May 9, 2019

President Trump has repeatedly claimed that Puerto Rico has already received $91 billion in disaster relief funding.

That's not true, and the White House knows it. But as The Washington Post explains, there seems to be a good reason Trump keeps repeating it.

Trump first reportedly claimed that Puerto Rico had received $91 billion in aid back in March, with the Post saying he dropped the figure in a meeting with GOP senators and questioned why South Carolina only got a fraction of that presumed amount. He's since taken the number public, tweeting it on Monday and repeating it again in a Wednesday night rally.

After that first reported instance in March, a Post analysis found that only $11.2 billion had actually been spent on Puerto Rico's recovery from devastating hurricanes in late 2017. Another $40.8 billion has been allocated for relief, but hasn't gotten to Puerto Rico yet. The rest of Trump's massive figure comes from totaling these figures with another $50 billion in estimated costs over the next 20 years — a $50 billion that certainly hasn't been guaranteed to get to the island yet.

So while Trump's claim may have some merit, it's incorrect to say that Puerto Rico has gotten a massive $91 billion when it's actually only received about an eighth of that total. The White House actually said it would direct any questions about the $91 billion to the Post's analysis, so read that here. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 7, 2020

Mary Kay Letourneau, the former teacher who married a student after being convicted of raping him, died of cancer on Tuesday, her lawyer said. She was 58.

In 1997, the Seattle-area teacher was convicted of second-degree child rape of her former student, 12-year-old Vili Fualaau; she was 34 at the time. Letourneau was paroled in 1998 and prohibited from having any contact with Fualaau, but soon after her release she was found with him in a car. Letourneau returned to prison, serving the remainder of her seven-year sentence.

Letourneau and Fualaau married in 2005, and divorced in 2019. She had four children from her first marriage and two with Fualaau, as well as at least one grandchild. Catherine Garcia

July 7, 2020

Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized last month after he fell and hit his head, a Supreme Court spokeswoman told The Washington Post on Tuesday night.

The incident occurred on June 21 at the Chevy Case Club in Maryland, the Post reports. Roberts, 65, was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he received sutures. He spent the night in the hospital for observation, and went home the next morning.

The Post learned about the incident from a witness, who said they saw Roberts' head covered with blood. When reached for comment, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said Roberts sustained an injury to his forehead "in a fall while walking for exercise near his home." He was hospitalized overnight "out of an abundance of caution," and doctors "believe the fall was likely due to light-headedness caused by dehydration."

The members of the court get to decide what is made public about their health; most recently, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shared in May that she was hospitalized after being diagnosed with a gallbladder condition. Catherine Garcia

July 7, 2020

Siegal Sadetzki, Israel's top public health official, resigned on Tuesday, saying that the government was ignoring her warnings over reopening the country too fast amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sadetzki is an epidemiologist and director of the Israeli Health Ministry's Public Health Services. In her resignation letter, which she shared online, Sadetzki declared that over the "last few weeks, the compass handling the pandemic lost its direction." She said her "professional opinion is not accepted" by leaders, leaving her unable to "assist with an effective response to curb the spread of the virus."

The lockdowns imposed in the spring worked, Sadetzki said, and some days, there were only 10 coronavirus cases reported across the entire country. In May, schools were reopened, followed by restaurants, bars, and wedding venues where up to 250 guests could gather. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis they could go out and "enjoy themselves," as they had beat the coronavirus.

Reopening schools and large venues so quickly was a mistake, Sadetzki said, as now the country is reporting 1,100 daily infections, nearly double the peak seen in the spring, NPR reports. To try to combat this, the government on Tuesday once again ordered bars, restaurants, gyms, swimming pools, and wedding and entertainment venues to shut down. Israel has 12,700 active coronavirus cases, and at least 338 people have died from the virus. Catherine Garcia

July 7, 2020

In her forthcoming book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, President Trump's niece, Mary Trump, writes that her uncle made inappropriate comments about her body and declared that women who refused to date him were "the worst, ugliest, and fattest slobs he'd ever met."

The Guardian received a copy of Too Much and Never Enough on Tuesday, one week before it is scheduled to be released. Now a clinical psychologist, Mary Trump writes that she once served as a ghostwriter for her uncle. While working on a project together, she writes, Trump provided "an aggrieved compendium of women he had expected to date but who, having refused him, were suddenly the worst, ugliest, and fattest slobs he'd ever met." Madonna and ice skater Katarina Witt were just two of the women he named, The Guardian reports.

