President Trump has disbanded his voter fraud commission, citing the refusal of many state election officials to hand over voter data due to privacy concerns.
In a statement attributed to Trump on Wednesday, the White House said that "despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry. Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action." The White House did not provide any examples of evidence showing voter fraud.
Trump established the commission in May, and its leaders wanted states to share personal information on voters, including their birth dates and partial Social Security numbers. Its vice chairman, conservative Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, would not go on record saying Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, and in an email to the Justice Department prior to his appointment, member Hans Von Spakovsky from the Heritage Foundation said he didn't think any Democrats, moderate Republicans, or academics should be allowed on the panel. Catherine Garcia
Disney announced Tuesday that it's dumping Netflix. In 2019, Disney will end its streaming deal with Netflix as it launches its very own streaming service later that year.
Disney and Netflix struck their deal back in 2012, though The Verge noted it "only kicked into effect last year." It appears Netflix will retain the Disney movies that it already has in its repertoire, though it won't get any more movies once the deal ends.
Disney's new streaming service will host its latest movies, starting with its planned 2019 releases like Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4, and Disney said it also intends to make a "significant investment" in developing movies and TV programs exclusive to its streaming platform. The platform will be based on technology developed by BAMTech — a video company founded by MLB — in which Disney announced Tuesday it is acquiring a majority stake.
After spending seven years promising a repeal of ObamaCare, Senate Republicans on Friday morning were unable to pass their latest version of a health-care proposal, the Health Care Freedom Act, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared "it's time to move on."
McConnell: "It's time to move on" https://t.co/CKEVDMsNGO
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) July 28, 2017
With three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joining Democrats in voting against the plan, it failed by one vote in what was "clearly a disappointing moment," McConnell said. He claimed that due to "skyrocketing costs," "plummeting choices," and "collapsing markets, our constituents have suffered through an awful lot under ObamaCare. We thought they deserved better."
McConnell also praised Republicans for "working hard" on the bill, which wasn't finalized until Thursday, and accused Senate Democrats of "not wanting to engage in a serious way to help those suffering under ObamaCare." Catherine Garcia
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) acknowledged Monday night that his health-care proposal is in a death spiral, and he said his new plan is to repeal ObamaCare with a two-year delay, with no replacement plan.
"Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of ObamaCare will not be successful," McConnell said in a statement. "So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority in the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of ObamaCare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health-care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care."
Two GOP senators, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), announced Monday they would not support the motion to proceed on the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, joining Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), leaving McConnell without the necessary number of votes to pass the GOP health-care proposal. President Trump called on Republicans to repeal ObamaCare now and "work on a new health-care plan that will start from a clean slate." Catherine Garcia
Trump wants his border wall to have holes in it so Americans don't get crushed by falling bags of drugs
On Wednesday night, President Trump informed reporters on Air Force One that his proposed border wall needs to be see-through, or at least have holes in it, so Americans don't get crushed by falling bags of drugs, the White House transcript of the conversation shows. Trump reportedly held court with the traveling press pool for more than an hour while en route to Paris for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
"One of the things with the wall is, you need transparency," Trump said. "You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can't see through the wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall."
Trump then offered reporters "an example."
"As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don't see them — they hit you in the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It's over," Trump said. "As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall."
As crazy as it sounds, indeed. Jeva Lange
After a decade of trying to find a new location for FBI headquarters, the General Services Administration is ending its expensive search, GSA officials told The Washington Post Monday.
The GSA, which manages federal real estate, had wanted to trade the outdated J. Edgar Hoover Building to a developer and use close to $2 billion in taxpayer funds to take care of the rest of the cost. They were unable to convince Congress to fully support the plan, and on Tuesday morning, GSA officials will call bidders and attend meetings on Capitol Hill to let people know the search is off, the Post reports.
There are 9,500 employees at FBI headquarters, and the bureau has outgrown the Hoover Building, with the GSA putting workers at 12 buildings across the D.C. area. The GSA had been looking at building in Greenbelt, Maryland; Landover, Maryland; or Springfield, Virginia, but Congress never was able to come up with the necessary funds to build; former President Barack Obama had wanted $1.4 billion to construct the project, but in May, Congress came up a half-billion dollars short. In 2015, the Post was given a tour of the Hoover Building, which was crumbling, in need of modernization, and susceptible to attacks. When told by the Post about the search coming to an end, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called it "an extremely alarming development," adding that "the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are putting the safety and security of our country at risk." Catherine Garcia
Two of Sen. Bernie Sanders' top congressional supporters aren't onboard with the candidate's decision to "continue to fight," even after Hillary Clinton claimed the Democratic Party's nomination Tuesday. In an interview with The Washington Post's Greg Sargent, Sanders' sole supporter in the Senate, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), pushed Sanders to put the nomination battle behind him and move forward in supporting Clinton. "This is the moment when we need to start bringing parts of the party together so they can go into the convention with locked arms and go out of the convention unified into the general election," Merkley said. He added that he "would not support a battle that involves trying to flip superdelegates."
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, offered a similar assessment of the situation. "The reality is unattainable at some point," Grijalva told Sargent. "You deal with that. Bernie is going to deal with this much more rapidly than you think. At some point, when we're trying to flip 400 superdelegates, and it's not gaining traction, I think you have to come to the conclusion that it's not going to happen."
At 9 p.m. Thursday night, the House Benghazi Committee's hearing adjourned, after 11 hours of questioning Hillary Clinton on everything from her email correspondence with friend Sidney Blumenthal to her Libya policy as secretary of state to efforts to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens.
During the hearing, Clinton revealed that during her time as secretary of state, she "did not do the bulk of my work on email. Some of [the memos] were so top secret that they were brought into my office in a locked briefcase that I had to read and immediately return to the courier." Clinton also said multiple times that Stevens had been in contact with her inner circle, and if he'd wished to communicate his needs, he could send cables and emails. She described how rescuers had tried to get Stevens, who died from smoke inhalation, into a "safe room" following the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi. "One of our failures after the attack was our failure to find the ambassador," she said. "We hoped against hope that he had somehow managed to get out of the compound. Additional efforts to find his body or to find him were unsuccessful, and they had to withdraw because of the continuing attack on the CIA annex before we knew what happened to the ambassador." Later, it came to light that "the Libyans had found the ambassador. And they had carried him back to the hospital, and Libyan doctors labored nearly two hours to resuscitate him."
Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said the hearing was "not a prosecution," but the Democrats questioned its purpose, with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) telling Clinton: "There's a lot of interest in trying to score points against you tonight." The panel, Schiff said, found "nothing new to tell the American people," adding, "I think we'll rue the day that we did this." Committee member Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) announced on Twitter before the hearing started that "this investigation does not end today. We will continue interviewing others till we get to the bottom of this." He tweeted throughout the day, and after the hearing concluded, stated: "And with that — it's over. The Committee is one step closer to understanding the truth surrounding the death of 4 Americans."
Toward the end of the hearing, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) alluded to accusations that the committee's goal was to harm Clinton's presidential campaign, saying to applause: "We are better than using taxpayer dollars to try to destroy a campaign. That's not what America's all about." Clinton responded by saying her answers haven't changed since she appeared before the House and Senate two years ago to discuss Benghazi. "I can only hope that the statesmanship overcomes the partisanship," she said. "At some point we have to do this. It is deeply unfortunate that something as serious as what happened in Benghazi could ever be used for partisan political purposes, and I'm hoping that we can move forward together and start working together, we can start listening to each other." Catherine Garcia