At a court hearing in Manhattan, a federal prosecutor said there will “likely” be additional charges in the case against two associates of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Bloomberg News reports.
The two men pleaded not guilty in October to charges that they used foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions to politicians and committees to advance their business interests.
This is Lois Beckett, taking over our live politics coverage from our West Coast bureau.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom will travel to Iowa to campaign for Sen. Kamala Harris in mid-December as she tries to rebound amid a critical stretch in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Associated Press reports.
Harris has staked her campaign on a strong showing in Iowa and recently spent six days over the Thanksgiving holiday campaigning in the state. But she’s still stuck in single digits in most polls, far from the top of the pack that includes former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
More from Free, Melania, of which the Guardian has obtained a copy.
CNN reporter Kate Bennett wrote that the first lady suspected Trump ally and adviser, Roger Stone, was responsible for the release of nude photos from her modelling past during the 2016 presidential campaign:
Melania has not commented on how she thinks they got into the hands of the tabloid and on to the cover, but friends say she still refuses to believe Trump would do that to her. As for Stone, she’s not so sure.
The White House did not respond directly to the allegation, but said the book includes “many false details and opinions.”
Roger Stone’s wife, Nydia, told the Guardian via text that the allegation was “categorically false and completely illogical.”
Roger Stone is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of obstructing the Mueller investigation.
An unauthorized biography of the first lady, Free, Melania, is being released this week, authored by CNN reporter Kate Bennett.
Per CNN, takeaways from the book include:
- Melania Trump has “frequent, opinionated discussions” with the president, oftentimes more than once a day, via telephone, about policy.
- The first couple doesn’t share a bedroom.
- Melania Trump investigated dog breeds and the what types of care a presidential pup would need, but the family ultimately decided not to get a pet – the first White House family to not have one for the past three decades of first families.
California representative Duncan Hunter, a Republican, will plead guilty to campaign finance violations in federal court tomorrow, reversing his previous not guilty position.
His wife, Margaret Hunter, has already plead guilty in the case, which included her admission in a plea agreement that the family spent $500 in campaign funds to fly the family’s pet rabbit, Eggburt, across the country. The couple is alleged to hae spent more than $200,000 in campaign donations on family expenses such as vacations and groceries, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Ahead of Trump’s visit to the UK, five political party leaders in the country expressed concern about prime minister Boris Johnson’s relationship with the US president in a television debate last night.
“We obviously have a hugely important relationship with the US.” said Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem leader. “But make no mistake, the current occupant of the White House is not somebody who shares our values.”
Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit party, was the only of seven candidates to defend the president, describing Trump as “our most important friend in the world.” The representative for the Conservative party, Rishi Sunak, tried to stay out of the fray.
Meanwhile, 350 leading climate researchers urged Johnson to challenge Trump on his “dangerous” denial of the risks of climate change in a letter tied to the US president’s visit.
And the Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, urged the prime minister to break off trade talks with Trump until any reference to pharmaceuticals is struck off the US list of objectives.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Trump’s reelection campaign announced it would no longer credential Bloomberg News reporters after the outlet said it would not investigate its owner, Michael Bloomberg, or any other Democratic presidential candidate.
- The president is headed to London for the Nato summit as the House intelligence committee prepares to review its report on the impeachment inquiry.
- Trump said in a tweet that his administration would restore steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina, despite the efforts of Brazil’s far-right president to develop an alliance with Trump.
- Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer whose anti-Trump texts with former FBI agent Peter Strzok intensified the president’s accusations of a “deep state” biased against him, spoke out for the first time in a Daily Beast interview. Page said she decided to do the interview because she wanted to “take my power back.”
My colleague Amanda Holpuch will steer the blog for the next few hours, so stay tuned for more updates from her.
Bloomberg News justified its decision to continue investigating Trump, even as it abandoned investigating Democratic presidential candidates, by arguing that the outlet must scrutinize the current government, which the sitting president leads.
However, that argument sparked some pushback from media commentators, who warned of a double standard in Bloomberg’s political coverage.
Senator Ted Cruz came to Trump’s defense after the president’s reelection campaign announced it would no longer credential Bloomberg News reporters for rallies or other events.
The Texas Republican claimed the outlet’s new policy of not investigating Michael Bloomberg or other Democratic presidential candidates as it continues to cover Trump in the same manner equated to conducting opposition research against Republicans.
Bloomberg News’ editor-in-chief has pushed back against the Trump campaign’s claim that the outlet’s editors have “declared their bias openly” by saying reporters would not investigate Michael Bloomberg or any other Democratic presidential candidate.
The Trump campaign’s announcement sparked questions about covering the president’s rallies, given that Bloomberg is one of three outlets that consistently travel to the events.
Shortly after Michael Bloomberg announced he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News sent a memo to staff outlining how the outlet would cover its owner.
“So Mike is running,” John Micklethwait wrote in the memo. “There is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy for a newsroom that has built up its reputation for independence in part by not writing about ourselves (and very rarely about our direct competitors). No previous presidential candidate has owned a journalistic organization of this size.”
Micklethwait said Bloomberg would suspend its editorial board but would strive to report on the billionaire’s campaign as it did everyone else’s. “We will describe who is winning and who is losing,” Micklethwait said. “We will look at policies and their consequences. We will carry polls, we will interview candidates and we will track their campaigns, including Mike’s.”
But the announcement that Bloomberg News would not investigate its owner or any other Democratic presidential candidate sparked outrage from some media commentators — and now from Trump’s reelection campaign.
Trump campaign no longer credentialing Bloomberg News reporters
Trump’s reelection campaign has just released a statement saying it will no longer issue credentials to Bloomberg News reporters for rallies or other events after the outlet announced it would not investigate Michael Bloomberg or other Democratic presidential candidates in light of the billionaire’s campaign launch.
“Bloomberg News has declared that they won’t investigate their boss or his Democrat competitors, many of whom are current holders of high office, but will continue critical reporting on President Trump,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said in the statement.
“Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events. We will determine whether to engage with individual reporters or answer inquiries from Bloomberg News on a case-by-case basis. This will remain the policy of the Trump campaign until Bloomberg News publicly rescinds its decision.”