Step one: cleanse the skin?
We are now more than 20 days into the partial government shutdown. About 800,000 federal government employees in all 50 states have been affected. And many of those workers are about to miss their first paycheck.
Democrats have maintained their pledge not to fund a border wall at the level the president has requested, so Trump has refused to sign any bill to reopen the government without it. After the president made his case for the wall in a speech from the Oval Office Tuesday, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded with their own televised address.
The national political equivalent of a meeting that could’ve been an email
— Adam ⚡️ Sneed (@atsneed) January 9, 2019
The next day, the president walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders, calling it “a waste of time” (though he reportedly brought candy to this meeting as a good-faith gesture).
Another powerful player, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has mostly remained quiet. He says he will let Democrats negotiate with the president and has blocked two bills passed by the House to reopen the government.
President Trump visited the border Thursday and said he is willing to declare a national emergency to fund the wall, though such an action would “almost certainly” be challenged in court, according to NPR.
The viral Lifetime documentary “Surviving R.Kelly” has catalyzed legal action against the singer. R.Kelly is accused of sexual, emotional and physical abuse. He is also accused of maintaining a sex cult.
From BuzzFeed News:
Three former members of Kelly’s inner circle — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones, and Asante McGee … said six women live in properties rented by Kelly in Chicago and the Atlanta suburbs, and he controls every aspect of their lives: dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.
Prosecutors in Chicago and Atlanta are now looking into the allegations, which date back to 1994.
Many celebrities are apologizing for previous collaborations with R.Kelly, including Chance the Rapper and Lady Gaga. She worked with Kelly the hit “Do What U Want,” and posted this to Twitter:
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
All that and more as we wrap up this busy week in domestic news.
Text by Gabrielle Healy.
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Preet Bharara is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.