Mike Flynn’s Son Is Subject of Federal Russia Probe
Carol E. Lee et al., NBC News
Michael G. Flynn, the son of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, is a subject of the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, according to four current and former government officials. The inquiry into Flynn is focused at least in part on his work with his father’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, three of the officials said.
Flynn Promoted Nuclear-Plant Project While in White House
Christopher S. Stewart et al., The Wall Street Journal
As President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn promoted a controversial private-sector nuclear power plan in the Middle East that had once involved Russian companies, according to former security-council staffers and others familiar with the effort. While working at the White House, Mr. Flynn advocated for a group of former senior U.S. military officers with whom he had worked while in the private sector.
Mueller Probe Has ‘Red-Hot’ Focus on Social Media, Officials Say
Chris Strohm, Bloomberg
Russia’s effort to influence U.S. voters through Facebook and other social media is a “red-hot” focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election and possible links to President Donald Trump’s associates, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter. Mueller’s team of prosecutors and FBI agents is zeroing in on how Russia spread fake and damaging information through social media and is seeking additional evidence from companies like Facebook and Twitter about what happened on their networks, said one of the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the ongoing investigation.
US slaps sanctions on four nations for refusing to take deported nationals
Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News
The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on four countries that it says have refused to accept their deported citizens as part of the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the four countries – Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone – are facing the sanctions for “lack of cooperation” in accepting the deported citizens. Cambodia is in Southeast Asia while the three other countries are in Africa.
Martin Shkreli Is Jailed for Seeking a Hair From Hillary Clinton
Stephanie Clifford, The New York Times
Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who is awaiting sentencing for a fraud conviction, was sent to jail on Wednesday after a federal judge revoked his bail because he had offered $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. Mr. Shkreli, who was free on $5 million bail while he awaited sentencing, had made two Facebook posts offering cash to anyone who could “grab a hair” from Mrs. Clinton during her book tour.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin requested government jet for European honeymoon
Justin Fishel et al., ABC News
Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an “inquiry” by the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General, sources tell ABC News. Officials familiar with the matter say the highly unusual ask for a U.S. Air Force jet, which according to an Air Force spokesman could cost roughly $25,000 per hour to operate, was put in writing by the secretary’s office but eventually deemed unnecessary after further consideration of by Treasury Department officials.
Pelosi and Schumer Say They Have Deal With Trump to Replace DACA
Maggie Haberman and Yamiche Alcindor, The New York Times
Democratic leaders on Wednesday night declared that they had a deal with President Trump to quickly extend protections for young undocumented immigrants and to finalize a border security package that does not include the president’s proposed wall. The Democrats, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi, said in a joint statement that they had a “very productive” dinner meeting with the president at the White House that focused on the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
Trump pushes back on Dems’ claims of DACA deal
Sophie Tatum and Daniella Diaz, CNN
White House: ESPN should fire Jemele Hill over Trump ‘white supremacist’ tweet
Marissa Payne and Des Bieler, The Washington Post
A tweet posted by ESPN “SportsCenter” host Jemele Hill labeling President Trump a “white supremacist” continued to make waves on Wednesday after a Washington Post reporter asked about it during the press secretary’s news conference. Later on Wednesday, Hill expressed “regret” for the way her comments “painted ESPN in an unfair light.”
‘I will not be distracted by the noise’
Courtney Weaver, Financial Times
Ivanka Trump is one of the most powerful first children in US history. Courtney Weaver talks to her about expectations, criticism and what comes next.
Senate Keeps War-Authorization Resolutions Dating Back to Early 2000s
Kristina Peterson and Ben Kesling, The Wall Street Journal
The Senate voted Wednesday to retain two resolutions authorizing the use of military force that date back to the early 2000s, even while lawmakers from both parties complained that Congress has avoided reopening debate on U.S. military commitments overseas. In a 61-36 vote, the Senate set aside an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) that would have phased out both the 2001 authorization for the use of military force against al Qaeda and those connected to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as the 2002 resolution that gave former President George W. Bush authority to invade Iraq.
Cruz Pushes Dodd-Frank Repeal as Key Tax Reform Plank
Anna Gronewold, Morning Consult
As the White House courts Senate Democrats as it tries to pick up additional support for the Republican tax reform effort, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is risking alienating his colleagues across the aisle by promoting a repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act through the fast-track reconciliation process. At a Tax Foundation panel Wednesday, Cruz laid out goals for what he said was meaningful GOP tax reform.
Senator wants Google, Facebook to testify on sex-trafficking bill
David McCabe, Axios
A Republican senator wants Google and Facebook to publicly defend their opposition, articulated through one of their top trade groups, to a bill aimed at stopping sex-trafficking. The companies say it would imperil them legally.
As G.O.P. Moves to Fill Courts, McConnell Takes Aim at an Enduring Hurdle
Carl Hulse, The New York Times
President Trump is eager to put his conservative imprint on the federal judiciary, but an impediment remains. Though the Senate has virtually eliminated the ability of the minority party to block appointments to the bench from the Supreme Court on down, individual senators can still thwart nominees from their home states by refusing to sign off on a form popularly known for its color — the blue slip.
Roy Moore-connected foundation’s back pay to Senate candidate, second mortgage raise questions
Howard Koplowitz, AL.com
As the Foundation for Moral Law fought – unsuccessfully – a lawsuit against it by a firm that helped the nonprofit raise money, the organization with ties to U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore took out a second mortgage on its Montgomery building to pay Moore years of back pay, federal court filings and Montgomery County probate records showed. Meanwhile, it remains unclear years later who paid the $465,000 judgement against the foundation because the organization has not filed its taxes since 2014 and didn’t report the payment in its most recently filed tax returns.
