President Donald Trump's personal lawyer negotiated a deal in late 2017 to pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model who said she was impregnated by a top Republican fundraiser, according to people familiar with the matter. Michael Cohen, whose office, home and hotel room were raided by federal agents this week, arranged the payments to the woman on behalf of Elliott Broidy, a deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee with ties to Mr. Trump, the people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Broidy, a Los Angeles-based venture capitalist, works on the Republican committee with Mr. Cohen, who is also a national deputy finance chairman. The deal, which hasn't previously been reported, prohibits the Los Angeles woman from disclosing her alleged relationship with Mr. Broidy in exchange for $1.6 million to be paid to her over two years in quarterly installments, these people said. The first payment was due Dec. 1, according to one of the people. read more
President Trump on Thursday instructed top administration officials to explore re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a trade pact he pulled the U.S. out of last year while calling it a "disaster." Speaking after a trade meeting with Trump, Republican senators said the president told White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to look into joining the deal, which 11 other Pacific Rim nations signed in March. "The president multiple times reaffirmed in general to all of us and looked right at Larry Kudlow and said, 'Larry, go get it done,' " Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a vocal proponent of free trade, told reporters at the White House. Sasse cautioned that Trump "is a guy who likes to blue-sky a lot and entertain a lot of different ideas," suggesting the president could eventually change his mind.
Stephen K. Bannon, who was ousted as White House chief strategist last summer but has remained in touch with some members of President Trump's circle, is pitching a plan to West Wing aides and congressional allies to cripple the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to four people familiar with the discussions. The first step, these people say, would be for Trump to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the work of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and in recent days signed off on a search warrant of Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Bannon is also recommending the White House cease its cooperation with Mueller, reversing the policy of Trump's legal team to provide information to the special counsel's team and to allow staff members to sit for interviews.
A new national poll of America's 18- to 29-year-olds by Harvard's Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the Kennedy School of Government, finds a marked increase in the number of young Americans who indicate that they will "definitely be voting" in the upcoming midterm Congressional elections. Overall, 37 percent of Americans under 30 indicates that they will "definitely be voting," compared to 23 percent who said the same in 2014, and 31 percent in 2010, the year of the last "wave" election. Young Democrats are driving nearly all of the increase in enthusiasm; a majority (51%) report that they will "definitely" vote in November, which represents a 9-percentage point increase since November 2017 and is significantly larger than the 36 percent of Republicans who say the same. At this point in the 2014 election cycle, 28 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of Republicans indicated that they would "definitely" be voting. In the Spring of 2010, 35 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of Republicans held a similar interest in voting.
Donald Trump "believes he has the power to" fire special counsel Robert Mueller, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday. "He certainly believes he has the power to do so," Sanders said when asked whether Trump believes he has that power. She did not suggest Trump would be moving to fire Mueller. Under the special counsel regulations, Mueller may be "disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the attorney general." Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from all matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign, so only Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has the power to fire Mueller. read more