Sep 21, 2018

Trump's three dramas

President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A trio of major updates have punctuated an otherwise quiet week for President Trump, setting up major fall drama in D.C.

The big picture Senators weighing the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation now know exactly where Trump stands, and notwithstanding a firm denial, Trumpworld has found a new rallying cry to axe Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

Driving the news:

  1. Trump tweeted doubts about Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, saying her parents would have gone to law enforcement at the time if the accusations were legit. This broke his previous message discipline on the topic, as staffers were hoping he'd last until next week without going after the accuser.
  2. Trump slow-walked his request for declassification of documents related to the Russia investigation, noting concerns by allies. The Justice Department's inspector general will now review the documents. Go deeper.
  3. N.Y. Times headline published this afternoon: "Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment..." (In a statement, Rosenstein called the story factually incorrect and said there are no grounds for using the 25th.)

The bottom line: This presents on the fence Republicans with a nightmarish week ahead, while red state Democrats might have a chance to breathe easier.

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Cruise ship evacuations: More Americans test positive for coronavirus

A bus carrying American citizens from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship arrives at the U.S. government-chartered aircraft that is taking them back to the United States while authorities wear protective suits look on at Haneda airport in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Another 14 passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus during their evacuation from the Diamond Princess cruise ship before being flown in a "specialist containment" area of the plane to the United States, per a Trump administration statement early Monday.

Details: Over 40 Americans who had been on the ship had previously been confirmed as infected and will remain in Japanese hospitals for treatment, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Face the Nation" Sunday. The rest were evacuated, and these latest cases were among them. All evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival later Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 44 mins ago - Health

GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand and winding down operations in the two countries and Thailand by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The Holden brand has been in Australia and New Zealand for 160 years, per a GM statement issued in Australia. It is beloved by many motor racing fans down under. Holden produced Australia's first wholly locally made car in 1948.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

See photosArrow4 hours ago - World