Rosenstein ‘Knew’ of Comey Firing Before He Wrote Memo

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The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet®
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1. PAPER TRAIL
Rosenstein ‘Knew’ of Comey Firing Before He Wrote Memo
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday told senators that he knew former FBI Director James Comey would be fired before even writing the document, which was used by the White House to justify the dismissal. Democratic Senators Richard Durbin and Claire McCaskill both told reporters that Rosenstein said he was aware the Monday before Comey’s firing of Trump’s decision. He also said he was not pressured by the president into writing his memo. “He learned the president’s decision to fire him and then he wrote his memo with his rationale,” Durbin said. Rosenstein told the Senate these details on Thursday, one day after he appointed a special counsel to investigate possible Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election—and potential assistance from Trump’s campaign.
READ IT AT The Washington Post  
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. HEART OF NY
One Dead After Car Rams Crowd in Times Square
At least one person has died after a speeding car allegedly rammed into a crowd of pedestrians in New York City’s Times Square on Thursday, Reuters reports. The news agency said at least 12 victims received medical treatment on the scene. Social media posts showed a crashed red sedan on the sidewalk, and at one point the car was in flames. A 26-year-old man from the Bronx was in police custody on Thursday afternoon, according to local reports. He has a history of DWI arrests and license suspensions. The area has been closed off by the New York Police Department, who have said the incident is not related to terrorism. According to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, President Trump has been briefed on the situation and is receiving updates as they come in. Times Square has seen its share of tragedy and close calls. In 2010, Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen from Pakistan, planted a homemade car bomb that could have killed thousands of people, but failed to detonate. Recent years’ violence has included stabbings outside of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the police shooting of a man wielding an 11-inch knife near an area teeming with pedestrians. In March, Baltimore native James Harris Jackson, 28, planned a murder spree targeting black men there, but turned himself into police at the Times Square subway after the single murder of a homeless man in Hell’s Kitchen.
READ IT AT Reuters  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. REMEMBER HIM?
Trump: Lieberman My Top Choice for FBI Director
President Trump on Thursday told reporters that former Sen. Joe Lieberman is his top choice for FBI director, following the ouster of James Comey last week. The president said he was “very close” to making his official nomination and that the two men met on Wednesday. Trump said he found Lieberman “agreeable.” Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been interviewing candidates since Comey was suddenly fired last Tuesday, a move which drew bipartisan ire because of the bureau’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling—with Trump’s potential assistance—in the U.S. election. Lieberman, a 75-year-old Democrat-turned-independent senator from Connecticut, was Al Gore’s vice presidential nominee in 2000 and then ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, which he lost.
READ IT AT CNN  
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. TRAGIC
Chris Cornell Death Ruled a Suicide by Hanging
A medical examiner ruled the death of Chris Cornell as suicide by hanging, multiple outlets reported on Thursday. The 52-year-old rock icon was found early today in his hotel room in downtown Detroit and—according to a police spokesperson—was unresponsive with a band around his neck. “Based on our observations at the scene, we are investigating it as a possible suicide,” a Detroit police media relations director told the Free Press, without further confirming the “band” detail. “We’re not saying specifically why.”
READ IT AT Detroit Free Press  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. BEST WISHES
Flynn: Trump Told Me to ‘Stay Strong’
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn reportedly stayed in contact with President Trump after he was fired from his position and during the federal investigation into whether he had accepted money from foreign governments. Yahoo News reports Flynn and Trump spoke as recently as April 25. “I just got a message from the president to stay strong,” Flynn told a “small group of loyalists” during a lunch meeting, though it’s still unclear through what medium Flynn and Trump had been communicating. That same day, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings accused Flynn of failing to disclose foreign income from Russia and Turkey. Another Flynn ally told Yahoo News that Flynn said, “Thank God Trump is president. Can you imagine if Hillary had won and what she would be doing?” after he was fired.
READ IT AT Yahoo News  
 
 
 
 
 
