Dec 8, 2017

Report: former aide claims Franks offered $5m to carry child

Rep. Trent Franks J. Scott Applewhite / AP

A former aide to Rep. Trent Franks told the AP that Franks offered her $5 million to carry his child. Aides told Politico that Franks approached two female staffers about surrogacy, but aides were concerned "it was not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating the women through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization."

  • Politico also reported that "a former staffer also alleged that Franks tried to persuade a female aide that they were in love by having her read an article that described how a person knows they’re in love with someone."
  • The allegations reached House Speaker Paul Ryan and other leaders, which led to Franks announcement of resignation. Ater Politico reached out regarding the allegations, Franks announced he would leave office on Friday instead of in January.

Franks has denied the allegations via a spokesperson, according to Politico.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.