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January 22, 2019

A former Trump campaign aide told CNN on Tuesday that when he was interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, investigators asked him about how the National Rifle Association forged a relationship with the campaign.

Sam Nunberg said he was also questioned about President Trump's speech at the NRA's annual meeting in 2015, and how that opportunity came up. Nunberg was interviewed in February 2018, but CNN reports that as recently as a month ago, investigators were asking about ties between the NRA and the campaign.

The NRA spent $30 million to support Trump's candidacy, more than the organization spent on presidential, House, and Senate races combined in 2008 and 2012. People familiar with the matter told CNN that Mueller did not ask Trump about the NRA in the written questions he sent him.

Last month, Russian national Maria Butina pleaded guilty to conspiring against the United States, and has acknowledged forming friendships with prominent NRA members in order to gain access to GOP political circles. She said she was working under the direction of Alexander Torshin, a former Russian central banker and lifetime member of the NRA. Catherine Garcia

1:35 a.m.

Every night at 8 p.m. on the dot, sisters Zaria and Hailey Willard grab a few books, turn on their computer, and get settled in for a story time accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Zaria, 13, and Hailey, 8, live in Dover, Delaware, and love to read — their mother, Victoria Willard, told Good Morning America their home is filled with books, and she read to her daughters before they were even born. Knowing that not everyone has the luxury of a large library or someone to read to them, the sisters decided they would step in, using Facebook Live to host a bedtime story session every night. "Reading is good for you," Hailey said.

On Sundays, they head to the library and check out the books for the week, making sure to select stories about "characters who look like us," Zaria said. The girls take turns reading, and their mother monitors everything. Their father is in the Navy, and the sisters are working on their next big project: writing and illustrating a series of books about military families. Catherine Garcia

1:01 a.m.

While California is definitely a blue state, there are deep red pockets throughout, and President Trump's supporters in those areas are opening up their wallets.

California residents have donated more money to Trump's re-election campaign than to most of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, The Guardian reports. The nonprofit CalMatters found that since January 1, Trump has raised $3.2 million in the state. Just two Democrats have brought in more: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who has raised $7.5 million, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has raised $5.1 million.

Trump has received hefty donations from people in Beverly Hills and San Diego, but 92.8 percent of contributions have come from donors giving less than $100, with most living in the more conservative central part of the state. He has an edge over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has raised $2.2 million in California, 89.6 percent of which came from contributors donating less than $100. All together, the Democratic candidates have raised more than $26 million in the state. Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

President Trump was in his element Wednesday night, Seth Meyers said on Thursday's Late Night, as he whipped the crowd at his North Carolina rally into a "racist frenzy" by going after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

Meyers said Trump has spent the last few days slandering Omar, who came to the U.S. as a Somali refugee and is a naturalized citizen, and stood by as the audience began chanting, "Send her back!" This was "one of the most vile spectacles in modern political history," Meyers declared, "a defining moment for our country, and any Republican who doesn't immediately condemn it should imagine how it will look in a history textbook years from now, because there will absolutely be a section on this and it will absolutely name everyone complicit in it and they will absolutely use the worst photo of you they can possibly find."

To prove it, Meyers put up a graphic showing a photo of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that made it appear as though his face was melting into a puddle of chins, and another of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) looking like a hissing bobcat out for revenge.

When asked by reporters on Thursday about the chant, Trump said he tried to shut it down, but Meyers was prepared with a clip showing Trump just standing there, looking around the arena. "That's not how you stop a chant," he said. "That's how you wait in line at the deli for them to call your number." This was an "obvious lie," but that's the "con at the heart of Trump's politics. He whips his base into a racist frenzy and claims Omar is the one who looks down on hard-working Americans, when in reality he's the one plundering the government, doling out trillions in tax cuts to his rich buddies, and partying it up all night because he doesn't work on Thursdays." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

President Trump's North Carolina rally was panned by two people close to him: his wife, first lady Melania Trump, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump.

Both women, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, told Trump they didn't like how the crowd started chanting "Send her back!" after he attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), people with knowledge of the matter told CBS News on Thursday. Omar, a naturalized citizen who was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. as a young refugee, was one of the four Democratic congresswomen of color he tweeted needed to "go back" to their original countries.

Trump didn't try to stop the chanting, which lasted for about 13 seconds, or admonish the crowd. When asked about the incident on Thursday, Trump told reporters he "felt a little bad about it," and insisted he "started speaking very quickly" in order to get the crowd under control.

Earlier in the day, Trump discussed the chant with his inner circle, CBS News reports, and shared his concerns that if he backed down, his supporters would be upset. Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

Capitol Police arrested 70 people on Thursday during protests against the Trump administration's immigration policies.

The protesters were arrested inside the Russell Senate Office Building, with Capitol Police saying they were unlawfully demonstrating in the rotunda. Thursday was the Catholic Day of Action to oppose immigration policies like detaining migrants in overcrowded facilities without adequate necessities. The Sisters of Mercy traveled from Chicago to Washington, D.C., for the protests, and one nun, 90-year-old Sister Pat Murphy, was arrested.

The situation in immigrant detention centers is "immoral," Murphy told ABC News during a phone interview. "These are our brothers and sisters and they are part of the human family," she said, adding, "I mean, any person with any human compassion would reach out. What is going on is, it's just abominable. It's a horrific situation that's happening right now." Murphy, who has been with Sisters of Mercy for 71 years, said it's not fair that people are "being punished because our immigration system is broken, it's shattered, it doesn't exist." Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

President Trump will most likely nominate attorney Eugene Scalia to be the next Labor secretary, three people familiar with the matter told Politico.

Scalia is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and is a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In 2006, he represented Walmart in the retail giant's fight against a Maryland law that would have forced the company to spend more money on employee health care.

Last week, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta stepped down following outrage over a 2008 plea deal he arranged with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in Florida. Acosta's deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will step into the role on Friday. Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday it will not ban the use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide associated with health problems in children.

During the Obama administration, the EPA produced scientific studies showing chlorpyrifos could damage brain development in children and prohibited its use, but in 2017, Scott Pruitt, then the agency's administrator, reversed course. This led to a legal battle, and in April, a federal appeals court told the EPA it had to make a final decision on the ban by July. In a statement, the agency said there is not enough data to show that an unsafe amount of pesticide residue is left in or on treated foods.

Sold under the name Lorsban, chlorpyrifos cannot be used in homes, but can be used by farmers, who spray it on more than 50 nut, fruit, vegetable, and cereal crops, The New York Times reports. Since the legal battle began, several states, including California and New York, have announced they are looking into banning chlorpyrifos. Catherine Garcia

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