March 11, 2020

It might be a little while until Congress passes a bipartisan bill to provide relief in the wake of the novel coronavirus spread, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appears to have all the leverage, Politico reports. In fact, she may have President Trump "over a barrel."

Pelosi's plan will be to quickly put together a bill with her Democrats' preferred measures like unemployment insurance, food security, paid sick leave, and free COVID-19 testing.

When she brings it to the House, per Politico, she'll essentially be daring Republicans to vote against it. Even if they do, she's also reportedly negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, with whom she's cut deals in the past.

It further helps Pelosi's case that there is reportedly overlap between what she and the White House desire, including some kind of paid sick leave program. But, again, Politico notes the administration will have to take the House's lead when ironing out the details.

It won't be a completely smooth process. For example, Politico foresees some holdups over the White House's anticipated stimulus proposal for tourism, hospitality, and transportation business, but for the time being it seems Pelosi has a decent shot at landing what she wants. Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

October 9, 2019

Hillary Clinton's publicist reportedly expressed "concern" to Ronan Farrow about his investigation into Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual abuse.

Farrow's new book Catch and Kill is packed with explosive allegations about his time investigating Weinstein, originally for NBC News and then for The New Yorker. Among them is that Farrow claims Weinstein "attempted to leverage his long-term relationship with Hillary Clinton to pressure" him, as The Hollywood Reporter writes based on an advance copy of the book.

According to the Reporter, Farrow in the book reports that in summer 2017, while he was attempting to secure an interview with Clinton for an unrelated book he was writing, he received a call from Nick Merrill, Clinton's publicist. Merrill reportedly told Farrow the "big story" he was working on, that being the Weinstein investigation, was a "concern for us." Farrow in the book also says that in September 2017, the month before he would publish his New Yorker piece in which numerous women accuse the film producer of sexual harassment or assault, Weinstein proposed a docuseries on Clinton to NBC News International President Deborah Turness, who told him it "sounds absolutely stunning."

Merrill tweeted Wednesday he had "already rejected" a Weinstein Company documentary about the 2016 election before speaking with Farrow and that he has "no idea what Weinstein was saying to people to save himself." Clinton condemned Weinstein, a Democratic donor, after the allegations against him emerged in 2017, saying in a statement, "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated."

This wasn't the only way Weinstein allegedly attempted to kill the investigation, with Farrow also reporting that Weinstein put pressure on NBC to spike the story by making it "known to the network that he was aware of [Matt] Lauer's behavior and capable of revealing it." NBC News ultimately did not run Farrow's story, with NBC News Chair Andy Lack saying in 2018 it was not "yet fit to broadcast." Brendan Morrow

See More Speed Reads