5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Trump reportedly building case against Mueller, exploring pardon powers

  • McCain after cancer diagnosis: 'I'll be back soon'

  • Trump reportedly to name Scaramucci White House communications chief

  • Sessions vows to stay on as attorney general after Trump criticism

  • O.J. Simpson granted parole

President Trump and some of his lawyers are actively looking at ways to undermine, discredit, or fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading a broad investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election, including compiling a list of potential conflicts of interest that might be used to force out Mueller or some of this investigators, The New York Times and The Washington Post report. The effort has apparently ramped up as Mueller begins digging into Trump's financial history, and Trump is reportedly especially concerned that Mueller can access his tax returns. Trump has also been talking with aides and his legal team about his constitutional powers to pardon aides, family members, and maybe even himself, the Post reports.

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, his office announced Wednesday. The tumor, known as a glioblastoma, was discovered during a procedure to remove a blood clot above McCain's left eye last week. On Thursday morning, McCain tweeted his appreciation for the "outpouring of support" he has received since his diagnosis was revealed, vowing, "I'll be back soon." His doctors told CNN that the senator and his family are reviewing treatment options, which CNN said "likely include radiation and chemotherapy." McCain, 80, has represented Arizona since 1987.

Source: The Associated Press, CNN

President Trump is preparing to name Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier and longtime supporter, as communications director, two sources "familiar with the planning" tell Axios. Scaramucci has been in talks with the White House to join the communications team in some high-level role, Politico reports, and the communications director job has been open since Mike Dubke's short tenure came to an end in May. Scaramucci has been working at the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and Trump has told aides he appreciates how he defends him in his appearances on Fox News. The prospective appointment was reportedly a surprise to White House Chief of Staff Renice Priebus. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is expected to stay on.

Source: Axios, Politico

In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, President Trump said that if Attorney General Jeff Sessions had told him he would recuse himself from leading the investigation into Russian election meddling, Trump never would have appointed him. "Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president," Trump said. He also accused Sessions of giving "some bad answers" during his Senate confirmation hearings. During a press conference Thursday, Sessions vowed to stay at the helm of the Justice Department despite the president's criticism. "I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate," Sessions said. When asked if he feared being seen as a "zombie attorney general," Sessions did not respond.

Source: The New York Times, Washington Examiner

O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday. After a brief hearing, the Nevada Board of Parole commissioners voted unanimously in favor of Simpson's release, which could happen as soon as Oct. 1. The 70-year-old former football star has served almost nine years of a 33-year sentence, the minimum requirement, for charges of kidnapping and armed robbery stemming from a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia collectors. Simpson and five other men confronted the collectors at a Nevada hotel room. He was granted parole based on his age and his compliance with prison rules. In 1995, Simpson was acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Source: The Guardian, The New York Times
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