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.
From New York Times
Federal authorities examining the work President Trump’s former lawyer did to squelch embarrassing stories before the 2016 election have come to believe that an important ally in that effort, the tabloid company American Media Inc., at times acted more as a political supporter than as a news organization, according to people briefed on the investigation.
That determination has kept the publisher in the middle of an inquiry that could create legal and political challenges for the president as prosecutors investigate whether the lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, violated campaign finance law.
It could also spell trouble for the company, which publishes The National Enquirer, raising thorny questions about when coverage that is favorable to a candidate strays into overt political activity, and when First Amendment protections should apply.
From The Hill
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are worried that Russian President Vladimir Putin may use his one-on-one meeting with President Trump in Helsinki to drive a wedge between NATO allies by claiming secret side deals with the United States.
Congressional Republicans are urging the White House to get ahead of the Kremlin by defining what was and wasn’t agreed to. What was said between the two leaders, they admit, remains a disconcerting mystery.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh formally returned a 110-page questionnaire along with more than 2,000 pages of accompanying material to the Senate Judiciary Committee late Friday, bringing himself one step closer to a scheduled confirmation hearing.
Kavanaugh stated in his responses to the committee that, before President Donald Trump tapped him for the high court, no member of the administration or others involved in the vetting processed had asked about “any currently pending or specific case, legal issue, or question in a manner that could reasonably be interpreted as seeking any express or implied assurances concerning your position on such case, issue, or question.”
The 53-year-old nominee spent five years in former President George W. Bush’s White House before serving 12 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In addition to the basic biographical information he submitted, Kavanaugh delivered to senators more than 1,000 pages in previously delivered speeches alone, as well as hundreds more pages of published writings, interviews, past court filings, and other related documents.
From The Hill
South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford (R) revealed this week that a Russian woman accused in a recent indictment of being a Russian agent attended a party last year held at his family farm.
Sanford, a frequent critic of the president, told CNN on Friday that Maria Butina and her then-boyfriend, Paul Erickson, were two of about 300 guests who joined the Sanfords at their farm in South Carolina last November for an annual Thanksgiving barbecue.
“I did meet her, a few interactions were pleasant,” Sanford told CNN. “It’s the girlfriend of a guy I’ve known for 30 years. She seemed nice enough.”
From The Hill
Whoppi Goldberg is doubling down in her feud with Jeanine Pirro, denying the Fox News host’s claim that she was chased off “The View” set like a “dog” after a heated argument on Thursday.
The two had clashed about President Trump while on the air, pointing at each other and shouting after Pirro said Goldberg had “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
After the appearance, Pirro went on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s radio show and said Goldberg told her to “get the f— out” and spit on her.
Goldberg countered her claims during Friday’s episode of “The View.”
“She seems to leave some key points out,” Goldberg said with a smile. “She left a lot of pertinent stuff out.”
A Saturday Bonus Note From The “Friends Don’t Let Friends Believe Fake News” File
A roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out…
Charlottesville Killer Was Hillary Supporter, Funded By Soros
President Trump Fires All 14 Muslim Federal Judges
Mysterious Nazi Submarine From WWII Discovered in Great Lakes
British PM Theresa May: Pedophiles Should be Allowed to Adopt Children Too
What Adam Sandler is Saying About Mormons
This weekly fixture is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing efforts to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories.