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5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Mueller reportedly wants to question Trump soon about Comey, Flynn firings

  • Schumer takes border wall funding off the table after being rebuffed by Trump

  • DOJ confirms Jeff Sessions was interviewed by Mueller last week

  • The Shape of Water leads 2018 Oscar nominations

  • Famed fantasy novelist Ursula K. Le Guin dies at 88

Special Counsel Robert Mueller would like to interview President Trump sometime within the next few weeks regarding the events surrounding his firing of former FBI Director James Comey and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, The Washington Post reports. Flynn left the White House last February after it was reported he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with former Russian Ambassador to Sergey Kislyak; in December, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Mueller was fired in May, and later testified that Trump had asked him to drop the FBI's investigation of Flynn. Trump's attorneys would like Trump to provide some testimony face-to-face with Mueller's investigators and the rest in a written statement.

Source: The Washington Post

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) informed the White House late Monday that his offer of $1.6 billion in border wall funding was no longer valid. President Trump rejected Schumer's proposal last Friday during a meeting aimed at averting a government shutdown. Schumer reportedly floated fully funding the wall in exchange for a deal to give Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients legal status, but Trump rejected it as insufficient. On Monday, Democrats agreed to fund the government through Feb. 8 on a promise from Senate Republicans to hold a DACA vote by then. Trump tweeted Tuesday night that "Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA."

Source: Politico, The New York Times

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions for "several hours last week," The New York Times revealed Tuesday. The interview is the first known instance of Mueller's office questioning a member of President Trump's Cabinet. A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed its occurrence. Last spring, Sessions recused himself from "any existing or future investigations of any matters related ... to the campaigns for president of the United States" conducted by the Justice Department, following reports that he had twice spoken with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 election. Congress has grilled Sessions on multiple occasions with inquiries pertaining to Russian election meddling, but he has consistently frustrated lawmakers by repeatedly saying he did not recall the answers to questions.

Source: The New York Times

Guillermo del Toro's aquatic fairy tale, The Shape of Water, leads the 2018 Oscar nominees, competing in 13 categories including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress in a Leading Role for star Sally Hawkins. Dunkirk followed with eight nominations, while Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri earned seven nods and Phantom Thread six. All four are competing for Best Picture, alongside The Post, Lady Bird, Get Out, Call Me by Your Name, and The Darkest Hour. The Netflix historical drama Mudbound, meanwhile, made history after Rachel Morrison earned a nomination for Best Cinematography, making her the first woman ever nominated in the category. The Academy Awards will be held March 4 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Source: The Washington Post, Cinemacked

Novelist Ursula K. Le Guin, known for her sci-fi and fantasy books like The Left Hand of Darkness and winning — multiple times — the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, died Monday in Portland, Oregon. She was 88. Le Guin was a writer for most of her life, submitting her first short story at age 11. Author Mary Robinette Kowal told NPR Le Guin was "a gateway drug" into science fiction and fantasy for many readers, and "embraced new forms of technology" while "constantly pushing boundaries and barriers." In 2014, Le Guin received a lifetime achievement award at the National Book Awards.

Source: NPR
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