Moderate Republicans quietly form working group to craft immigration plan
Seung Min Kim and Rachael Bade, Politico
Moderate House Republicans angling for a legislative fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have quietly created an informal working group to try and craft an immigration plan that could pass Congress, according to GOP sources. The lawmakers have met off and on for months.
Meadows: Freedom Caucus ‘Asked’ to Develop Conservative Solution to DACA
Lindsey McPherson, Roll Call
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told reporters Tuesday a Trump administration official asked his caucus to put together a conservative immigration plan that would provide a legislative solution to replace to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.“ Administration officials don’t want to be caught flat footed with no proposals,” the North Carolina Republican said.
McCarthy backs Trump’s call for Senate to ditch the filibuster
Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett, CNN
The number two House Republican leader made a fresh push Wednesday for Senate Republicans to change rules to make it easier to break filibusters of spending bills, echoing a similar call from President Donald Trump for the Senate to set aside long-held precedent that requires at least 60 votes for major legislation to pass. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy boasted that the House was on the verge of passing all 12 annual appropriations measures, something that hasn’t happened since 2004.
Eight Dead at Florida Nursing Home Left Without Air Conditioning in Wake of Irma
Scott Calvert et al., The Wall Street Journal
Eight nursing home patients died here Wednesday amid sweltering conditions after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning, and more than 150 others had to be evacuated. The events prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to order a state health agency to issue an immediate moratorium preventing the facility from admitting new patients.
Arizona Supreme Court to consider legality of Medicaid expansion
Ken Alltucker, The Arizona Republic
Three dozen current and former state lawmakers challenging the way Arizona funds the state’s Medicaid expansion will argue their case before the Arizona Supreme Court. The state high court this week agreed to hear the Republican lawmakers’ challenge to the state’s Medicaid expansion, which extended insurance coverage to more than 400,000 low-income Arizonans.
California lawmakers OK free year of community college for all; bill goes to governor
Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle
California would pick up the first year of community college for virtually all full-time freshmen under a bill passed by the state Legislature on Wednesday and headed to Gov. Jerry Brown. AB19 by Assemblymen Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles; David Chiu, D-San Francisco; and Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, would waive the $46-per-unit fee for full-time students in California entering their first year of community college.
When it comes to voter registration, Republicans are no longer in NC’s top 2
Colin Campbell, The News and Observer
Unaffiliated voters now make up the second-largest group of voter registrations in North Carolina, with more registrations in that category than registered Republicans. The shift has been happening gradually, but unaffiliated registrations passed Republican registrations sometime between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9, according to data released by the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.
Missouri state senator who hoped for Trump assassination censured by her colleagues
Kurt Erickson and Jack Suntrup, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Senate voted overwhelmingly to censure state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal on Wednesday afternoon. The censure amounts to a formal scolding from the body.
Trump ethics watchdog moves to allow anonymous gifts to legal defense funds
Darren Samuelsohn, Politico
The U.S. Office of Government Ethics has quietly reversed its own internal policy prohibiting anonymous donations from lobbyists to White House staffers who have legal defense funds. The little-noticed change could help President Donald Trump’s aides raise the money they need to pay attorneys as the Russia probe expands — but raises the potential for hidden conflicts of interest or other ethics trouble.
A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition:
A majority of voters are concerned with data breaches, yet there are no national data security standards to protect consumers at checkout. It’s time retailers share responsibility for data security. Learn more from the Electronic Payments Coalition.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
Reclaiming America’s Values
Joe Biden, The New York Times
In over 45 years of working in global affairs, I’ve observed a simple truth: America’s ability to lead the world depends not just on the example of our power, but on the power of our example. American democracy is rooted in the belief that every man, woman and child has equal rights to freedom and dignity.
The 30 Republicans Holding Up Tax Reform
Karl Rove, The Wall Street Journal
No matter how persuasive President Trump is, it’s unlikely he can round up enough Democrats to get 60 votes in the Senate for tax reform. That means Republicans will need to use the Senate’s reconciliation process, which avoids the filibuster, to pass their plan with 51 votes.
Escaping the Tax-Reform Budget Trap
The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal
Republicans know that their hold on Congress depends on passing tax reform, but what we hear about the debate behind the scenes is worrisome. The danger is that, as with health care, the GOP will hold themselves hostage to a budget process that is hostile to pro-growth tax policy.
How the Bernie Sanders Plan Would Both Beef Up and Slim Down Medicare
Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times
In his big new single-payer health care bill, Senator Bernie Sanders says he wants to turn the country’s health system into “Medicare for all.” But his bill actually outlines a system very different from the current Medicare program.
The Justice Department goes out of its way to side against a gay couple
Editorial Board, The Washington Post
Should a Colorado baker have the right to turn away a gay couple seeking a custom wedding cake if he disapproves of their upcoming marriage? According to the Justice Department, the answer is yes.
A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition:
Four times as many voters trust financial institutions over retailers to create new, more secure ways to pay, which is just one reason why the payments industry is focused on innovation. Banks and credit unions are continuously working to provide consumers with the latest security features when they pay. Get the latest from EPC.
Research Reports and Polling
Why Competition in The Politics Industry Is Failing America
Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School (HBS) launched the U.S. Competitiveness Project in 2011 as a multiyear, fact-based effort to understand the disappointing performance of the American economy, its causes, and the steps needed by business and government to restore economic growth and prosperity that is widely shared across all Americans. The Project identi ed a consensus set of essential policy steps needed to do so.
Partisans Differ Widely in Views of Police Officers, College Professors
Pew Research Center
Americans give strongly positive ratings to teachers and members of the military, while ratings of political and ideological groups – Democrats, Republicans, liberals and conservatives – are much less positive, and more starkly divided along partisan lines. Yet wide partisan and ideological divides are also seen in views of some professions.