Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, at the urging of House Republicans upset about the sale of a controlling stake in Uranium One to a Russian agency, among other things, and reportedly to get back in President Trump's good graces.
On Tuesday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a founder of the House Freedom Caucus, asked Sessions why the Justice Department hasn't already appointed a special counsel for Clinton, and Sessions said DOJ prosecutors are looking into the matter but would "use the proper standards," adding: "You can have your idea but sometimes we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standards it requires." Fox News news anchor Shepard Smith decided it was time to lay out the facts about the Uranium One deal Tuesday afternoon, in what was hard not to see as an implicit rebuke of the anchors on the opinion side of his network.
Fox's Shep Smith takes apart the Uranium One conspiracy his Fox News colleagues have been relentlessly hyping pic.twitter.com/HZBlBtFvo4
— Media Matters (@mmfa) November 14, 2017
Smith started with the accusation, first made by Breitbart editor at large Peter Schweizer, then repeated by Trump and other conservatives: "Nine people involved in the deal made donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling more than $140 million. In exchange, Secretary of State Clinton approved the sale to the Russians — a quid pro quo." He noted that this accusation is "inaccurate in a number of ways," then spent the next few minutes methodically explaining how. By the end, it's hard to see how there's any there there. We'll see what the Justice Department decides. Peter Weber
After watching a movie about the Iron Cowboy — a man who completed 50 triathlons in 50 days — Niall McDermott thought, "I could do that."
The 10-year-old from San Francisco tweaked it a little, telling his parents he'd like to run 50 5K races in 50 days. After getting the okay from his pediatrician, McDermott ran his first 5K, with his parents letting him know he could stop whenever he wished. He kept at it, and on Sunday, ran his 50th 5K alongside a friend. He told KPIX while he was running, "I was thinking, 'I'm gonna finish this and I can do it, and when I finish it, I won't have to do it anymore.'"
McDermott's grandfather has lung cancer, and McDermott turned his running into a fundraiser, getting $4,000 in pledges that will be donated to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. His mother, Maggie McDermott, is proud of her son for not giving up. "He never complained a single day, said he didn't want to do it, or he's too tired or something hurt," she said. "He was just ready to go every day. I'm amazed." Catherine Garcia
"Today was one of those crazy, interesting days," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show, and he was mostly referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) DNA test and "Trump having to eat his words." The news that Warren appears to have a small amount of Native American ancestry, as her family lore holds, has prompted "an interesting ball of emotions for everyone involved," including Native Americans, some of whom seem to be arguing that Warren is claiming tribal membership, and Trump, who promised a $1 million donation if Warren took a DNA test.
As he sees it, Noah said, Warren's "not saying, 'Hey, I'm Native American!' She's just saying, 'Hey, as you can see, it's not like some random lie that my family made up, like I'm not even trying to claim the heritage, I'm just saying that this is where the story came from.' And then Donald today, not only did he say, basically, that he's not going to pay," but he later stipulated that he'll only pay now if he can test Warren himself. Trevor looked confused. "Like, he's the only person that says, 'I will only accept it if it's not an expert,'" he said. "That's such a strange thing to do."
But one thing is clear, Noah said: If he were Warren and entering a presidential debate against Trump, he would make sure they were playing a certain Rihanna song when she walked onstage.
You can watch Noah's full segment on Warren versus Trump below — including the "DNA plot twist," footage of Trump denying he said what he said, Kool-Aid, and this final twist of the knife: "So basically, this white man made a promise to Sen. Warren and then went back on what he said...." Peter Weber
Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, doesn't have any kind of formal cooperation agreement with the government, but he has still spent more than 50 hours in meetings providing information for several investigations, people familiar with the matter told Vanity Fair's Emily Jane Fox on Monday.
Cohen pleaded guilty in August to violating campaign finance laws, in connection with payments he made to women who said they had affairs with Trump, and he said in court that he did so under Trump's direction. A longtime friend of Cohen's told Fox that Cohen is offering his assistance to investigators because he regrets what he did while working for the Trump Organization. "What you see now is a return to who he was before all of this," the friend said. "He's an open book, and he's adamant to make it right."
It looks like Cohen is also trying to get back at Trump in an additional way. He's a Democrat again, after becoming a Republican in 2017 while working as the Republican National Committee's deputy finance chief, and he spent his weekend tweeting about the upcoming midterms. "The #MidtermElections2018 might be the most important vote in our lifetime," he tweeted on Sunday. "#GetOutAndVote #VoteNovember6th." Catherine Garcia
If you planned on drowning your sorrows over climate change in a bottle of beer, it's time to pick a new beverage.
In a new report published Monday in the journal Nature Plants, scientists say that in the future, more extreme heat waves and droughts caused by climate change will stifle barley production. Barley is the key ingredient in beer, and in the U.S., Brazil, and China, at least two-thirds of the barley crop goes into beer production. Researchers estimate that the yield could drop by as much as 17 percent, making beer not only harder to find, but also more expensive.
Even adjusting for inflation, beer prices on average would double, the researchers said, and in Ireland, where beer is already more expensive, prices would triple. Barley is one of the most heat-sensitive crops in the world, and researchers only looked at how heat waves and drought would hit barley, not even considering an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Last week, a U.N. panel released an alarming report about how climate change is going to have a catastrophic impact in just a few decades if major action isn't taken globally, and Department of Agriculture scientist Lewis Ziska told The Associated Press it's studies like the one about beer that really get through to people. "One of the greatest challenges as a scientist doing research on climate change and food is to illustrate it in a way that people can understand," he said. Catherine Garcia
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday released a proposal requiring drug companies reveal how much their medications cost in television ads.
"Right now, drug companies are required to disclose the major side effects a drug can have — but not the effect that buying the drug could have on your wallet," the department said in a statement. The law would apply to brand-name drugs covered by both Medicare and Medicaid, CBS News reports, as long as a typical course of treatment costs more than $35 every month.
PhRMA, the drug industry's largest trade group, said it is open to putting prices up on a website, but believes if prices are revealed in commercials, that could "discourage patients from seeking needed medical care." Catherine Garcia
On Monday, a federal judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit adult film star Stormy Daniels filed against President Trump, and ordered her to pay his legal fees.
Daniels, who said she had sex with Trump in 2006, claimed that in 2011, after she agreed to discuss the affair in an interview, she was threatened by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot. Trump tweeted this was a "total con job," and she was "playing the Fake News Media for Fools."
Daniels sued, saying Trump suggested she was a liar, but Judge S. James Otero said Monday the tweet "constitutes 'rhetorical hyperbole' normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States," and is protected by the First Amendment. Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said he will appeal. Catherine Garcia
The Endeavor talent firm is in discussions to return a $400 million investment from the Saudi Arabian government's Public Investment Fund, two people with knowledge of the matter told NBC News on Monday.
The move comes after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkey has told U.S. officials it has audio proof that he was murdered inside the consulate.
The Public Investment Fund agreed in March to buy a small stake in Endeavor. Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said on Monday the disappearance of Khashoggi was "upsetting" and he was "really concerned." If Endeavor does cut ties with Saudi Arabia, it would be one of the most visible moves by an American company to distance itself from the kingdom in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance. Catherine Garcia