News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Jerusalem Is the Capital of Israel, Mueller Mania and Much, Much More

Jerusalem Old City is seen trough a door with the shape of star of David, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Good Wednesday morning!

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

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • The President will then hold a Cabinet meeting. In the afternoon, the President will give a statement on Jerusalem.

Trump to announce U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Campaign promise made and kept.

President Trump will announce on Wednesday that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, senior administration officials said. He’ll also direct the State Department to begin the process of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Though Mr. Trump is announcing his intent to move the embassy, Mr. Trump will still sign the current waiver which puts off formally moving the embassy. He’s taking the action of signing the waiver, senior administration officials said Tuesday night, in order to avoid significant funding cuts. And he will continue to sign waivers until the new embassy is open. The officials said it was a practical impossibility to move the embassy immediately and suggested it would take some time to find a site.

“The president will reiterate how committed he is to peace,” a senior administration official said. “While we understand how some parties might react, we are still working on our plan which is not yet ready. We have time to get it right and see how people feel after this news is processed over the next period of time.”

Detractors at home and overseas claim the recognition will damage the peace process. The peace process? It’s been going so well, why change anything?

Meanwhile, Israel is bracing for [more] violence.

U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams (FAST) have bolstered security across “several” U.S. embassies in the Middle East ahead of the expected announcement Wednesday by President Donald Trump about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — as well as mulling whether to recognize Jerusalem officially as the Israeli capital.

Israeli security officials say they’re also preparing for a potential outbreak of violence. “We understand that in any moment the order that we have achieved could change,” said Jerusalem District Police Commander Major Gen. Yoram Halvy about the potential outbreak of violence with moving the U.S. Embassy to the holy city. “Any second this place could be set on fire.”

“If Mr. Trump recognizes Jerusalem, he will destroy any chance of the deal of the century,” Dr. Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, said, referring to Trump’s interest in reaching a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

I’m sure that peace deal was just around the corner…

Update on the Mueller investigation/witch hunt

Well, well, well. Top Clinton aides face no charges after making false statements to FBI

From Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller:

The FBI agent who was fired from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team for sending anti-Donald Trump text messages conducted the interviews with two Hillary Clinton aides accused of giving false statements about what they knew of the former secretary of state’s private email server.

Neither of the Clinton associates, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, faced legal consequences for their misleading statements, which they made in interviews last year with former FBI section chief Peter Strzok.

Strzok was one of two agents who interviewed General Mike Flynn, but Flynn wasn’t as lucky as these Clinton associates.

Judicial Watch has released some documents that include an email from top DOJ official and Mueller team member Andrew Weissman congratulating Sally Yates, who failed to carry out a direct order by the president of the United States. Other DOJ employees congratulated Yates as well.

PJ Media’s Deb Heine has the story on yet another wacky coincidence surrounding the Mueller investigation: Mueller deputy was personal attorney of Ben Rhodes, represented Clinton Foundation.

The Wall Street Journal has called on Mueller to resign…again.

It’s increasingly hard to take this investigation seriously. Which leads me to…

Mueller subpoenas Trump’s personal financial records from Deutsche Bank. Or not.

Do you ever get the feeling that media misreports something, gets jacked up for 4-6 hours and takes a “victory” lap on Twitter, the item is shown to be untrue and then it starts all over again the next day like nothing happened? Me too.

It was so exciting yesterday morning for anti-Trump forces when the media reported: Trump’s personal banking information handed over to Robert Mueller.

Donald Trump’s banking information has formally been turned over to Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating whether the president’s campaign conspired with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election.

Deutsche Bank, the German bank that serves as Trump’s biggest lender, was forced to submit documents about its client relationship with the president and some of his family members, who are also Deutsche clients, after Mueller issued the bank with a subpoena for information, according to media reports. The news was first reported by Handelsblatt, the German newspaper.

The revelation makes it clear that Mueller and his team are investigating the president’s finances. Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, is also a client.

Unfortunately for the #resistance, it’s not true.

From USA Today:

The White House and President Trump’s lawyers denied news reports Tuesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed financial records related to the president from a German bank.

“No subpoena has been issued or received,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said. “We have confirmed this with the bank and other sources.”

Who is “leaking” this stuff?

[Alleged] sexual harassment roundup

According to the New York Times, alleged sexual predator and Democratic Party patron Harvey Weinstein had a network of assistance in covering up his naughty behavior.

One way Weinstein wielded his power was invoking his personal relationship with former President Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, according to the Times. In fact, prior to the original New York Times expose in October that started his downfall, Weinstein had been working on a documentary about Hillary Clinton, according to the Times.

#harveyswithher

Danny Masterson has been written out of the Netflix comedy “The Ranch” after allegations of rape were made against him.

A top employee for American Media Inc is in the crosshairs after 12 former employees accused him of sexual harassment.

The top editor for the National Enquirer, Us Weekly and other major gossip publications openly described his sexual partners in the newsroom, discussed female employees’ sex lives and forced women to watch or listen to pornographic material, former employees told The Associated Press. That editor, Dylan Howard, is now the chief content officer of American Media Inc.

Inside the beltway, we have several developments. First, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (a.k.a Mrs. Mitch McConnell) announced “#metoo” at Politico’s fifth annual Women Rule conference.

“I will fight for other women and I will stand up for other women, but, of your own, you gotta let it go,” Chao said. “Because otherwise, it’s too corrosive, it’s too negative, and it does you a double injury because it holds you back.”

“Things change, times change, and it’s not worth my while to go back and revisit those negative moments,” she said.

The next spotlight is on Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY) in Luke Rosiak’s latest piece, House Settled Lawsuit After Meeks Fired Staffer Who Reported Sexual Assault Related To Donor.

The Office of House Employment Counsel brokered a settlement in 2006 over allegations that Rep. Gregory Meeks fired a staffer in retaliation for reporting that she was sexually assaulted at a business tied to a campaign contributor.

Another Democrat accused of sexual harassment, Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), is refusing to resign even after calls from House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi to do so.

Senator Al Fraken has another Democrat detractor, Rep. Seth Moulton, calling on him to resign. Franken is probably waiting for that House Ethics Committee to finish its investigation.

Moving to the Midwest, police have released video of a former Republican Oklahoma state representative caught with a boy in a hotel room. Here’s the cherry on top:

Shortey appeared and was wearing a shirt with a reference to the Bible verse from Ephesians 5:22, which called for women to “submit to their husbands,” Fox 25 News reported.

Last week “Shortey pleaded guilty to the charges in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping three child pornography charges against him. He faces between 10 years and life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for child sex trafficking. The judge did not set a sentencing date.”

Historical picture of the day:

A crowd of arab demonstrators in Julians Way, Jerusalem, Dec. 6, 1947, during the disturbances which broke out as the arabs staged a three-day strike against the partition plan. Jewish shops in the quarter were attacked and some set on fire. (AP P hoto/Pringle)

Other morsels:

GOP Sen. Jeff Flake donates to Alabama Democrat Doug Jones’ Senate campaign

US official: Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration

Trump officials report spike in detentions, sharp drop in border crossings

NAACP calls Trump’s upcoming civil rights museum visit an ‘insult,’ tells him not to come

Consumer Bureau’s New Leader Steers a Sudden Reversal

Gunmaker’s exploding rifles keep injuring hunters

Trump believes bakers can discriminate against gay couples on grounds of ‘religious liberty’

Two arrested in terror plot to assassinate British Prime Minister Theresa May

Beyonce surprises, presents Colin Kaepernick with Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

Democrats place hold on McFarland nomination

Here’s your first look at all the new emoji coming next year

Russia barred from competing in Winter Olympics

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