Oct 30, 2018

Women offered payouts to accuse Mueller of sexual harassment

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team have asked the FBI to investigate a scheme that was offering payouts to women who agreed to accuse Mueller of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment, The Atlantic reports.

Context: Journalists alerted the office of the Special Counsel of the scheme when a woman told them a GOP lobbyist named Jack Burkman had offered her about $20,000 and enough to payoff her credit card debt if she accused Mueller. Some of the woman's story has gone uncorroborated, per The Atlantic. Burkman has gotten involved in conspiracy theories before — he previously began his own private investigation into the murder of the Democratic National Committee staffer, Seth Rich.

What's next: Burkman posted a video on his Facebook page Tuesday claiming without evidence that Mueller has a history of harassing women. He tweeted a similar allegation and says he will reveal "Mueller's sex assault victims" in an announcement this Thursday.

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Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.

O'Brien rejects intelligence report of Russia effort to re-elect Trump

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien. Photo: Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien repeatedly rejected on ABC's "This Week" an assessment from a congressional briefing led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected.

Why it matters: The report put the Trump administration under fresh scrutiny in regard to steps it has been taking to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. encountered in 2016.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Italy becomes site of largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia

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 as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures as it confirmed a spike from three to 132 cases in matter of days, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health