News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is 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.
George Papadopoulos, the former Trump foreign policy aide whose overseas interactions triggered the FBI’s investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia, says he’s willing to testify before Congress.
“I don’t have an issue as long as my lawyers are fine,” Papadopoulos told POLITICO on Wednesday.
Papadopoulos, who was sentenced Friday to two weeks in jail for lying to the FBI about those foreign interactions, has quickly pivoted to a P.R. offensive against the bureau, suggesting that he might have been set up by Western intelligence officials seeking to incriminate Trump or his campaign. He said he’s interested in testifying to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees about these contentions.Politico
A House Democrat wants to “honor” the legacy of former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt by increasing penalties for personal use of public resources.
Rep. Ted Lieu’s bill, the E. Scott Pruitt Accountability for Government Officials Act of 2018, would subject senior government officials to up to five years in prison if they use their public office for private gain, as Pruitt was accused of doing before his resigned in July.
“A proclivity for corruption feels like a prerequisite for a cabinet position in the Trump administration,” Lieu said in a WEdnesday statement.The Hill
Washington’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board met on Wednesday to consider a review into whether President Donald Trump has the character to sell alcohol in the nation’s capital.
In a terse announcement Wednesday afternoon, the board said its interpretation of local law made them opt not to act at this time, allowing Trump’s DC properties to continue as they are.
Wednesday’s meeting came in response to a June complaint from a group called Make Integrity Great Again, which has seized upon DC regulations to assert Trump is not of “good character” and therefore should not be able to sell alcoholic beverages at the Trump International Hotel, located blocks away from the White House.
“The board does not agree with the assumption that a character and fitness review may be initiated at any time,” the board announced.CNN
One of the world’s most stable partnerships will undergo a historic stress test over the coming days, pulled to the brink by differences involving cheese, court systems and political egos.
It took more than 120 years to build a Canada-United States free-trade pact after the last one collapsed, following the Civil War.
But now NAFTA is in danger, and a new deal is possible only if President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can get past the personal insults and animosity they’ve displayed publicly for each other and find common ground.Politico
A New Jersey couple accused of withholding crowdfunding donations intended to help a homeless veteran could soon be indicted.
NBC News reported on Tuesday that a lawyer for Kate McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, said in a court motion that the couple would “likely” be indicted for charges related to to the GoFundMe campaign they launched last year.
The network noted that D’Amico was also arrested on Monday night for a traffic warrant related to his failure to appear in court in July. His court appearance was scheduled after he was stopped in October for having a broken taillight, driving with a suspended license and for failing to turn over his license.The Hill
Florence is now rated a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, but life-threatening storm surge and rainfall is still expected across portions of the Carolinas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday.
Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and South Carolina and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters), the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned. Catastrophic floods could follow if the storm stalls inland, it said.Reuters
In the face of relentless criticism from President Trump and his GOP allies, Robert Mueller hasn’t said a word. But a new organization launching Wednesday aims to promote the public’s awareness of what the Mueller probe has yielded thus far.
Protect the Investigation plans to counteract attacks by the president and his legal team, including Rudy Giuliani, and ratchet up political pressure on Republicans should the White House move against it.
Over the past year an array of progressive advocacy groups and Democrats in Congress have worked to scrutinize potential ties between Russia and the president, his administration and campaign, while also developing contingency plans in the event Trump moves to circumscribe the Mueller probe or end it outright.
The new operation aims to coordinate those to disparate efforts with a narrow focus on promoting Mueller and warning about the potential consequences of any steps the president could take that might bring it to a halt — recognizing that his team and the Justice Department has been unable and unwilling to do it themselves.NBC
Republicans observing a rising wave of liberal and progressive candidates, policies and election results in the United States may wish to blame Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or billionaire donors like George Soros or Tom Steyer. They’re missing the mark. The real cause of the political disaster coming at the GOP like a Cat 5 hurricane is none other than President Donald J. Trump.Spectator USA by Rick Wilson