Catch up on the news quick! Here are the headlines for Thursday, October 18.
White House counsel Don McGahn left his post on Wednesday, just as President Trump announced he would back in August, saying McGahn would be leaving “after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”
According to Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, McGahn’s departure has nothing to do with his interviews with Robert Mueller’s special counsel team. McGahn previous served as a member of the Federal Election Commission and drew criticism for Trump’s “poorly crafted executive orders.”
The disappearance and reported killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues to be investigated by Turkish officials and the White House administration. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with Saudi and Turkish leaders and is expected to brief President Trump this morning.
Turkish officials are saying they have evidence that the journalist was killed and dismembered in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul. They have linked many of the 15 Saudi men implicated to the highest levels of the Saudi government.
Trump has run the gamut of responses, first saying there would be “severe consequences” and later pulling back, saying that the Saudis denied involvement and are being judged “guilty until proven innocent.”
During the fiscal year 2018, the US deficit grew 17% to $779 billion – the highest jump since 2012. Republicans and Democrats point fingers at one another, with the GOP accusing Democrats of refusing to cut spending on social programs and the Democrats blaming the Republican tax cut.
Trump has asked his Cabinet secretaries to cut 5% of their budgets for 2019. The ballooning deficit has not been criticized by the GOP since Trump took office, despite making it one of their key criticisms of President Obama.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has some advice for Democrats if they take the House in November – Don’t impeach Trump.
“I hope they don’t. I don’t think there’s a basis for doing that right now,” Biden said in a CBS This Morning interview. “I think we should wait until the report comes out,” he added, referencing special counsel Robert Mueller’s upcoming investigation report.
“There are so many things to attend to immediately. Let’s see where the investigation takes us.”
Alex Stamos, the former security chief of Facebook, said in an interview with NBC that the US has not been aggressive enough to fix vulnerabilities to election attacks. He also said that the country was not prepared for the new tricks hackers will use in the coming weeks.
Stamos criticized the government for not doing enough in the two years since the Russian hacking on the DNS and attempts to meddle in elections, saying “it’s because people disagree whether it even happened or not.”