Trump’s Personal Lawyer John Dowd Quits Amid Trump Attacks on Mueller as the rats leave the ship.

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Donald Trump’s top lawyer defending the president in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has resigned. John Dowd confirmed Thursday he’s leaving Trump’s legal team, writing in a statement, “I love the president and wish him well.” Dowd reportedly resigned after Trump repeatedly ignored his legal advice and attacked Robert Mueller by name on Twitter, after Mueller’s team subpoenaed financial documents from the Trump Organization.

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Congress OKs Record Military Funds in $1.3T Spending Bill (Remember the warnings of Eisenhower, right?)

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Congress approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill early this morning—averting what would have been the third government shutdown of the year, less than a day before it was set to take effect. The bill won bipartisan support in both houses, clearing the Senate on a 65-32 vote just after 1 a.m., after more than two-thirds of House lawmakers approved it earlier in the day. President Trump has signaled he will sign the bill, which will boost spending on weapons and war to an all-time high, while increasing funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. It does not address the plight of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children—so called DREAMers—a key demand of immigrant rights groups and some Democrats. The bill also contains modest gun control measures, including tightening a background check measure known as “NICS”—but does not provide for universal background checks for prospective gun buyers.

Trump to Widow of Soldier Killed in Niger: “He Knew What He Signed Up For”

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In Florida, the widow of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, Myeshia Johnson, wept over the casket of her husband as his body arrived at Miami International Airport Tuesday ahead of a funeral planned for the weekend. Sgt. Johnson was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in an ambush during a patrol in Niger on October 4—a raid that President Trump did not publicly acknowledge until a reporter confronted him about it this week. On Tuesday, Florida Congressmember Frederica Wilson said Trump called Myeshia Johnson as she was accompanying her family to the airport in a car. The congressmember said she heard Trump say over a speakerphone, “He knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.”

Trump: VP Pence “Wants to Hang” All Gays!

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Back in the United States, the White House is denying an explosive article published in The New Yorker that reports President Trump joked that Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang” gay people. According to reporter Jane Mayer, Trump made the comments in a private meeting with a legal scholar, saying of the vice president’s views on LGBT rights, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!” Trump also reportedly mocked Pence over his religious views and his anti-abortion activism. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the remarks never happened, but The New Yorker stands by its reporting, saying the report was meticulously researched and based on interviews with over 60 officials.

Pope Francis Warns U.S. over Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord

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The extreme weather events came as Pope Francis warned of the dangers of climate change, taking a swipe at the Trump administration for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. The pope was speaking at a United Nations event in Rome.

Pope Francis: “Thanks to scientific knowledge, we know how to confront these problems, and the international community has also worked out the legal methods, such as the Paris accord, which, sadly, some have abandoned. However, we are seeing negligence toward the delicate equilibriums of the ecosystems, the presumption of manipulating and controlling the limited resources of the planet for greed, for profit.”

Rep. John McCain Warns of Trump’s “Half-Baked, Spurious Nationalism”

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Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona condemned what he called “half-baked, spurious nationalism” Monday, in a clear reference to President Trump’s foreign policy. McCain made the comment during a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Sen. John McCain: “To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of Earth, for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism, cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”

Drug Czar Nominee, Rep. Tom Marino, Led Effort to Undermine Opioid Abuse Fight.

President Trump declined to say Monday whether he’d continue to back his nominee for drug czar, Republican Congress member Tom Marino, after a Washington Post/”60 Minutes” investigation found Marino spearheaded a drug industry-backed effort to weaken federal government’s ability to crack down on the opioid epidemic. The legislation, backed by Rep. Marino and passed in 2016, made it nearly impossible for the Drug Enforcement Administration to intervene in cases where large, suspicious shipments of opioids are delivered to pharmacies bound for the black market. The Washington Post reports the drug industry lobbied heavily to win passage of the bill, contributing $1.5 million to its 23 congressional co-sponsors. Among them was Congress member Marino, who accepted nearly $100,000 in campaign cash from the industry. Drug overdose deaths—primarily from opioid abuse—surged in the U.S. last year to nearly 60,000, becoming the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

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