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Opposition research firm pushes back on Shervin Pishevar lawsuit

Definers Public Affairs, a policy and opposition research firm, has filed an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) response to a lawsuit from Silicon Valley investor Shervin Pishevar, who accused the firm of coordinating a smear campaign against him. The firm is also asking the court to dimiss the lawsuit, calling the claims "delusional and entirely without merit."

Backstory: Last month, Pishevar filed a lawsuit against the firm after several media outlets, including Axios, inquired about his arrest earlier this year in London for alleged rape. He was ultimately not charged and a court granted his request to keep his name out of the papers. In his complaint, Pishevar accused Definers of spreading rumors about the incident, as well as other information in an attempt to smear him.

Full statement from Definers Public Affairs partner Tim Miller:

Our response indicates once again that Mr. Pishevar’s claims were delusional and entirely without merit. We had no knowledge of and communicated with no one about the events Mr. Pishevar lays out in his complaint. He has completely fabricated that Definers or anyone working for Definers had any role in this matter.
"Since his baseless lawsuit was filed there have been reports that it kept women from speaking out about his interactions with them, which demonstrates the shameful purpose of his action.
"We are confident that the Court will see through his strategy of filing deceitful lawsuits to intimidate women from coming forward.
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Trump: Transgender people "disqualified" from the military

SecDef Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

President Trump late Friday issued an order disqualifying most transgender people from serving in the military.

"[T]ransgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

Why it matters: Anything short of an inclusive policy for transgender troops will be viewed as a continuation of the ban Trump announced on Twitter in August.

Haley Britzky 3 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.