Jan 9, 2018

Grassley blasts Feinstein for releasing Fusion GPS transcript

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley, Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Sen. Dianne Feinstein's decision to release the transcript of Glenn Simpson's testimony "totally confounding."

"Her action undermines the integrity of the committee's oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollections of future witnesses," spokesman Taylor Foy wrote in a statement.

Sen. John Cornyn, who also serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he thinks Grassley "has a point" and understands his concerns. But he broke with his Republican colleague, saying the release of the transcript would bring "more transparency" with respect to "the relationship between Fusion GPS and the people who paid for that opposition research.”

Why it matters: The investigation is not over. Feinstein's unilateral decision was made as the committee is still trying to secure testimonies from other witnesses — including Jared Kushner.

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WHO health official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, special advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

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Coronavirus updates: U.S. probes case with no clear links, virus hits more countries

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The CDC said Wednesday U.S. clinicians have found the novel coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country nor knowingly have contact with anyone infected, as six more countries reported their first cases.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. South Korea has the most cases outside China, with 1,595 infections confirmed by Wednesday night. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 453 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response

Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy