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June 15, 2018

The only person who can fire scandal-plagued Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, President Trump, appears to be sticking by his man, but Pruitt's list of defenders is growing smaller by the day.

On Wednesday, reliably pro-Trump Fox News host Laura Ingraham called for Pruitt's ouster, and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), one of Pruitt's mentors, said he was almost there, too. After the latest in a long string of Pruitt scandals, this one involving using his official position to get his wife a job, National Review's editorial board said "we are now at a point where a good week for Pruitt sees only one report of behavior that is bizarre or venal." Trump's top aides have reportedly long wanted Pruitt gone. The conservative advocacy group American Future Fund even made an ad calling Pruitt a "swamp monster" and urging Trump to go full Apprentice and fire him.

Perhaps the one man in Washington with no opinion on Pruitt is House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The numerous headlines about Pruitt's first-class travel, unusually expensive security costs, scandalously cheap rent at a lobbyist's apartment, and other embarrassments have apparently escaped Ryan's attention, he suggested Thursday. "Frankly I haven't paid that close attention to" Pruitt's ethics issues, Ryan said, referring the inquiring reporter to the EPA oversight committee. He said he supports Pruitt's "regulatory position," but "I don't know enough about what Pruitt has or has not done to give you a good comment."

If Ryan is concerned about a change in "regulatory position," he needn't be. Pruitt's most likely replacement is Deputy EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist. Peter Weber

November 12, 2018

Amazon has decided to divide its new headquarters between New York City and Northern Virginia, a person with knowledge of the plan told Politico on Monday night.

The headquarters will be split between Long Island City in the New York borough of Queens and Crystal City, with about 25,000 employees at each site.

Wanting a second headquarters equal to the one in Seattle, Amazon first started looking for a site in September 2017. Cities across the United States tried to lure Amazon by offering tax breaks and other incentives, and last week, The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon was going to actually open two new headquarters instead of one. The official announcement could be made as early as Tuesday. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

Over the weekend, President Trump told advisers he wants Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen out as soon as possible, five current and former White House officials told The Washington Post on Monday.

He has complained about her for months and does not think she is doing a good enough job securing the borders, the officials said. Trump and Nielsen were supposed to visit troops stationed at the border in South Texas this week, but Trump canceled the trip.

People close to Nielsen said Trump gets frustrated when she tries to tell him about immigration laws and regulations, and he has berated her during Cabinet meetings. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who preceded Nielsen as DHS secretary, is Nielsen's biggest defender in the administration, and he's reportedly trying to either avert her dismissal or postpone it. Officials told the Post that Kelly's word doesn't mean much, because his future at the White House is also uncertain.

Trump has told White House aides that potential replacements for Nielsen include Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, the Post reports. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

At least 42 people have been killed by the Camp Fire in Northern California's Butte County, making it the deadliest fire in state history.

The previous deadliest blaze was the 1933 Griffith Park Fire, which killed 29 people in Los Angeles. The Camp Fire has burned 117,000 acres, destroyed more than 7,100 homes and businesses, and is just 30 percent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Monday. Most of the deaths were in the town of Paradise, which was almost entirely wiped out by the fire.

In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire has burned 91,572 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, destroying 370 structures and killing two people. It is only 20 percent contained. Two new fires broke out nearby on Monday, but firefighters were able to quickly get them under control, thanks to ground and air support. Winds are fanning the flames in both Northern and Southern California, and forecasters say it is not expected to rain before Thanksgiving. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

New York City is standing in solidarity with California, as wildfires continue to rage across the state.

On Monday night, the Empire State Building was lit up in blue and gold, California's state colors. The top of the spire glowed red to look like an EMS siren "in sympathy for the victims and those affected by the California wildfires," the Empire State Building tweeted.

The wildfires have killed at least 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Northern and Southern California. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

A friend of Republican operative Roger Stone said he's been told by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team that he will be indicted for perjury.

"This was one of the most confusing and frightening things I've experienced," Jerome Corsi, a conservative author, commentator, and conspiracy theorist, told NBC News on Monday. "I'm 72 years old and I'm afraid they're going to lock me up and put me in solitary confinement." Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and his prosecutors have reportedly called nearly a dozen of Stone's associates, including Corsi, in front of his Washington, D.C., grand jury.

Corsi said he was interviewed about WikiLeaks obtaining emails hacked from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. NBC News reported in October that Mueller's team has communications suggesting Corsi knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks was going to publish Podesta's stolen emails; Corsi said he can't remember ever meeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or receiving information from anyone about Podesta's emails, and claims he "figured out" the emails were going to be published by doing his own detective work. "They have all your emails and phone records," he said of Mueller's team, adding, "They're very good at the perjury trap." Perjury is where you lie to law enforcement. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race, The Associated Press, NBC News, and several other outlets project.

The winner wasn't apparent on Nov. 6, as Arizona still had a lot of votes to count, and on Monday, Sinema's lead over McSally grew to 1.7 percentage points. McSally tweeted her congratulations to Sinema, and said she remains "inspired by Arizonans' spirit" and believes "our state's best days are ahead of us."

Sinema, a three-term congresswoman who bills herself as a moderate, will fill the seat held by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R), becoming the first woman in state history elected to the Senate. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

At least three people were killed and 29 injured on Monday when Palestinian militants fired at least 300 rockets and mortar bombs at Israel and Israeli fighter jets bombed buildings across Gaza.

The dead include two Palestinian militants. The violence was triggered by a botched Israeli raid in Gaza late Sunday night that left seven Hamas militants and an Israeli lieutenant colonel dead. Hamas and a smaller group named Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rockets, with a spokesman saying they retaliated "so the occupation and its supporters know that the lives of our sons come with a price."

An Israeli airstrike destroyed the headquarters of Al Aqsa, the television station run by Hamas; Israel has said the station "broadcasts violent propaganda" and offers "operational messaging" to militants. The Associated Press reports this was likely the most "intense exchange of fire" since 2014. Catherine Garcia

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