Morning Roundup

Jack Taylor/PA Wire via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May says that Brexit talks may have reached an impasse. But both sides always say things like this when they’re under pressure from their local constituencies to look tough. Probably best not to take it too seriously.
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denies this, but the New York Times reports that last year he suggested making secret recordings of his conversations with President Trump after the White House was in chaos over the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Allegedly, he then tried to recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office for being unfit. UPDATE: I initially misread the Times piece to say that Rosenstein had actually made recordings of Trump. He never did, and several sources now say his suggestion was only a sarcastic remark anyway.
  • In other Trump news, the declassifier-in-chief has backed down on his order to declassify a bunch of documents related to the Russia investigation. Why? “DOJ…agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release.” Uh huh.
  • And in yet other Trump news, a couple of days of being restrained and presidential regarding the Kavanaugh affair was all he could take.

In other words, Kavanaugh did nothing wrong; Dr. Ford is probably lying; and this is all a plot by the radical left-wingers in the Democratic Party to destroy Trump. The usual.

  • Southern California has suffered through 87 consecutive days of high smog. “Regulators blame the dip in air quality in recent years on hotter weather and stronger, more persistent inversion layers that trap smog near the ground. They’re also planning a study into whether climate change is contributing to the smog problem, as many scientists expect, due to higher temperatures that speed the photochemical reactions that form ozone.”
  • John Dowd, one of Donald Trump’s former personal lawyers, tried to use funds from the White House legal defense fund to help pay legal fees for Paul Manafort and Richard Gates. “In both cases, the president’s advisers objected to the lawyer’s actions over concerns it could appear aimed at stopping the two former aides from cooperating with investigators.” Ya think?
  • The Senate is still negotiating with Christine Blasey Ford’s attorney over the terms of her testimony. The Senate wanted Monday, Ford wanted Thusday, and apparently the Senate is now offering Wednesday. However:

The senator added that Republicans are not inclined to agree with Ford’s lawyers that she should only be questioned by lawmakers — not an outside counsel. “We’ll do it on Wednesday, we expect the accuser before the accused, and we do intend to have the counsel do the questioning,” the senator said, summing up the Republicans’ stance.

The party is assenting to two of the terms Ford’s lawyers laid out in a Thursday evening call with staff from both parties, the senator said: limiting the hearing to one camera and ensuring that Kavanaugh is not in the same room as her.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate