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October 10, 2018
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President Trump's USA Today op-ed lacerating Democrats' push for Medicare-for-all on Wednesday used his signature hyperbolic flair, including claims that health care as we know it would be "forced to die" and that Democrats want to recreate Venezuela.

But The Washington Post's fact checker found that the op-ed was even worse than merely hyperbolic. "Almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood," the Post concluded. The single-payer health-care plan as outlined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would expand services for seniors, not "take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives," as Trump posited.

Fact checker Glenn Kessler also pointed out that health insurance premiums have not, in fact, gone down on average, and Trump did not keep his promise to bolster protections for pre-existing conditions. Where Trump blames Democrats, the Post blames the efficacy of health-care providers; where Trump claims seniors will be disproportionately harmed, the Post describes the opposite. When Trump, or his ghostwriter, inexplicably ropes in the calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Kessler reminds him that it's far from a widely held view.

Trump's warning that the "Democratic plan would inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care" is nothing more than a "Chicken Little" style "scare scenario," Kessler determines. Read the point-by-point dismantling of Trump's rhetoric at The Washington Post. Summer Meza

October 16, 2018
AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File

The lieutenant governor of Alaska, Byron Mallott, resigned suddenly on Tuesday, and Gov. Bill Walker (I) said he stepped down due to "inappropriate comments" made two days ago.

"As leaders, we must hold ourselves to the highest standards of conduct," Walker said. The governor said he found out about the comments on Monday, and that they were directed at a woman who has asked that her identity remain anonymous. Mallott and Walker were close, running on a "unity ticket" in 2014; Walker, once a Republican, was elected as an independent, and Mallott is a Democrat.

Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson has been sworn in as lieutenant governor, and she said she was "deeply saddened" by Mallott's resignation and "profoundly disappointed by his conduct," adding, "respect for women and the dignity of all Alaskans is our responsibility." Davidson will replace Mallott as Walker's running mate in an increasingly difficult re-election. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2018
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President Trump tweeted Tuesday night that the United States has sent a message to several Central American countries regarding immigration.

"We have today informed Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP (END)!" He didn't STOP (END) there, adding in a follow-up tweet, "Anybody entering the United States illegally will be arrested and detained, prior to being sent back to their country!"

There is a caravan of about 2,000 migrants headed to the United States from Honduras, and earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that if those people do not turn around and go back, "no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!" During the 2016 fiscal year, the U.S. gave Honduras $127.4 million in aid, the United States Agency for International Development says. Many people who migrate from Honduras are fleeing drug and gang violence and poverty, which would all likely grow exponentially if aid is cut off. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2018
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Using facial recognition software, public records, social media accounts, various databases, leaked documents, and more, The New York Times was able to confirm that at least nine suspects in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi work for Saudi Arabia's security services, government ministries, or military.

Khashoggi vanished on Oct. 2, after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkey has said 15 Saudi agents flew into Istanbul that day on private jets, murdered Khashoggi inside the consulate within two hours of his arrival, then left the country.

The Times reports that one of the suspects is Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a diplomat assigned to Saudi Arabia's embassy in London in 2007. He's been seen getting off airplanes with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Paris and Madrid and spotted in several photos taken of the crown prince during a recent visit to the United States. It's possible he was serving as a bodyguard. Other suspects include two members of the royal guard, a member of the security team who travels with the crown prince, and autopsy expert Dr. Salah al-Tubaigny, the Times reports.

Tubaigny, who holds a senior position in the Saudi Interior Ministry, could only be directed to do something by a high-ranking Saudi authority, the Times notes. This strikes a blow to the suggestion that rogue agents murdered Khashoggi unbeknownst to the crown prince. Both the crown prince and his father, King Salman, have denied knowing where Khashoggi is, and said he left the consulate on his own. None of the suspects could be reached for comment. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2018
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If the Republicans lose the House in November's midterms, it's not President Trump's fault, Trump said Tuesday.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump said he will "handle it very well" if Democrats take over the House and launch new investigations or pursue impeachment. Trump has been hitting the campaign trail hard, he said, and doesn't believe "anybody has ever had this kind of impact." Democrats are polling well ahead of the midterms, and Trump said he did not agree that he's in a similar boat as former President Barack Obama, who in 2010 took some blame for his party getting "shellacked."

Trump also spoke about Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer and fixer, accusing him of being a liar and "PR person who did small legal work," and defended calling adult film star Stormy Daniels "Horseface." AP asked him if he thought it was appropriate to comment on a woman's appearance, and Trump responded, "You can take it any way you want." He revealed that he should name U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley's replacement within the next two weeks, and blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, still unhappy that his recusal from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. "I can fire him whenever I want to fire him," he said. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2018
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President Trump defended Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, telling The Associated Press it wasn't fair to condemn the country over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkey has said he was killed by Saudi agents inside the consulate, and on Tuesday, a senior Turkish official told AP "certain evidence" was found that proved Khashoggi was murdered there.

Trump tweeted earlier in the day that he spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who "totally denied any knowledge" of what happened to Khashoggi, and he told AP: "I think we have to find out what happened first. Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent. I don't like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I'm concerned." Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by multiple women, and narrowly won confirmation to the Supreme Court. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2018
AP Photo/Steve Helber

Less than a week after becoming the interim president and chief executive of USA Gymnastics, Mary Bono is stepping down from the role, following criticism from Olympians Simone Biles and Aly Raisman.

Bono is a former Republican congresswoman from Southern California. She recently tweeted a photo showing her covering up the Nike logo on her golf shoes, in response to Colin Kaepernick's Nike advertisement. "Don't worry, it's not like we needed a smarter USA Gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything," Biles tweeted.

Bono came under fire from Raisman due to her work with a law firm that many people believe helped USA Gymnastics cover up the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. The former USA Gymnastics national team doctor is accused of molesting hundreds of gymnasts, and earlier this year, he was found guilty of sexual assault of minors. In the wake of the scandal, the entire USA Gymnastics board resigned in January, and a new president, Kerry Perry, was hired, although she resigned nine months later.

After sending in her resignation letter Tuesday, Bono released a defiant statement, saying she had to step down because of "personal attacks." She defended covering the Nike logo on her shoes, saying it was free speech, and said it wasn't fair that the tweet "has now been made the litmus test of my reputation over almost two decades of public service." She did not address Raisman's concerns. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2018
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Brothel owner turned Nevada Assembly candidate Dennis Hof has died, just a day after his 72nd birthday, Nye County police confirmed Tuesday.

Hof was often described as "Nevada's most famous pimp," and starred in the HBO documentary series Cathouse. The bombastic Hof also authored The Art of the Pimp, which foreshadowed his foray into politics earlier this year. Branding himself as the "Trump of Pahrump," Hof unseated a three-term incumbent to win the Republican primary for Nevada's state Assembly in June.

His curious blend of vice and politics led to quite the unique birthday party the night before his death. Hof was celebrating with porn star Ron Jeremy, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and tax opponent Grover Norquist, The Nevada Independent reported. The party doubled as a campaign rally at the Love Ranch, one of his several brothels.

A Nye County spokesman said Hof apparently went to sleep on Monday night, and was found unresponsive the next morning. His death looks "normal" on its face, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly told the Independent, but there will still be an autopsy.

Hof's campaign manager, Chuck Muth, first tweeted about his death on Tuesday, and later told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he was "confused and stunned" by the news. Hof's Democratic opponent Lesia Romanov sent her condolences to "those who care about him." Nevada state law mandates Hof's name stay on the ballot this fall, but polling places will post that he has died. If Hof wins the election, county commissioners will appoint another Republican to take his place. Kathryn Krawczyk

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