First, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wanted to dictate what President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed during their upcoming meeting. Now he wants it canceled altogether.
After Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian agents Friday, Schumer quickly called for Trump to pull the plug on the highly anticipated summit.
Cancel the Putin meeting. Now. https://t.co/SqdhVDafH7
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 13, 2018
Trump is set to meet with the Russian leader in Finland on Monday. But Schumer wants the talks called off until Russia makes "demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won't interfere in future elections," he said in an expanded statement released Friday.
The newest indictments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe allege 12 Russian intelligence officers were involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's emails. About 20,000 DNC emails were stolen and leaked in July 2016 — within days of when Trump called for Russia to hack Clinton's emails.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Schumer jointly slammed the upcoming summit in a Wednesday statement, calling on the president to take "concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy" when he meets with Putin on Monday. Pelosi's post-indictment statement released Friday echoed the earlier message, but diverged from Schumer in declaring that "the stakes for the upcoming Trump-Putin meeting could not be higher." Kathryn Krawczyk
Lots of cities, maybe all cities, have issues with public urination — well-traveled neighborhoods smell like stale pee, walls become tagged with a sort of organic vandalism, and there's always the risk of public exposure of private parts. Paris is aiming to solve at least two of those problems with a new open-air urinal-planter to provide men with a more sanitary and responsible — though not private — alternative to quaint streets and scenic bridges. Dubbed the "uritrottoir" — a combination of the French words for urine and sidewalk — the red public urinals collect the pee in straw that is supposed to be transfigured into compost, sans odor. Not all locals find this solution ideal, as this Washington Post report shows:
The Paris City Council will review the pilot program in September. If they say "non," Paris could always borrow Hamburg's idea of spraying walls along its beer-soaked Reeperbahn with a water-repellant paint that rewards public urinators with a shower of their own bodily fluids. But that might be too mean for a city that prides itself on love. Peter Weber
Before Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) officially won his Democratic nomination in Vermont on Tuesday, he sat down with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. Colbert asked why he wasn't in Vermont — Sanders said he'd voted that morning — and what democratic socialism means for Sanders and his allies. Sanders said it mean a $15-an-hour minimum wage, a national right to health care, tuition-free public college, and clean energy.
"Other people have espoused those ideas without calling themselves socialists," Colbert noted. The Democratic Party has been "socialist-curious" since the New Deal, he added, so why adopt "socialist," a label "freighted with so much negativity"? Sanders said his ideas are now "mainstream" and broadly popular, "and I think also people, in their gut, understand that we're living in a very strange moment in American history, above and beyond Donald Trump — which is very strange." Colbert asked what could be stranger than Trump, and Sanders said the unbelievably voracious "greed of the people on top," America's yawning wealth inequality, and the limitless dark money in politics.
Colbert brought up the 2020 election, noting that a betting site has Sanders tied with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as the likely Democratic presidential nominee. "You want to lay a bet on who gets to face Donald Trump in 2020?" he asked Sanders, who said absolutely not. So Colbert asked if Sanders would "announce to the people here that you are not running in 2020," and Sanders said "no" to that, too. He added that he's focusing on ending the GOP's grip on power in Washington this year, and "it is too early to be talking about 2020." Watch below. Peter Weber
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is sorry about her error on Trump and black employment
When reporters asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday about allegations that President Trump used the N-word and it was captured on tape, Sanders said she "can't guarantee" such a tape doesn't exist, and then she pivoted to jobs. "When President Obama left after eight years in office — eight years in office — he had only created 195,000 jobs for African Americans," Sanders claimed, incorrectly. "President Trump in his first year and a half has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years."
On Tuesday night, Sanders acknowledged her mistake on Twitter: "Correction from today's briefing: Jobs numbers for Pres. Trump and Pres. Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres. Obama wasn't. I'm sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump." The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) took responsibility for her error. According to government statistics, The Washington Post reports, nearly 3 million jobs were created during former President Barack Obama's two terms in office. Politico's Ben White has the graph:
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) August 15, 2018
The CEA explained that it looked at jobs numbers from Obama's election in 2008, during the peak of the Great Recession, and Trump's election in 2016. "The selection of dates is somewhat unusual because it takes into account job gains or losses before Trump and Obama took office," the Post notes. "In any event, economists generally regard a president's ability to shape employment trends as limited." Peter Weber
On Tuesday, Jahana Hayes, the 2016 national Teacher of the Year and a first-time candidate, beat longtime regional politician and presumptive frontrunner Mary Glassman in the Democratic primary for Connecticut's 5th congressional district. Hayes will face former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos (R) in the general election; Cook Political Report rates the district solidly Democratic. If Hayes wins, she will be the first African-American Democrat from Connecticut in Congress and the first black congresswoman from New England.
