1-14-19 The Left Newsletter The FBI launched an investigation to find out if Trump was working for Russia.

The FBI launched an investigation to find out if Trump was working for Russia.

After Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, the agency started looking into the possibility that he was secretly working “against American interests” on behalf of Russia. This was on top of their obstruction of justice investigation, which we’ve known about for a while now.

Wait, why?

Well, Trump fired the person leading the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia. Then he went on national TV and said “this Russia thing” was the reason for it. Connecting the dots, FBI officials grew concerned that Trump was being influenced by Russia, whether he realized it or not.

So, what did Trump have to say?

On Saturday, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro asked him, “Are you now, or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” He gave a 358-word response calling the question “insulting,” but never actually said the word ‘no.’

Anything else I should know?

According to a new Washington Post report, Trump has gone to some extraordinary lengths to hide details of his meetings with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Apparently, his own top officials don’t even know what went down in those meetings.

 


 

We are now in the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

Yup, the partial government shutdown — now 24 days and counting — broke the record over the weekend, passing up the previous 21-day record set during the Clinton administration.

Any big updates?

Lawmakers left town on Friday, so not a lot changed over the weekend. New polls show that the majority of Americans blame Trump and the GOP for the shutdown, so here’s hoping the pressure starts to get to them.

 


 

Two more Democrats join the 2020 field.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Texas Democrat Julián Casto both announced plans to run for president over the weekend.

Tell me more.

Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and U.S. representative from Hawaii, said she plans to make a formal announcement sometime this week. A central focus of her campaign will be “the issue of war and peace.” (Read more)

Julián Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and Obama cabinet secretary, announced his bid in both English and Spanish on Saturday. He also rolled out a campaign slogan: “One Nation. One Destiny.” (Read more)

 


 

The White House is getting ready to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As Ginsburg continues to miss arguments while recovering from cancer surgery, Politico is reporting the Trump team “is taking the temperature on possible short-list candidates” to replace her if the opportunity arises.

How’s RBG doing?

Good news! Her recovery is on track, and she plans on returning to the bench by the end of the month.

 


 

Lin-Manuel Miranda brings "Hamilton” to Puerto Rico.

For the first time in years, Miranda took the stage as Alexander Hamilton to kick off the Broadway hit’s three-week residency in Puerto Rico. During the 17-day run, the show will be raising money for local artists still recovering from Hurricane Maria.

 


 

Families of Sandy Hook victims gain a big win in their lawsuit against InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

At the families’ request, a judge ordered Jones to turn over his company’s internal marketing and financial documents.

 


 

Canadian air traffic controllers buy dinner for US counterparts hit by the shutdown.

In a show of solidarity, they sent over 32 pizzas on Friday night.

 


 

Sarah Thomas becomes the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game.

Thomas, the first full-time female referee in NFL history, officiated yesterday’s playoff matchup between the Patriots and the Chargers.

 


 

Five things you can actually do to protest the government shutdown.

Fed up with the feds right now? Here are some concrete ways to make a difference:

  1. Rally! Keep an eye out for protests, especially if you live near the D.C. area.
  2. Call your members of Congress. Take 30 seconds to dial (202) 224-3121 and explain why you want the shutdown to end.
  3. Talk to your family and friends about what’s going on.
  4. Support nonprofits like RAICES, an organization that provides legal services for migrants and refugees.
  5. Chip in! Pick up trash at a national park, or volunteer for an organization helping federal workers.

For more info, check out this article from Bustle’s Mehreen Kasana.

 


 

This federal worker could die because of the shutdown.

Mallory Lorge, a Department of Interior employee, is down to two vials of insulin in her fridge. The 31-year-old needs the medication to survive, but without knowing when her next paycheck will come, she is stretching it out as long as possible — putting her life at risk in the process.

Since the government shut down on December 22nd, Mallory and her husband have spent their savings, consolidated their debt, and begun selling off possessions. Her husband is working overtime, but without Mallory’s income, the couple won’t be able to make ends meet for more than three or four weeks.

To save money, Mallory has been rationing her insulin. After missing a paycheck, she simply can’t afford the $300 copay to renew her prescription. She told NBC News her blood sugar spiked last week, recalling, “When it gets that high. . .you can go into a coma. I can’t afford to go to the ER. I can’t afford anything. I just went to bed and hoped I’d wake up.”

Mallory has been working for the government for six years. Now, her employer is putting her life in danger. As she puts it, “It’s like being held hostage. . .That the government has put us in this position is like a punch in the gut.”

Last Friday, 800,000 federal employees missed their first paycheck.

The vast majority of Americans have under $1,000 in savings, and 78% of all U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck. The workers affected by the shutdown have families to feed, bills to pay, and medications to cover — they can’t afford to miss a single paycheck. As a result, thousands of federal workers, including Mallory, have applied for unemployment to get by. For now, Mallory is still waiting to hear back.

 


 

Leftovers:

Senators are prepping for William Barr‘s confirmation hearing later this week. Dems plan to press Trump’s attorney general pick on his plans for the Mueller probe.

Welp, the ‘Build the Wall’ GoFundMe didn’t work. Who could have seen that coming?

Some federal employees are relying on food banks to get through the shutdown. Here’s a list of 77 other effects of the shutdown.

Megyn Kelly has finally left NBC following her show’s cancellation in October. She will receive the remaining $30 million on her contract.

Seven Republicans voted against back pay for unpaid federal workers. Every other member of Congress voted to approve the bill, which Trump says he will sign.

Three GOP candidates appear to have illegally coordinated ads with the NRA. Looks like Josh Hawley, Matt Rosendale, and Richard Burr all cheated.

Anthony Scaramucci is going to be on the second season of “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.” If he lasts all two-and-a-half weeks, he will have spent longer in the Big Brother house than the White House.

The “El Chapo” trial is making a case against Trump’s border wall. Drug traffickers have been testifying that they use boats, cars, and tunnels to smuggle drugs, not open sections of the border.

Replicas of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s “Dissent Collar Necklace” sold out on Banana Republic’s website in just a few hours. Half of the retail price is being from each sale is being donated to the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, which was co-founded by RBG.

 


 

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