The National Rifle Association on Tuesday acknowledged that it "accepts foreign donations," but said that those donations don't go toward election work, NPR reports. All of the money is raised and spent "within the bounds of the law," the gun rights advocacy organization insisted in a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Federal investigators are looking into what role the NRA played, if any, in Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. NPR reports that Wyden sent a letter to the NRA earlier this month, asking for clarity in whether the NRA has ever received contributions from foreign entities or individuals.
"While we do receive some contributions from foreign individuals and entities, those contributions are made directly to the NRA for lawful purposes," the NRA's general counsel John C. Frazer responded, in a letter obtained by NPR. "Our review of our records has found no foreign donations in connection with a United States election, either directly or through a conduit."
However, NPR notes, the NRA also acknowledged that it moves money between its political work account and other, less regulated accounts. The NRA wrote that transfers are made "as permitted by law," but it is near impossible to track exactly how donations to the organization are spent.
The NRA has been under increased scrutiny since a McClatchy report revealed that the FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker funneled money to the gun advocacy group to lobby for President Trump. The NRA told Wyden that none of its foreign donations were "connected with Russia." Read more at NPR. Summer Meza
President Trump paused to reflect on his fond travel memories while discussing the relationship between the U.S. and China on Tuesday.
During a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump said he was "a little disappointed" because there was a "change in attitude" after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un secretly met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March. "I don't like that," said Trump. Even though North Korea has walked back its promise to discuss denuclearization during an upcoming summit between Trump and Kim, Trump didn't blame China.
"I have a great relationship with President Xi, he's a friend of mine, he likes me, I like him," said Trump "I mean, that was two of the great days of my life being in China, I don't think anybody's ever been treated better in China ever in their history."
Trump's apparently amazing trip to China was "an incredible thing to witness and see," but despite his great relationship with "world-class poker player" Xi, there is not yet a deal around Chinese company ZTE. The U.S. banned American businesses from selling to ZTE after the company violated trade sanctions, but Trump last week tweeted that he would help restore lost jobs in China. "We will see what happens," said Trump about ZTE negotiations with Xi. "We're discussing various deals."
Watch Trump's comments below. Summer Meza
Time … it's like a flat circle, you know, man?
Or, if you're the glorified-bracelet company Nunc, time is more like a really expensive Italian marble stone shaped like a blank watch face. As the Swedish company explained to one understandably confused Facebook user who made the mistake of pointing out that a watch that doesn't work is just a bracelet, "Nunc is more than a product, it represents a philosophy and a way of life. And for some time we struggled: Should we call it a watch or a timepiece? It clearly doesn't tell the time."
please stop pic.twitter.com/3Vl6IoBtkW
— charmkvark (@charmkvark) May 21, 2018
No, it clearly doesn't, but for 160 euro (about $188), it will aggressively remind you that "time is now, and we should make the most of it" by otherwise being totally unhelpful and impractical:
The whole thing seems almost a little too millennial to be true; there is even a "literature & philosophy" page that discusses sophomore-year-of-college philosophy topics like "carpe diem" and "moment mori," and a "spirituality" page that is "coming soon." Go on your own "deep personal journey" to "find meaning and purpose" on Nunc's website here. Jeva Lange
Trump has long bemoaned American leaders getting outfoxed by China. Today he admitted he got outfoxed.
When Donald Trump announced he was running for president in 2015, he made a big point about how much smarter China's leaders are than America's presidents. Almost three years later and in the White House, Trump might finally be admitting he underestimated President Xi Jinping, HuffPost's Igor Babic observed Tuesday.
Trump's remarks came during a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. "I think that President Xi is a world-class poker player," Trump told the press, adding that the North Koreans had "a somewhat different attitude" during negotiations with the U.S. after they met with the Chinese leader. Trump, who admitted that his summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un might be derailed, said of Xi's meeting with North Korea: "I can't say that I'm happy about it."
