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April 24, 2017
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Former President Barack Obama announced in December that the Iranian-born prisoners released under the Iran nuclear agreement were "civilians" who were "not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses." But a Politico report published Monday revealed that might not have been the case:

In reality, some of them were accused by Obama's own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware. As part of the deal, U.S. officials even dropped their demand for $10 million that a jury said the aerospace engineer illegally received from Tehran. [Politico]

The prisoners were released in exchange for the freedom of five Americans. In addition to the seven men who were released, court filings reveal the Justice Department also "dropped charges and international arrest warrants against 14 other men, all of them fugitives," Politico reported. Three were charged with trying to lease a Boeing aircraft for an Iranian airline that allegedly supports Hezbollah; another was accused of attempting to buy and import thousands of assault rifles into Iran; and another was believed to have helped a network in "providing Iran with high-tech components for an especially deadly type of IED." But "the biggest fish," Politico reported, was Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, who was charged with getting "thousands of parts with nuclear applications for Iran via China," including "hundreds of U.S.-made sensors for the uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran."

Experts contend the Obama administration went ahead because it was so concerned with the success of the Iran deal. "There was always a broader conceptual problem with the administration not wanting to upset the balance of the deal or the perceived rapprochement with the Iranian regime," said former Bush administration deputy national security adviser Juan Zarate. "The deal was sacrosanct, and the Iranians knew it from the start and took full advantage when we had — and continue to maintain — enormous leverage."

Read more at Politico. Becca Stanek

12:54 a.m. ET
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Philip Roth, one of the most prolific and celebrated writers of his generation, died Tuesday. He was 85, and a close friend, Judith Thurman, said the cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Between his first collection of stories, Goodbye, Columbus (1959), and his final novel, 2010's Nemesis, Roth won two National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, the Man Booker International Prize, and three PEN/Faulkner Awards, among other honors. He is best known for his 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint, and his literary explorations of life as an American, a Jew, and a man, and sex and lust. Many of his protagonists were thinly veiled versions of himself — Nathan Zuckerman, Alexander Portnoy, David Kepesh — and his work played with and blurred the lines between truth and fiction. "Making fake biography, false history, concocting a half-imaginary existence out of the actual drama of my life is my life," Roth told Hermione Lee in a 1984 interview in The Paris Review. "There has to be some pleasure in this life, and that's it."

Roth was born and raised in the Weequahic neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, the setting for many of his novels. He was the younger of two sons of Herman Roth, a manager at Metropolitan Life, and Bess Roth née Finkel. He was married twice, the second marriage ending in 1994. Roth retired from writing in 2010 but didn't tell anyone for two years.

"In just a matter of months I'll depart old age to enter deep old age — easing ever deeper daily into the redoubtable Valley of the Shadow," Roth told The New York Times in January. "Right now it is astonishing to find myself still here at the end of each day. ... It's something like playing a game, day in and day out, a high-stakes game that for now, even against the odds, I just keep winning. We will see how long my luck holds out." Peter Weber

12:15 a.m. ET
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Korryn Bachner couldn't go to the prom, so the prom came to her.

The 15-year-old from Illinois was burned in April in a backyard fire pit explosion, which injured several teenagers. Bachner's face and hands were badly burned, and while she was able to leave the hospital to recover at home, she wasn't going to be able to attend prom with her friends.

To surprise her, Bachner's prom date came over to her house and decorated the basement, and all of their friends came together for a mini-prom. "There were tears," her dad, Bob Bachner, told WLS-TV. Doctors say it will take several months, but they expect a full recovery. "Having all my friends support, it helps a lot," Bachner said. "It takes my mind off things." Catherine Garcia

May 22, 2018

President Trump spoke at the Susan B. Anthony List's annual "Campaign for Life Gala" Tuesday night, and he urged the anti-abortion advocates gathered before him to vote for Republicans in the fall. "Every day between now and November we must work together to elect more lawmakers who share our values, cherish our heritage, and proudly stand for life,” Trump said. But he broke from his script after the teleprompter told him to say that the 2018 midterms were as important as the 2016 presidential election. "I'm not sure I really believe that," he said. "I don't know who the hell wrote that line." The audience laughed.

As Trump's speechwriters and political advisers might say: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Peter Weber

May 22, 2018
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More than 200 professors at the University of Southern California have called on President C.L. Max Nikias to step down, writing in a letter that he has "lost the moral authority to lead" after it was reported that the campus gynecologist was able to see patients for years, despite complaints.

The professors sent a letter to the USC Board of Trustees on Tuesday, saying Nikias failed to "protect our students, our staff, and our colleagues from repeated and pervasive sexual harassment and misconduct." The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Dr. George Tyndall, the only gynecologist on campus for several decades, was accused of inappropriate behavior, but he wasn't removed from the student health center until 2016, when a nurse complained to a rape crisis center.

An internal university investigation found that Tyndall's pelvic exams were outside the scope of current medical practice and considered sexual harassment. Tyndall, who denies any wrongdoing, was able to resign and receive a payout, and USC did not report him to the state medical board. USC Provost Michael Quick wrote in a letter on Monday that senior leadership on campus did not learn about the complaints until last year, and "this claim of a coverup is patently false."

An hour after the Board of Trustees received the letter, Chairman John Mork released a statement announcing that the trustees found the report on Tyndall "troubling" but they still "strongly support" Nikias. Nikias has said he understands "the faculty's anger and disappointment," and the university will rewrite its Code of Ethics. Catherine Garcia

May 22, 2018
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Stacey Abrams won Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, defeating former state Rep. Stacey Evans.

Both women are attorneys in the Atlanta area. Abrams is the former Georgia state House minority leader, and is the first female nominee for governor in Georgia from either major party, The Associated Press reports. If she wins in November's general election, she will become the first black female governor in the United States.

On the Republican side, five men are running in the primary, and unless one of them receives more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff between the top two on July 24. The candidates are Lt. Gov Casey Cagle; Secretary of State Brian Kemp; former state Sen. Hunter Hill; state Sen. Michael Williams; and Clay Tippins. Catherine Garcia

May 22, 2018
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Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath won the Democratic House primary in Kentucky's 6th congressional district on Tuesday, defeating Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

She will face Republican Rep. Andy Barr in November. Democrats are looking to flip the seat in a district that voted for President Trump by a 16-point margin in 2016. McGrath spent 20 years in the service, retiring from the Marine Corps last June as a lieutenant colonel. Catherine Garcia

May 22, 2018
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On Tuesday, President Trump announced that before November, he plans on proposing new tax cuts.

The new tax cuts would be revealed ahead of the mid-term elections, as Republicans try to keep their majority. Trump said he would meet with the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), to discuss his proposal, but did not give out any additional details, Reuters reports. Catherine Garcia

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