Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 1, 2018

The NYT says it has Mueller's list of questions for Trump, Trump suggests holding summit with Kim in border "peace village," and more

1

NYT says it has list of Mueller questions for Trump

The New York Times reported Monday that it had obtained a list of at least four dozen questions that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Trump for his investigation into ties between Trump's campaign and Russia, and possible obstruction of justice. The questions focus on Trump's firings of former FBI Director James Comey and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between top campaign officials and Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, and Trump's treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The questions also address discussions with Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, regarding a Moscow real estate deal. Trump's lawyers wrote down the questions, and the Times got the list from someone outside of Trump's legal team.

2

Trump suggests meeting with Kim Jong Un be held in DMZ

President Trump suggested Monday that the summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un be held in Panmunjom, the so-called truce village in the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea. "Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important, and Lasting site than a third party country? Just asking!" Trump tweeted. The Peace House was used for last week's meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. They agreed to pursue denuclearization on the Korean peninsula in what was seen as an important step to prepare for the meeting with Trump.

3

McCain says Trump more interested in appearing tough than defending U.S. values

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says in his new memoir, The Restless Wave, that President Trump is more concerned with projecting a "reality show facsimile of toughness" than with defending the nation's values, according to excerpts published Monday by Apple News. McCain, who is battling brain cancer, says he feels more free to speak his mind now that he is not running for re-election. The book is scheduled to be released on May 22. McCain says that Trump "has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones." McCain also expresses regret about the decline of civility in Washington, writing that "whether we think each other right or wrong on the issues of the day, we owe each other respect."

4

Kelly refutes NBC News report that he called Trump an 'idiot'

NBC News reported Monday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has repeatedly referred to President Trump as an "idiot" and told senior aides he has to keep Trump's impulses in check. "He doesn't even understand what DACA is," NBC said Kelly told White House aides, referring to the immigration policy protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation. "He's an idiot." Kelly on Monday denied calling Trump an idiot and called the NBC story, based on comments from numerous aides, "total BS." "I am committed to the president, his agenda, and our country," Kelly said, refuting the NBC report. "This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration's many successes."

5

Netanyahu says documents prove Iran lied about its nuclear program

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said Israel had a cache of files proving that Iran had a secret program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has said its nuclear program was always for peaceful purposes. "Iran lied, big time," Netanyahu said. The remarks came less than two weeks before President Trump must decide whether to extend the suspension of sanctions under the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the documents, all dated 2003 or earlier, were real, but did not provide new information. Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, called Netanyahu's remarks "a very childish and even a ridiculous play" aimed at getting Trump to scrap the nuclear deal.

6

Roy Moore sues sexual misconduct accusers

Roy Moore, the former judge who lost his Senate bid in Alabama late last year after several women accused him of sexual misconduct when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers, filed a lawsuit on Monday against three of those women. The suit claims he was the target of a political conspiracy meant to derail his campaign, with additional counts of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and outrage. Moore has denied the allegations and said during a press conference he "never knew" his accusers. The attorney for one of the defendants dismissed Moore's suit as "frivolous." An attorney for another of the women, Leigh Corfman, said his client is "no longer a teenager and is not going to let Mr. Moore victimize her again."

7

Central American migrants camp near border, seeking asylum

U.S. border authorities late Monday began processing asylum applications for eight people from a caravan of would-be immigrants from Central America. The Justice Department also charged 11 people believed associated with the caravan with illegally entering the U.S. About 50 people, including women and children, camped overnight in Tijuana on the Mexican side of the border crossing, waiting to request asylum after being told there was no room for them at a processing facility. About 200 people from the caravan of Central American asylum seekers remained near the border, hoping to cross into San Diego. President Trump has pointed to the caravan as evidence that the U.S. needs to build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants.

8

Trump extends delay of steel, aluminum tariffs on allies

President Trump is extending a delay on imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Mexico, and Canada until June 1, the White House said in a statement Monday. Trump is still finalizing the levies toward those countries and the extension of the tariff relief will allow more time for negotiations focusing on "quotas that will restrain imports, prevent transshipment, and protect the national security." Meanwhile, the administration said late Monday that it had reached agreements-in-principle on the imports with Argentina, Australia, and Brazil, saying details "will be finalized shortly." Trump announced in March that he would impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum to protect U.S. producers.

9

Vatican treasurer pleads not guilty to Australian sex abuse charges

An Australian magistrate on Tuesday ordered Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican treasurer, to face trail over sexual abuse allegations, which would make him the most senior Roman Catholic official to face charges in the church's global abuse scandal. The 76-year-old Pell, who rose in the Australian church's hierarchy to become archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, promptly pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Belinda Wallington dismissed several of the most serious accusations against Pell, due to a lack of evidence or reliable witnesses, but said Pell would face charges relating to alleged sexual abuse at a pool in the 1970s and in Melbourne's St. Patrick's Cathedral in the 1990s, when he was archbishop of Melbourne. Pell has long denied the allegations.

10

Stormy Daniels sues Trump for defamation

Adult film star Stormy Daniels on Monday filed a lawsuit accusing President Trump of defamation because he tweeted that her claim that a man threatened to harm her in 2011 if she didn't stop alleging that she had an affair with him was a "con job." After Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, released a sketch of the man Daniels says accosted her in a Las Vegas parking lot, Trump tweeted: "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!" Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, offered a $100,000 reward for information helping to find the man.

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