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May 7, 2019

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin informed House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) that he will not willingly hand over President Trump's tax returns, as requested under a 1924 law that clearly states he "shall" turn them over. House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) got out his highlighter:

To put it bluntly, Mnuchin appears to be breaking the law. He doesn't frame it that way, of course. In a one-page letter to Neal, he said that after consulting with Trump's Justice Department, "I have determined that the committee's request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose" and "the Supreme Court has held that the Constitution requires that congressional information demands must reasonably serve a legitimate legislative purpose."

The 1924 law does not require any legislative or policy rationale for obtaining tax returns, but some legal experts agree that a string of court opinions demanding legislative reasons could pose a significant hurdle for Democrats if they sue Mnuchin, Politico reports. Neal gave one policy reason, and he could presumably give more.

This dispute may very well be decided by the Supreme Court, eventually. For more context, read Paul Blumenthal's short, engaging history of how and why Congress gave itself the power to see anyone's tax returns in 1924. Peter Weber

12:18 a.m.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, did a Fox News town hall on Sunday, and he took a few moments to criticize the network's own prime-time opinion hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. President Trump didn't tweet about that, but he did criticize host Chris Wallace for noting that the 37-year-old mayor, a war veteran and Rhodes Scholar who speaks several languages, "has a lot of substance" and a "fascinating biography," while never saying the same things about Trump.

Now, if you were an outside journalist, like The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, you might recap Trump's tweet as: "The president openly tells a news network they are not doing enough to favor him." A Fox News stalwart like Brit Hume had a slightly different angle, but he also found the tweet offensive enough to merit a rare rebuke of Trump.

Trump, who had his own one-on-one interview air on Fox News Sunday night, was retweeting Hume sticking up for him a few hours later, so no bad blood there. Former Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), now a conservative talk show host, tweeted that the whole episode highlights an "under-reported" fact about Trump: "He really doesn't do much. People assume that, as president, he's really busy. He's not. He watches TV, he tweets, he does rallies. About it." Peter Weber

May 19, 2019

Hundreds of demonstrators marched in Montgomery, Alabama, on Sunday, protesting against the state's new abortion law, the most restrictive in the nation.

Under the law, almost all abortion procedures are prohibited, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The only exemption is if the woman's health is at risk. The march ended at the state capitol, where protesters shouted, "My body, my choice!" and were joined by representatives from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. "I think it's barbaric," protester Melissa Perdomo told WSFA. "It's a step back."

President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Staci Fox said her organization and the ACLU will "be taking the state of Alabama to court very soon. We'll see Gov. [Kay] Ivey in court. We've fought bills before and haven't lost a fight yet, and we don't plan to lose this one, either." Protesters also gathered in other Alabama cities, including Huntsville and Mobile. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

In 2016 and 2017, anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank flagged several transactions involving accounts controlled by President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as suspicious, but executives chose to ignore their reports, current and former bank employees told The New York Times.

Multiple transactions, some involving Trump's now-shuttered foundation, set off alerts in a computer system that detects potentially illegal activity, the employees said. Workers are supposed to look over these transactions, and those deemed suspicious are reported to the Treasury Department unit covering financial crimes.

In one case, the computer system flagged several transactions involving Kushner's real estate company during the summer of 2016. Former anti-money laundering specialist Tammy McFadden told the Times she looked over the transactions, discovered money had been moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals, and determined these transactions should be reported. Instead of going to Deutsche Bank anti-money laundering experts, her report and supporting documents went to New York managers who were part of the private banking arm, which works with the extremely wealthy, the Times reports. They chose not to forward her report to the government, and McFadden told the Times she believes their decision was motivated by their desire to maintain a close relationship with Kushner.

Deutsche Bank has lent both Trump and Kushner companies billions of dollars, even when other financial institutions wouldn't work with Trump. Congressional and state authorities investigating the relationship between Trump and Deutsche Bank have requested records related to Trump; in April, the Trump Organization sued the bank, attempting to block it from complying with congressional subpoenas. For more on the suspicious Kushner and Trump-related transactions, visit The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

JoJo, ScarCo — whatever you want to call them, celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost are engaged.

Johansson's publicist Marcel Pariseau shared the news with The Associated Press on Sunday. The actress met the Saturday Night Live comedian two years ago. Pariseau told AP they have not yet set a wedding date.

Johansson, 34, has been married twice; she wed actor Ryan Reynolds in 2008, divorcing in 2011, and French journalist Romain Dauriac in 2014, divorcing in 2017. Johansson and Dauriac have a 4-year-old daughter, Rose. Jost, 36, has never been married. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

Robert F. Smith gave a commencement speech on Sunday that won't ever be forgotten by Morehouse College's Class of 2019.

The billionaire founder of investment firm Vista Equity Partners announced that he is creating a grant that will cover the cost of every single student loan held by all 396 graduating seniors. "On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we're going to put a little fuel in your bus," he said.

The graduates erupted in cheers and gave Smith a standing ovation. Morehouse President David A. Thomas told CNN Smith's "liberation gift" will cover about $40 million worth of loans. "When you have to service debt, the choices about what you can go do in the world are constrained," he said, adding that Smith's generosity "gives them the liberty to follow their dreams, their passions." Smith encouraged the graduates to pay it forward, so other students can benefit and "have all the opportunities of the American dream."

After commencement, students — and their parents — were still in a daze. Graduate Elijah Nesly Dormeus is the first of nine siblings to graduate from college, and told CNN that after his dad died when he was a kid, his mother sacrificed and worked hard to provide for her family. He has $90,000 in student loans, and his mother also took out a loan to help him. Smith's gift benefits both tremendously, and "all of her serving, all her giving was not in vain," Dormeus said. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

The Keanu Reeves thriller John Wick: Chapter 3 knocked Avengers: Endgame from the top of the box office, bringing in an estimated $57 million in North American ticket sales over the weekend.

Avengers: Endgame, which dominated the box office three weekends in a row, came in second place with an estimated $29.4 million in ticket sales. Pokémon Detective Pikachu finished third, with an estimated $24.8 million. John Wick: Chapter 3 had a massive opening weekend compared to the first movies in the series: John Wick brought in $14.4 million in 2014, and John Wick: Chapter Two earned $30.4 million in 2017, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Avengers: Endgame has brought in $2.62 billion globally, second only to 2009's Avatar, which earned $2.78 billion. Thanks to its weekend ticket sales, Avengers: Endgame is now the second-highest grossing movie domestically, at $771 million; 2015's Star Wars: The Forces Awakens is still No. 1, with $937 million. Catherine Garcia

May 19, 2019

It's well-documented that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) does not get along with President Trump.

The two have feuded for years, and Romney even singled out the president when he said he was "sickened" by the findings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on his investigation into 2016 Russian election interference (though he does not support impeachment.) Romney told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday's State of the Union that Trump "has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character." Not very flattering.

But Romney set aside his personal grievances in the very same interview, telling Tapper that the path Trump has chosen to take in regards to trade with China is the right one. Romney said China "has gotten away with murder for years" by skirting around foreign commerce rules and regulations, allowing Beijing to steal technology and intellectual property, all while harming U.S. businesses. So, while the senator understands Americans will bear the brunt of the sanctions, he believes it's a crucial sacrifice.

At the same time, Romney made clear that China is the only case where he supports tariffs. He said he thought Trump's recently-lifted tariffs on metal imports from Mexico and Canada were a bad idea, and he doesn't support potential taxes on Japanese and European automobile imports. Tim O'Donnell

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