Mary Trump says the president also commented on her appearance, recounting that while at his Mar-a-Lago resort in the 1990s, he saw her in a bathing suit and said, "Holy s--t, Mary. You're stacked." His second wife, Marla Maples, slapped him "lightly on the arm" in "mock horror," Mary Trump writes, adding: "I was 29 and not easily embarrassed. But my face reddened and I suddenly felt self-conscious. I pulled my towel around my shoulders."

The holidays weren't joyful affairs either, Mary Trump writes. During one Christmas, Donald Trump and his younger brother, Robert, berated their mother, Mary MacLeod Trump, for making beef instead of turkey, and she spent "the whole meal with her head bowed, hands in her lap," she writes. Mary Trump also recalled receiving odd gifts from the president and his first wife, Ivana Trump, including a single gold lamé shoe filled with hard candy; she wondered if it was a "door prize or a party favor from a luncheon." Read more at The Guardian. Catherine Garcia

July 7, 2020

On Tuesday, Texas reported 10,028 new coronavirus cases — the first time the state has recorded more than 10,000 new cases in a single day. Texas also reported 60 new coronavirus deaths, a daily record.

Looking at data released by the Texas Department of State Health Services, The Texas Tribune has determined there are 210,585 coronavirus cases in Texas, with the death toll at 2,715. There are now 9,286 Texans hospitalized for the coronavirus, 2,753 more than a week ago.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has said he is taking a close look at the state's positivity rate, which is the percentage of positive cases to tests conducted. In May, Abbott said he would consider a rate over 10 percent a "warning flag," while health experts have said the goal is to keep the rate under 6 percent. On Monday, the rate was 13.5 percent.

Businesses began reopening in Texas in May, and the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations began to increase steadily in June. Last week, Abbott made mask wearing mandatory everywhere except in counties with fewer than 20 cases. In an interview with CNN over the weekend, Austin Mayor Steve Adler warned that if "we don't change this trajectory, then I am within two weeks of having our hospitals overrun." Catherine Garcia

July 7, 2020

A growing number of Republicans don't want to party with their party this year.

As of Tuesday, four GOP senators have said they won't be attending the Republican National Convention next month. Their announcements come as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Florida and North Carolina, but not all of those senators are attributing their decisions to the virus.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the oldest member of the Senate, told the Des Moines Register on Tuesday he wouldn't attend the convention for the first time in his Senate career. "And I'm not going to go because of the virus situation," he said. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she never goes to conventions when she's up for re-election, and thus would be skipping this year. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is also reportedly planning to skip, per CBS News' Caitlin Huey-Burns.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) only passively acknowledged the virus when saying he wouldn't attend. "He believes the delegate spots should be reserved for those who have not had that privilege before," said a statement from Alexander's team. The GOP decided to limit the number of delegates who will come to cast their votes in Charlotte, North Carolina, to 336, down from the usual number of 2,500. Meanwhile President Trump wants his keynote address, which will happen in Jacksonville, Florida, to bring together an audience of 10,000. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 7, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's critics think his decision to unveil a draft of a long-awaited report on human rights in person later this month despite the coronavirus pandemic reveals the project's true purpose, Politico reports.

Pompeo previously established a panel called the Commission on Unalienable Rights to re-evaluate how the United States approaches human rights. There has been skepticism of the project since the beginning — some observers have worried the report would prioritize religious freedom while undermining LGBTQ and reproductive rights, for example. Those fears appear to have been enhanced by the fact Pompeo isn't letting the coronavirus stop him from presenting the document and giving a speech at an event in Philadelphia on July 16; per Politico, critics believe the decision to go ahead with the event highlights the political nature of the work.

"I think it sort of reveals Pompeo's true intentions — that this is not about public policy," said Rori Kramer, director of U.S. advocacy for the American Jewish World Service. "It's about his political pet project."

Kramer and others also reportedly find it odd Pompeo is holding the event based on the draft of the report two weeks before a final version is issued, suggesting he isn't interested in the intervening public comment period. The State Department did not respond to Politico's request for comment on Tuesday. Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

See More Speed Reads