May 2, 2019

The National Rifle Association's longtime advertising agency says that NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre charged more than $240,000 in expenses while on several trips, but was unable to produce all of the receipts, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

In a letter dated April 22, Ackerman McQueen told LaPierre it is "imperative" he get the documentation to the firm, the Journal reports. The letter was also sent to the NRA's board of directors last week, delivered by then-NRA President Oliver North. North said a committee needed to investigate the travel costs and also look into other money mismanagement; in turn, LaPierre accused North of extortion, and pushed him out of the organization. Ackerman McQueen has worked for the NRA for decades, but the two organizations are now at odds, after the NRA sued the firm last month for breach of contract.

The travel in question includes trips LaPierre took to Hungary, Italy, the Bahamas, Palm Beach, and Reno, and the agency was reimbursed by the NRA over time. William A. Brewer III, an outside attorney for the NRA, told the Journal the "vast majority" of LaPierre's travel "involved donor outreach, fundraising, and stakeholder engagement." The expenses went through Ackerman McQueen for "confidentiality and security purposes," he said, and this practice has been changed. Catherine Garcia

12:11 a.m.

President Trump can breathe a sigh of relief — the latest tell-all book from a member of his orbit isn't about him, but rather first lady Melania Trump.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend and senior adviser to Melania Trump, is writing a memoir that will detail their 15-year relationship, from beginning to implosion. Melania and Me is due to hit shelves on Sept. 1, Vanity Fair's Emily Jane Fox reports, and will be published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster — the same company behind former National Security Adviser John Bolton's The Room Where it Happened and the upcoming Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, written by the president's niece, Mary Trump.

Wolkoff, a former special events director at Vogue, helped plan the 2017 inauguration, and soon after became a senior adviser to the first lady. Her time in the White House was short-lived; she was ousted in February 2018 after it was revealed that the Trump inaugural committee paid her firm $26 million to assist with the inauguration.

Wolkoff spoke with The New York Times in 2019, and said she had been "thrown under the bus." Time has not healed all wounds, as people with knowledge of Melania and Me told The Daily Beast it is "largely negative," "explosive," and "heavily trashes the first lady." Catherine Garcia

July 6, 2020

In a segment Sunday on Ghislaine Maxwell's arrest, Fox News showed this photo of Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein, and future first lady Melania Trump from February 2000. They cropped out Donald Trump. That was a mistake, a Fox News spokeswoman said Monday.

Embed from Getty Images

“On Sunday, July 5, a report on Ghislaine Maxwell during Fox News Channel’s America’s News HQ mistakenly eliminated President Donald Trump from a photo alongside then Melania Knauss, Jeffrey Epstein, and Maxwell," the spokeswoman said in a statement. "We regret the error.” Peter Weber

July 6, 2020

The United States is "knee-deep in the first wave" of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday, but he is hopeful that "by the end of this year, or the beginning of 2021, we will at least have an answer whether the vaccine or vaccines — plural — are safe and effective."

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said there are multiple vaccine candidates being studied, "and if things go the way it looks like they're going," one will enter the final phase of clinical trials at the end of the month, with others soon following.

Fauci made his comments during a Facebook Live discussion with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. Although companies are working as fast as possible to develop a vaccine, Fauci stressed that "there will be no compromising on the principles of safety and efficacy. Whatever we come up with in a few months is going to be just as rigorously tested as any vaccine ever has been."

The trials will take place in areas where there are high levels of transmission, and Fauci said he is ensuring they "are quite well represented by the individuals who are most susceptible, not only to infection because of certain circumstances in their life, but also the fact that they are more prone to complications because of underlying comorbidities." Catherine Garcia

July 6, 2020

Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 while in New York City's Central Park and claimed an "African-American man" was threatening her life, was charged on Monday with filing a false report.

The incident took place on Memorial Day after Christian Cooper, a Black man who was birdwatching, asked Amy Cooper to leash her dog. She refused to do so, instead telling Christian Cooper she would call the police and tell them "there's an African-American man threatening my life." Christian Cooper, a board member of the New York City Audubon Society, filmed the encounter, which has been viewed 40 million times online and sparked a national discussion.

Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said on Monday that his office is "strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable." Amy Cooper was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor; if found guilty, she could face up to a year in jail. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14.

After the incident, Amy Cooper was fired from her job. In a statement, her lawyer, Robert Barnes, said his client will be found not guilty, adding, "She lost her job, her home, and her public life. Now some demand her freedom? How many lives are we going to destroy over misunderstood 60-second videos on social media?" When asked for comment, Christian Cooper told The New York Times he had "zero involvement" in the district attorney's case. Catherine Garcia

July 6, 2020

Mary Trump's tell-all book about her family is hitting bookstores sooner than expected.

Simon & Schuster announced on Monday that Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man will be published on July 14, two weeks earlier than scheduled, due to "high demand and extraordinary interest."

Mary Trump, the daughter of President Trump's eldest brother, Fred Trump Jr., is a clinical psychologist. Too Much and Never Enough paints her uncle as a "damaged man" with "lethal flaws," Simon & Schuster said, and is already the No. 1 best-selling book on Amazon, CNN reports.

The president's younger brother, Robert Trump, sought a restraining order in an attempt to block the book's release. Last week, he won an injunction against Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster, but a New York state appeals court lifted the temporary restraining order against the publisher, saying the company is not bound by a nondisclosure agreement Mary Trump signed in 2001.

Mary Trump's spokesperson, Chris Bastardi, said on Monday that Trump's attempt to "muzzle a private citizen is just the latest in a series of disturbing behaviors which have already destabilized a fractured nation in the face of a global pandemic. If Mary cannot comment, one can only help buy wonder: What is Donald Trump so afraid of?" Catherine Garcia

July 6, 2020

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has won the state's Republican gubernatorial primary, defeating former Gov. Jon Huntsman.

The primary was held last Tuesday, and the race was called on Monday afternoon by The Associated Press. Cox has 36 percent of the vote, followed by Huntsman with 35 percent. In third place is former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, with 21 percent.

Huntsman was elected governor of Utah in 2004 and 2008, and later served as U.S. ambassador to China during the Obama administration. Most recently, he was President Trump's ambassador to Russia.

Cox, who has been lieutenant governor since 2013, received the endorsement of outgoing Gov. Gary Herbert (R). In November, Cox will face off against Democratic nominee Chris Peterson, an attorney and consumer advocate. Catherine Garcia

July 6, 2020

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday afternoon revealed that she has tested positive for COVID-19.

On Twitter, Bottoms said that COVID-19 has "literally hit home. I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive." Later, she appeared on MSNBC, and told anchor Joy Reid that her husband has also tested positive for the virus, and she has "no idea when and where we were exposed."

Bottoms said her family has taken "all of the precautions you could possibly take," including wearing masks and frequently washing their hands. This was her third coronavirus test, with Bottoms telling Reid she has been routinely tested because of her public job. Catherine Garcia

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