Seth Meyers Tries to Make Sense of Devin Nunes’s Behavior: Investigating Trump or Working with Him?

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Seth Meyers looked at the new twists in the investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, mostly the “loopy” behavior of House Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes, who “looks like every guy you don’t remember meeting.”

“At this point it would just be easier to talk about people at the White House who didn’t meet with shady Russians,” Meyers added.

The Late Night host mocked Trump’s breathless reaction to Nunes’s press conference about “new information” that had just been discovered about surveillance by comparing it to a similar speech given by The Dude in The Big Lebowski.

Said Meyers: “The Dude and Trump have a lot in common. They both have bathrobes, both obsessed with their rugs, and they both love White Russians.”

But was Nunes just trying to give Trump cover for the wiretapping claims? It got weirder when a report emerged that on the night before Nunes’s press conference, Nunes had exited a car he was riding with a staffer, got in an Uber ride, and disappeared into the night after reading a mysterious message.

Said Meyers: “What? He got out of his car in the middle of the night and disappeared? This whole thing is starting to turn into an episode of Dateline.”

Watch:

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Senate Intel Committee in Talks to Interview M16 Agent Christopher Steele, Who Authored Dossier on Trump

Christopher Steele

The Senate Intelligence Committee is in talks to interview former M16 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the “golden showers” dossier on Trump with regard to its investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia, NBC News reports:

Steele, however, remains concerned about his safety and is not inclined to leave London.  He is also concerned about how he might be treated by the Trump administration, according to the sources. The FBI was poised last fall to pay Steele, a former officer with the British Secret Intelligence Service, for information, but that deal fell through, sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

Two Congressional officials told NBC News that the Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet reached an agreement on how and when to interview the Trump associates who have volunteered to testify, including Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone. If any of those men seek criminal immunity for their testimony, the committee would not be inclined to grant it, officials say.

RELATED: Russia Has ‘Compromising’ Personal and Financial Info on Trump, Says Dossier Circulated by Top Govt Officials

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Reporter April Ryan on Sean Spicer’s Relationship with Press: ‘The Friendly Piece is Gone Now’ – WATCH

April Ryan

April Ryan gave an insightful interview to CNN’s New Day about her combative interaction with Press Secretary Sean Spicer yesterday in which Spicer admonished her for shaking her head.

Ryan says that in addition to Spicer’s temperament, there are more alarming things afoot in the press room these days:

“In that room that I have been sitting in for 20 years, to see it recently. You just wonder about some of the people that are coming in the room now. Are they really journalists? Or are they spectators posing as journalists?”

Added Ryan: “We are under attack by this administration. It’s about discrediting credible media.”

Ryan said that Spicer has turned even more combative as of late:

“There’s a friendly adversarial relationship [between the press and the secretary]. I believe the friendly piece is gone now…it is getting personal. It should never get personal in that room. It should be about the issues…It’s turning into a different day.”

Watch:

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‘Thrilled to Be Out of the Woods,’ Hillary Clinton Urges Trump Pushback: ‘Resist, Insist, Persist, Enlist’

Hillary Clinton resist insist persist enlist

Hillary Clinton told the Professional Women’s Conference on Tuesday that there was no place she’d rather be “other than the White House” and blasted “groups of men in Washington making decisions about women’s health.”

Added Clinton: “We will need to fight back twice as hard not for the sake of politics but because these are bad policies that will hurt people and take our country in the wrong direction. There’s a little mantra I’ve been repeating to myself lately – kind of silly – the kind of thing that pops into your head when you take a lot of long walks in the woods…Four words keep coming back to me: resist, insist, persist, enlist.”

Watch:

Clinton also blasted Sean Spicer and Bill O’Reilly for sexist remarks they made toward women yesterday – Spicer to journalist April Ryan, and O’Reilly at Congresswoman Maxine Waters:

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White House Proposes Massive Cuts to PEPFAR, AIDS Research and Prevention in U.S.

Tom Price

The Trump administration is proposing massive cuts to HHS funding, part of which are directed at slashing funds to international AIDS programs instituted under President George W. Bush, and AIDS prevention and research in the United States.

Bloomberg reports on the proposal, which has been sent to congressional appropriators:

A worldwide initiative to help people with HIV and AIDS, known as PEPFAR and heavily focused on patient treatment in Africa, would be slashed by almost $300 million under the plan. The savings would be found by slowing the rate of new patients put on treatment and reducing support to “low-performing countries.” States also would face a $50 million cut that would target “less effective HIV research and prevention activities.”

