Good Tuesday Morning.
Here’s what is on the President’s agenda today:
- In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will depart Trump Tower en route to the United Nations.
- Later in the morning, the President will give his first address to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
- The President will then participate in an expanded meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, followed by a luncheon hosted by the Secretary-General.
- Later in the afternoon, the President will participate in an expanded meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
- The President will then depart the United Nations en route to the Lotte New York Palace Hotel where he will participate in an expanded meeting with the Amir of Qatar.
- In the evening, the President will participate in a photo opportunity with leaders of the United Nations Member States.
- Later in the evening, the President will give remarks at a diplomatic reception hosted by the President and First Lady.
- The President will then depart the Lotte New York Palace en route to Trump Tower.
Violence erupts at Georgia Tech: 3 arrested, police car set on fire
Violence broke out last night in Atlanta when rioters took to the streets following a memorial event for a knife-wielding Georgia Tech student who was shot by police.
A police vehicle was set on fire, two officers suffered minor injuries and one officer was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries during the “violent protests on campus,” according to the university.
The university estimated that a about 50 people participated in the protests, including some who marched to the the Georgia Tech Police Department immediately after the “peaceful memorial vigil” for Schultz.
At one point, Georgia Tech police ordered students to stay inside and lock their doors, while off-campus students were told to remain off campus.
When it was all said and done, three people had been arrested and charged with battery of a police officer and inciting a riot. Scout Schultz, 21, was shot after disregarding police instructions to drop his knife.
A video of the incident shows the student, Scout Schultz, 21, walking toward officers carrying the knife and shouting, “shoot me!” Police ultimately shot Schultz once when the student refused to heed police orders, resulting in the student’s death.
The family had asked the demonstrators to remain peaceful.
Manafort in the cross-hairs
The RUSSIA investigation continues and we are learning the extent to which short-lived Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is under the microscope. News broke yesterday that Manafort had been wire-tapped before and after the 2016 election, which means that the feds have records of conversations between Manafort and Trump.
The wiretaps — which came before a July raid on Manafort’s Virginia home — are now part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s intensive probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged connections to Russia, CNN reported.
The recordings allegedly contain communications that raised concerns with investigators that Manafort had encouraged Russian operatives to aid Trump’s campaign, according to the report, which added that sources said the evidence was inconclusive.
Manafort first became a target of the FBI in 2014 over his lobbying efforts on behalf of Ukraine.
That surveillance ended in 2016 for lack of evidence. But then the FBI got a new warrant as part of a probe into ties between members of the Trump campaign and possible Russian agents. That warrant extended into this year.
The wiretaps were authorized under a secret order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and were provided to Mueller for his ongoing investigation.
Although Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, it was not clear which of his phones were tapped under the warrant.
The New York Times reports that the feds even photographed his expensive suits during a July early-morning, unexpected raid on the Manafort home. The Times also reports that “His [Robert Mueller’s] prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation.”
Mr. Manafort is under investigation for possible violations of tax laws, money-laundering prohibitions and requirements to disclose foreign lobbying. Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, is being scrutinized for foreign lobbying work as well as for conversations he had last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. On Monday, Mr. Flynn’s siblings announced the creation of a legal-defense fund to help cover their brother’s “enormous” legal fees.
“They seem to be pursuing this more aggressively, taking a much harder line than you’d expect to see in a typical white-collar case,” said Jimmy Gurulé, a Notre Dame law professor and former federal prosecutor. “This is more consistent with how you’d go after an organized crime syndicate.”
We haven’t heard the last of this.
Senate passes $700B defense bill
On Monday, the Senate passed a $700B defense bill by a vote of 89-8.
The measure authorizes $700 billion in military spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, expands U.S. missile defenses in response to North Korea’s growing hostility and refuses to allow excess military bases to be closed.
The 1,215-page measure defies a number of White House objections, but President Trump hasn’t threatened to veto the measure. The bill helps him honor a pledge to rebuild an American military that he said had become depleted on former President Obama’s watch.
Some amendments to the bill were blocked.
Among them was a proposal by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, that would have protected transgender service members from being kicked out of the armed forces. Gillibrand and McCain seek to achieve the same goal through separate legislation they introduced late last week. That bill also is supported by Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Armed Services panel.
Additionally, the bill includes $8.5B for missile defense, more than the Trump administration requested. With the shenanigans over in North Korea, this seems like a good idea.
Historical picture of the day:
And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!