Haley Britzky
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Mulvaney: Trump "doesn't know who to believe" on Moore allegations

Screenshot of Mick Mulvaney on "Meet the Press" with Andrea Mitchell.

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, both attempted on Sunday to explain President Trump's silence on the accusations of child sexual abuse and other sexual misconduct against GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore:

  • Mulvaney said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Trump "doesn't know who to believe," and "thinks that the voters of Alabama should decide."
  • Short said on ABC's "This Week" that "the president has expressed his concern" about the allegations against Moore: "As you noted, the president has not gone down to Alabama to campaign for Roy Moore since the primary concluded. We have serious concerns about the allegations that have been made, but we also believe that all of this info is out there for the people of Alabama."
Why it matters: The RNC has pulled its support from Moore and most high-ranking Republicans have repudiated him. Trump hasn't, but he has weighed in on the allegations against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.
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Sanders: Franken is a "very popular senator"

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Jake Tapper on Sunday morning that whether or not Sen. Al Franken should resign in the face of sexual harassment allegations, is a decision for the people of Minnesota: "People think he is doing a good job."

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Every industry identifying its creeps

Participants at the #MeToo March in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Photo: Damian Dovarganes / AP

There has been an outpouring of sexual misconduct allegations in recent weeks, spanning from politics to the music industry and the restaurant business. Every industry is scrambling to identify the men behaving badly and do something about it.

Why it matters: It's a clear picture of just how widespread this problem is. From the TED talk empire, to Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood, and the U.K. defense secretary, there is no one industry or field that isn't affected by sexual harassment.

Politics

Tech

Restaurants

Advertising

Hollywood

Hotels

  • The Huffington Post reported a study that revealed a majority of Chicago-area hospitality industry employees had been sexually harassed by a guest, had a guest touch or try to touch them, and more.

Science

  • Sexual harassment in the field of scientific research is prevalent, per Vox, when studies occur in remote workplaces (like Antarctica).

Music

  • Kirt Webster, major country music publicist, left his company after sexual assault allegations.

Media

  • Mark Halperin lost his book and HBO show deal, as well as contributing position with MSNBC, after five women accused him of harassment during his time at ABC.
  • NPR news chief Michael Oreskes resigned after two women accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment.
  • New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier lost financial backing on his coming magazine after being accused of sexual harassment.

Fashion

Sports

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Jeff Flake caught on hot mic: GOP is "toast"

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Sen. Jeff Flake didn't realize his mic was still on after speaking at a tax reform event, telling Mesa, Arizona, Mayor John Giles: "If [Republicans] become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast," according to Arizona's ABC affiliate.

Why it matters: Flake has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, as well as the current attitude in the Republican Party, especially since announcing he won't seek re-election. And there's a split in the party over Roy Moore because while many Republicans have spoken out against him, the President has stayed silent.

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The price of being a predator

Actor Kevin Spacey is one of the Hollywood figures accused of harassment. Photo: Scott Kirkland / AP

The public allegations against Harvey Weinstein, which first came to light over a month ago in the New York Times, started a domino effect of powerful men being called out for their inappropriate behavior towards men and women alike.

Why it matters: These men are losing everything: book deals are falling through, lawsuits are being filed, they're quitting their jobs (or being forced out), losing their companies, and more. This sends a message to predators throughout industries: if you abuse your power and position, you will lose.

