10 things you need to know today: November 28, 2017
Mulvaney freezes new rules on first day in contested job, second GOP senator comes out against tax plan, and more
Mulvaney freezes hiring and new rules on first day in contested watchdog job
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney ordered a freeze on hiring and new rule-making at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday, the first work day since President Trump named him as the watchdog's acting director. Mulvaney's announcement came a day after the agency's chief of staff filed a lawsuit saying she was the "rightful acting director" as deputy of former director Richard Cordray in accordance with the law establishing the CFPB. Mulvaney is a longtime critic of the CFPB, which Trump and other Republicans also have slammed as being too aggressive against banks, and he said he wanted the agency to "protect people without trampling capitalism."
Second GOP senator comes out against tax plan
A second Republican senator, Steve Daines of Montana, came out against the Senate GOP's proposed tax overhaul on Monday, leaving his party with no votes to spare if it hopes to pass the legislation in its current form. "Senator Daines has concerns with how the tax bill looks at Main Street versus Large Corporations," his spokesperson told Business Insider. "The senator wants changes to the tax cut bill that ensures Main Street businesses are not put at a competitive disadvantage against large corporations." Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) also said he felt the current incarnation of the GOP tax overhaul favored big corporations at the expense of small businesses. He said he could back it with changes, but, "As it's currently written, I'm a no."
Trump refers to Warren as 'Pocahontas' at event honoring Native Americans
President Trump used a racially insensitive nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday during an Oval Office event honoring Native American code talkers. "You were here long before any of us were here," Trump told the assembled group after initially declining to give a speech. "Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago," Trump added, speaking beneath a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who signed the 1830 Indian Removal Act. "They call her Pocahontas." The insult has been a favorite of Trump's, stemming from Warren's claim that she is of Native American descent. Dr. J.R. Norwood, the general secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes, said in a statement that using American Indian names as insults reduces them to "racial slurs."
Flynn lawyer meets with members of Mueller's team
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's lawyer met Monday with members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, fueling speculation that Flynn was discussing a deal to cooperate with prosecutors investigating Russia's election meddling and possible collusion by President Trump's associates. Trump's lawyers confirmed last week that Flynn's lawyer had ended an agreement to share information and strategy, a move legal experts said sometimes indicated that a deal is in the works. Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to immediately comment on what he and Mueller's team discussed.
Pope Francis to meet with Myanmar leader Suu Kyi
Pope Francis on Monday met with Myanmar's military chief, who told him there is "no religious discrimination" in the country. The military leader, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, is the leader in charge of the crackdown that has driven more than 620,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border to neighboring Bangladesh. On Tuesday, Pope Francis' first full day in Myanmar, he will meet with the country's de facto civilian leader, Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Pope Francis has spoken in support of the Rohingya, and anticipation is building over how he will address the issue in a speech to Suu Kyi and other leaders.
Washington Post says woman peddled Roy Moore accusation in apparent sting attempt
The Washington Post reported Monday that it was approached by a woman claiming that Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore impregnated her when she was 15 — but reporters later spotted her entering the New York offices of Project Veritas, a group that produces deceptively edited hidden camera videos to discredit mainstream news and left-leaning organizations. The woman, identified as Jaime Phillips, said Moore talked her into an abortion. She repeatedly pressed Post reporters for their opinions and guarantees that her allegations would cost Moore a December special election. The reporters declined to take the bait, and did not publish a story based on her account.
Cyber Monday sales set record
Cyber Monday set a record with $6.59 billion in sales, making it the biggest U.S. shopping day in history, according to a report by Adobe Analytics. The total marked a 16.8 percent increase over the previous record of $5.65 billion set last year. Retailers this year also brought in $5.03 billion on Black Friday, and $2.87 billion on Thanksgiving. The global record was set on China's Singles' Day, with $25.4 billion earlier this month. In the U.S., 47.4 percent of Cyber Monday visits were from mobile devices, mostly smartphones. That's also a record. Revenue from smartphone sales rose by 32.2 percent to a record $1.59 billion. Amazon probably took the biggest share of online sales, with an estimated 42 percent, according to marketing research firm Slice Intelligence. The National Retail Federation releases its holiday shopping data on Tuesday.
British actress accuses Weinstein of breaking sex trafficking law
British actress Kadian Noble filed a civil suit on Monday accusing disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein of violating sex trafficking laws by summoning her to his hotel room in Cannes and sexually assaulting her in 2014. The suit says The Weinstein Company broke sex trafficking laws by "benefiting from, and knowingly facilitating" overseas trips during which Weinstein would "recruit or entice female actors into forced or coerced sexual encounters on the promise of roles in films or entertainment projects." Noble says Weinstein invited her to his room to discuss casting her in a film, then groped her and forced her to masturbate him, saying, "Everything will be taken care of for you if you relax." Weinstein's representative repeated previous denials that he ever had non-consensual sex.
White House says Trump stands by his 2016 apology for Access Hollywood remarks
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that President Trump stands by his 2016 apology for his remarks on the Access Hollywood tape in which he boasted of sexually assaulting women, brushing off a New York Times report that Trump had privately suggested the tape was a fake. Access Hollywood confirmed Monday that, "The tape is very real." Sanders said Trump "made his position clear at that time," when he admitted he made the remarks, apologized, and said his comments were "locker-room talk" rather than an admission of abuse. "The president hasn't changed his position," Sanders said. "I think if anything, what the president questions is the media's reporting on that accurately."
Prince Harry says he knew Meghan Markle was 'the one' instantly
Prince Harry and his fiancee, American actress Meghan Markle, followed up the announcement of their engagement Monday with an interview in which they shared some of the details of their courtship. The once-rebellious prince met Markle on a blind date arranged by a mutual friend. When asked when he knew Markle was "the one," the British prince said, "The very first time we met." He said he proposed while they were preparing a roast chicken, and she accepted before he could complete his proposal. Markle said she would be reminded of the legacy of Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana, every time she looks at her engagement ring, which has two diamonds that once belonged to Diana. "Obviously not being able to meet his mom," Markle said, "it's so important to me to know that she's a part of this with us."