…U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is scheduled to appear before the House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday to talk about the budget proposal for his department, which NIH and and some of the PEPFAR cuts fall under.

Earlier this year, The Atlantic noted that the Trump administration was eyeing PEPFAR and that canceling it would be a disaster.

Why?

One study showed that within five years, PEPFAR had roughly halved the adult death rates in nine targeted countries, at a time when mortality in other sub-Saharan African nations barely declined. During that period, African adults were 16 percent less likely to die if they lived in one of the PEPFAR-targeted nations. Another project found that in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, HIV incidence has fallen by 51 to 76 percent since 2003, and 65 percent of infected adults are successfully suppressing the virus to a point where they’re much less likely to transmit it. “That’s almost touching the 73 percent level that’s predicted to really give us epidemic control,” says Elizabeth Radin from Columbia University, who was involved in the research. “It’s a remarkable achievement compared to where we were 15 years ago.”

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Man Arrested Heading to L.A. Pride with Explosives and Assault Rifle Pleads Not Guilty to Weapons Charges

James Wesley Howell

James Wesley Howell, the Indiana man arrested shortly after the Orlando massacre as he headed to L.A. Pride with a loaded assault rifle and a vehicle full of explosives and ammunition, has pleaded not guilty to weapons charges.

CBS News reports:

James Wesley Howell, of Charlestown, Indiana, was also charged Tuesday with possessing a destructive device. His attorney declined to comment.

Authorities say Howell, 20, was stopped in Santa Monica in July with a loaded AR-15 rifle and magazines rigged to allow shots to be fired in quick succession. They say he also had 15 pounds of chemicals mixed and ready to explode.

Howell said he was going to a gay pride event in West Hollywood.

Howell was arrested the same day 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Florida.

It’s unclear whether Howell intended any violence at the Los Angeles Pride event, but his arrest put police and event organizers on heightened alert.

Friends in Indiana have described Howell as a gun enthusiast with a short temper.

Howell is also facing a child molestation charge in Indiana that may put him in prison for 16 years.

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Trump Signs Executive Order Giving Federal Contractors License to Discriminate Against LGBT Workers

Trump Mexico City

President Trump on Monday signed what Lambda Legal called a “very disturbing” order that will give federal contractors a large loophole through which to discriminate against LGBT people.

The White House on Monday afternoon released a copy of an executive order signed by President Trump. The order revokes all or part of three previous executive orders concerning federal contracting.

Of greatest concern to LGBT people, President Trump’s executive order revoked Executive Order 13673, signed by President Obama in 2014. That order, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, required that companies receiving large federal contracts be able to demonstrate that they have complied for at least three years with 14 federal laws, several of which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender stereotyping, or gender identity.

By taking away the requirement that federal contractors be able to demonstrate that they have not violated these federal laws, says Camilla Taylor, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, “this administration has made it extremely difficult to enforce these federal laws as applied to federal contractors.”

“It’s sending a message to these companies,” said Taylor, “…that the federal government simply doesn’t care whether or not they violate the law.”

Among those 14 laws implicated are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sex in employment. Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission argued that discrimination based on “sex” included discrimination based on sexual orientation. The ADA and Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination based on HIV infection and other disabilities. And the Family and Medical Leave Act, under the Obama Department of Labor, was held to include employees caring for a same-sex spouse, even if the employee lived in a state that did not recognize marriage of same-sex couples.

The 14 affected federal laws and regulations affected by the new Trump executive order also includes Executive Order 11246, signed in 1965 by President Johnson. Executive Order 11246 prohibited federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Four years later, President Nixon added discrimination based on disability and age. In 1998, President Clinton added sexual orientation. And in 2014, President Obama added gender identity, plus prohibited federal contractors, too, from discriminating against their employees based on these categories.

President Obama’s signing of what was called Executive Order 13672 was hailed by many LGBT activists as protecting “millions” of LGBT workers from discrimination. It applied to companies who sought federal contracts in excess of $500,000.

Taylor said that companies seeking such contracts had to demonstrate that they had not violated the federal laws listed in the previous three years. And federal agencies could not award contracts to such companies unless the companies were able to “explain mitigating factors.”

Taylor said “the substance of the laws are still there” and Lambda would do everything it can to “make sure companies understand their obligation not to discriminate.”

© 2017 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

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