Report: Mueller’s Russia Probe Seeks Justice Department Emails on Comey Firing

Investigators in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe have directed the Justice Department to hand over communications on former FBI director James Comey’s firing, ABC News reports. Citing a source familiar with the matter, the report said investigators are seeking not only emails between Justice Department officials on the matter but also communications with their White House counterparts. The directive, which would mark the first records request by Mueller’s team to the Justice Department, seems to suggest investigators are reviewing whether any officials obstructed the Russia investigation, which had been under Comey’s control until his abrupt dismissal in May. President Trump, who has repeatedly ridiculed the ongoing Russia investigation and dismissed claims of Russian election interference, said he was acting on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in firing Comey at the time.


Charles Manson Dead at 83

Convicted murderer Charles Manson died Sunday evening of natural causes at California’s Kern County Hospital, the California Department of Corrections announced in a statement. The sister of one of Manson’s victims, Debra Tate, had earlier told TMZ the California state prison where Manson spent the last several decades behind bars had begun notifying his victims. Manson had been serving out a life sentence for the notorious Manson Family murders, which claimed actress Sharon Tate among nine victims in a series of brutal killings in Beverly Hills in 1969.

3. HMM

Steve Mnuchin Flattered by Bond Villain Comparisons

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said he was flattered when critics compared him and his wife to James Bond villains after a photo of them showing off newly printed dollar bills surfaced last week. “I never thought I’d be quoted as looking like villains from James Bond. I guess I should take that as a compliment that I look like a villain in a great, successful James Bond movie,” Mnuchin said Sunday in an interview on Fox News Sunday. Mnuchin said he was not aware the photo would be published but that he’d posed because he was “excited having my signature on the money” and he looks “forward to helping the American people.” The photo at the center of the controversy showed Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, who was clad in long leather gloves and a black trench coat, holding up the currency during a visit to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. Linton has previously stirred controversy with social media posts in which critics say she flaunts her wealth, name-dropping expensive fashion designers during official trips with her husband.

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German Coalition Talks Fail in Major Blow to Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said talks to form a new three-way coalition government have failed, throwing the country’s leadership into turmoil. “It is a day of deep reflection on how to go forward in Germany, ” Merkel told reporters after announcing the news. “As chancellor, I will do everything to ensure that this country is well managed in the difficult weeks to come,” she said. Her comments came as the pro-business Free Democratic Party unexpectedly broke off talks with Merkel’s conservative bloc and the ecologist Greens after more than four weeks of negotiations. The breakdown of talks leaves Merkel without a majority in parliament just months after her party, the Christian Democratic Union, suffered its worst result since 1949 in the general election. Merkel can now form a minority government—which would be unprecedented in post-World War Two Germany—or the president can call snap elections. Merkel said she will remain on as acting chancellor and consult with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on how to proceed.


Trump: Jeff Flake Will Vote No on Tax Bill ‘Because His Political Career Anyway Is ‘Toast’’

President Trump tweeted Sunday that Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) will vote “NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is ‘toast.’” He tweeted: “Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls) was caught (purposely) on ‘mike’ saying bad things about your favorite President.” Flake, a frequent critic of Trump, announced last month that he will not seek reelection. He was caught on a hot mic Saturday saying, “[If the Republican party] become[s] the party of [Alabama GOP Senate candidate] Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.”

7. OUT

Jeffrey Tambor Leaves ‘Transparent’ After Allegations of Sexual Harassment

After multiple accusations of sexual harassment, actor Jeffrey Tambor has announced that he will not return as the main character in Amazon’s Transparent, Deadline reported on Sunday. “Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” Tambor, whose performance as a trans woman garnered multiple Golden Globe Awards and a Primetime Emmy. “What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.” Tambor was accused by a former assistant of making lewd comments and propositioning her on multiple occasions. After those allegations, Transparent guest star Trace Lysette accused Tambor of making similar remarks, which she said in an Instagram post escalated to physical harassment on at least one occasion. After those allegations, Amazon commenced an investigation of Tambor’s behavior on set, which the actor maintains was never intentional. “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set,” Tambor stated, “I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”


AL.com Publisher Rejects Roy Moore’s Demand to Stop Reporting on Him

The Alabama Media Group, which publishes AL.com, responded to GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore’s threats that “AL.com retract and recant its prior stories and that it ‘cease and desist’ from any further reporting” about him, writing that the company “rejects your demand.” Michelle Holmes, vice president of content for AMG, writes, “As the letter outlines, these demands appear to be a show more than they are a serious attempt to question what we believe to be fully legitimate, serious reporting. You have not explained how anything that AL.com has reported is untrue, inaccurate or erroneous, nor do you provide any support for your position.” Moore’s attorneys wrote to the media company after it reported that the Senate candidate had been banned from a local mall for predatory behavior and that a fifth woman was accusing him of making sexual advances toward her when she was a teenager. The AMG letter also warned that legal action could possibly “reveal other important information about” Moore.

9. R.I.P.

Border Patrol Agent Dies After Being Injured Patrolling in Texas

A U.S. Border Patrol agent died Sunday after being injured while patrolling the Big Bend Sector in Texas. Rogelio Martinez, 36, had been a border agent since August 2013. He and his partner were taken to a hospital after they were both injured on duty near the state’s western border. Martinez’s partner remains hospitalized in serious condition. A Border Patrol spokesperson said Sunday that the agency cannot provide any additional details about the incident leading to the agents’ injuries. The FBI has reportedly launched an investigation.


‘Justice League’ Brings In About $14M Less Than Expected

Justice League brought in about $14 million less than the expected $110 million in ticket sales it was expected to bring in during its opening weekend, CNNMoney reports. It is the lowest opening for a DC Extended Universe film and the only one to fail to bring in $100 million in its first weekend. The film, which cost about $250 million to make and stars Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, received poor reviews from critics, earning a 40 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Julia Roberts’ new drama, Wonder, which received strong reviews, exceeded expectations this weekend, bringing in an estimated $27.1 million in ticket sales.