Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 11, 2017

Trump won't 'argue' with Putin over election meddling, Roy Moore says he never dated young girls without their mothers' permission, and more

1

Trump won't 'argue' with Putin over election meddling

"Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it," President Trump said Saturday of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow's attempts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election. Of his meeting with Putin in Vietnam later that day, Trump continued, "I can't stand there and argue with him." Instead, he said, he'll talk about Russian military action in the Mideast and Eastern Europe. "I would rather have him get out of Syria," Trump told reporters. "You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with [election interference]. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine."

2

Roy Moore says he never dated young girls without their mothers' permission

Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, who is accused of pursuing and fondling a number of girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30s, said in a radio interview Friday afternoon that allegations about his sexual misconduct toward minors "are completely false and misleading." However, Moore did not deny dating teenagers as an adult, saying, "I don't remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother." Some Republicans have distanced themselves from Moore's candidacy: Sens. Steve Daines (R- Mont.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) retracted their endorsements, and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney slammed Moore's defenders on Twitter.

3

U.S. soldier killed in Niger was found bound, apparently executed

Two villagers in Niger who live near the site where four U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush earlier this fall report that the body of Army Sgt. La David Johnson was discovered bound and with a head wound suggesting he was captured and executed by militants, The Washington Post reported Friday evening. Johnson was separated from the rest of the troops who were attacked, and his body was missing for several days. It was eventually discovered by children who fetched the adults from their village who spoke with Post. Johnson's death has been marked by controversy over why U.S. troops are in Niger, whether their mission received adequate support, and whether President Trump made an appropriate condolence call to Johnson's widow.

4

Trump touts America-first policies at Asia summit

President Trump said at a regional summit in Vietnam the U.S. "will not tolerate" trade abuses, saying only countries that "follow the rules" will get U.S. business. Trump said the U.S. has removed trade barriers to let foreign goods into America, but accused many countries of not reciprocating by opening their markets. "We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore," the president said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Danang. "I am always going to put America first, the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first."

5

Trans-Pacific Partnership proceeds without U.S.

"Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)," said a Friday statement from the 11 nations participating in the trade deal. The United States was originally the 12th signatory to the TPP in 2016, but President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement, which he once called "a rape of our country," immediately after taking office. Negotiations have continued since then, and on Friday Vietnamese Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh said participants have now "overcome the hardest part."

6

Flynn's attorneys reject Mueller investigation news

Lawyers for ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Friday broke their public silence to rebuff recent stories related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling and Flynn's alleged involvement. While they previously abstained from comment in "respect for the process of the various investigations," Flynn's attorneys said, "today's news cycle has brought allegations about General Flynn, ranging from kidnapping to bribery, that are so outrageous and prejudicial that we are making an exception to our usual rule: They are false." The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Friday that Mueller is investigating Flynn's alleged implication in a plot to earn millions kidnapping a Turkish cleric.

7

Republicans divided on tax overhaul plan

A number of Republican senators, including Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), and John McCain (Ariz.), are expressing concerns about how the GOP tax overhaul plan might affect the national debt after the party released its framework on Thursday. The Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored the Senate plan, but the House bill was estimated to increase the debt by $1.7 trillion over a decade. The two bills retain significant differences, including the number of individual tax brackets and when the corporate tax cut would go into effect. The GOP can only afford to lose two votes in the Senate and 22 votes in the House.

8

North Carolina air traffic controller arrested on WMD charges

An air traffic controller in Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested Friday on weapon of mass destruction (WMD) charges, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced. Paul George Dandan was arrested along with Derrick Fells, who does not work at the airport and is accused of constructing a homemade pipe bomb. Fells allegedly made the bomb to use against a neighbor, only to give it to Dandan instead. Dandan did not have access to airplanes, and it is unclear what he intended to do with the bomb. A WMD is defined as any weapon with an explosive charge larger than four ounces.

9

Louis C.K. confesses to sexual misconduct

Comedian Louis C.K. on Friday confirmed allegations by five women who said he masturbated in front of them. "These stories are true," C.K. said in a statement. "At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay … [b]ut what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question. It's a predicament for them." C.K.'s new film, I Love You, Daddy, was canceled by its distributor on Friday following the reports of his sexual misconduct.

10

Disney announces new Star Wars trilogy

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will write and direct a new Star Wars trilogy set in "a corner of the galaxy" that the franchise has "never before explored," Disney announced Thursday. The film studio and theme-park operator's stock gained about 1 percent after CEO Bob Iger made the announcement. "Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it," Johnson said in a joint statement with producer Ram Bergman. "We can't wait to continue with this new series of films." Johnson's first Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, is the second in the sequel trilogy and will be released Dec. 15.

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