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October 12, 2017
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On Thursday night, the White House argued that it cannot lawfully make subsidy payments to insurers who rely on funding to reduce out-of-pocket costs for millions of low-income ObamaCare customers.

The White House said the Justice Department came to this conclusion after analyzing the cost-sharing payments and finding no congressional appropriation for them, and the Department of Health and Human Services said it will end the payments immediately. The subsidies are estimated to cost $7 billion this year, and under the law, insurers still must provide cheaper rates to members even if they no longer receive federal funding. Over the last several months, Trump has threatened to cut off the payments, which he called a "bailout" for insurance companies, and insurance companies have already raised prices in case he followed through. Still, the move is expected to significantly destabilize ObamaCare insurance markets.

In a joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said "it seems President Trump will single handedly hike Americans' health premiums. It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America. Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it." Catherine Garcia

10:53 a.m. ET
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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long will not be fired for his inappropriate use of cars owned by the government, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Friday.

Long used federal vehicles and personnel for his weekend commutes from Washington, D.C., to North Carolina. He had a driver take him home, and reportedly brought aides with him, housing them in hotels using taxpayer money. He was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general.

Nielsen said Long, who will repay the government an undisclosed amount, was acting in line with a longstanding but unofficial FEMA practice intended to keep the administrator accessible in case of crisis. That practice has now been discontinued.

"We had a productive conversation where we discussed my expectations regarding the agency's use of government vehicles going forward," Nielsen's statement said. "The administrator acknowledged that mistakes were made, and he took personal responsibility." Bonnie Kristian

10:45 a.m. ET
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China on Friday canceled scheduled trade negotiations with the United States, citing the Trump administration's tariff escalations. President Trump announced a new round of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports Monday and is expected to target another $257 billion in products this coming week.

"Nothing the U.S. has done has given any impression of sincerity and goodwill," said Chinese Foreign Ministry representative Geng Shuang. "We hope that the U.S. side will take measures to correct its mistakes."

China also slammed new U.S. sanctions punishing Beijing for purchasing weapons from Russia. "The U.S. approach is a blatant violation of the basic norms of international relations, a full manifestation of hegemony, and a serious breach of the relations between the two countries and their two militaries," said a Chinese Defense Ministry statement promising "consequences." Bonnie Kristian

10:28 a.m. ET

President Trump seemed to respond Friday night at a rally in Missouri to the day's report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from the Oval Office.

"Just look at what is now being exposed in our Department of Justice and the FBI. Look at what's going on," Trump said, never mentioning Rosenstein by name. "And I want to tell you, we have great people in the Department of Justice. We have great people. These are people, I really believe, you take a poll, I gotta be at 95 percent. But you got some real bad ones. You've seen what's happened at the FBI. They're all gone. They're all gone. They're all gone. But there's a lingering stench, and we're going to get rid of that too."

Trump also again weighed in on the sexual assault allegation against his Supreme Court nominee. Brett Kavanaugh is a "fantastic man" who was "born for the U.S. Supreme Court," the president said, promising his audience the confirmation would go through. "We have to fight for him, not worry about the other side," Trump said. "And by the way, women are for that more than anybody would understand."

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll published Thursday found a plurality of Americans now oppose Kavanaugh's nomination, and his rising unpopularity is significantly due to shifting attitudes among women since the allegation came to light. Bonnie Kristian

8:28 a.m. ET
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At least 24 people were killed and more than 50 injured Saturday when gunmen opened fire on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, state media reported. Civilians, including children and members of the press, were reportedly among the dead.

"Terrorists began shooting from a long distance while inside the park, at the armed forces as well as civilians watching the parade," said Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarch. Three of the attackers were killed and one was arrested, and the attack was claimed by the Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement, a separatist organization.

Officials said the shooters were disguised as military members and accused Saudi Arabia of connection to the attack. "Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos among casualties," tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. "Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks." Saudi Arabia has not responded to the allegation. Bonnie Kristian

8:10 a.m. ET

Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) granted an extension late Friday for Christine Ford to decide whether to testify about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Grassley announced his choice with a series of tweets, sometimes addressing Ford or Kavanaugh directly:

The previous deadline, already an extension, was Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern. Ford's attorney asked for an additional day, labeling this a "modest request" to correct the Judiciary Committee's "cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor who has been doing her best to cooperate" with the Senate. Bonnie Kristian

September 21, 2018
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"Let the wild rumpus start" — on stage.

The 1963 picture book Where the Wild Things Are is being adapted for an off-Broadway play, The Hollywood Reporter revealed Friday.

The classic Maurice Sendak book follows a character named Max as he ventures to a wild jungle after being sent to bed without supper. He meets wild beasts, befriends them, becomes king, enjoys a quick rumpus with his new Wild Thing pals, then heads back to his bedroom. The book was previously adapted into a 2009 live action film directed by Spike Jonze.

Though Sendak died in 2012, the Maurice Sendak Foundation is commissioning the new play for development by New York's New Victory Theater. There's no set date for the production yet, but Sendak's friend and collaborator Arthur Yorinks has joined the project to adapt the script. Read more at The Hollywood Reporter. Summer Meza

September 21, 2018
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Sources told The New York Times on Friday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed in meetings the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to declare President Trump unfit to serve and remove him from office, and that he proposed wearing a wire to secretly record Trump. But how the conversation really played out is unclear.

These conversations were reportedly documented in memos written by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and other sources told the Times that Rosenstein followed up on the suggestions later. The Washington Post reports that McCabe's memos detailed conversations about a wire and the 25th Amendment that both occurred at the same meeting, shortly after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey. But one person who was at the meeting told the Post that the 25th Amendment was not discussed, in addition to confirming that Rosenstein mentioned wearing a wire "sarcastically." The source says a wire was only brought up because of McCabe's needling for further investigation into Trump, not because of Rosenstein's interest in actually doing so. It was "a sarcastic comment along the lines of, 'What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?'" per the Post.

Another source told the Post that McCabe had previously claimed in private that Rosenstein suggested invoking the 25th Amendment. Rosenstein has denied the Times report, calling it "inaccurate and factually incorrect."

McCabe's attorney told ABC News in a statement that the former acting FBI director "drafted memos to memorialize significant discussions he had with high level officials ... When he was interviewed by the special counsel more than a year ago, he gave all of his memos — classified and unclassified — to the special counsel's office. A set of those memos remained at the FBI at the time of his departure in late January 2018. He has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos." Summer Meza

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