Oct 8, 2017

White House to cooperate with Mueller in hopes he'll clear Trump

The White House is trying something new with Mueller. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

President Trump's White House is giving up a "scorched-earth strategy of publicly criticizing and undercutting" Special Counsel Robert Mueller in favor of cooperating with him, the New York Times reports. The hope is that cooperation will lend itself to a public declaration from Mueller that Trump is not a focus of the Russia probe.

Flashback: The president "has long sought such a public declaration." Before firing Comey, Trump was outraged that the then-FBI director refused to remove the "cloud" of the Russia investigation hanging over his head by saying publicly that he wasn't under investigation.

More, from NYT:

  • "The president's legal team is working swiftly to respond to requests from Mr. Mueller for emails, documents and memos, and will make White House officials available for interviews."
  • "More than a half dozen White House officials, witnesses and outside lawyers connected to the Russia inquiry have described the approach, which is as much a public relations strategy as a legal one."
  • "The president's legal team aims to argue that the White House has nothing to hide, hoping to shift the burden to Mr. Mueller to move quickly to wrap up an investigation that has consumed the Trump administration's first year."
  • "Whether the strategy will work is another matter. The plan rests on the premise that Mr. Trump has done nothing wrong ... and some lawyers connected to the investigation say that Mr. Cobb has been too willing to take the president at his word"

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

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South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

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 novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

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America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.