President Trump has told a lot of brazen lies in his first year in office, but few are as easily exposed as the one he told Thursday morning about the TV ratings for his first State of the Union address. ... TV-ratings information is public, and Trump's tweet was quickly fact checked. Unsurprisingly, it's false. Fewer people watched Trump's first SOTU than the initial addresses of Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Obama's first SOTU in 2010 had just over 48 million viewers, while Bush's, in 2002, had nearly 52 million. Clinton's 1993 address just edged out Trump's with 45.8 million viewers. read more
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Atomwaffen Division came into existence only in 2016 and is apparently the most violent group to emerge as part of a recent rise of far-right hate groups. (ProPublica dated it back slightly further to 2015 and estimated it numbers around 80 members.) Its members have participated in other white supremacist rallies, according to the ADL, and they are "scattered around the country." The ADL, which tracks the actions of anti-Semitic groups, reports Atomwaffen Division occasionally distributes hateful flyers around college campuses. It has, according to ProPublica, grown quickly since the violent "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bernstein's murder is the fifth allegedly connected to this extremist group. Scott Fricker, 48, and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43 were allegedly killed in Reston, Virginia, shortly before Christmas by a 17-year-old neo-Nazi who had been dating their daughter.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) won't run for another term, he announced Wednesday, making him the latest GOP chairman to announce he's heading for the exits in recent months. "I will not be filing for re-election to Congress nor seeking any other political elected office," Gowdy said in a statement. "Instead I will be returning to the justice system. Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress, and I enjoy our justice system more than our political system." His announcement makes him the ninth Republican committee chairman to announce he's leaving, the second this week alone, and the second Oversight chairman in less than a year, as former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) quit to take a job at Fox News last year.
President Donald Trump's top public health official resigned Wednesday amid mounting questions about financial conflicts of interest. Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald's resignation comes one day after POLITICO reported that one month into her tenure as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she bought shares in a tobacco company. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, and preventing it is an issue Fitzgerald had long championed. read more
A train carrying Republican lawmakers to their GOP retreat in West Virginia collided with a dump truck in the crossing grade on Wednesday, according to several GOP aides and lawmakers. "The President has been fully briefed on the situation in Virginia and is receiving regular updates. There is one confirmed fatality and one serious injury. There are no serious injuries among members of Congress or their staff," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. read more