5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Nick Ayers, Trump's top pick to replace Chief of Staff John Kelly, bows out

  • As prosecutors eye Trump's business, Democrats talk jail time, impeachment

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May postpones Brexit deal vote

  • U.S., Russia, Saudis undermine U.N. climate report at Poland talks

  • Markets stumble amid uncertainty over Brexit and China

President Trump was reportedly so confident that Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, would be his next chief of staff that the White House had already drafted the announcement. Instead, Ayers announced Sunday that he's leaving the White House at the end of the year, along with outgoing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Ayers, a 36-year-old father of young triplets, will reportedly head a pro-Trump super PAC from Georgia. Several names are being floated to replace Kelly, including White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Mulvaney and Mnuchin are said to be uninterested.

Source: The New York Times, The Associated Press

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have shifted from investigating Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer and fixer, to examining what other members of Trump's family business, the Trump Organization, may have known about the crimes Cohen says he committed on behalf of Trump in 2016, The New York Times reports. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told CNN on Sunday that if Trump was "at the center of a massive fraud," as prosecutors seem to allege, those crimes "would be impeachable offenses." Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) added on CBS's Face the Nation that "there's a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him, that he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time."

Source: The Associated Press, The New York Times

British Prime Minister Theresa May postponed the final vote on her Brexit deal Monday after the European Court of Justice ruled that Britain can unilaterally call off its exit from the European Union without input from the 27 other EU members, and without altering the terms of Britain's EU membership. On Tuesday, Britain's House of Commons was scheduled to vote on, and expected to reject, the Brexit plan, which would have thrown Britain's exit from the EU into further uncharted waters. The deal under consideration was settled with EU leaders late last month. Revoking the Article 50 exit clause would have to "follow a democratic process," the court ruled, meaning that in Britain, Parliament would have to approve calling off Brexit. The upshot is that staying in the EU is now "a real, viable option," BBC Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming notes, cautioning that "a lot would have to change in British politics" for Brexit to be actually called off.

Source: Reuters, BBC News

The low-level U.S. delegation to global climate talks in Katowice, Poland, joined with Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Kuwait on Saturday night in an attempt to undermine a United Nations report warning of catastrophic consequences if the world fails to combat rising global temperatures, The Washington Post reports. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report on climate change to coincide with a two-week U.N. conference to create rules for implementing the 2015 Paris climate accord. President Trump, who also downplayed similar dire warnings from a report issued last month by 13 U.S. federal agencies, started withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris accord in 2017, but the U.S. still has a seat at the table until it can formally withdraw in November 2020.

Source: The Washington Post

Stocks fell toward eight-month lows on Monday after the European Court of Justice ruled that Britain can unilaterally call off its exit from the European Union and upon news of a Chinese injunction against Apple. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 400 points, entering correction territory, and the S&P 500 fell 1.2 percent. The two indexes are now down more than 2.5 percent for the year. Continued uncertainty regarding a future trade deal between the U.S. and China reportedly has investors spooked, and the postponed vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed Brexit deal has left markets even more unstable.

Source: CNBC, Bloomberg
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