In a closed-door meeting Friday with House and Senate members, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stood by the memo he wrote to President Trump outlining his concerns with FBI Director James Comey. After opening with a candid statement about his "personal affection" for Comey, he detailed the series of missteps he felt Comey had made that led him to believe "it was appropriate to seek a new leader" for the FBI.
Rosenstein confirmed he had learned on May 8 that Trump intended to dismiss Comey and wanted his advice; the memo is dated May 9, the day that Trump fired Comey. "I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it," Rosenstein said. He insisted there has not been "any political interference."
House members described Rosenstein's statement as "very guarded" and "frustratingly cautious." "It's clear he just wanted to defer to Mueller on everything tough," one Democratic lawmaker told CNN, referring to former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to probe Trump's ties to Russia.
Rosenstein also claimed Friday that neither he nor his staff were "aware of any such request" by the FBI for "additional resources" for the FBI's investigation into Russia's election interference. Reports have indicated Comey asked for more resources to expedite the investigation just days before Trump fired him. Becca Stanek
While helping his son apply to colleges, Freddie Sherrill, 65, heard something that surprised him: You should go to school, too.
As a child in North Carolina, Sherrill had difficulty learning to read and write, and started to act out. He began skipping school at eight, and while hanging out with teenagers, tried wine for the first time. As a shy child, Sherrill finally "felt like I fit in," he told The Washington Post. Sherrill then broke into houses and stole purses, and became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
After several stints in prison and rehab, he was "tired of hurting everybody around me," and in 1988 stopped drinking and doing drugs. Sherrill slowly rebuilt his life — he repaired his relationships with his wife and children, took literacy classes so he could learn how to read and write, and eventually, after eight years, earned an associate's degree. "I spent a lot of time taking chances doing negative things," he said. "It was time for me to start taking chances doing positive things."
When it came time for his son to go to college, he helped him with his paperwork, and was told by the staff at Queens University of Charlotte that he should also consider applying. His son ultimately enrolled at North Carolina A&T University, and Sherrill came up with a challenge: whoever got the best GPA at the end of each semester would give the other $100. His son graduated and is now a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch, and Sherrill, after seven years, received his degree in human service studies earlier this month. "I started a lot of things in my life I didn't finish," he told the Post. "College wasn't going to be one of them." Catherine Garcia
Tech company that raised millions through crowdfunding shuts down, with most backers receiving nothing
A tech company that received more than $3 million from supporters through Kickstarter and Indiegogo announced this weekend that it has run out of money, and thousands of people who pre-ordered their product — headphones with surround sound used for virtual reality — are out of luck.
Ossic sold 22,000 pre-orders for its OSSIC X headphones, which cost between $200 and $300, but only 250 backers ever received a pair. The headphones were an "ambitious and expensive product to develop," Ossic said, and "what made this project so exciting, and ultimately ended up being its Achilles heel, was the complexity and scope." Over the last six months, "dedicated" employees worked for free, "doing anything they could to try and make the company succeed," Ossic said, but it wasn't enough.
The company, which also received millions of dollars from angel investors, said it would need more than $2 million in additional funds to be able to deliver headphones to everyone who placed a pre-order. "Inventing something new while also developing complex hardware is expensive," Ossic said, adding that the "unknowns that come from ground-up development with so many new features ultimately stacked up to create delays and cost overruns." In 2016, Ossic said these headphones of the future would be able to sense ear shapes and customize sound for each person, Business Insider reports. Catherine Garcia
Over the last three days, a heatwave has killed at least 65 people in Karachi, the biggest city in Pakistan.
On Monday, the temperature reached 111 degrees Fahrenheit, and extreme temperatures are expected through Thursday. There have been several power outages, and because it is the holy month of Ramadan, most Muslims are not eating or drinking during daylight hours.
