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November 1, 2017
St. Charles County Dept. Of Corr/AFP/Getty Images

Sayfullo Saipov was interviewed in 2015 by Department of Homeland Security agents about possible connections to suspected terrorists, ABC News reported Wednesday, citing law enforcement officials. Saipov is accused of perpetrating the terror attack in New York City on Tuesday that left eight dead and 11 injured after a driver drove a rented truck down a Manhattan bike path.

Federal officials said that Saipov's name and address were listed as a "point of contact" for two men who came from "threat countries" and whose names were entered in the Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit database. One of the two men has since disappeared, and federal agents consider him a "suspected terrorist," ABC News reported.

Saipov came to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010 and had known addresses in Florida and Ohio. A fellow Uzbek immigrant who met Saipov in Fort Myers, Florida, said of him: "He was a very good person when I knew him ... He liked the U.S. He seemed very lucky, and all the time he was happy and talking like everything is okay. He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside."

Saipov was able to pass an Uber background check and drove for the company while living in New Jersey. Law enforcement officials ultimately did not have enough evidence to open a case against him when he was interviewed two years ago. Investigators believe that Saipov acted alone and was not part of a terrorist cell or a larger plot. Kelly O'Meara Morales

1:27 a.m. ET

It has been two weeks, and President Trump still has not released the Democratic rebuttal to the memo compiled by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and nobody is sure why. The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release the Democratic memo, but Trump said it contains classified information (he ignored similar concerns when he approved release of the Nunes memo, with no redactions). On Thursday, Stephen Colbert's Late Show found a creative way to remind everyone that the Democratic memo is still being withheld.

The Democratic memo apparently shows, among other things, that the FBI did not rely on the Trump-Russia dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as the Nunes memo claims. So Colbert had the dossier interview the Democratic memo, depicted as blindfolded and in prison. But The Late Show throws in a twist at the end. Watch below. Peter Weber

12:57 a.m. ET

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) entered the lion's den Wednesday night, attending a CNN town hall on school shootings. "Rubio tried his best to explain his positions, but you could tell he was totally out of sync with the rest of the room," Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show, playing Rubio getting cheers for saying you'd have to ban every semiautomatic rifle in America to make an assault weapons ban work. "That was such an epic fail — Rubio said the solution like it was the problem," Noah said. Town halls are usually a dud, but "these kids held Rubio's feet to the fire so hard that they got him to do something that most conservatives hate: evolve."

President Trump didn't attend the town hall, "but he did host his own listening session in the Mar-a-Lago of the north, the White House," Noah said, armed with a note card that reminded him "what emotions to feel," notably, empathy. "I feel bad for Donald Trump," he said. "Because you know that we never would have seen that note if he just had bigger hands." Then he laughed: "Seriously, the guy's a 'stable genius' but he can't remember to say 'I hear you'? It's a listening session!"

On Thursday, Trump proposed paying teachers "bonuses" to carry guns in class. "America really is a special place," Noah said. "For years, teachers have been asking for more pay and politicians have said they don't have enough money, but now the president's, like, 'If you're willing to cap some fools, we're gonna make it rain.'" He sighed: "There are so many practical issues with this plan that I don't even know where to begin, but honestly, it's not even worth going through them all. Because once you decide that Ms. Flenderson needs to be locked and loaded during English class, you're not trying to solve the problem anymore, you're admitting defeat." Watch below. Peter Weber

12:04 a.m. ET

The sheriff's deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, took up position outside the school last week about 90 seconds after the suspected 19-year-old gunman started firing, then waited outside for the remaining four minutes of the deadly rampage, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday. "He never went in." Seventeen people were killed during the six minutes of shooting. The deputy, Scot Peterson, was armed and in uniform, and he should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer," Israel said. "I'm devastated, sick to my stomach." He said he informed Peterson on Thursday he was suspended without pay pending an internal affairs investigation, but Peterson chose to resign instead.

