When now-former White House staff secretary Rob Porter sat down for an off-the-record meeting with four reporters hours after the publication of a Daily Mail story showing his first wife with a black eye, he was quick to deny the allegations of physical abuse. The reporters present for the meeting -- the New York Times' Maggie Haberman, the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, Axios' Jonathan Swan, and the Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender -- pressed Porter to explain the picture of his first wife with a black eye as well as his comment that he had taken the picture in question. He told them what he had told his colleagues: that, on vacation in Florence, the two had quarreled over a Venetian glass vase, and that his then wife, Colbie Holderness, had fallen and bruised her eye.
Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf rejected a Republican-drawn congressional map on Tuesday as unfairly skewed toward protecting Republican candidates, likely putting the state's top court in charge of creating new boundaries. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated the existing map last month as an unconstitutional gerrymander, ruling that Republican lawmakers had marginalized Democratic voters in an effort to win more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. A new map is expected to boost Democrats' chances of winning more Pennsylvania seats in November's midterm elections, when they need 24 nationwide to take control of the House from Republicans. Republicans hold 13 of the state's 18 congressional seats despite Pennsylvania's status as a closely contested swing state.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose political career has been dogged by allegations of racist comments, faces a fresh backlash after harkening back to the "Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement" during a speech to the National Sheriffs' Association on Monday. "Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people's protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process," he said at the organization's winter conference. "The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office."
For two centuries, it has been a totem of America's gun culture -- a name emblazoned on frontier flintlocks and U.S. Army .45s. But on Monday Remington Outdoor Co., which traces its history back to 1816, said it would file for bankruptcy protection, succumbing to a slump in business worsened by, of all things, a president who has steadfastly supported Americans' right to bear arms. The bankruptcy is a blow to the private-equity mogul Stephen Feinberg, who has been a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump. Feinberg's firm, Cerberus Capital Management, acquired Remington in 2007 and subsequently saddled it with almost $1 billion in debt. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will let Remington stay in business while it works out a plan to turn around the company and pay its creditors.
The Trump White House has careened from one crisis to another since January, with the furor around the publication of Michael Wolff's best-selling tell-all Fire and Fury -- which sparked a public break between Trump and his former top strategist Steve Bannon -- replaced by outrage sparked by Trump's description of African countries as "---," as well as a stand-off between Trump and the FBI over the ever-present Russia investigation. In the midst of all that, the government shut down -- twice. The relentless chaos has prompted some senior officials to leave the administration in recent weeks. The latest is Rachel Brand, the number three official at the Justice Department, who resigned on Friday to join Wal-Mart, telling friends that she was concerned that her association with the Trump administration could hurt her reputation.