Here are the top important stories in the world of politics you may have missed: NAFTA replacement deal signed, VA will repay veterans on G.I. Bill, CNN fires Mark Hill, and Cohen’s latest testimony conflicts with Trump Jr’s.
1. Trump signs NAFTA replacement deal with Mexico and Canada
The replacement trade agreement to replace NAFTA has now been finalized, as President Donald Trump, along with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, signed a revision. However, one more step remains before the new changes can go into effect.
The legislatures of all three countries will still need to put their final stamp of approval on the deal.
2. VA reverses course will repay short-changed veterans on G.I. Bill
The Department of Veterans Affairs has reversed course, overruling VA Undersecretary Paul Lawrence, who had said the VA was going to ignore federal law and not reimburse veterans who may have been underpaid on their G.I. Bill benefits, because the effort required to figure out who had been shortchanged wouldn’t be worth the work involved.
But now, after widespread criticism, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie announced that the VA will reimburse underpaid veterans.
3. CNN fires Mark Lamont Hill after his UN speech condemning Israel
CNN fired its frequent spokesperson Mark Lamont Hill after a speech he gave at the United Nations drew widespread outrage, including objections by the Anti-Defamation League and other groups. Comments made by Hill seemed to use language that advocated the elimination of Israel and a return of the Palestinian people to areas currently occupied by the Jewish nation.
Additionally, Hill called on countries to boycott and divest from Israel. After Hill’s speech, a CNN spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that he was no longer under contract with the network. Hill is a professor of media studies at Temple University and served as a recurring political commentator for CNN.
4. Trump Jr’s 2017 testimony conflicts with Cohen’s
According to official transcripts, the testimony of Donald Trump Jr. to Congress regarding the family’s real estate negotiations with Russians, is in conflict with the latest explanation given by Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, NPR reported.
Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 that negotiations over a prospective Trump tower in Moscow concluded “at the end” of 2014 without result. Trump Jr., when pressed further about whether negotiations extended into 2015 or 2016, said “certainly not ’16.” Adding, “There was never a definite into it. It just died of deal fatigue.”
However, according to Cohen’s new version, as part of his plea deal last Thursday in Federal Court, his recollections are in conflict with those of Trump Jr.
Cohen testified that discussions continued through June 2016, involving at least one Russian government official and others in Moscow – which would be well into Trump’s presidential campaign.
President Donald Trump has called Cohen “a liar.”
“He’s a weak person and what he’s trying to do is get a reduced sentence,” President Trump said in reference to Cohen’s testimony and guilty plea.