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5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Congressional Democrats reject Trump's pitch to end shutdown

  • Giuliani says Trump Tower Moscow project talks went through late 2016

  • Report: Mueller's office was not initially told the scope of the BuzzFeed story

  • Winter storm moves east after slamming Midwest

  • Mexican pipeline explosion death toll climbs to 73

President Trump gave a brief live address Saturday proposing a package of immigration policies in a deal to end the partial government shutdown. In a statement released right before Trump's remarks began, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) panned his plan as "a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people's lives." Trump's plan includes, among other points, $5.7 billion for border wall construction and three years of protection for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and temporary protected status (TPS).

Source: The White House, The Week

President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen pursued the possibility of a Trump Tower project in Moscow as late as October or November of 2016, Trump's current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday. Cohen initially told Congress he abandoned the project in January of 2016, as the Republican primary elections began. He later admitted this was a lie and said talks related to the project continued through June of 2016, around the time Trump clinched the GOP nomination. "Well, it's our understanding [conversations about the project] went on throughout 2016. Weren't a lot of them, but there were conversations," Giuliani told host Chuck Todd. "Can't be sure of the exact date. But the president can remember having conversations with [Cohen] about it ... as far as October, November. Our answers cover until the election."

Source: NBC News, The Hill

When BuzzFeed News approached Peter Carr, spokesman for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, for comment on Thursday's explosive report, Carr was not told the full scope of what BuzzFeed planned to publish, The Washington Post reported Saturday evening. Emails from BuzzFeed reporters say they have "a story coming stating that Michael Cohen was directed by President Trump himself to lie to Congress about his negotiations related to the Trump Moscow project." The emails do not mention reporting that Mueller's office had collected document evidence and a confession from Cohen. Carr's denial of the BuzzFeed story the next day was delayed by the special counsel's office's efforts to independently verify BuzzFeed's claims, the Post reports. BuzzFeed again stood by its reporting in a second statement Saturday.

Source: The Washington Post, The Hill

A dangerous winter storm that brought extreme cold and heavy snow to much of the Midwest on Friday and Saturday moved east to New England Sunday. States of emergency have been declared in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and widespread travel delays are anticipated. "Feet of snow, blizzard conditions, a significant build-up of ice, tree-breaking winds, and plunging temperatures will close roads, cause flight cancellations, and disrupt daily activities over a large part of the northeastern United States this weekend," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Source: CBS News, AccuWeather

Local authorities by Saturday evening had revised their estimate of deaths in a Friday explosion at a Mexican fuel pipeline to 73, with another 74 people injured in the blast and more still missing. The casualties are high because a crowd of hundreds of villagers had gathered in hopes of collecting free gasoline after the pipeline was punctured by fuel thieves. "I trust in the people, and I know that with these painful, regrettable lessons, the people will also distance themselves from these practices" of fuel theft, said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who visited the site of the tragedy Saturday.

Source: The New York Times, The Associated Press
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