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.
Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford on Wednesday released a copy of a polygraph test that she took in August regarding her sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh, with a conclusion that her account of the episode is “not indicative of deception.”
Ford sat for the polygraph after relaying her account of the high school-era party where she claims Kavanaugh tried to force himself on her with his friend Mark Judge — whom the GOP has declined to subpoena for testimony — in the room.
“Blasey stated that when Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth that this act was the most terrifying for her,” states the polygraph examiner’s report, dated Aug. 10 for an Aug. 7 examination. “She also stated that this act caused the most consequences for her later in life.”
Republicans have sought Ford’s polygraph results ahead of her scheduled Thursday testimony against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, while those who believe the 51-year-old professor’s assault allegation have pointed to her submission to a polygraph test as evidence of the veracity of her account. However, the American Psychological Association has said there is little evidence polygraph tests can effectively separate true from false accounts, and the examinations are not admissible in criminal trials in some states.Politico
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison said Wednesday he’s requesting a House Ethics Committee investigation into the allegation of physical abuse from an ex-girlfriend that is clouding his bid for attorney general and complicating Democrats’ push to investigate allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Karen Monahan said last month Ellison dragged her off a bed by her feet while screaming obscenities at her. She claimed to have video footage of the 2016 incident but has declined to release it. Ellison, a longtime and fiercely liberal congressman from Minneapolis and deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has denied it ever happened.
Minnesota’s Democratic Party triggered an investigation of the allegation, handing off the review to an attorney who shares a law office with the party’s main attorney. Party chairman Ken Martin said he expects that report to be released soon.
But Ellison said Wednesday he requested a separate investigation from the House Ethics Committee, saying he hopes it would prove his innocence.AP
First lady Melania Trump has outlined her first major solo trip abroad.
During remarks at a reception for United Nations General Assembly leader spouses in Manhattan Wednesday morning, Trump announced she will visit Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt during her upcoming trip to Africa.
Trump, who as first lady has previously only traveled overseas while accompanying her husband, departs for her first-ever trip to the region on Monday, October 1st.
Trump revealed that she will partner closely on this trip with the United States Agency for International Development.CNN
“There are many programs across the country that are doing great things for children, and I believe we can replicate many of these programs overseas,” said Trump in her remarks on Wednesday. “This is why I am pleased to be working closely with USAID as I prepare for my first major International trip to Africa. By working with developing countries around the world to help them with their journey to self-reliance, USAID’s work embodies much of what ‘Be Best’ stands for.”
A German fighter plane intercepted two Russian bombers over the Baltic Sea during a NATO air policing mission, the military alliance said, just days after the British air force did the same to two Russian bombers over the North Sea.
NATO officials said a repeated breach of international air space by Russian bombers, some of which have the capability to carry nuclear bombs, was “rare” and “unique.” The latest incident took place Tuesday, NATO said.Politico
US President Donald Trump was “ranting and venting on trade” to French President Emmanuel Macron during their bilateral meeting Monday evening, according to a senior diplomatic source.
Trump lambasted the European Union for its trade policies, saying it was worse than China — a complaint that the US president made to his French counterpart in an April meeting at the White House.
The source described Trump as “going off” on EU trade during his meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Trump said that the EU had to open up on agriculture — a continued point of contention in trade negotiations between the two entities. Macron was respectful to Trump and pushed back some on the topic but moved the conversation forward, the source said.CNN
Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday said he would leave embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s fate to President Donald Trump, arguing that House Republicans should stay out their dispute between the two men for now — and angering conservatives in the process.
Trump’s allies in the House want to question Rosenstein this week about allegations that he discussed secretly recording Trump and using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, both of which Rosenstein denies. Some conservatives are threatening to defy Ryan and force a vote impeaching Rosenstein this week if he refuses to testify, or if leaders refuse to call him to do so.
But Ryan said Republicans “shouldn’t get in the way” of Trump and Rosenstein. He noted that Rosenstein is meeting with Trump Thursday and said, “I think we shouldn’t step in the way of that.”
“We should let the president work it out with Rod Rosenstein,” Ryan said. “I hope they have a good productive conversation, and I hope that’s helpful..Politico
President Donald Trump says there is “plenty of evidence” that China is attempting to interfere in the U.S. midterm elections because it doesn’t like U.S. trade policies targeting Beijing.
Trump made the claim at the U.N. Wednesday but didn’t offer any specifics.
In response, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country does not and will not interfere in any country’s domestic affairs. He said China refused to accept any “unwarranted accusation.”AP