidize health insurance exchanges [Washington Post].

  • President Donald Trump's legal bills topped $1 million during the last three months in response to the probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election. Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee have paid out more than $2 million in legal bills this year because of the Russia probe [Politico].

  • Russian trolls who helped to boost President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign on social media platforms were required to watch the Netflix series "House of Cards" to help them craft their messages designed to whip up discord [Yahoo].

  • The U.S. military will begin drills to practice evacuating American service members and their families out of South Korea in the event conflict with North Korea breaks out [New York Times].

  • The effectiveness of North Korea's cyber espionage program has grown exponentially, leaving American authorities unsure of how to counter the growing threat. Scary quote: "At a recent meeting of American strategists, ... some participants expressed concerns that the escalating cyberwar could actually tempt the North to use its weapons — both nuclear and cyber — very quickly in any conflict, for fear that the United States has secret ways to shut the country down" [New York Times].

  • President Donald Trump reportedly enjoys mocking Vice President Mike Pence's religious beliefs. During a conversation on gay rights, Trump singled out Pence and joked, "Don't ask that guy - he wants to hang them all!" [New Yorker].

  • Republicans are learning to ignore budget deficits in their desperation to pass a tax reform measure [Politico].

  • White House chief of staff John Kelly is pushing to fill vacant political appointments in the Trump administration, giving Cabinet secretaries more autonomy to make key appointments [Politico].

  • Facebook is seeking to hire people who hold national security clearances. They say those employees would be key to help prevent foreign powers from using the social network to manipulate future elections [Bloomberg].

  • A judge may throw out a key part in the bribery trial of Sen. Robert Menendez, which could torpedo the prosecution's case against the New Jersey Democrat [Politico].

  • A woman who claims she was groped by President Donald Trump has subpoenaed his campaign seeking documents relating to any woman claiming Trump sexually assaulted her [BuzzFeed].

On this day in history:

  • 1793 - Marie Antoinette is guillotined at the height of the French Revolution.

  • 1859 - Abolitionist John Brown leads a raid on Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.

  • 1875 - Brigham Young University is founded.

  • 1916 - Margaret Sanger opens the nation's first family planning clinic in Brooklyn.

  • 1962 - President John F. Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs revealed the presence of Soviet missile bases in Cuba, kicking off the Cuba Missile Crisis.

  • 1968 - U.S. athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos are kicked off the US team for participating in the Olympics Black Power salute.
  • Breaking: President Donald Trump threatens to abandon the recovery effort in Puerto Rico. On Thursday morning the President tweeted "We cannot keep FEMA in PR forever" [Washington Post].

  • President Trump's latest media target is NBC News. Trump lashed out at NBC's report that he called for a massive increase in America's nuclear arsenal, saying news organizations should not be allowed "to print whatever they want" [Washington Post].

  • Former White House strategist Steve Bannon says he thinks there's only a 30% chance that President Donald Trump completes his first term in office. Aides and confidantes say Trump is "unstable," "losing a step," and "unraveling" [Vanity Fair].

  • House lawmakers plan to release the Facebook ads purchased by Russian agents during the 2016 election to help elect Donald Trump [Recode].

  • President Trump pitches his tax reform plan in Pennsylvania [Politico].

  • President Donald Trump plans to issue an executive order to weaken Obamacare through the creation of cheaper health care plans that would pull healthier consumers away from the Obamacare exchanges [Politico].

  • Aides to President Donald Trump say the chief executive was "livid" and "threw a fit" in July when advisers suggested he stay with the Iran deal brokered by President Obama [Washington Post].

  • President Trump may sit down for a meeting with special counsel Robert Mueller in order to help Mueller wrap up his probe of Russia's interference in the 2016 election [Politico].

  • President Donald Trump nominates Kirstjen Nielsen to be Homeland Security Secretary. Nielsen is currently the chief deputy to White House chief of staff John Kelly [Axios].

  • The death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria has risen to 45. Most of the island remains without basic services [CNN].

  • The wildfires in Northern California have killed 23 people so far. Firefighters worry the blazes could gain momentum on Thursday [Associated Press].

  • The Boy Scouts announces they will allow girls to join the Cub Scouts. The organization will also create a program for girls to attain the rank of Eagle Scout [BSA].

On this day in history:

  • 1492 - Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean.

  • 1692 - The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter for Massachusetts Governor Sir William Phips.

  • 1810 - First Oktoberfest: The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

  • 1892 - The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many public schools as part of the celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus's voyage.

  • 1901 - President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the "Executive Mansion" to the White House.

  • 1960 - Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

  • 1973 - President Richard Nixon nominated House Minority Leader Gerald Ford for the vice presidency to replace Spiro Agnew, who had resigned two days earlier.