The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Reports: FBI Deputy Chief to Step Down

    Is his time up? Numerous media outlets are reporting that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down, effective immediately. McCabe — who’s been repeatedly criticized by President Donald Trump — was expected to retire in March, and could use leftover vacation time to finish his term. Appointed last year, he angered Trump after news emerged that his wife ran for a Democratic seat in the Virginia state senate in 2015 aided by campaign contributions from Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a key Hillary Clinton ally. The FBI found no conflict of interest.

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    GOP Edges Away From Disgraced RNC Finance Chair

    What happens in Vegas … reverberates in D.C. Casino magnate Steve Wynn, a major GOP donor, resigned as Republican National Committee finance chairman Saturday after a Wall Street Journal investigation alleged a pattern of sexual harassment of massage therapists, manicurists and casino employees. Now Republican lawmakers including Reps. Karen Handel, Greg Gianforte and Paul Ryan say they’ll be donating Wynn’s campaign contributions to charity, as Democrats did with donations from Harvey Weinstein. The White House, meanwhile, hasn’t commented, despite a close friendship between Wynn and President Donald Trump in recent years.

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    Putin Critic Alexei Navalny Released After Pro-Democracy Rally

    He’ll live to fight another day. The Russian opposition leader has been released without charges after being detained during a pro-democracy rally in Moscow yesterday. Navalny, who has been banned from running in March’s presidential election, was one of over 180 people arrested during nationwide protests. Officers also raided his headquarters, breaking down the door during a live broadcast and claiming they’d received a bomb threat. Despite hundreds of protesters chanting “Navalny is our president,” Vladimir Putin is widely expected to secure a fourth six-year term.

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    Republicans Divided Over Protections for Mueller Investigation

    Whose side are they on? As reports surfaced last week that President Trump had tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller in June — reports Trump called “fake news” — Democrats pushed for laws to protect the investigation. Now Republicans are split internally, with some saying there’s no need for legislation and others appearing increasingly alarmed by the situation. Meanwhile, Ken Starr, who led investigations against President Bill Clinton, said Sunday that it would be “grounds for impeachment” if Trump turns out to have lied about trying to fire Mueller.

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    Brexit Negotiations Threaten UK Leadership

    It’s decision time. Prime Minister Theresa May could face a no-confidence vote and possible ouster from power unless she clarifies the government position on Brexit. Though pro-Brexit lawmakers stuck with her in last year’s election, they’re reportedly now revolting, demanding that May not soften her stance toward the EU. Meanwhile, Britain’s seeking veto power over new EU laws introduced during the transition period, which is likely to be met with firm resistance in Brussels. And Brexit legislation has been criticized by Britain’s own House of Lords, who say it’s “constitutionally unacceptable.”


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    Time’s Up Dominates Grammys Red Carpet

    They’re all singing the same tune. Bruno Mars took home the trophies for album, record, and song of the year at last night’s Grammys, but the Time’s Up campaign was the real star. Lady Gaga, Janelle Monae, Cardi B and others donned white roses on the red carpet in support of the movement against sexual harassment. And while Ed Sheeran beat Kesha for pop album of the year, her celeb-backed performance of “Praying” — a song widely interpreted as a response to her alleged sexual assault by a producer — brought the house down.

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    Fitness App May Expose Military Base Locations

    You can run but you can’t hide. Exercise tracker Strava uploaded a heat map of its 27 million users around the world, showing the running routes taken from two years of collected data. But that map could be deadly: One Twitter user who zoomed in on Syria noticed that it appears to clearly show the locations of not just military bases but also potential patrol and supply routes. Strava responded that users can opt out of data sharing, while the U.S. Department of Defense says it’s “reviewing the situation.”

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    IKEA Founder Ingvar Kamprad Dies at 91

    They called him “Uncle Scrooge.” Kamprad, who founded the furniture megabrand at age 17, was the world’s eighth-richest person — but in the Swiss village where he lived much of his life he was known for driving an old car and taking home restaurant salt packets. Kamprad died Saturday in his native Sweden, leaving a fortune of $58.7 billion and a legacy of 403 stores in 49 countries. Experts say his innovations and frugality captured mobile millennials’ hearts and wallets by making furniture cheap enough to abandon when changing cities.

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    Fewer US College Students Are Learning on Campus

    Call it studying abroad. A new survey reveals that the number of pupils attending classes on campus has dropped by more than 1 million since 2012 — a 6.4 percent decrease. Now, the 3 million enrolled in distance learning make up 15 percent of the total higher education population. For-profit colleges took by far the worst hit, thanks to bad press, but they’re not the only ones feeling the chill, which experts attribute to an improving economy and lower unemployment making pricey degrees less vital for would-be workers.

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    Federer Joins Wozniacki in Winning Hot Australian Open

    They sweated it out. A day after Simona Halep was hospitalized for dehydration following her loss to Dane Caroline Wozniacki, No. 1 Roger Federer proved he could take the heat. The Swiss veteran endured three hours against Marin Cilic, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, to earn his 20th major title and, at 36, become Melbourne’s oldest winner in 46 years. But trophies aren’t everything to new women’s No. 1 Wozniacki, who’s sent previous awards to her parents but might keep her inaugural Grand Slam hardware from Saturday.