×
April 17, 2018

It's not Perry Mason or Law & Order, but there's plenty of drama in federal Judge Kimba Wood's Manhattan courtroom over which of Michael Cohen's seized files federal prosecutors will be able to see, and when. In court on Monday, President Trump's lawyer Joanna Hendon asked Wood to allow Trump first review of the materials, and when Wood rejected the stay — she is considering a neutral "special master" or a "taint team" of federal prosecutors — Hendon said she has no idea what to tell Trump about what's in Cohen's files. "You're getting into areas that we don't need to address now," Wood replied, according to Bloomberg News. But what's in Cohen's files is very much on the minds of Trump and his allies, Axios reports.

"Cohen is a potential Rosetta stone to Trump's final decade in private life," Axios' Mike Allen writes. "Cohen knows more about some elements of Trump's life than anyone else — because some stuff, Ivanka doesn't want to know."

"The guys that know Trump best are the most worried," a former Trump campaign official told Axios. "People are very, very worried. Because it's Michael [effing] Cohen. Who knows what he's done? ... People at the Trump Organization don't even really know everything he does. It's all side deals and off-the-books stuff. Trump doesn't even fully know; he knows some but not everything."

"The media is excited about what might emerge from Cohen's legal travails, and for good reason," Tim O'Brien, who wrote a book about Trump, counters at Bloomberg View. But nobody should "assume that his evident downfall portends doom for Trump's presidency." Cohen has only worked for Trump since 2006, and he never had a leadership role at Trump's business. If prosecutors ever become interested in Jason Greenblatt, Trump's company's general counsel who signed off on almost every significant deal, or CFO Allen Weisselberg, O'Brien writes, then Trump is in serious trouble. Peter Weber

10:39 p.m.

To President Trump, Stephen Miller is a senior policy adviser. To David Glosser, he's his "immigration hypocrite" of a nephew.

Last August, Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist, penned an essay about Miller, the architect of Trump's harsh immigration policies. Glosser wrote that their relatives came to the U.S. in the early 1900s from Europe, fleeing anti-Jewish violence, and he shuddered to think "of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses" been in effect.

His message didn't get through to Miller, Glosser said on Monday's Rachel Maddow Show, but he didn't think it would, as "his entire career, his entire persona, is built on this particular issue." Glosser did hear from others whose families came to the U.S. under similar circumstances, and seeing Americans speaking out against the Trump administration's treatment of immigrants shows that "people care, as it turns out."

The political reasoning behind the Trump administration's cruel policies is simple, Glosser said. The Republican Party and demographers found in a few decades, the U.S. will go from being a "white majority country to being a white plurality country. As it turns out, the people who are not predominately of European background are less likely to vote for Republicans than for Democrats. This makes it problematic for them if they anticipate remaining in positions of power in order to advance their particular agenda." Because of this, it's "not worthwhile for them to allow people into the country or to allow people to gain citizenship who may not be members of their party in the future."

Glosser said he finds it "repugnant" that the Trump administration assumes a majority of white Americans are racist, and thought the country had repudiated racism since George Wallace ran for president in 1968. "Now we see Mr. Trump and his minions have legitimized race hatred as a means of sustaining and gaining political power and influence," he said. Catherine Garcia

9:02 p.m.

Since June 7, migrant flow through Mexico has dropped by 36.2 percent, the country's foreign minister told reporters on Monday.

Marcelo Ebrard credits the Mexican government's decision to deploy 20,000 members of a new militarized police force to the country's southern border. The plan went into action after President Trump threatened Mexico with tariffs if it didn't slow down the flow of migrants making their way to the U.S. border.

The National Immigration Institute states that during the week of June 1 to 7, an average of 4,156 migrants entered Mexico daily through its southern border. Two weeks later, this number declined to 2,652 people per day, The Guardian reports. After making their deal in June, the U.S. and Mexico agreed to reconvene after 45 days to come up with new target numbers, but until then, "we're going to keep up this effort so the trend continues downward," Ebrard said. Catherine Garcia

7:45 p.m.

The White House and congressional leaders have reached a two-year budget deal that would raise spending caps by $320 billion and suspend the debt ceiling, President Trump announced on Twitter Monday evening.

"This was a real compromise to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets!" he added. Congress still has to pass the deal, which would set spending levels through Sept. 30, 2022 and suspend the debt ceiling until July 31, 2021. The agreement was brokered between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Some Democrats and Republicans have voiced their displeasure with the deal, including Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is angry it does not keep Trump from using funds to build his wall along the southern border, and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), who is outraged the agreement adds to the country's debt. The debt has grown from about $19 trillion in January 2017 to more than $22 trillion now, but speaking to reporters on Monday, Trump said he thinks the U.S. is "doing very well on debt, if you look at debt limit, however you want to define that, but we're doing very well on that and I think we're doing pretty well on a budget." Catherine Garcia

6:49 p.m.