Being the first nonwhite Democrat elected to Congress in Connecticut "absolutely plays into everything," Hayes, 46, tells The New York Times. "Because while I see myself as someone who can be a representative of all people, I'd be lying if I didn't say that it would be important to so many people in my community. So many people in this state, and not just blacks, but for all people who want to show that we are a community that welcomes everyone." Peter Weber
July 16 was a big day for Jeremiah Dickerson.
Not only was the 4-year-old adopted by his foster parents, Jordan and Cole Dickerson, but he also got to announce to the world that he's going to be a big brother, with his sister due in January. "It was an emotional day," his mom, Jordan, told Good Morning America. "In the end, Jeremiah has blessed our family more than we could ever imagine."
Jordan Dickerson is a pediatric nurse at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, and that's where she met Jeremiah in January 2017. She "fell in love with his smile and joy," she said. He needed to go to a foster home where the parents knew how to take care of his tracheal tube, and Jordan said she couldn't shake the feeling that he was supposed to be with her family. Jeremiah was placed with another foster family, but he soon returned to the hospital, and Jordan and Cole knew they couldn't let him go this time.
They went through training for foster parents and background checks, and in June 2017, Jeremiah was living in their home. A year later, surrounded by friends and family, he was officially adopted, and outside of the Tennessee courthouse he posed for photos holding a picture of his sister's sonogram behind a sign reading, "Today I became a Dickerson. Up next ... big brother." He said he already plans on teaching his sister how to dance and play basketball and baseball. Catherine Garcia
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty lost the Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday night to underdog Jeff Johnson, the Hennepin County commissioner.
Pawlenty served two terms as governor, winning elections in 2002 and 2006, and after he left office he went to work as a lobbyist for banks. Pawlenty entered the race late and did not go to the state party convention in June, but he still raised a lot of money. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Johnson had 53 percent of the vote to Pawlenty's 44 percent.
On Tuesday night, Johnson said he believes his win is "just further indication that the rules have changed, not just in Minnesota, not just in our party. People are expecting something different from candidates." He will face the winner of the Democratic primary, Rep. Tim Walz, in November. Catherine Garcia
"America is still reeling from the troubling reminders that Omarosa is still out there," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. He compared Omarosa Manigualt Newman's brand-new book, Unhinged, to "day-old sushi," then turned to her most salacious claim, that she has heard President Trump say the N-word on Celebrity Apprentice outtakes. "If this shocking allegation is true, it would undeniably make some of his fans very happy," Colbert said. "Others would go, 'Eh, I don't like that he's a racist, but you know, taxes.'"
Trump is fighting back on Twitter, denying such a tape exists and calling Omarosa a "dog." "That is so weird that Trump uses 'dog' as an insult," Colbert said. "He should love dogs — you don't have to pay to watch them pee." Still, "that's it, the president categorically denies saying the N-word," he added, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ... was more equivocal.
"Omarosa continued her Trumpapalooza world tour this afternoon," Colbert said, and he wasn't super sympathetic about her whistle-blowing: "Be careful, Omarosa, you wouldn't want to damage your relationship with the president — he might not hire you four more times." But she did actually drop a bombshell, claiming Trump had advance notice about the leaked Hillary Clinton campaign emails. "That is a massive revelation!" he said. "The emails that Russia hacked, that WikiLeaks leaked, Donald Trump somehow knew before they were actually released. Somewhere in Washington, Robert Mueller is yelling, 'Uh, spoiler alert! Come on!' But Omarosa didn't just accuse the president of being a traitor to his country — she also accused him of being a bad friend," tarring allies with mean nicknames behind their backs. Colbert cut deep: "Yes, he had derogatory names for everybody. Some of them are really cruel. I hear he called this one guy 'Donald Trump Jr.'" Watch below. Peter Weber