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5 things for February 1: Russia probe, Olympics & flu, CDC chief, GOP train crash
When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein visited the White House in December for a meeting with President Donald Trump, the President wanted to know where the special counsel's Russia investigation was heading. And he wanted to know whether Rosenstein was "on my team," according to sources familiar with the meeting.
The episode is the latest to come to light portraying a President whose inquiries sometimes cross a line that presidents traditionally have tried to avoid when dealing with the Justice Department, for which a measure of independence is key. The exchange could raise further questions about whether Trump was seeking to interfere in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into potential collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia and obstruction of justice by the White House.
Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff is accusing chairman Devin Nunes of sending a different version of the memo alleging FBI surveillance abuses to the White House than what the committee approved. Trump is mulling publicly releasing the memo amid FBI objections.
Just before this year's Winter Olympics, everyone's worried about the flu -- like they were about Zika in Rio in 2016. In North Korea, which is sending some athletes to the Games, they're dealing with a potentially deadly strain of flu that's sickened thousands and killed at least four. In South Korea, where the Games will take place, there's concerns about a strain of bird flu. Health officials so far haven't imposed travel restrictions for athletes or tourists.
The leader of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out after buying tobacco stock. Brenda Fitzgerald stepped down after a news report detailed the stock purchase in "at least a dozen companies" about a month after she took the job. Investing in tobacco companies is obviously at odds with the mission of the CDC, and Fitzgerald was already in hot water over potential conflicts related to other investments she'd made. She reportedly also invested in pharmaceutical and health insurance companies.
A GOP legislative retreat will go on today in West Virginia, after a train carrying Republican members of Congress and their families hit a garbage truck on the way. The driver of the truck was killed and several others were injured. Everyone on the train is OK. President Trump speaks to the group later today.
Australia's trying to find out how a decade's worth of government secrets ended up being sold -- in second-hand furniture. Thousands of files spanning five governments were found in drawers at a furniture store in Canberra. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation got its hands on the files and reported some of what they contained, including allegations that a former Prime Minister discussed removing Australians' rights to remain silent while in custody. Intelligence officers delivered safes to the broadcaster to secure the files.
"If I went there, I think it would take me back, and I'm trying to move forward."
Gymnast Simone Biles, on why she didn't attend Larry Nassar's sentencing
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(Not) lost in space
NASA lost track of a satellite 12 years ago. Lucky for them, an amateur astronomer was on the case.
He'll just watch the game
America's tradition-busting President offers up another one: Donald Trump's skipping the Super Bowl Sunday interview this year.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May's trying to get on Chinese President Xi Jinping's good side by giving him the box set to "Blue Planet II."
A little less talk
While we were all fighting about the National Anthem, Colin Kaepernick quietly fulfilled his pledge to donate $1 million to worthy causes.
That's President Trump's approval rating, which has risen in step with support for his tax overhaul.
Keep those counters clear or this cute little cockatoo will happily do it for you. (Click to view.)