Faisal Edhi, the owner of a company that runs morgues and an ambulance service, told Reuters that most of the people who have died "work around heaters and boilers in textile factories," and lived in the poorer areas of Karachi. He said that most doctors agree they died of heatstroke, but the health secretary of Sindh province said he "categorically" rejects the idea that anyone died in Karachi from heatstroke, since "only doctors and hospitals can decide" the cause of death. In 2015, at least 1,300 people, most of them ill or very old, died in a heatwave. Catherine Garcia
Get ready for your mailbox to smell a little sweeter — this summer, the U.S. Postal Service will introduce its first-ever scratch-and-sniff stamps.
The Forever stamps will be sold in booklets of 20, featuring 10 watercolor illustrations of popsicles designed by artist Margaret Berg of California. The stamps will be issued on June 20, with a dedication ceremony at the Thinkery Children's Museum in Austin.
The exact scent remains a mystery, and won't be revealed until next month, but the Postal Service did issue a few clues in its press release: "In recent years, frozen treats containing fresh fruit such as kiwi, watermelon, blueberries, oranges, and strawberries have become more common. In addition, flavors such as chocolate, root beer, and cola are also popular." So, maybe it will smell like a chocolate-covered kiwi dunked in root beer? Yay? Catherine Garcia
The Syrian military said Monday that after fighting for a month, it has captured an area of southern Damascus from the Islamic State, and the capital is now, for the first time since the country's civil war began in 2011, under full government control.
Government forces were able to take back the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk and the Hajar al-Aswad district, and they will now focus on the territory held by rebels in southern Syria. President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been assisted by Iranian-backed militias, including Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called on Iran to leave Syria, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters that his country's "presence in Syria has been based on a request by the Syrian government and Iran will continue its support as long as the Syrian government wants."
A monitoring group said that 1,600 people, including hundreds of ISIS militants, left southern Damascus on Saturday and Sunday, heading toward the eastern desert after agreeing to a deal with the Syrian government, The Associated Press reports. Catherine Garcia
Interview magazine, founded by Andy Warhol in 1969, is shutting down, several staff members confirmed Monday.
The magazine featured celebrities interviewing one another, and covered art, entertainment, pop culture, and fashion. Editor Ezra Marcus told CNNMoney that the magazine is "folding both web and print effective immediately," and employees found out during a meeting that the company is filing for bankruptcy. In 1989, billionaire Peter Brant purchased Interview from Warhol's estate.
The past several months were tumultuous for the magazine, with its former editorial director suing for back pay and the fashion director resigning after being accused of sexual misconduct. Catherine Garcia
The Onion hilariously eviscerates Michael Cohen's 2013 demand to remove a 'disgusting' article about Trump
Back in 2013, before anyone suspected that Donald Trump might one day become president, satirical news outlet The Onion made fun of the reality TV host by mocking his birther claims. Even then, Trump's longtime fixer Michael Cohen was defending him behind the scenes.
The Onion on Monday finally responded to a 2013 cease-and-desist letter from Cohen regarding a satirical article about Trump, hilariously taking down the attorney for his outrage.
Earlier that year, the satirical news outlet published a piece titled "When You're Feeling Low, Just Remember I'll Be Dead In About 15 or 20 Years" and attributed it to Trump. "You can always take solace in the fact that the monstrous, unimaginable piece of s--t that is me will stop existing fairly soon," read the article. "Why, by 2020, I, a man who recently tried to extort the sitting president of the United States to release his college and passport records, might even begin to show signs of serious and unavoidable decline in mental and physical faculties."
The article did not sit well with Cohen. He called it an "absolutely disgusting piece" that went "way beyond defamation" in an email to The Onion soon after it was published. Cohen demanded that the article be removed and that the publication issue an apology. The Onion, needless to say, did not feel that necessary.
"We would be more than willing to accommodate Mr. Cohen's wishes," the outlet wrote in long-overdue response, "provided we get something in return, of course." The Onion poked fun at recent reports alleging that Cohen had accepted money in exchange for access to Trump, asking for a quid pro quo deal over the offensive article. Read the full response at The Onion. Summer Meza