Day 322: Making a deal.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

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1/ Trump Jr. cited attorney-client privilege and refused to discuss a phone call he had with his father about how to handle the fallout from his June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer. He told the House Intelligence Committee that a lawyer was in the room during the call. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, told reporters: "I don't believe you can shield communications between individuals merely by having an attorney present," adding "that's not the purpose of attorney-client privilege" and that "the presence of counsel does not make communications between father and son a privilege." (Politico / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

Background

Trump Jr.'s initial response was that the meeting focused on the issue of adoption. It was later revealed that Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort also attended the meeting after receiving an email stating that a Russian government lawyer would provide incriminating facts about Hillary Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." No damaging information was delivered.

2/ World leaders called Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel a "dangerous" and an "irresponsible and unwarranted step." White House officials acknowledged that the move could temporarily derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Several advisers said Trump didn't seem to have a full understanding of the issue and was focused on simply "seeming pro-Israel" and "making a deal." Israel, meanwhile, thanked Trump for his "courageous and just" decision. (NBC News / CNN / Washington Post)

3/ The House passed a two-week stopgap spending bill. The measure would fund the government through December 22nd, but still needs to be approved by the Senate and Trump by Friday at midnight in order to avoid a government shutdown. The legislation passed in a 235-193 vote. Fourteen Democrats voted for the measure and 18 Republicans voted "no." (New York Times / Politico)

4/ Al Franken announced his resignation from the Senate. The announcement comes a day after nearly all of the Senate's Democratic women called for Franken to resign following the report of a sixth woman who charged that he had made an improper advance. Franken told colleagues: "I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party." (New York Times / WTF Just Happened Today? for more news and headlines, brought to you by Matt Kiser. The WTFJHT Podcast is narrated and produced by Joe Amditis.

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