The Republican National Committee has decided to pull out of a joint fundraising agreement it had with Roy Moore, the GOP Senate candidate in Alabama, a senior party official told Politico Tuesday.
Moore has been accused of making sexual advances towards teenage girls when he was in his early 30s, and GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have spent the last few days calling on him to drop out of the race. Alabama's special election is set for Dec. 12, but the RNC has also decided to shut down its field program in the state; they had about 12 paid canvassers working there for Moore. Last Friday, one day after The Washington Post reported on the allegations against Moore, the National Republican Senatorial Committee withdrew from its joint fundraising agreement with the candidate. Catherine Garcia
CVS has made a $66 billion bid for Aetna, America's third-largest health insurer, several people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
After The Wall Street Journal first reported on the bid Thursday, shares of Aetna rose more than 11 percent while CVS shares went down 3 percent. Should CVS acquire Aetna, it would potentially make it easier for CVS to negotiate prices with drugmakers, and could also give CVS a boost as speculation grows over Amazon entering the drug prescription market, Reuters reports. CVS made its bid in early October, but the company and Aetna have been in talks about a deal for several months, several people told Reuters, and they're not expected to reach an agreement for several weeks. Catherine Garcia
Hustler publisher Larry Flynt is offering up to $10 million in cash for information that leads to "the impeachment and removal from office of Donald J. Trump."
Flynt made the announcement on Twitter and in an ad in The Washington Post, and it's not the first time he's put up a reward for information on Trump: Last October, after footage from Access Hollywood was released that showed Trump bragging about groping women, Flynt said he was seeking "verifiable video footage or audio recordings for use prior to the November 8 election clearly showing Donald Trump engaging in illegal activity or acting in a sexually demeaning or derogatory manner." On Twitter Sunday, Flynt simply said, "So I decided to do this ... let's see what happens." Catherine Garcia
For $1,000, you can buy a five-night cruise to the Bahamas, a new laptop, or a king-size mattress. Or, you know, you could buy Samsung's Galaxy Note 8. Shortly after debuting the new phone Wednesday, Samsung revealed that people are going to have to shell out a hefty $930 to get it.
Crazy as that price may sound, it's not wildly out of the range of what phones are costing nowadays. The upcoming iPhone 8 is estimated to cost more than $1,000. The Samsung Note 7, infamous for sometimes spontaneously combusting, cost more than $800 before it was discontinued.
The Verge noted that Samsung hasn't been selling its new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus for full price "all that often," thanks to frequent deals. The phone also boasts some pretty high-tech features, like a massive infinity screen, dual mega-pixel cameras, and an S Pen Stylus that can translate complete sentences.
Still, watching $930 hit the ground when you inevitably drop your phone couldn't feel good. Becca Stanek
A private fundraiser at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday brought in an estimated $10 million, organizers said, with the money being split between President Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee.
Trump spoke for 30 minutes in front of 300 supporters, party leaders, and major Republican donors, some who paid more than $30,000 for entrance, 40 months ahead of the 2020 election. Not having any legislative victories to tout, Trump instead praised his own deregulation efforts and said health-care reform has to be done, two people present at the event told Politico. He also went after the media, primarily CNN, suggesting that he is a victim of their reporting, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Before the fundraiser began, dozens of protesters gathered outside, chanting against the GOP health-care bills. Catherine Garcia
On Tuesday, Wells Fargo announced it has reached a $110 million settlement covering dozens of lawsuits across the United States, in connection with employees setting up more than 2 million unauthorized accounts for customers.
The deal must be approved by a federal judge, and it comes six months after the company agreed to pay $185 million in fines and penalties as part of a settlement with the Los Angeles city attorney's office and federal regulators. Wells Fargo has ended its system of having employees hit sales targets, which regulators said caused workers to create the fake deposit and credit card accounts in order to make more money. Catherine Garcia
Chance the Rapper has pledged to give $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools Foundation, with the money going to fund arts and enrichment programming.
The Grammy winner and native of the city's South Side made the announcement Monday at Westcott Elementary School in the West Chatham neighborhood. Chance recently met with Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) to discuss the serious money issues affecting Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and the rapper said he received "a lot of vague answers" to his questions. "Our talks were unsuccessful," he added. "Gov. Rauner still won't commit to giving Chicago's kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums."
It's been two years since Illinois last approved a full budget, and Chicago schools have stayed in session due to the legislature enacting several stopgap measures, Rolling Stone reports. Rauner vetoed a bill that would delegate $215 million in funding to CPS, and without that money, Chance said, thousands of employees might have to be laid off or the school year will be cut short by 13 days. "This means over 380,000 kids will not have adult-supervised activities in June and could possibly be put in harm's way," he said. The $1 million gift is being funded through ticket sales for his upcoming spring tour, local venues, and major concert promoters, and Chance is urging others to donate, too, reminding them that this is not about politics. "As a private citizen, as a parent, and as a product of CPS, I'm asking that you guys join and fight with me, organize with me, mobilize with me, for the interest of the children of Chicago," he said. "This is the very beginning." Catherine Garcia
American taxpayers foot the bill to protect the president's family, because it's important that the commander in chief and any loved ones who could be kidnapped for leverage be kept safe, no matter the cost. President Trump is presenting some unique logistical challenges, The Washington Post notes, and is racking up an unprecedented tab, though many of the costs are hidden or classified for security reasons.
Judicial Watch, a conservative group most famous for hounding the Clintons, was critical of the costs of former President Obama's family vacations on Martha's Vineyard and in Hawaii — as was Trump — estimating the Obamas cost taxpayers $97 million in travel expenses over eight years. That's a lot, "but based on the first four weeks, Trump's presidency appears on track to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more," The Washington Post notes. Trump is heading to Mar-a-Lago for his third consecutive weekend at his Florida club, and those trips alone have probably cost the federal treasury about $10 million, The Post estimates, based on the cost of past presidential trips.
Then there are the costs of protecting first lady Melania Trump, who has chosen to live in New York City with son Barron, and Trump's four grown children — New York City is spending an estimated $500,000 a day guarding Trump Tower, not counting Secret Service expenses, and Trump's sons have been traveling to Brazil, the Dominican Republican, and, this weekend, Dubai on company business, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands more. Assuming the Trump family lifestyle and travel expenses have hit $15 million, Trump's costs in four weeks are already about one-sixth of what taxpayers spent on Obama in eight years.
"This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the president should recognize that," Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, tells The Washington Post. "The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane" — in the case of Air Force One, about $200,000 an hour. Trump might consider Camp David, or his Northern Virginia golf course, not Mar-a-Lago, if he needs to escape Washington, Fitton added. "Going down there ain't free." You can find more numbers at The Washington Post. Peter Weber