Dec 18, 2017

Pence delays Middle East trip

Vice President Mike Pence, who was scheduled to leave Tuesday for a trip to Egypt and Israel, is delaying the visit until Jan. 14, the Washington Post reports.

The backdrop: Pence's office said he's staying in D.C. for the House and Senate votes on the GOP tax plan, which is likely to reach Trump's desk by the end of the week. The delay also comes in the middle of widespread protests in the Middle East region over Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans. The Vice President is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line. The Vice President looks forward to traveling to Egypt and Israel in January." - Alyssa Farah, Press Secretary for the Vice President

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Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Roger Stone sentenced to more than 3 years in prison

Roger Stone arriving for his sentencing hearing. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Longtime Trump associate Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes that include obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Why it matters: Stone is the seventh person to be convicted and sentenced for crimes unearthed by former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. His case has been at the heart of ongoing tensions between President Trump and his Justice Department.