The two former Republican presidential candidates best known for bucking the party on immigration found themselves at odds over the issue Friday. Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and an early presidential frontrunner prior to 2016, unloaded on Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in an interview with USA Today, voicing intense frustration with what he said was a lack of leadership on his Florida colleague's part. "God forbid you actually took on something that was controversial and paid a political price," Bush said. "That's the attitude in D.C. right now. Certainly Sen. Rubio is no different in that regard. Marco is a talented guy and he understands this issue really well, and maybe behind the scenes he's working hard. But at some point, his leadership would be really helpful."
Callum Borchers, Washington Post: In the hours after the New York Times reported on Thursday night that President Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III last June, journalists at other news outlets scrambled to confirm the story independently. By 11 p.m., Fox News's chief national correspondent Ed Henry had done so. "We're breaking tonight a source close to the White House telling Fox the New York Times is accurate," Henry said at the top of the network's late newscast. "The president did tell top officials last summer he wanted to fire Robert S. Mueller III. But a White House counsel, Donald McGahn, and other aides convinced the president not to do it." Henry might as well have gone to bed early, because on Friday morning Fox & Friends disregarded his reporting in a staggering display of pro-Trump sycophancy.
Tributes have been paid to actor Simon Shelton, best known for playing purple Teletubby Tinky Winky, following his death at the age of 52. ... Shelton took over the role of handbag-carrying Tinky Winky after original actor Dave Thompson was sacked in 1997. ... The original Teletubbies ran on the BBC from 1997 to 2001 and spawned a number one single, called Teletubbies say 'Eh-oh!', in December 1997. read more
Daily Mail: Melania Trump has spent a number of nights at a posh D.C. hotel away from President Trump following allegations of a fling with porn star Stormy Daniels, White House sources told DailyMail.com. The first lady opted for time away from her husband since news of a possible $130,000 payoff from the President's lawyer to Daniels to cover up an alleged tryst was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. ... Daniels, who has starred in movies such as Good Will Humping and Operation Desert Stormy, claimed she could intimately describe the president's manhood and even revealed sex positions they had enjoyed. At the time, Melania would have been caring for her and Trump's four-month-old son Barron. read more
A California state Democrat is introducing state legislation that would punish waiters who gave customers an unsolicited plastic straw. The restaurant employee would face up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Here is California Majority Leader's press release. read more
Brazil will use blockchain – the technology behind the bitcoin currency – to curtail fraud. The move comes on the heels of a four-year, high-level corruption investigation, but experts warn that this attempt will not be a silver-bullet fix.The platform's supporters believe it can reduce fraud in Brazil's antiquated land titling system, which enables swathes of Amazon rainforest to be cut down for soy and beef farming, in a country where half the population lack property rights.
President Donald Trump pressed senior aides last June to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning that those specific employees were likely to be witnesses against him as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, according to two people directly familiar with the matter. In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, recently fired FBI Director James Comey disclosed that he spoke contemporaneously with other senior bureau officials about potentially improper efforts by the president to curtail the FBI's investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
An inmate from Dallas was busted this week sneaking out of a federal prison in Beaumont to get snacks, alcohol, tobacco and cooked food to take back into the facility. Sheriff's deputies in Jefferson County learned recently that inmates were going out the back of the prison to neighboring land owned by a rancher and picking up contraband. ... At 7:30 p.m., an inmate left the prison grounds and picked up the bag. Deputies arrested the man -- identified as Joshua Randall Hansen, 27, of Dallas -- as he headed back to the prison. The sheriff's office said the bag contained a bottle of whiskey, three bottles of brandy, dozens of packages of tobacco, packaged snacks, fruit and "a large amount of home cooked food." read more
The Trump family wanted to borrow a painting by Vincent van Gogh from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to adorn their White House residence. Instead, they were offered a solid gold toilet titled, "America," according to a report in the Washington Post. More fascinating still, the 18-karat gold toilet, according to the Post, has been occupying the museum's fifth floor for visitors to use. The piece has been described as symbolizing excesses of the United States. Museum curator Nancy Spector, in an email to the White House obtained by the Post, offered the "America" piece, "should the president and first lady have any interest in installing it in the White House." Needless to say, the toilet piece -- created by contemporary Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan -- was perhaps not what President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had in mind. read more
Casino mogul and Republican National Committee (RNC) finance chair Steve Wynn is facing accusations of sexual misconduct, including that he forced a woman to have sex with him in 2005, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Wynn, who was named an RNC official after President Trump's inauguration, allegedly committed acts of sexual misconduct for decades, and would pressure some employees to take part in sex acts. The Journal reported that Wynn reached a $7.5 million settlement with a manicurist who worked at his Wynn Las Vegas property after he forced her to have sex with him. She returned from his office upset and told her colleagues about the incident, according to The Journal. read more