Wall will be built even ‘without Congress,’ Mulvaney says as shutdown looms
White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that, whatever Congress may or may not propose in a border security compromise, President Donald Trump will get his wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. “The president is going to build the wall,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But this is going to get built with or without Congress.” Mulvaney’s words come as another potential government shutdown looms. Lawmakers have until Friday to craft a deal that the president would sign on to.
Negotiations hit a roadblock Sunday when Democrats pushed to limit the number of migrants that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency can detain at one time. Many Democrats have criticized ICE for going too far in detaining immigrants who lack proper documentation but are otherwise lawful and some have advocated getting rid of the agency altogether.
Warren and Klobuchar officially join 2020 field
The wide Democratic field of 2020 presidential candidates expanded further Sunday with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar throwing her hat in the ring on a freezing afternoon in Minneapolis. Klobuchar, 58, hopes her working-class, Midwestern roots will help her seize the middle ground in a Democratic primary where many candidates have appealed to the party’s progressive wing. Sen. Elizabeth Warren jumped into the 2020 race Saturday as she faces fresh criticism over her claims of Native American heritage. During her rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Warren touted her support for increasing the minimum wage and Medicare for All.
Jeff Bezos scandal threatens National Enquirer parent company
In a blog post Thursday, Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos alleged that lawyers for the National Enquirer’s parent company – American Media Inc. – tried to blackmail him into getting the Post to drop its investigation into the company’s ties to Trump. And now a legal fight with the world’s richest person could prove devastating for American Media, a company that has faced financial challenges confronting even mainstream newspapers. A lawyer for American Media’s CEO on Sunday defended the company’s correspondence with Bezos, saying it did nothing illegal.
And, of course, the cast of “Saturday Night Live” couldn’t resist skewering Bezos in a sketch this weekend.
Kacey Musgraves, Childish Gambino, Cardi B pick up Grammys
Extra nominees and no clear front-runner for the night’s biggest prize meant the 61st annual Grammy Awards was a nail-biting affair right up until the last acceptance speech. Hosted by Alicia Keys, the 2019 Grammys honored the best the music industry has to offer. Among the highlights: Album of the year was awarded to Kacey Musgraves for “Golden Hour,” Childish Gambino took record of the year with “This Is America,” and Lady Gaga accepted the Grammy for best pop duo/group performance with Bradley Cooper for “Shallow.”
Virginia’s Fairfax faces second accuser, impeachment threat
The second woman to come forward to accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault also alleged she was raped by a Duke basketball player, and on Friday night a university spokesperson told USA TODAY that school officials were “looking into” the allegation. Meredith Watson, in a statement released earlier Friday by her lawyer, said Fairfax committed a “premeditated and aggressive” sexual assault of Watson while both were students at Duke in 2000. Fairfax appeared headed on a political collision course Sunday after a state delegate from his own party pledged to introduce articles of impeachment Monday if the 39-year-old Democrat refused to resign.
Also over the weekend: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam sidestepped calls for his resignation, instead saying in his first interview since he admitted to wearing blackface that he would spend the rest of his time in office focused on mending racial tensions.
Prince Philip to ‘voluntarily’ give up driver’s license
You won’t be seeing Prince Philip behind the wheel anymore. The 97-year-old British royal has decided to give up driving weeks after he emerged unscathed from a car wreck near the royal Sandringham estate on Jan. 17. “After careful consideration The Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement to USA TODAY on Saturday.