News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime confidant and former personal attorney, has resigned from his post as deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee’s Finance Committee, sources close to the RNC told ABC News.
In his resignation letter to Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair, Cohen cited the ongoing special counsel investigation as one reason for his departure. ABC News has reviewed the email.
“This important role requires the full time attention and dedication of each member. Given the ongoing Mueller and SDNY investigations, that simply is impossible for me to do,” he wrote.
Israeli foreign ministry officials tell me they are concerned that U.S. withdrawal from the UN human rights council will make it harder to block anti-Israeli initiatives on the council. The officials say that even though they feel the council is extremely biased against Israel, U.S. membership helped to soften or fend off some anti-Israeli steps.
Why it matters: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said in their announcement yesterday that one of the reasons for the U.S. withdrawal was the council’s bias against Israel. Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the U.S. announcement and called the decision “a courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.”
Despite Netanyahu’s remarks, senior Israeli foreign ministry officials tell me the timing of the U.S. withdrawal is problematic because it comes a few months before current UN human rights commissioner Prince Zaid Bin Raad ends his term. The said they hoped the U.S. would at least stay in the council until after the new commissioner’s appointment, in order to ensure the person appointed for the job is more balanced.
American Airlines and United Airlines issued statements today repudiating the Trump administration for separating children from their families at the border and requesting that their planes not be used to transport those children.
“We bring families together, not apart,” American said. The airline noted that they “have no knowledge that the federal government has used American to transport children who have been separated from their parents due to the recent immigration policy, but we would be extremely disappointed to learn that is the case.” United also said it doesn’t think children have been transported on its planes.
From The Hill
ABC News issued an apology on Wednesday after erroneously posting a graphic during a special report stating that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had pleaded “guilty to 5 charges of manslaughter.”
“We regret and apologize for the false lower third graphic that aired during our special report. We are investigating how incorrect information was in our system and how and why it was allowed to air,” ABC News said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“We apologize to our viewers and to Mr. Manafort. There simply is no excuse for this sort of mistake.”
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he would sign an executive order to pull back on his administration’s highly controversial policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents.
It was a jarring reversal for the president who has been falsely stating for days that only Congress could fix the problem.
From The Hill
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is refusing to apologize for mocking the story of a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was separated from her family.
Asked on Fox News on Wednesday if he’d like to apologize, Lewandowski doubled down, asking, “An apology? I owe an apology to the children whose parents are putting them in a position that is forcing them to be separated?”
From The Hill
First lady Melania Trump’s office contacted the Secret Service after actor Peter Fonda went after her 12-year-old son during an early morning Twitter rant on Wednesday.
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, said in a statement to The Hill that the Secret Service was notified on Wednesday after Fonda tweeted about Baron Trump.
“The tweet is sick and irresponsible,” Grisham said.
The Daily Caller first reported the development.
In the past few days, Fox News has been facing backlash over coverage of family separation by its opinion hosts, including Tucker Carlson.
Carlson declared on Monday that the outrage over children being separated from their parents is political “preening” and that this is really about the ruling class’ desire to “change your country forever.”
That, combined with comments from other Fox Newsers and Carlson’s own recent commentary attacking the media, has set off a backlashfrom people like Seth MacFarlane and Steven Levitan who work on the entertainment side of Fox, expressing their disgust at even being remotely associated with the cable news network.
And then Bob Beckel popped up.
From The Hill
A West Virginia Supreme Court justice was indicted on 22 federal counts of fraud, witness tampering and making false statements on Wednesday.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Allen Loughry, who wrote a book on political corruption, was indicted on two counts of fraud by wire, radio or television, 16 counts of frauds and swindles, one count of witness tampering and three counts of making false statements.
The report says that a grand jury charged Loughry with purposefully lying to federal investigators, and that he acted “with intent to defraud, misused and abused his position, power and authority.”