Documents filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Monday say that last week, President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was found to be working on an op-ed with a Russian colleague with ties to a Russian intelligence service.
Manafort was a ghostwriter on the op-ed, which detailed his work with Ukrainian politicians, and it's not clear where he wanted it published. The special counsel's brief said by drafting this op-ed, Manafort showed he was ready to "violate or circumvent" the court's order banning statements to the press. "The editorial clearly was undertaken to influence the public's opinion of Manafort, or else there would be no reason to seek its publication (much less for Manafort and his long-time associate to ghostwrite it in another's name)," the special counsel wrote. "It compounds the problem that the proposed piece is not a dispassionate recitation of the facts."
Manafort was indicted in November for failing to register as a foreign agent and money laundering, and he has been viewed as a flight risk because of his wealth, extensive foreign contacts, and three passports. Mueller's office opposes Manafort's bail package, which still needs to be approved by a judge. Catherine Garcia
This summer, President Trump asked the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and other senior Republicans in the Senate multiple times to bring to a close the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, several lawmakers and aides told The New York Times.
"It was something along the lines of, 'I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible,'" Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the intelligence committee chairman, told the Times. He said he told Trump "when we have exhausted everybody we need to talk to, we will finish." Trump also approached several other Republicans over the summer, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), asking them to push Burr to finish the inquiry. One person who spoke with McConnell told the Times that Trump made it clear McConnell wasn't doing enough to get Burr to shut down the inquiry, and others said Burr told a few fellow senators Trump told him it was time to "move on" from Russia.
Several Republican senators and aides were concerned about Trump's "forceful" and clear requests to urge Burr to end the inquiry, including one senator who told the Times he was "alarmed." A White House official said Trump made several of his calls without senior staff present, and he would often start out talking about one thing before making his request. Burr downplayed the phone calls, telling the Times that Trump has "never been in government" and doesn't know what is proper, adding that other members of the committee who were approached by Trump "promptly" shared the discussions they had with him. Catherine Garcia
Tampa police announced Tuesday night that they will charge a 24-year-old man with four counts of first-degree murder in connection with a series of shooting deaths that rattled the Seminole Heights neighborhood.
Police received a tip Tuesday afternoon about a man with a gun inside a McDonald's in the Ybor City neighborhood, Police Chief Brian Dugan told reporters. Officers found the suspect, Howell E. Donaldson III, and detained him; a gun was recovered at the scene, Dugan said, but it's unclear if it was the gun used in one or more of the killings.
Earlier, police said they believed one shooter was likely behind the four deaths, but did not say why they thought they were connected. The first victim, 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell, was shot Oct. 9 while waiting for a bus, and the body of the fourth victim, Ronald Felton, 60, was found Nov. 14 close to a memorial set up to honor the first three victims. Catherine Garcia
On Thursday night, the White House argued that it cannot lawfully make subsidy payments to insurers who rely on funding to reduce out-of-pocket costs for millions of low-income ObamaCare customers.
The White House said the Justice Department came to this conclusion after analyzing the cost-sharing payments and finding no congressional appropriation for them, and the Department of Health and Human Services said it will end the payments immediately. The subsidies are estimated to cost $7 billion this year, and under the law, insurers still must provide cheaper rates to members even if they no longer receive federal funding. Over the last several months, Trump has threatened to cut off the payments, which he called a "bailout" for insurance companies, and insurance companies have already raised prices in case he followed through. Still, the move is expected to significantly destabilize ObamaCare insurance markets.
In a joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said "it seems President Trump will single handedly hike Americans' health premiums. It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America. Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it." Catherine Garcia
Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner died Wednesday, his company confirmed in a statement. He was 91.
"My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights, and sexual freedom," son Cooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement. "He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history."
Born in Chicago on April 9, 1926, Hefner launched Playboy Enterprises Inc., a media and lifestyle brand, in 1953, and that December, the first Playboy was published, featuring a nude Marilyn Monroe. Hefner was known for the parties he threw at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles and the iconic Playboy bunny icon, and later in life, he appeared on the E! reality show Girls Next Door, which followed three Playmates and their lives at the mansion. He is survived by his wife, Crystal, and children Christie, David, Marston, and Cooper. Catherine Garcia
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced Monday evening that she is opposed to both versions of the health-care bill sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that aims to tranform ObamaCare and Medicaid.
In a statement, Collins said she has three major concerns about the proposal Graham and Cassidy authored last week and the newest version they came up with over the weekend: both make "sweeping changes and cuts in the Medicaid program," "open the door for states to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions," and "would lead to higher premiums and reduced coverage for tens of millions of Americans." Collins said there are "many flaws" with the Affordable Care Act that need to be fixed, and her "focus will remain on remedying these problems."
Her decision effectively kills the bill, as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said last week he did not support it, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he's a "no," although he did make a list of demands that, if met, would change his mind. Catherine Garcia
London's Metropolitan Police are calling a fire on a train at the Parsons Green Tube station in southwest London during Friday's morning commute a "terrorist incident." It is "too early to confirm the cause of the fire, which will be subject to the investigation that is now underway by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command," police say. The London Ambulance Service says 18 people were taken to the hospital, none with serious or life-threatening injuries.
BBC London correspondent Riz Lateef was at the station and reported widespread panic after people heard "what appeared to be an explosion," and a photo posted on social media showed a white bucket in a bag with fire coming out. BBC News anchor Sophie Raworth said she saw people with bad burns being carried from the station.
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) September 15, 2017
Media consultant Richard Aylmer-Hall, 53, said he saw some people injured in the panic to leave the train, too. "I saw crying women, there was lots of shouting and screaming, there was a bit of a crush on the stairs going down to the streets," he told the BBC. Another witness described what she saw to Raworth.
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) September 15, 2017
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city "will never be intimidated or defeated by terrorism" and encouraged Londoners to remain "calm and vigilant." Peter Weber
This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a federal appeals court ruling issued last week that would have let refugees with support from resettlement agencies enter the United States, despite President Trump's travel ban.
About 24,000 people could be affected by the ruling, which was issued without comment and with the support of at least five justices. The Supreme Court in June lifted a block on Trump's executive order that barred certain people from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen from entering the country, making an exception for those with a "bona fide" relationship to the United States. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments over the legality of the executive order on Oct. 10. Catherine Garcia