If you thought yesterday’s revelations about Michael Cohen’s shell company were bad—buckle up. Cohen keeps appearing at the center stage of new developments in the Trump-Russia investigation. Here’s the new updates that you need to know:
- The Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen helped supply important Chinese investors to Jared Kushner’s family business.
- NBC News reported on a new (third) statement from Novartis, a giant pharmaceutical company, that said they paid Cohen $1.2 million. After only one meeting with Cohen, however, Novartis determined that Cohen would be “unable to provide the services that Novartis had anticipated related to US healthcare policy matters.”
- Think Progress has the website to the Russian-linked company that paid Cohen $500,000. Check it out here.
- Vice President Mike Pence said that Cohen’s dealings are a “private matter” and “something I don’t have any knowledge about.” Yet he thinks the Mueller investigation should wrap up before figuring out why Cohen was getting payments from a Russian oligarch.
- AT&T confirmed that it was approached by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in late 2017, and they cooperated.
Still trying to get caught up on who Cohen is? Don’t miss The Moscow Project’s explainer on Trump’s personal attorney. And check out our Periscope from yesterday which broke down all the latest Cohen news.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Help Us Track Trump’s #CultureOfCorruption. Every morning brings new revelations of corruption from the Trump White House, his Cabinet, and his enablers in Congress, making it nearly impossible to keep track of it all. But we’re here to help. We’ve launched Corruptipedia.org, a brand new website dedicated to cataloging every instance of every alleged fraud, crime, self-dealing proposition, and wrongdoing that Trump & Co. has committed. Head to Corruptipedia.org now, and let us know if we’re missing anything using our easy form. And be sure to share with family and friends–you can even share each entry in the catalog on Twitter with a simple click!
Trump Ignoring Top Diplomats. Trump has repeatedly ignored advice from America’s allies and our own national security experts, making policy decisions often at odds with U.S. interests. This week, the Washington Post reported that top U.S. diplomats had sent embassy cables to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging the administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for thousands of immigrants residing in the U.S. Nevertheless, the Trump administration moved forward to strip immigrants of their protections, announcing, most recently, the termination of TPS designation for nearly 57,000 Hondurans. John D. Feeley and James D. Nealon, former U.S. ambassadors with regional expertise in Central America, warn that expelling tens of thousands of Honduras undermines diplomatic efforts to address the “push factors” that are causing Central Americans to flee their home countries. This refusal by the administration to listen to experts spreads beyond immigration policy. Recently, for example, the administration ignored the advice of 115 former U.S. ambassadors, who strongly oppose Gina Haspel’s nomination as CIA Director.
Napping While Black. There’s a new addition to the list of things black people cannot do in America without fear of having the cops called: napping while black. This week, “a black graduate student at Yale was interrogated by police for 15 minutes after a white grad student reported her for napping in a common room.” This same white grad student called the cops on another black women earlier in the year for “getting lost in her building.” The latest incident comes just weeks after two black men were arrested in Starbucks while waiting for their friend, a black woman was arrested after asking for silverware in a Waffle House, and a former Obama staffer had the police called on him while moving into his new apartment in NYC.
Fighting the NRA—With Food. Over the weekend, the National Rifle Association (NRA) held their annual conference in Dallas, Texas—but not everyone in Dallas was happy with the influx of people. Ellen’s Restaurant, a local diner, gained popularity by noting on their receipts that it would donate a portion of the weekend’s proceeds to “organizations dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations.” Despite receiving death threats and harsh pushback from the NRA, the restaurant began to experience hour-long waits and global support. Yesterday, they announced that they would be donating $15,000 to Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America—a huge win for all of us fighting for commonsense gun reform.