If, like President Trump, you watch Fox News to hear the latest theories set forward by retired judge Andrew Napolitano, prepare to be disappointed — the senior judicial analyst won't be on the network any time soon.
Napolitano will be off Fox News indefinitely, the Los Angeles Times reports, after he shared on network programs and FoxNews.com the baseless claim that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's foreign surveillance agency, "most likely" gave former President Barack Obama transcripts of President Trump's recorded calls (the agency called this "utterly ridiculous"). While Trump has claimed without evidence that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election, FBI Director James Comey testified Monday that there is "no information to support" this.
Napolitano's theory was cited last week by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer when he was asked why Trump won't stop claiming that Trump Tower was wiretapped, and by Trump himself during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. After Napolitano said on one program that Fox News spoke to people in the intelligence community "who believe that surveillance did occur, that it was done by British intelligence," the network's Shepard Smith backtracked, saying Fox News did not know of any evidence proving this. When asked by the Times for comment, Fox News and Napolitano, who has not been on air since Thursday, did not respond. Catherine Garcia
Contrary to recent reports, most American psychiatrists have not been given the professional go-ahead to publicly comment on President Trump's mental wellbeing without taking him as a patient and acquiring his permission for their remarks. Twitter is not an ethically acceptable tool of diagnosis.
At issue is "Goldwater Rule," which says "it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement." The rule was created by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) after 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater won a libel suit against a magazine that reported "1,189 Psychiatrists say Goldwater is Psychologically Unfit to be President."
Earlier this month, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) told members "they should not feel bound" by the rule in regards to Trump, leading to reports that shrinks can now diagnose Trump remotely. But the APsaA is a small organization of just 3,700 members; the APA has 37,000 members with generally higher academic qualifications — and it says the Goldwater Rule is definitely still in play. Bonnie Kristian
The Trump administration apparently sees the transgender military ban as a ploy to win Rust Belt states in 2018
On Wednesday, President Trump announced a ban on all transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military "in any capacity." Trump said he made the decision because the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
However, Axios' Jonathan Swan reported Wednesday that a Trump administration official offered a very different reason for the ban: the 2018 midterms. "This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to take complete ownership of this issue," the unnamed official told Swan. "How will the blue-collar voters in these states respond when senators up for re-election in 2018 ... are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaigns?"
A Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Defense Department last year concluded that allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military would have "minimal impact" on health-care costs, CNN noted, "largely because there are so few in the military's 1.3 million-member force." The study estimated the cost would range from $2.4 million to $8.4 million, which the study authors said constituted an "exceedingly small proportion" of the military's total health-care costs. Kimberly Alters
— CNN (@CNN) July 26, 2017
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was just one of two Republican senators to vote against the motion to proceed in Tuesday's health-care vote, joined by only Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) in dissent among the majority party.
Still, the motion to proceed was approved after Vice President Mike Pence stepped in to break a 50-50 tie — which was made possible only because of Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) emotional return to Washington following a brain cancer diagnosis. McCain arrived in the chamber to cast his "aye" vote while offering a thumbs-up, but after the vote he gave a stirring speech condemning the back-room process that had birthed his party's health-care legislation in the first place.
Despite voting himself to approve the motion to proceed, however, McCain apparently approved of Murkowski's decision to dissent. In an interview Tuesday evening with Alaska Dispatch News, Murkowski said McCain told her, "You did the right thing," in a conversation after the vote. Murkowski said she had only decided to vote no during the Republican policy lunch immediately before the vote. "Believe me, I went back and forth," she said. "At the end of the day, the process really matters to me."
Murkowski offered similar comments in a statement Tuesday night, in which she said she voted against the motion to proceed to debate to "give the Senate another chance to take this to the committee process." Read more about her thoughts on the rocky health-care vote — "The tension was very real," she said — at Alaska Dispatch News. Kimberly Alters
A search warrant application for the home of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, the unarmed Australian woman fatally shot by Minneapolis police after she dialed 911, suggests Officer Mohamed Noor fired his weapon because he was startled by hearing someone slap the exterior of the police cruiser.
The application mentions the alleged slap, though it does not specify whether Damond is believed to be the person who slapped the car. A slap would correspond with a statement from the other officer present, Matthew Harrity, who said he and Noor were surprised by a "loud sound." There is no body camera or dashcam footage of the shooting, because both officers' body cams were turned off.
Investigators from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) were granted permission to search Damond's house, where she lived with her fiancé in advance of their August wedding. Per court documents, no evidence was found in the home, and legal experts have questioned why the search was granted in the first place when the shooting occurred outside in the alley.
"I don't understand why they're looking for controlled substances inside her home. I don't understand why they're looking for writings inside her home. The warrant does not explain that to me," said Joseph Daly, professor emeritus at Minnesota's Mitchell Hamline School of Law. "When I read that search warrant, I really cannot find probable cause to search her home." Bonnie Kristian
President Trump announced Wednesday on Twitter that he would ban all transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military "in any capacity." The military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," he wrote.
But back in June 2016, shortly after then-candidate Donald Trump had clinched enough delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination, Trump sang a decidedly different tune. Knowing he would face Hillary Clinton in the general election, Trump positioned himself to Clinton's left on certain issues — like, for example, LGBT rights:
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
In hindsight, it may have been helpful for a member of Trump's staff to inform him that the "T" in "LGBT" stands for "transgender." Kimberly Alters
Hillary Clinton is, naturally, working on a new book, this one a collection of essays reflecting primarily on her loss in the 2016 election. The tome is scheduled to drop in September — it's currently listed on Amazon without final cover art as "Untitled Memoir" — and Clinton's friends are already hyping its "bombshell" revelations.
Clinton "really believes" Russian meddling and the email investigation of fired FBI Director James Comey are "why she lost, and she wants to explain why in no uncertain terms," an unnamed Clinton ally told The Hill. "She wants the whole story out there from her own perspective. I think a lot of people are going to be really surprised by how much she reveals."
This will not be the first time Clinton has publicly reflected on her loss. At a speech in May, she bounced back and forth between highlighting external factors and accepting blame herself. "Of course I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate. I was the person on the ballot," Clinton said then, adding, "I was on the way to winning before a combination of [James] Comey's letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people inclined to vote for me but got scared off."
President Trump abruptly announced Wednesday on Twitter that the federal government "will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity." Trump said he made the decision "after consultation with my generals and military experts."
"Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," Trump wrote.
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
The announcement marks a reversal of a policy instated under former President Barack Obama in 2016 that ended the ban on transgender individuals serving openly. The ban was set to be lifted July 1, but earlier this month Defense Secretary James Mattis granted a six-month delay, allowing the military until Jan. 1, 2018, to begin recruiting transgender people. Kimberly Alters