By The Beast
Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday to fire back at Michael Cohen after a bombshell report by BuzzFeed News accused the president of directing his longtime lawyer to lie to Congress about his Trump Tower Moscow deal. Trump quoted Fox News reporter Kevin Corke, writing, “‘Don’t forget, Michael Cohen has already been convicted of perjury and fraud, and as recently as this week, the Wall Street Journal has suggested that he may have stolen tens of thousands of dollars....” “Lying to reduce his jail time! Watch father-in-law!” the president added.
Before addressing the Cohen allegations, Trump returned to several of his favorite Twitter punching bags. First, he shared an excerpt from a widely mocked and unsubstantiated Washington Examiner article that alleged that ranchers near the U.S. border with Mexico are finding Muslim prayer rugs on their land. “Border rancher: ‘We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal.’ Washington Examiner,” Trump wrote. “People coming across the Southern Border from many countries, some of which would be a big surprise.” (The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer reports the story does not include any pictures of the alleged rugs, and is based entirely on the account of one anonymous rancher.) Trump then turned to attack House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “Why would Nancy Pelosi leave the Country with other Democrats on a seven day excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid,” Trump wrote. As The Daily Beast previously reported, Pelosi’s trip was an attempt to reassure NATO allies in Brussels and meet with U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump then turned to the new migrant caravan, which crossed peacefully into Mexico on Thursday, writing “Another big Caravan heading our way. Very hard to stop without a Wall!”
Welcome to the Video Cheat Sheet, your source for the videos you absolutely have to see right now. Today, we have an intense police chase with the getaway driver forced to attempt a sort of #BirdBoxChallenge, a diver off the coast of Oahu swimming with a great white shark, a husband in South Africa getting slapped by his wife over his alleged infidelity, a semi-truck blanketed in snow attempting to move, and a stray dog that stole the attention of a fashion show in India.
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President Trump announced he will make an announcement pertaining to the government shut down and border wall on Saturday. “I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the White House,” Trump tweeted on Friday evening. The announcement will come on the 28th day of the shutdown, which started over a border wall funding disagreement between Trump and Congressional Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) want Trump to re-open the government before the two sides negotiate Trump's desired $5.7 billion in border wall funding, while Trump has refused to re-open the government until the funding for the wall is secured. Trump gave an Oval Office address earlier this month in which he doubled-down on the country's need for a wall along the Mexican border.
The Federal Trade Commission is considering imposing a massive fine against Facebook for violating an agreement with the government to “protect the privacy of its users’ personal data,” The Washington Post reports. The FTC reportedly began probing the social network last year, when it was revealed that data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed 87 million Facebook users’ information without their knowledge. According to the newspaper, a final amount for the fine has not yet been finalized and Facebook has been in touch with the agency about the probe. The fine is reportedly expected to exceed the $22.5 million fine that Google paid the agency in 2012, which set a record.
President Donald Trump is set to hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un near the end of February, the White House announced Friday. The location of the meeting will be announced at a later date. The announcement came after Trump met with a North Korean envoy on Friday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump met with the envoy for 90 minutes to discuss denuclearization and a second summit. Trump had his first, historic meeting with Kim Jong Un last June in Singapore and reached a vague denuclearization agreement, but little tangible progress has been made since.
The Trump re-election campaign launched a website Friday that asks supporters to donate $20.20 to send “red faux bricks” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), The Wall Street Journal reports. “Together, we can build a BIG BEAUTIFUL WALL around their offices to protect us from their radical left-wing agenda,” a draft of the campaign’s fundraising email reportedly reads. According to the website, the “brick” has writing on it claiming enough fentanyl comes through the southern border to “kill every American.” However, the Journal notes that much of the illegal drug has entered the U.S. through official ports of entry from China and Mexico. “Since Chuck and Nancy keep stonewalling the president, we’ll send the wall to them, brick by brick, until they agree to secure the border,” campaign manager Brad Parscale told the newspaper.
Officials at Zionsville Community High School in Indiana are investigating a picture that appears to show a group of students performing the Nazi salute, The Indianapolis Star reports. The photo, taken at the school and posted on Instagram, reportedly featured 14 students, with 10 of them performing the salute. In a Thursday night email to parents and staff, Zionsville Superintendent Scott Robison said a concerned student sent the photo to a teacher, who then notified him. “Our school community’s efforts to foster cultural understanding will proceed, though they are set back mightily by this repugnant image,” Robison said, calling the picture “sickening” and “beyond offensive.”
Most of the students are pictured wearing Rumblin’ Bumblers indoor soccer team jerseys, with the caption: “Rumblin bumblers isn’t just a indoor soccer team, we are a cultural phenomenon.” According to the newspaper, a Weebly website for the Rumblin’ Bumblers featured player nicknames referencing Jews and child rapists. One nickname was “Judenschlau,” which translates to “clever Jew” in German. The website also reportedly includes “racist language” and alluded to “raping” another team.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) requested that FBI Director Christopher Wray open an investigation into whether Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen committed perjury, after she claimed the administration “never had a policy for family separation.” According to an administration memo released by Merkley’s office Thursday, Trump administration officials worked to create a policy to “separate family units” as early as Dec. 2017. Nielsen, in her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, stated that the administration had no policy for family separation. “In light of these conflicting facts, the FBI should immediately investigate whether Secretary Nielsen’s statements violate.... relevant federal statutes that prohibit perjury and false statements to Congress,” Merkley wrote in a statement.
A Nashville grand jury reportedly charged police officer Andrew Delke with first-degree murder for the death of Daniel Hambrick, who was shot three times in the back while he was running away last year. The Tennesseean reports that Delke’s lawyers claimed Hambrick was holding a handgun and their client was acting in self-defense. Hambrick, a black man, reportedly ran away from Delke, a white police officer, in a parking lot and ignored Delke’s commands to stop. However, Judge Melissa Blackburn reportedly determined Hambrick’s behavior “certainly didn’t justify (Delke’s) use of lethal force.” The 12 grand jurors reportedly could have dropped the case or indicted Delke on a lesser charge, but they opted to give him the most severe charge. Delke is reportedly the first Nashville police officer to be charged after an on-duty shooting.