The price of being a creep:

  • Harvey Weinstein - lost his company, and is under investigation. The Manhattan district attorney is seeking approval for an indictment as early as next week.
  • Kevin Spacey - replaced in upcoming film "All the Money in the World," dropped by his agency, publicist, and Netflix.
  • Mark Halperin - lost his book deal, an HBO series, and contributing spots with NBC and MSNBC.
  • James Toback - dropped by his talent agency.
  • Michael Fallon - resigned as U.K. defense minister.
  • Michael Oreskes - resigned as NPR news chief.
  • Roy Price - resigned as Amazon Studios director.
  • Leon Wieseltier - financial support for his magazine was pulled before launch.
  • John Besh - stepped down as CEO of Besh Restaurant Group, Harrah's New Orleans Casino has cut relations with the company.
  • Brett Ratner - Warner Bros. severed ties with the director, and Playboy Enterprises is shelving projects in which he's involved.
  • Lockhart Steele - fired from Vox Media as editorial director.
  • Chris Savino - fired by Nickelodeon.
  • Kirk Webster - lost his country music PR company (which changed its name to Westby PR) and was dropped by clients like Randy Travis, Dolly Parton, and Kid Rock.
  • Terry Richardson - Condé Nast International cut ties with the fashion photographer.
What to watch for: There are several men who have been accused (U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, Sen. Al Franken) who have not yet faced consequences.
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Top U.S. nuclear commander says he would refuse illegal orders from Trump

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. John E. Hyten, the head of Strategic Command. Photo: Nati Harnik / AP

Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), Air Force General John Hyten, said he would refuse illegal orders from President Trump, according to CBS.

"I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do...And if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm going to say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal,'" Hyten said at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia. "And guess what he's going to do? He's going to say 'What would be legal?' And we'll come up with options...It's not that complicated."
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Trump has started paying his own legal fees

Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Axios' Jonathan Swan reported in October that Trump would spend at least $430,000 of personal funds to pay legal fees of current and former campaign and White House staff wrapped up in the Russia probe. And now he has officially begun paying his own legal fees, which were previously covered by the RNC.

Why it matters: Now the question is how to meet ethical and regulatory standards so it doesn't appear that Trump's personal payments are influencing his staffers in the Russia investigation. Bloomberg reports the Office of Government Ethics are working with a tax firm to iron out those details.

One more thing: Trump does not plan to pay for those who "served exclusively during the campaign," per Bloomberg, including Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, or George Papadopoulos, all of whom were indicted last month.

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Roy Moore sided with men accused of sexual crimes in 13 of 20 cases

Photo: Brynn Anderson / AP

Roy Moore has a record of being "sharply conservative on social issues but occasionally sympathetic to convicted criminals," according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: The Times reported that while Moore was a conservative judge, he often ruled in favor of "a convict's request for the appeal to be heard" during a case. Out of 20 cases regarding sexual crimes and misconduct, Moore "sided with the accused 13 times, a higher rate than almost all of his colleagues." Two former colleagues of Moore told the Times he feared defendants "were sometimes wronged by the system."

  • A teenager was sentenced to 23 years in prison after sexually assaulting a boy at a day care center. Moore argued that the court was "stepping into the shoes of the legislature," and that one of the two sodomy laws used to convict him wasn't applicable to his case.
  • He argued against a man's life sentence, saying "life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a nonviolent, drug-related crime reveals grave flaws in our statutory sentencing scheme."
  • A lawyer that worked with Moore told the Times: "He had no love for criminals, but he believed that every defendant was entitled to the due process of law."
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DHS used cell phone-tracking devices 1,885 times in four years

cell tower is seen from a neighborhood in North Andover, Mass. Photo: Elise Amendola / AP

The Department of Homeland Security used cell phone-tracking devices across the U.S. 1,885 times between 2013 and 2017, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed.

Why it matters: The technology has been criticized by the ACLU for invading the privacy of people in the area not under investigation, as it can collect data from their phones as well, BuzzFeed reports.

How it works: Homeland Security Investigations used "cell-site simulator over-the-air technology," which acts as a cell phone tower, making phones in the area connect to them. It can be used to track down a suspect if authorities already have their phone information.

In a 2015 policy, the DHS said law enforcement agencies had to receive a warrant before using the cell-site simulators, and required them to delete data immediately after a mission.But, how law enforcement uses the devices, "including how often and under what circumstances," is still unclear, per BuzzFeed.