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PBC News & Comment: Michael Cohen Taped Trump Scheming to Silence Mistress

When FBI searched Cohen’s office, they grabbed recordings, including call with Trump about hushing Playmate mistress; Lordy, there are tapes!....--Bill Shine, now Trump communications director, arranged settlements for victims of harassment as Fox News exec, was subpoaned by grand jury last year

--after a week of back and forth over the Trump/Putin meeting, Donnie doubles down, invites Vlad to the White House

--in Helsinki, Putin misspoke, too, says he meant “$400,000” not $400 million when he claimed Bill Browder donated to Clinton campaign

--on Capitol Hill, Dems aggressively push bills to separate GOP from Trump, and win 98-0 vote opposing Russian interrogation of former ambassador Mike McFaul

--one GOP House member separates from Trump, as former spy Will Hurd slams 45 in op-ed

--former CIA officer Phil Giraldi is critical of Mueller’s Friday the 13th indictments, calls it “ludicrous” political document

--the Russian company that’s fighting Mueller’s indictment is using opinions from SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh to argue against charges

--Secretary of State Pompeo will use Reagan Library speech this weekend to agitate against Iran

--under instructions from Washington, embassy in South Africa ignored Obama during this week’s visit

--more official cruelty to immigrants, as crime victims promised path to citizenship are being deported

--Trump withdraws judge nomination of Oregon’s Ryan Bounds after bending many rules

--FCC bent the rules for Sinclair, but the merger with Tribune may fall apart

--WashPost analysis gives Dems hope of regaining Senate control

--tipped by listener Jason Spitzer, LA Times reports new San Francisco group Signals Network will support whistleblowers

--Catholic sex scandals deepen, as Australia prime minister calls for Pope to fire convicted cardinal, and US cardinal McCarrick faces more charges

--anger grows in Spartanburg, SC as Trump threatens big tariffs on BMW and the trade war forces Europe into deeper ties to China

--appeals court blocks Trump ban on transgender soldiers, and California Supreme Court kills state-splitting ballot measure