When Vice President Mike Pence's trip to New Hampshire was canceled earlier this month at literally the last minute, the reason shrouded in secrecy, people started talking — what could possibly have happened to keep Air Force Two from leaving D.C.?

Pence was set to visit a Granite Recovery Center to meet with former patients and talk about the opioid epidemic, but instead, got off the plane and went to the White House. Trump promised reporters the reason would be revealed "in about two weeks," and on Monday, law enforcement officials told Politico the trip was called off because Pence would have likely met a person being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration for moving more than $100,000 of fentanyl from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.

The man, former New York Giants player Jeff Hatch, worked for Granite Recovery Centers. He appeared in federal court on Friday and agreed to plead guilty to a single count of using a telephone to help commit a crime, court records show; he faces four years in prison. Hatch toured New Hampshire and spoke to young people about the dangers of drug use, often sharing a stage with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). In a statement, she said people "seeking recovery from substance use disorders put their trust in Mr. Hatch and its incredibly disappointing to see how badly that trust was betrayed. He needs to be held accountable." Catherine Garcia

5:40 p.m.

Logan Paul's stream of consciousness cannot be stopped.

Paul, who makes about $15 million a year as one of the highest-paid YouTube stars, appeared on Fox Business Network on Monday for an interview about the expanding world of social video sharing. At least that's what it was supposed to be about before Paul launched into shoutouts to his home state of Ohio, bold statements about his income, and insistences that he's some kind of mega-athlete.

Before starting the interview, Paul had to correct the record. Host Liz Claman called him a "controversial" figure after posting a video from a so-called Japanese "suicide forest" at the end of 2017, but Paul clarified that he is "ex-controversial" now because he apologized for the video. He then got down to business, affirming that he is "everywhere and nowhere ... like a ghost" when it comes to social media, though he got oddly upset at Claman for "call[ing] me out" over his inactive Facebook account.

But things only got more stressful for Paul, as he revealed "my expenses just surpassed my income for the first time ever. " That has Paul "terrified," he said, adding that "I think it's the beginning of the end. I also have pinkeye." Paul then mentioned his time as a high school football star and insisted that it somehow made him "the fastest YouTuber," no, "the fastest entertainer on the planet," no, "the quickest man on the planet." Watch his whole incredible appearance below. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:30 p.m.

Justice Department officials have reportedly told former Special Counsel Robert Mueller that the department expects him to limit his congressional testimony on Wednesday to already-public information from his office's report on its investigation into 2016 Russian election interference, Politico reports. Any material beyond the public findings is being considered "presumptively privileged."

However, both the White House and the Justice Department are expected to refrain from placing lawyers in the room during the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committee hearings, leaving Mueller to "police" himself.

The Trump administration doesn't seem too worried about that — Mueller is known for sticking to the rules and has previously said that the report is his testimony, so it was always unlikely that he'd go off script.

"[The report] contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made," Mueller said in May. "We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself."

All of this could prove a hurdle for Democrats on the panels, who are hoping to glean new information from the now-private citizen. But Politico reports that some Democrats have said that even if Mueller simply reads the report word-for-word, it would help "educate the American public" about President Trump's conduct during the Mueller's probe. Read more about Politico. Tim O'Donnell

4:37 p.m.

Decriminalizing unauthorized border crossing is not a particularly popular idea among Americans, a new NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll suggests.

In total, 66 percent of those surveyed think it's a bad idea, compared to just 27 percent who support it. The debate is more split among party lines, with 87 percent of Republicans opposed compared to 47 percent of Democrats. The Democrats are split internally, as well, as 54 percent of self-identified "progressive" Democrats believe decriminalization is a "good idea," while only 34 percent of "moderate" Democrats feel the same.

There is little variation regionally (all regions hover between 66 and 67 percent in the "bad idea" category), racially (68 percent of white voters and 63 percent of non-white voters think it's a bad idea), or economically (those who make more than $50,000 per year oppose decriminalization at a 70 percent clip, while those making less oppose it at 63 percent.)

There are larger gaps between men (75 percent for bad idea) and women (57 percent), as well as among age groups, with 76 percent those between the ages of 39 and 54 opposing decriminalization, compared to 59 percent between the ages of 18 and 38. Similarly, among adults over the age of 73, 60 percent think it's a bad idea.

Essentially, the poll indicates that political persuasion is the most important indicator when it comes to stances on the issue. That's not great news for Democratic presidential candidates like former Housing Secretary Julián Castro who have pushed for decriminalizing crossings, as only the progressive left appears staunchly in favor.

The poll surveyed 1,346 adults in the United States over the phone between July 15 and July 17. The margin of error ranged from 3.5 to 5.4 percentage points across the survey's subsets. See the results on page 13 and page 26 at Marist Poll. Tim O'Donnell

See More Speed Reads