Trump and Giuliani Planned Stormy Daniels Revelation Without Consulting WH Staff; Trump: Southern Border Is Under Siege
By: StaffMay 4, 2018
Here is the Daily Briefing for Friday, May 4, where we round up the day's biggest headlines for your perusal. Take a look.


Trump and Giuliani Planned Stormy Daniels Revelation Without Consulting WH Staff

President Trump and his newest lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani disclosed that Trump had repaid his personal attorney Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels without informing White House staff first, The Wall Street Journal reported. Giuliani's admission, that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment after weeks of White House statements claiming the president knew nothing about the arrangement, caught many in the White House off-guard but was planned in advance by Giuliani and the president, according to the Journal. That interview shocked the White House and left the West Wing "completely frozen," one aide told the Journal. Others, including former Trump aide David Bossie, chalked up Giuliani's admission to "media savvy" in an interview with the Journal. “You get a lot of different value added with Rudy Giuliani. You get his legal and intellectual abilities, but you also get his media savvy," Bossie says.


Trump: 'Southern Border Is Under Siege'

 President Donald Trump early Friday tweeted a call for a wall at the nation's southern border and a complaint that Mexico is "doing little to help." Trump’s tweet said, “Our Southern Border is under siege. Congress must act now to change our weak and ineffective immigration laws. Must build a Wall. Mexico, which has a massive crime problem, is doing little to help!” According to the administration's report, illegal border crossings in April 2017 were at a low of 15,766, compared to 48,502 in April 2016 and 50,902 this year. Trump's tweet also comes while processing continues for migrants who arrived at the nation's border after weeks of traveling through Mexico. Thursday night, organizers said that more than 150 of the nearly 230 people in the group who reached the California border have been processed to determine if they had an asylum claim that would allow them to remain in the United States to pursue further court cases.


Economy Adds 164,000 Jobs in April, Unemployment Drops to 3.9 Percent

The economy gained 164,000 new payroll jobs in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning, and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since 2000. Friday's report indicates that the labor market recovery has underlying momentum even as it ages into its eighth year. Only around a little more than 90,000 jobs are needed each month to keep unemployment trending down, according to the Federal Reserve. Employers have been adding more than twice that many jobs over the past three months -- 208,000, when upward revisions are taken into account.


Mueller Seeks 70 Blank Subpoenas

FBI special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday filed a request for 70 blank subpoenas in the Virginia court presiding over one of two criminal proceedings involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The two-page filing does not reveal any details. However, Courthouse News Service noted each subpoena orders the recipient to appear at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, on July 10 at 10 a.m. ET to testify at Manafort's trial on charges stemming from Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The Washington Examiner noted the 70 blank subpoenas amount to 35 total possible subpoenas. In each case, a subpoena is needed for the witness and another is needed for the defense. Court documents filed last month show Mueller's team was pushing to subpoena 35 witnesses in the trial, the Examiner reported. Manafort faces no charges related to the Trump campaign, but he is accused in cases filed both in Alexandria and Washington, D.C. In Virginia, he is also accused of concealing foreign bank accounts, falsifying his income taxes and failing to report foreign bank accounts. In Washington, Manafort faces counts of conspiracy to launder more than $30 million, making false statements, failing to follow lobbying disclosure laws and working as an unregistered foreign agent.


John Bolton Blasts 'Nonsense' New York Times Story on South Korea Troop Reduction

National security adviser John Bolton said Friday that a New York Times article claiming President Trump asked the Pentagon to look into reducing U.S. forces in South Korea is "nonsense." Bolton went on to say, "The New York Times story is utter nonsense. The President has not asked the Pentagon to provide options for reducing American forces stationed in South Korea." The story from late Thursday said that according to officials briefed on deliberations, Trump ordered the Pentagon to draw up options to scale back the amount of U.S. troops in South Korea, in preparation for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The U.S. has stationed 28,500 troops in South Korea, and the article reported that Trump believes the treaty between the North and South reduces the need for the current scale of military presence in the region.


Kellyanne Conway: April Ryan Fight Shows the Press Wants Confrontation, Not Information

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway charged Friday that members of the White House press corps are still worried more about "going viral" by battling the White House instead of seeking information. She was referring to a dust-up with White House reporter April Ryan, who insisted that press secretary Sarah Sanders was "blindsided" by Rudy Giuliani's comments. Sanders disagreed and said "you don't know much about me," which Ryan interpreted as fighting words. But Conway said these sorts of incidents show the press is looking for a fight against the Trump administration. Ryan said after the White House briefing that it was Sanders who was looking to do battle. "She went straight to me," Ryan said. "To say something like, you know, you don't know me, in certain sectors of this nation, people understand what 'you don't know me' means. It's very street. And it leads to a fight, a physical fight." Outside of the Ryan fight, Conway said many people who are getting into scrapes with the White House don't always seem ready to hear any criticism back. "A lot of the folks who dish it out really can't take it," she said. "Let's dial down the temperature a little bit in the furtherance of information."


Gonzaga Warns Against Partying by 'Non-Mexican Individuals'

Worried that “non-Mexican individuals” might partake of Cinco de Mayo festivities, Gonzaga University is telling students, “Don’t you dare put on that ‘sombrero.’” In an email to the student body Wednesday, VP of Student Development Judi Biggs Garbuio notes that Cinco de Mayo is “a relatively minor holiday” in Mexico, but “has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage” in the United States. “Unfortunately, the celebrations have become less about the appreciation of Mexican heritage, and instead has become more about drinking and partying especially by non-Mexican individuals.” Biggs Garbuio concluded by suggesting that students go to the Facebook page of the Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC), which includes a link to a website listing “6 Ways To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Without Appropriating The Mexican Culture.” It then recommends that students “support AUTHENTIC Mexican businesses,” but immediately clarifies that “CHIPOTLE DOESN’T COUNT,” apparently because it does not employ “actual Mexican people.” It then goes on to list various other forms of cultural appropriation that students should avoid along with sombreros. “No serapes. No fake mustache. Avoid every party store. No ‘Cinco de Drinko.’ No disrespectful use of Spanish. No homogenizing Latinx communities,” it dictates. Interestingly, the flyer concludes by urging students to “donate to organizations working for immigrant rights.”


Students Petition to Eliminate ‘Offensive’ Colonial Mascot

Students at George Washington University (GWU) have launched a petition demanding that the school change its “offensive” mascot, the Colonial. According to the petition, “the use of ‘Colonials,’ no matter how innocent the intention, is received as extremely offensive by not only students of the University, but the nation and world at large.” Supporters of the motion argue that changing the mascot, which has portrayed the school’s namesake, George Washington, since 1926 is necessary to make GW inclusive. Andrew Hesbacher, one of the petition’s organizers, told The Hatchet that in many places, colonials are equivalent to terrorists and murderers. The op-ed goes on to contend that it is hypocritical for the George Washington Colonial mascot to attend university events like the Chinese New Year Parade of the South Asian Heritage Celebration, since many cultures “survived oppression or were drastically changed due to colonialism.” The petitioners argue, suggesting that “alternative nickname recommendations [include] ‘Hippos,’ ‘Revolutionaries,’ or ‘Riverhorses.’”


TagsBorder WallDOJIllegalsImmigrationJustice DeparmentLeaksMedia MadnessNational SecurityPoliticsRobert MuellerStormy DanielsTrumpU.S.White House
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