July 13, 2012

The notorious Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas has lost its legal battle to stop a New York delicatessen from selling its own "Triple Bypass Sandwich." A federal judge ruled that the 2nd Avenue Deli's $34.95 pile of pastrami between potato latkes clearly qualified for the description, and did not infringe on the H.A.G.'s trademark for "Bypass Burgers." "We feel that we've been vindicated," said deli owner Jeremy Lebewohl. The Week Staff

2:58 p.m. ET

Americans are twice as likely to believe former FBI Director James Comey over President Trump, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Friday found. Forty-five percent of Americans say they are likelier to believe Comey's version of his encounters with Trump regarding the Russia probe, while 22 percent said they're more likely to believe Trump's. Another 21 percent said they believed neither Trump nor Comey, and 8 percent said they believed both men.

Trump has vehemently denied details of Comey's testimony under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee, including Comey's claims that Trump asked for a pledge of loyalty and pushed Comey to drop the investigation into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Opinions about who to believe were starkly divided along party lines. A mere 2 percent of Democrats said they'd believe Trump over Comey, while 76 percent said they'd believe Comey over Trump. While Trump earned significantly more trust than Comey from his fellow Republicans, only 50 percent said they were more likely to believe the president's version of events. Just 10 percent of Republicans said they'd be more likely to believe Comey.

The poll was taken from June 17-20 among 900 adults, and its margin of error is plus or minus 3.3. percentage points. Becca Stanek

2:41 p.m. ET
John Moore/Getty Images

The heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps will seek a six-month review period before letting transgender people enlist in their respective branches, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended a ban on transgender service members last fall, although the military chiefs had until July 1 to decide on how policies around new transgender members would be implemented. "Officials said Friday that the chiefs believe the extra half-year would give the four military services time to gauge if currently serving transgender troops are facing problems and what necessary changes the military bases might have to make," AP writes. Three of the four services actually requested even more time, with the Army and Air Force specifically preferring two additional years to review possible concerns.

The Associated Press notes that "key concerns are whether currently enlisted troops have had medical or other issues that cause delays or problems with their ability to deploy or meet physical or other standards for their jobs. Military leaders also want to review how transgender troops are treated, if they're discriminated against, or have had disciplinary problems."

Although government numbers aren't public, a recent RAND study determined there are somewhere between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in active duty and between 1,500 and 4,000 in reserves. Defense Secretary James Mattis will make the final decision about the potential delay. Jeva Lange

2:18 p.m. ET
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

With House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) counting the days until he can head home to Utah, chairman-in-waiting Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is walking into what has the potential to be a powdered keg. But on Friday, Gowdy announced the committee will not investigate Russia's role in the 2016 election or President Trump's possible obstruction of justice, Politico reports.

Throughout the spring, Chaffetz navigated an investigation into Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Flynn's interactions with Russia. Chaffetz was hesitant to expand the probe beyond Flynn, and now Gowdy has confirmed he wants to refocus on the panel's "original 'compulsory' jurisdiction, including overseeing more mundane issues like government procurement and the Census," Politico writes.

"Number one, [the Russia questions are] in the jurisdiction of [Special Counsel] Bob Mueller," Gowdy explained Friday. "And secondarily, I would think Judiciary has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice and the FBI. To the extent that any of those memos are classified, that would be [Intelligence]. And for those that think a third committee ought to look at it, Oversight would have secondary permissive jurisdiction but it would be secondary." Jeva Lange

2:14 p.m. ET
Courtesy image

All loafers are easy to slip on, but the Loewe Slip-On Loafer ($690) tears down the shoe's last wall of resistance. Under new creative director Jonathan Anderson, the Madrid-based fashion house has devised a crushable back so the wearer doesn't have to bother slipping a heel in when a full-dressed look isn't required. The front of the men's version is made of calfskin or crocodile, and the rear of soft deerskin that can be stepped on over and over — "perfect for the quick-change act you have to pull off as you pass through airport security," according to The New York Times. The Week Staff

1:56 p.m. ET

President Trump was feeling especially jovial Friday afternoon as the weekend approached, even going so far as to "[pantomime] killing off his veterans affairs secretary should he fail to successfully implement new reforms" during a ceremony in the East Room, The Washington Post writes.

Trump said he had "no doubt" Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin would "properly" implement the Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which Trump signed Friday. But just to be sure he asked, "Right, David?" Shulkin naturally responded in the affirmative.

Smiling, Trump responded, "Better be, David, or …" He then made a pistol with his right hand, aimed it at Shulkin, and mouthed his signature words: "You're fired!"

The audience of administration officials, lawmakers, and veterans and their families laughed at the president's joke.

"We'll never have to use those words," Trump said. "We'll never have to use those words on our David." [The Washington Post]

Trump's jokes about firing staffers are not an unusual occurrence, a self-aware nod to his reality TV days. Unfortunately, his real-life firings have gotten him into some hot water on more than one occasion. Jeva Lange

1:38 p.m. ET

Elon Musk's SpaceX will launch a refurbished Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Kennedy Space Center's launch pad Friday afternoon, marking its first of two planned rocket launches over just three days. On Sunday, SpaceX plans to launch a new Falcon 9 rocket, this one from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The rocket launching Friday will carry a communications satellite for Bulgarian TV service provider Bulsatcom; the rocket Sunday will carry 10 satellites for the American company Iridium Communications Inc.

If SpaceX pulls off what they're calling a "weekend doubleheader," Bloomberg reported it would be "the first time the company launched two rockets the same weekend."

Friday's launch window runs from 2:10 p.m. ET to 4:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch it below. Becca Stanek

1:38 p.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesBrendan Hoffman/Getty Images

The House will vote on two of President Trump's major immigration-related campaign promises next week, Politico reports. Republicans are bringing Kate's Law to the floor, which would raise penalties for immigrants who attempt to re-enter the United States after deportation, along with the No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act, which would raise penalties on sanctuary cities.

Kate's Law didn't make it to the Senate floor last year, but Trump vowed in September to ask Congress to pass the law "to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal re-entry receive strong, mandatory minimum sentences." The law is named after Kate Steinle, who was killed in San Francisco in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant who had a criminal record and had not been turned over to authorities due to sanctuary city protections.

Opponents of Kate's Law say it is a reaction to unfounded fears — research shows that immigrants are less likely to be criminals than people born in the U.S. — and that its five-year mandatory minimum sentence will raise the prison population by an anticipated 57,000 people, a costly toll for taxpayers. "If policies should change, it should not be in reaction to a single tragic murder," the Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh told The Huffington Post.

Trump also vowed in September that "we will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars." The No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act, if passed, would "require that cities and counties comply with orders from federal immigration officials, such as 'detainers' that keep immigrants in jail so they can be picked up for deportation," Politico writes. "It would also bar Homeland Security and Justice Department grants from sanctuary cities that don't comply."

More than 200 states and localities across the U.S. do not honor ICE detention requests. The mayors of many such sanctuary cities have said they will not be intimidated by Trump's warnings. "Local governments seeking to protect their immigrant communities from federal overreach have every right to do so," said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in a statement. Jeva Lange

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