Dec 1, 2018

3. Pompeo denies Trump canceled Putin meeting over Cohen guilty plea

President Trump crosses paths with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that it was "ludicrous" to suggest President Trump canceled his G20 meeting with Vladimir Putin because of news that Michael Cohen was pleading guilty in the Mueller investigation, claiming Russian aggression against Ukraine was the sole reason for the decision.

Why it matters: Trump's decision to cancel the meeting, announced via tweet, came just hours after his former personal attorney pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his work on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow — a plea that directly brought Trump and his business entanglements in Russia into the special counsel's investigation. Pompeo maintains that the meeting was canceled "because the Russians behaved in a way that is deeply inconsistent with international law."

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George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.

4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."