National News

5 things for Thursday, July 20: Trump, McCain, health care bill, O.J. Simpson

Posted July 20

So. Much. News. this morning,-so let's get straight to it. Here's what you need to know Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. President Trump

Donald Trump went after the special counsel investigating his administration, the former FBI director and even his own attorney general during an interview published in The New York Times. Trump pretty much warned special counsel Robert Mueller not to start looking into his family finances, saying that would be "a violation." He accused former FBI Director James Comey of trying to hold that infamous dossier as leverage over him. But he saved most of his ire for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying he wouldn't have picked Sessions as his AG if he'd known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia probe.

Speaking of Russia, an all-star trio will testify next week to Senate committees. Donald Trump Jr. and ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will appear before the Senate judiciary committee, while Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner will talk with the Senate intelligence committee. The three are sure to be asked about that meeting last summer at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

And finally, the President shed some light on his previously undisclosed second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit, saying the two leaders just shared "pleasantries."

2. John McCain

"This disease has never had a more worthy opponent." Those words, from Sen. Lindsay Graham, sum up pretty much everybody's thoughts after word got out that Sen. John McCain has brain cancer. The 80-year-old Arizona Republican has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive-type of brain tumor. The cancer was discovered last week after McCain had surgery to remove a blood clot.

Support poured in from all over: President Trump sent his thoughts and prayers. Barack Obama, whom McCain lost to in the 2008 presidential election, said, "Cancer doesn't know what it's up against." Bill Clinton sent his best wishes, as did George H.W. Bush, who noted, "The Hanoi Hilton couldn't break" McCain's spirit, so he would beat this, too. McCain is recovering at home and considering treatment options.

3. Health care bill

The GOP's labored effort to kill Obamacare is alive after all? Maybe. The President had almost all the GOP senators over for lunch at the White House, saying "inaction" isn't an option and they must do whatever it takes-to repeal and replace Obamacare. That's just the exact opposite of what he'd said a day earlier -- when Trump said he'd just let Obamacare fail and wait for the Democrats to come running, seeking a solution -- but whatever.

So, a Senate vote on something -- repeal only? repeal and replace? -- will probably happen next week, but approval doesn't look promising. One GOP senator says there aren't even 40 votes out there in favor of a repeal. And this little bombshell from the CBO doesn't help things either: A repeal-only bill would leave 32 million more people without health insurance by 2026, AND premiums would double by then. Yikes.

4. O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson will ask today to be set free. The ex-football star will appear before a parole board in Nevada, requesting early release from his sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery. One of his victims is set to testify in support of his release. If paroled, Simpson,-now 70, could be out in October. Simpson -- who's been locked up for nine years -- and a friend were convicted of trying to steal at gunpoint pieces of Simpson sports memorabilia at a Vegas hotel. Though it's been 22 years, most of the fascination around Simpson still revolves around his acquittal-in 1995 in the killings of-Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in the so-called "trial of the century."

5. Minneapolis police shooting

The family of Justine Ruszczyk wants to bring her body home -- and find out exactly how a woman who called police to report a possible sexual assault ended up getting shot and killed by the very police who responded. Transcripts of the two 911 calls she made on the night of the shooting were released. There's dispatch audio that's out, too, that captures officers' anxiety as they tried to save Ruszczyk's life after the shooting. Investigators also want to talk to a man on a bike who watched the officers perform CPR on Ruszczyk.



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