Supreme Court asked to take on transgender ban

The White House has asked the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to President Donald Trump's policy that bars most transgender individuals from military service.

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 6:19 AM
Updated: Nov 26, 2018 6:47 AM

For many Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday is a time to unplug from the news of the day and enjoy a home-cooked meal with family and friends.

If that describes your weekend, chances are you missed a litany of major political stories involving President Donald Trump, global climate change, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court.

Take a look at what you might have missed before you start your week:

Trump politicizes Thanksgiving call with troops to attack migrants, federal judges, gives thanks to himself

In a striking break with tradition, the President used his Thanksgiving morning call with troops stationed around the world to weigh in on a variety of controversial political topics, including new attacks on federal judges who have ruled against him and his deployment of nearly 6,000 troops to the US border.

When asked what he wanted to give thanks for, Trump responded, "for having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I've made a tremendous difference in the country. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn't believe it."

Climate change will shrink US economy and kill thousands, government report warns

A new US government report released Friday issued a dire warning about the impact of climate change, stating the economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century and higher temperatures could lead to thousands of more premature deaths across the country.

"The global average temperature is much higher and is rising more rapidly than anything modern civilization has experienced, and this warming trend can only be explained by human activities," said Dave Easterling, the director of the Technical Support unit at the NOAA National Center for Environmental information.

The report's findings contradict President Donald Trump's repeated unfounded claim that climate change is a hoax.

Comey will fight subpoena from House Republicans for private deposition

An attorney for former FBI Director James Comey said Thursday his client will fight a subpoena from House Republicans to testify privately before Congress next month about FBI actions during the 2016 campaign.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte is requesting private depositions from Comey on December 3 and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch the following day. The investigation would end when Democrats take over the committee in January.

After the subpoena was issued, Comey said he'd welcome a public hearing but "will resist a 'closed door' thing."

US agency opens case file on potential Whitaker Hatch Act violations

A federal investigative agency is looking into whether acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker violated prohibitions on political activities by federal employees by accepting contributions to his 2014 Senate campaign this year.

Earlier this year, while Whitaker served as chief of staff at the Department of Justice, four individuals donated a total of $8,800 to the committee for Whitaker's unsuccessful 2014 run for a Senate seat in Iowa, according to Federal Election Commission records -- a potential violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from accepting political contributions.

The Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency not connected to the Justice Department special counsel's office overseeing Russian interference in the 2016 election, issued guidance that states penalties for Hatch Act violations "range from reprimand or suspension to removal and debarment from federal employment and may include a civil fine."

Whitaker was thrust into the role of acting attorney general earlier this month when Trump fired Jeff Sessions after months of chiding his job performance.

Associate of Roger Stone says he is in plea negotiations with Mueller's office

Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi said Friday he has entered plea negotiations with special counsel Robert Mueller's office after saying earlier this month that he expected to be indicted for "giving false information to the special counsel."

Corsi's role in the investigation revolves around the possibility that he was an intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks.

So far, the special counsel investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election has charged more than 30 people with 191 criminal counts.

Ivanka Trump used personal account for emails about government business

Ivanka Trump, President Trump's daughter and a senior White House adviser, used a personal email account last year for official White House business, according to emails released by nonpartisan watchdog group American Oversight.

Trump defended her use of the personal account by saying the emails weren't classified, adding that they weren't deleted like Hillary Clinton's emails.

Trump has repeatedly called Clinton "Crooked Hillary" for using a personal email account when she was secretary of state.

White House asks Supreme Court to consider military transgender ban

The White House on Friday asked the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to President Trump's proposed restrictions on military service for most transgender individuals.

The policy, which was officially introduced by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, restricts individuals who suffer from a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with some exceptions. It stipulates that individuals without gender dysphoria can serve, but only if they do so in accordance with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Trump escalates feud with Chief Justice John Roberts

President Trump escalated his public feud with Chief Justice John Roberts on Thanksgiving after the two traded jabs over the presence of bias in federal judges.

Trump's statements came a day after Roberts issued a rare public challenge to Trump over his repeated disparaging remarks about federal judges.

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