Peterson, 54, had been with the Broward County Sheriff's Office since 1985, and a school resource officer at the high school since 2009. "The investigation will continue" into Peterson's performance, Israel said. "When we in law enforcement arrive to an active shooter, we go in and address the target and that's what should have been done." Before the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, officers were generally told to wait outside until a SWAT team arrived, but now they are told to confront the shooter, even if, like Peterson, they are alone and outgunned. Research has shown that an officer on the scene can slow down or stop a suspect, USA Today reports, even though about a third of those officers are shot.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office also released information on 23 calls related to the suspected shooter going back a decade, progressing from suicide concerns to fears about him harming others, including calls in February 2016 and November 2017 expressing fears that the suspect might shoot up a school. Israel said he has placed two deputies on restricted duty while the department looks into whether they mishandled tips about the suspect. Peter Weber

February 22, 2018

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) was indicted by a grand jury in St. Louis on Thursday for conduct stemming from a 2015 extramarital affair. The charge — a single count of felony invasion of privacy — stems from reports that Greitens, in an effort to cover up his marital transgression, threatened his affair partner that he would release an intimate photo of her if she spoke about their relationship.

Greitens' threat was first reported by local St. Louis news station KMOV, after the woman's ex-husband approached the network. The man had surreptitiously recorded a conversation he had with his then-wife, in which she apparently confesses to the affair with Greitens, describing how Greitens invited her to his home and posed her for a compromising photo before saying, "You're never going to mention my name, otherwise there will be pictures of [you] everywhere."

The blackmail allegation against Greitens led to a criminal investigation by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, whose office handed down the indictment Thursday. Greitens has denied blackmailing the woman, the Springfield News-Leader notes, though he has admitted to having the affair.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Robert Patrick said Thursday that he saw Greitens "being led away in the custody of" St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts. Read the statement from Gardner's office below. Kimberly Alters

February 22, 2018
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President Trump's plan to arm teachers to prevent school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, has an important opponent: actual teachers.

In a statement Thursday, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said her union's position is firm, even among teachers who are gun owners: "Teachers don't want to be armed, we want to teach. We don't want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharp shooters; no amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15."

She had some practical questions, too:

How would arming teachers even work? Would kindergarten teachers be carrying guns in holsters? Is every classroom now going to have a gun closet? Will it be locked? When you have seconds to act when you hear the code for an active shooter, is a teacher supposed to use those seconds getting her gun instead of getting her students to safety? Anyone who pushes arming teachers doesn't understand teachers and doesn't understand our schools. Adding more guns to schools may create an illusion of safety, but in reality it would make our classrooms less safe. [Randi Weingarten]

Read the full statement here. Kelly O'Meara Morales

February 22, 2018
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller levied 32 new charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates on Thursday, the latest development in the Justice Department's sprawling probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The charges against Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, and Gates, a former campaign aide and Manafort's business associate, include multiple charges of tax and bank fraud.

The indictment, handed down Thursday by a federal grand jury, includes a litany of financial crimes, alleging the men filed false income tax returns and failed to disclose foreign accounts. One specific charge claims that Gates helped Manafort launder "more than $30 million in income," Reuters reported. In October, Manafort and Gates were indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to launder money, in the first round of charges to result from Mueller's probe.

The timing of the Thursday filing is notable, The Washington Post noted, because there is "significant uncertainty in the case about when a trial might happen, or even who the defense lawyers will be." Gates' three lawyers have all asked to be dismissed from the case.

Since October, George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, and Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Last week, 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies — including an infamous "troll farm" known as the Internet Research Agency — were charged with conspiracy for online efforts intended to influence the election, the first charges from Mueller's office that concern election meddling specifically.

Read the full indictment against Manafort and Gates here. Kimberly Alters

February 22, 2018

President Trump has proposed that the solution to preventing school shootings is arming teachers. Former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton ... disagrees.

"Proposals to arm American teachers are the height of lunacy," Bratton wrote Thursday in a Twitter thread. He sarcastically added that schools should perhaps "arm school bus drivers and school crossing guards" and said that such proposals are merely "political Band-Aids." The president and the NRA announced their support for armed teachers in the wake of a mass shooting last week at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

"The answer to gun violence isn't more guns," Bratton declared. Citing New York City's decline in gun violence over the last 25 years, the former police commissioner said "fewer guns has resulted in dramatically less gun-related violence of all types." Bratton also seemed to imply his support for an assault weapons ban, as he noted that a previous ban on assault weapons "lowered crime involving that weapon."

Although Bratton was a controversial police commissioner because of his support of a "broken windows" policy that cracked down on minor crimes, he has long been a proponent of gun control and has previously claimed the National Rifle Association has a "stranglehold" on Congress. Kelly O'Meara Morales

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