Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.
Don’t mind us, we’re all hungover after last night’s Deadspin Awards.
- Buckle up for this one: The Saudi Arabian government paid for U.S. military veterans to stay a total of 500 nights at the Trump hotel in Washington D.C. in the wake of the 2016 election, spending a total of $270,000. Arranged by their lobbyists in D.C., these trips to D.C. were ostensibly organized to have veterans speak out against a bill that the Saudi government opposed and NOT an effort to curry favor with Trump by dropping lots of cash at his hotel, okay? If you’re confused, so were a lot of the veterans who participated: “We’ve done hundreds of veterans events, and we’ve stayed in Holiday Inns and eaten Ritz Crackers and lemonade. And we’re staying in this hotel that costs $500 a night. I’d never seen anything like this. They were like, ‘That’s what’s so cool! Drink on us.’” [Washington Post]
- A lot happening in North Carolina right now! In the midst of an election fraud investigation during which Republicans have been curiously silent, North Carolina Republicans passed a new voter ID law, which will now go to the state’s Democratic governor. [Talking Points Memo]
- That election fraud investigation just got a lot stickier: Republican “winner” Mark Harris’ opponent in the primary, the incumbent Robert Pittenger, is now alleging there was fraud in the primary as well. [Washington Post]
- And on Thursday, the executive director of the state’s Republican Party said that he “would not oppose a new election” if it’s found that “there was a substantial likelihood that the race could have been altered.” [New York Times]
- Larry Wallace, a top aide of Senator Kamala Harris, resigned on Wednesday over harassment allegations from his former assistant Danielle Hartley at the California Department of Justice. A disgusting detail from a lawsuit Hartley filed against Wallace: “This included Wallace placing his printer underneath his desk on the floor and ordering Hartley to put paper in [his] printer or replace the ink on a daily basis. Hartley requested that the printer be moved to another location so she would not have to bend down on her knees under the desk in her dresses and skirts, but Wallace refused.” [Politico]
- More harassment news: Edison Apointe, a former senior official at the Department of Justice who retired earlier this year, was a serial sexual harasser and assaulter, yet no action was ever taken against him. From BuzzFeed News: “The report released by the Inspector General’s Office Tuesday said that investigators ‘substantiated’ claims that Aponte sexually harassed five subordinates at the Justice Department—one was pressured into a sexual relationship in exchange for a job, one was sexually assaulted, and two others were subjected to ‘sexually inappropriate conduct.’ The fifth was involved in a consensual long-term sexual relationship, but investigators concluded it was sexual harassment because their ‘respective professional positions undermined the consensual nature of their personal relationship.’” [BuzzFeed News]
- More federal government news—after Charlottesville, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ chief diversity officer Georgia Coffey wanted the agency to issue a statement denouncing white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan. John Ullyot, a Trump appointee at the VA, said no. Guess who has since left the VA, and who’s still there? [Washington Post]
- House Democrats will push a bill that would require background checks for every single gun sale, including those between friends and family. [Mother Jones]
- Whomst is possibly running for president? [Associated Press]
- I personally think we should just ban rich people from running for office. Problem solved! [Twitter]
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This has been Barf Bag.