10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2017
White House seeks $14 billion in Harvey relief funds, Trump to announce DACA decision Tuesday, and more
White House seeks $14 billion in Harvey relief funds
The Trump administration on Friday requested $7.85 billion in immediate relief aid for the victims of Hurricane Harvey as well as an additional $6.7 billion in Harvey clean-up funding to be added to the omnibus spending bill Congress must pass by the end of September to avert government shutdown. Some $7.4 billion of the emergency allocation will fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the remaining $450 million will pay for small business loans to facilitate economic recovery. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both said Friday they are prepared to "act quickly" to approve President Trump's funding requests.
Trump to announce DACA decision Tuesday
President Trump will announce his decision on whether to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program Tuesday, the White House said Friday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave no insight into Trump's thinking, though she did assure reporters "the president's been very clear: He loves people." A group of 300 corporate executives has banded together in a public push to save the program, which has granted temporary work and residency status to roughly 780,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before age 16. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other Republican leaders also oppose ending DACA.
U.S. and South Korea to revise missile treaty, talk arms deal
President Trump spoke with South Korean President Moon Jae-in Friday to discuss the next move the United States and South Korea will make in response to North Korea's string of provocative missile tests. The presidents agreed to revise a missile treaty between Washington and Seoul, raising the cap on South Korean missile accumulation. Additionally, "President Trump provided his conceptual approval of planned purchases by South Korea of billions of dollars in American military equipment," said a White House statement, suggesting Seoul's weapons stockpile will expand via an American arms deal.
DOJ gives Mueller letter Trump drafted before firing Comey
The Justice Department has given Special Counsel Robert Mueller a letter President Trump drafted less than a week before he fired former FBI Director James Comey in May, The New York Times reported Friday. Crafted by Trump and his senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, the letter, characterized as a multi-page "screed" by some who saw it, was never sent because White House counsel Don McGahn determined some of the contents to be "problematic." The Times described the letter as appearing to "provide the clearest rationale" Trump had for the ouster, including Comey's investigation into Russian election meddling and alleged Trump team involvement.
Trump to visit Harvey victims again
President Trump will make a second trip Saturday to observe the damage done by Hurricane Harvey and to meet with the storm's victims, the White House announced Friday. This time, Trump will visit Houston as well as Lake Charles, Louisiana. The president's first Texas visit Tuesday was criticized for its self-congratulatory tone and focus on the logistics of federal responses to Harvey flooding rather than the suffering of those affected by the catastrophic floods. "I will be going to Texas and Louisiana tomorrow with First Lady," Trump tweeted Friday evening. "Great progress being made! Spending weekend working at White House."
Michael Dell, J.J. Watt fund Harvey recovery
Tech billionaire Michael Dell of Dell computers has pledged $36 million from his family's foundation to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey with the recovery process. Dell is a Houston native and announced the gift Friday. Meanwhile, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is spearheading an online fundraiser. His initial goal was $200,000 for Harvey aid, but as donations poured in he has revised that figure to $20 million. President Trump has also pledged to donate $1 million to help Harvey victims, but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders could not specify whether the funds would come from the Trump family foundation, which has other donors, or from his personal fortune.
Bodycam footage shows Utah nurse manhandled for defending patient's rights
Body camera footage from Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne shows him roughly grabbing, threatening, and handcuffing a University of Utah Hospital nurse, Alex Wubbels, after she refused to allow him to take blood from a patient without a warrant. The patient was not under arrest and was unconscious, thus unable to give consent. Payne responded by violently dragging Wubbels, screaming in pain, to an unmarked car and placing her under arrest. The Salt Lake City Police Department has apologized to Wubbels and put Payne on administrative leave as an investigation proceeds.
Black smoke comes from Russian consulate in San Francisco
Employees of the Russian consulate in San Francisco used a fireplace to burn unknown items Friday, causing the building to emit black smoke from its chimney. When local firefighters showed up to investigate, presuming an emergency because the temperature outside was in the 90s, consulate staff turned them away and explained the smoke came from intentional fireplace use. The fire happened while consulate staff emptied the building in response to a White House order to vacate by Saturday in connection to rising tensions between Moscow and Washington. U.S. agents are expected to search the facility Saturday.
Wildfires rage in California, Montana, Oregon, Washington
Large wildfires are burning in Western states including California, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, requiring evacuations and road closures. Firefighting efforts are complicated by hot weather with low humidity, as well as "very steep and rugged terrain." Much of the region, even in areas relatively distant from the fires, is dealing with heavy smoke that is raising health concerns and disrupting outdoor events. "There aren't even the correct health categories to describe what they're seeing," said air quality specialist Saran Coefield of the smoke in one Montana town.
Serena Williams welcomes baby girl with fiancé Alexis Ohanian
Tennis superstar Serena Williams on Friday welcomed a baby girl with her fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, after reportedly being induced Thursday night. Both mother and child are said to be doing well. Williams, 35, beat her sister Venus to win the Australian Open earlier this year when she was several weeks pregnant, and she hopes to return for the next Australian Open in January. Williams is "very good at a lot of things and well on her way to being an awesome mom too," Ohanian said in July.