 
6. PROGRESS
Study: Intermarriage Rate Increased Fivefold in 50 Years
Nearly a fifth of all U.S. couples married in 2015 had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, according to data from the Pew Research Center. This is a fivefold increase since 1967, when the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case made interracial marriage legal across the country. Nationwide, 11 million people, or one in ten married couples in 2015—not just newlyweds—had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. Despite increases in intermarriage, however, Pew found that white Americans are the least likely to marry people of a different race or ethnicity, while Asian and Hispanic people are the most likely to intermarry. There’s a gender divide, too: Pew found that black men are twice as likely to marry outside their race as black women. Meanwhile, 36 percent of Asian women married in 2015 had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, compared to 21 percent of Asian men. As of 2010, 39 percent of Americans polled said interracial marriage is good for society, compared to just 9 percent who said it was bad and 52 percent who said it makes no difference. View this cheat in a browser to see this video.
READ IT AT Pew Social Trends  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. RETRACTED
Army Pulls Ad Featuring Child Rapist
The U.S. Army pulled a recruitment ad this week after learning one of the soldiers featured in the commercial was a convicted rapist, Business Insider reported Thursday. The ad began airing nationally on May 8 and was pulled just a week later, on May 15, about an hour after Army officials learned one of the soldiers was convicted of child rape in 2015. The soldier in question, who was not named by Business Insider, wasn’t acting in the commercial, but a picture of him was used in the spot. “All soldiers, civilians, and family members are vetted prior to filming in any national or local advertising effort. However, participants are not usually vetted a second time if images are later used,” Maj. Avon Cornelius wrote in an internal memo.
READ IT AT Business Insider  
 
 
 
 
 
 
8. DETAILS
Cops: Roger Ailes Took Nasty Fall Week Before Death
Palm Beach police officials said Thursday morning that local fire-rescue crews were summoned to Roger Ailes’s home last week after he reportedly fell and hit his head in a bathroom—one week before he passed away. The Palm Beach Post reported that the call to an emergency dispatcher reported “serious bleeding” from the incident. The 77-year-old former Fox News CEO died Thursday morning, according to his wife Elizabeth Ailes.
READ IT AT Palm Beach Post  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9. CHAOS
AP Journalist Shot, Palestinian Killed at West Bank Protest
An Israeli settler opened fire on a group of Palestinian protesters in the West Bank after his car was attacked by the crowd Thursday, injuring a member of the press and killing a protester. One man, a 20-year-old Palestinian protester, was fatally shot in the head, medical officials told the Associated Press. Majdi Mohammed, an AP photographer documenting the protest, was shot in the hand. The Israel Defense Forces said military forces were sent to disperse a “riot” and confirmed to the AP that an Israeli man opened fire, but said he only shot into the air.
READ IT AT AP  
 
 
 
 
 
 
10. SUSPICIOUS
Report: Flynn Stopped Military Plan Turkey Opposed
Just weeks before he was fired as President Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn reportedly opposed a Pentagon plan that the Turkish government didn’t like—while accepting payments of more than $500,000 to represent the interests of that same government. Shortly before Trump took office, Susan Rice, then-President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, had consulted Flynn and members of Trump’s team about a plan to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State terror group with the help of Syrian Kurdish forces. The plan would have been executed when Trump was in office, so Obama’s team wanted Flynn’s approval. Flynn’s decision was to hold off, McClatchy News reported, citing timelines of meetings distributed by Congress. He provided no explanation for his decision, which happened to conform to the wishes of the Turkish government, which, it was later learned, was benefiting from his lobbying work. Lawmakers are now questioning whether Flynn made that decision at the behest of a foreign government, with some going so far as to ask whether it constitutes treason, McClatchy reported. While Trump eventually approved the military plan, Flynn’s decision 10 days before Trump took office delayed the operation by several months. Long after he was fired amid scrutiny over his contact with Russian officials, Flynn continues to be a headache to the Trump administration, with new questions arising Wednesday after a report said Trump’s team was aware Flynn was under federal investigation for his Turkish lobbying long before the president’s inauguration.
READ IT AT McClatchy  
 
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