5 things for May 31: Russia investigation, journalist's faked death, Kim Kardashian West
Posted May 27, 2018 10:14 a.m. EDT
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1. Russia investigation
Some new developments in the ongoing Russia investigation: Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has turned over a memo he drafted related to the firing of his former boss, FBI Director James Comey, to special counsel Robert Mueller, according to a source familiar with the matter. The memo details McCabe's impressions of a meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during which they talked about Comey's firing. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump took to Twitter again Wednesday to express regret over choosing Jeff Sessions as his attorney general after reports surfaced of an angry meeting between the two men last year. At this point, it's pretty much common knowledge that Trump remains extremely frustrated over Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation in early 2017.
2. Russian journalist
A Russian journalist is back from the dead, but his roller-coaster experience is leaving the world with questions. Earlier this week, Ukrainian police reported that journalist and Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko had been gunned down in an apparent contract killing. This development was concerning since Russian journalists and perceived political enemies of the Russian state in Ukraine sometimes turn up inexplicably dead. However, Babchenko reappeared alive and well during a press conference Wednesday. He said Ukrainian officials actually saved his life, alerting him to an assassination attempt. Faking news of his death was part of the plan to derail it.
3. Kim Kardashian West
In other totally normal political news, Trump met Wednesday with Kim Kardashian West to talk prison reform. We really are living in a Mad Libs book! Kardashian West was expected to meet with officials, including senior adviser Jared Kushner, at the White House. The entrepreneur and reality TV star has advocated for the release of a low-level drug offender named Alice Marie Johnson, who has served more than 20 years in prison. The celebrity's visit comes at an interesting time: About a month ago her husband, rapper Kanye West, made a series of unexpected and controversial revelations including, among other things, his deep admiration for Trump.
4. Extreme weather
Alberto may have been downgraded from a subtropical storm to a subtropical depression, but it is still carving a path of destruction and death in the Southeast. At least four people have died this week in North Carolina since Alberto made landfall. The latest deaths occurred Wednesday when two people were found inside a collapsed house in the western part of the state. Landslides, evacuations and flash flooding have also been reported in other states feeling Alberto's intense rainfall. The system is forecast to head into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region today.
5. Harvey Weinstein
The next chapter of the scandal that irrevocably changed Hollywood and sparked nationwide conversations about power and sexual misconduct has begun. On Wednesday, a New York grand jury indicted movie producer Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape in the first and third degrees and first-degree criminal sexual act. He was arraigned last week on the same charges, and avoided custody because he posted a $1 million cash bail. He has pleaded not guilty. It has been seven months since women began to come forward with stories alleging sexual misconduct by the famous Hollywood mogul, and criminal investigations regarding his conduct are ongoing in New York, Los Angeles and London.
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