Trump suggests Kim Jong Un’s attitude changed after meeting “poker player” Xi Jinping in China, but adds "maybe nothing happened, I'm not blaming anybody" https://t.co/d5790VapTW
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 22, 2018
Compare that with Trump's tone in 2015: "[China's] leaders are much smarter than our leaders, and we can't sustain ourself with that," he said. "There's too much — it's like — it's like take the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team. That's the difference between China's leaders and our leaders." Watch below. Jeva Lange
President Trump said it would be "a disgrace" for the United States if there were "spies in my campaign" in remarks Tuesday following a Monday meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Trump has demanded that the Justice Department look into whether Obama administration officials coordinated surveillance of his campaign for political reasons following reports that an American academic working as an FBI informant met with several members of his 2016 campaign in the early days of the agency's investigation into Russian election meddling.
Trump: "If they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country. That would be one of the biggest insults that anyone has ever seen. It would be very illegal aside from everything else." pic.twitter.com/kvjMLONdWz
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 22, 2018
"That would be one of the biggest insults that anyone has ever seen," Trump said, although there is no evidence the informant was embedded in his campaign. The president additionally dodged a question about whether he has "confidence" in Rosenstein. Jeva Lange
The chairman and CEO of New York City's transit system is bound to be a busy man: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority carries millions of people every day, often via outdated infrastructure in a constantly-evolving city.
But that man, Joe Lhota, is even busier than one might expect, because he also has a handful of other jobs. Lhota's position as chief of staff at a major hospital network, along with his seats on eight different boards and additional lobbying work on the side make for potential conflicts of interest, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Lhota has run the MTA since 2017, but delegates much of the work while he juggles his other leadership positions. The Times explains that Lhota's influence in the city has continued to expand, but the amount of time he spends on the troubled subway system has decreased. Lhota is chief of staff at NYU Langone Health, a network of 230 hospitals and clinics. He has reportedly lobbied for NYU Langone while also running the MTA. He is also a paid board member at Madison Square Garden, a major facility tied to MTA decisions about the adjacent Penn Station.
His work at NYU Langone and on eight transportation-related boards earned Lhota $2.5 million last year, while he forfeited his MTA salary to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest. Lhota vowed to spend 40 hours a week working for the MTA, but records show he has been spending closer to 22 hours. Lhota denied that his multiple jobs represented any conflicts in his role as MTA chief. Read more at The New York Times. Summer Meza
President Trump is tempering expectations ahead of his historic meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, telling the press Tuesday that the planned summit in Singapore "may not work out for June 12." Trump went as far as to say, "[we'll] see what happens, whether or not it happens, if it does, that'll be great … and if it doesn't, that's okay too."
President Trump on his potential summit with Kim Jong Un: “See what happens, whether or not it happens. If it does, it’ll be great. It’d be a great thing for North Korea. And if it doesn’t that’s okay too. Whatever it is, it is” https://t.co/GY7H4vkjgZ https://t.co/zWJ1cvLuJL
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 22, 2018
Trump made the comments ahead of his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and added that "whether or not" the North Korea summit happens, "we'll know soon." Jeva Lange
Facebook — which in March admitted to a data breach of 50 million users — wants your nudes. Understandably, that might not seem like the most appealing idea at this point. But Facebook's policy chief in Ireland, Niamh Sweeney, said that the company is testing zapping photos that violate its terms and conditions by, apparently, inviting users to try to post the images themselves, The New York Times reports.
— Adrian Chen (@AdrianChen) May 22, 2018
Facebook has struggled to keep "revenge porn" and embarrassing photos from being shared without users' consent, but it still needs something to test — the reasoning being that Facebook requires a nude photo to teach it to recognize and delete a nude photo. That's where audience participation comes in!
Lawyer Paul Tweed later expressed his disbelief at Facebook's suggestion, however, asking users rhetorically: "Are you gonna?" Jeva Lange