The U.S. at a glance ...
Murray: Abuse scandal
Trump Jr.: No collusion(AP, Getty, AP, Getty)
Mayor resigns: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned this week, hours after a fifth man—Murray’s younger cousin— came forward to accuse the Democratic politician of sexually abusing him as a child. Joseph Dyer, 54, told The Seattle Times that Murray forced him to have sex in the mid-1970s, when they shared a family bedroom. In May, Murray ended his reelection bid after another man publicly accused Murray of repeatedly raping him when he was 15 in exchange for money. Murray, who is the city’s first openly gay mayor, said he was being targeted for his sexuality, but he agreed to drop out of the race so that the scandal would not overtake the election. Another three men subsequently accused Murray of various forms of sexual abuse when they were teens. Murray denies the allegations, but said he would step down immediately so that his personal issues “do not affect the ability of our city government to conduct the public’s business.”
Bolling tragedy: The son of Fox News personality Eric Bolling was found dead in his Boulder apartment last week, hours after the TV host lost his job at the network amid a sexual harassment scandal. Bolling was suspended in August after The Huffington Post reported that he had sent lewd text messages, including “an unsolicited photo of male genitalia,” to at least three colleagues. Last week, the network canceled Bolling’s show, The Specialists, and announced that it was “amicably” parting ways with the host. Eric Chase Bolling Jr., 19, who was studying at the University of Colorado Boulder, was found dead shortly after the announcement. Sources told TMZ.com that Bolling Jr. was suffering “emotional torture” over his father’s humiliation. But other friends disputed that claim, and Bolling Sr. said that his “beloved son” showed “no sign of self harm.” Police said toxicology tests would take weeks.
Washington, Michigan, and Pennsylvania
GOP retirements: Three moderate House Republicans in competitive districts have announced that they will not be seeking re-election next year—raising fears among GOP lawmakers that Democrats will take those seats in the 2018 midterms and possibly wrest back control of the House. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) started the mini exodus last week after announcing he wouldn’t seek an eighth term because he was tired of the “dysfunction, disorder, and chaos” on Capitol Hill. Dent’s district was won by former President Barack Obama in 2008. Within days, he was joined by fellow centrists Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.). A total of seven House Republicans have now decided to retire, and Republicans fear that this latest rash could prompt more. “If this is the tip of the iceberg,” said political analyst Geoffrey Skelley, “that will be very bad for the GOP.”
Bedminster, N.J., Potomac Falls, Vir., and Palm Beach, Fla.
Golfing with Trump: President Trump is making millions of dollars from lobbyists and CEOs who have joined his private golf clubs, putting them in close contact with the president. While the White House refuses to disclose the details of Trump’s golf trips, USA Today reported last week that it had uncovered about 50 executives of companies with federal contracts and 21 lobbyists and trade group officials who have each paid fees that can exceed $100,000 to join the three clubs in Florida, New Jersey, and Virginia that Trump has visited most often as president. About two-thirds of the lobbyists and CEOs played on one of the 58 days the president was at the clubs this year. They include the leader of a pesticide trade group that successfully lobbied the Trump administration not to ban an insecticide linked to health risks, and a lawyer defending Saudi Arabia from allegations that it aided the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa.
9/11 remembrances: Family members, survivors, and first responders gathered in three sites across the Northeast this week to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A total of 2,977 people were killed when planes hijacked by al Qaida terrorists hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville in 2001, in the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In New York City, officials read out victims’ names, while in Pennsylvania, Vice President Mike Pence honored the passengers who downed the hijacked Flight 93. President Trump led a moment of silence on the White House lawn before speaking at the Pentagon, where he pledged that America “will never, ever yield.” Sixteen years on, medical examiners are still identifying the remains of victims killed at the Trade Center, while more than 500 first responders have joined the victim list after succumbing to 9/11-linked cancers.
Mueller’s plans: Special counsel Robert Mueller intends to interview at least six current and former White House aides as part of his investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported last week. Mueller is reportedly homing in on President Trump’s role in drafting a misleading statement, written aboard Air Force One, that justified a controversial campaign meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian officials— prompting speculation that he is building a case for obstruction of justice. Trump Jr. was grilled by congressional investigators about that meeting last week. He said he didn’t tell his father about the meeting, which he took when Russians offered “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, but couldn’t recall who drafted the statement claiming the meeting was supposed to be about a suspended Russian “adoption” program. Trump Jr. told investigators that he “did not collude with any foreign government and [does] not know of anyone who did.” ■