News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Fusion GPS Strikes Deal, Texas Update and Much, Much More

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, talk with Johnnie Langendorff, and his girlfriend Summer Caddell outside the Sutherland Spring Baptist Church Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Good Thursday Morning!

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will participate in a welcome ceremony with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and Madame Peng Liyuan.
  • The President will then have a restricted bilateral meeting with President Xi, before having an expanded meeting.
  • Following the meetings, the President will attend a business event with President Xi.
  • In the afternoon, the President will deliver a joint press statement with President Xi.
  • Later, the President will meet with Premier Li Keqiang of the People’s Republic of China.
  • The President and First Lady will then participate in an embassy meet and greet.
  • In the evening, the President and the First Lady will participate in a State Dinner receiving line, followed by a state dinner and cultural performance.

Fusion GPS strikes deal with House Intel Committee

The House Intel Committee announced that it has made a deal with Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS. Simpson will testify before the committee next week in a closed-door hearing and according to his attorneys, he will not exercise his Fifth Amendment rights.

Simpson and his lawyer, Joshua Levy, on Wednesday morning spent more than three hours hammering out the deal in the committee’s secure spaces.

“He will be able to maintain Fusion GPS’s privileges and honor its legal obligations,” Levy told reporters, referring to Simpson’s firm. “That’s important to the company, which to this point has maintained its confidential relationships with its clients.”

Testifying voluntarily, Levy said, gives Simpson “the ability to appear with counsel, to assert privileges and to answer questions that he chooses to answer.”

The Intel committee continues to battle it out with Fusion GPS about its bank records. “A confidential deal was struck last week that the committee said will secure its access to the records it seeks.” I wonder if any journalists are on the Fusion payroll…

Lee Smith over at The Federalist wrote an insightful piece back in October asking “Does U.S. Media Help Russia Destabilize The United States?” If the goal of the RUSSIANS was/is to destabilize the U.S., who has been the biggest help on that front? Just sayin’.

Democrats propose assault weapon ban

We knew this was coming.

A bunch of Anti-Second Amendment legislators have introduced a bill to ban “assault weapons.”

“We’re introducing an updated assault weapons ban for one reason: so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for a debate and a vote,” said a statement released by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

The legislation calls for a ban on the “sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name,” but allows owners to keep their existing weapons.

The measure also proposes to ban “bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.”

Texas shooting update

More information is coming out about the man who massacred 27 parishioners in a Texas Church. We now know that not only did the shooter escape from a mental institution, but that he may have ordered the weapons he used for his attack while he was in the mental institution.

Before the suspect in Sunday’s deadly mass shooting at a Texas church fled a mental health facility in 2012, he allegedly told other patients being treated at the hospital he’d ordered guns online, according to police documents obtained by CBS affiliate KENS.

[The shooter] who was listed at the facility as a high-risk patient — a danger to himself and to others — told other patients that he ordered guns online about 48 to 72 hours before he fled the facility, according to the documents.

The shooter was able to purchase firearms because the U.S. Air Force did not transmit his criminal records to the FBI background check system so that when he took possession of the weapons, he was not flagged. The failure to report this monster is even more astonishing because he was caught trying to sneak weapons on to Holloman Air Force Base. No one thought it was extra important to report this guy who beat his wife, cracked his stepson’s skull, was in a mental facility, escaped from it and tried to bring weapons onto the base? Really?

VP Pence was in Texas yesterday saying the Air Force was quickly reviewing the mistakes that allowed this monster to acquire firearms.

“We now know it was a crime that the assailant was ever able to purchase a firearm in the first place,” Pence said during a visit to Sutherland Springs, the Texas town where the mass shooting took place. “He lied on his application, had a history of mental illness and there were bureaucratic failures.” Pence added, “We will find out why this information was not properly reported in 2012.”

The father of the shooter has broken his silence to say: “We we are grieving, our family is grieving. I don’t want our lives, our grandchildren’s lives, destroyed by this media circus.” Tell it to the families and friends of the victims, buddy.

Hanukkah is coming and I want an AR15 with a chainsaw bayonet

I learned all about chainsaw bayonets from USA Today. Has one of these ever been used in a crime?

The publication was excoriated on Twitter but I think Nick Short had the best response.

I had a good laugh, but the chainsaw bayonet is a real thing.

WATCH: Donna Brazile gets Tuckered

Historical picture of the day:

One of 60 U.S. hostages, blindfolded and with his hands bound, is being displayed to the crowd outside the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Iranian hostage takers, Nov. 9, 1979. Some of the militant Iranian students who seized the embassy in the Iranian capital flank the hostage. At least 2 former U.S. hostages say they believe the bearded man, third from right, is Iranian president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while several former hostage takers all said they did not think it was Ahmadinejad. Iran’s ultraconservative president-elect on Monday, July 4, 2005, dismissed as “baseless” allegations of his involvement in the 1979 hostage-taking at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and in killing dissidents. (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

Trump Tells China He Believes in a Solution to the North Korea Nuclear Crisis

Saudi government to confiscate $800 billion from alleged corrupt individuals

U.S. House panel advances bill aimed at limiting NSA spying program

Harvey Weinstein hires NY defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman

Gay Talese: Kevin Spacey accuser should ‘suck it up’

House Dem: I’ll force a vote on Trump impeachment by Christmas

Crowd chants ‘lock her up’ during Bannon speech

Ivy league school hosts extremely graphic anal sex workshop

Barack Obama Reports for Jury Duty and Signs Autographs

Why Are Republicans Killing The Adoption Tax Credit?

California NAACP Wants To Remove ‘Racist’ Star-Spangled Banner

Democratic women sweep into office in state elections

Self-operating shuttle bus crashes two hours after launch

Air Force cadet targeted by racial slurs found responsible for writing them

Student group wants black man charged for racist graffiti hoax

EPA approves bacteria-infected insects to kill mosquitoes

Is the Justice Department trying to force a sale of CNN?

Harvey Weinstein team does not believe indictment is imminent, spokesperson says

Germany must legally recognize ‘third gender’ from birth, top court rules

Uber partners with NASA ahead of flying taxi initiative

Ex-Trump adviser Carl Icahn hit with subpoena

Hot rock under Antarctica may be melting some of its ice sheets from the bottom-up

And that’s all I’ve got now go beat back the angry mob!