1/ Congress passed a two-week spending bill to extend the government’s funding through Dec. 21 and avoid a partial shutdown. Lawmakers face an impasse over whether to meet Trump’s demand for $5 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico, which Democrats have resisted. Trump has threatened to force a partial government shutdown if Congress does not give him his wall money. (Wall Street Journal / Reuters / Washington Post)

2/ A bipartisan group of senators are trying to punish Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi while also curtailing U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and suspending arms sales to the Kingdom. Trump, meanwhile, has downplayed assertions that Prince Mohammed was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate. (Bloomberg / Reuters / CNN)

3/ Trump blamed Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation for his low approval rating, claiming that “without the phony Russia Witch Hunt […] my approval rating would be at 75% rather than the 50% just reported by Rasmussen.” Trump’s average approval rating is 43.3%, according to Real Clear Politics. And, according to FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s approval rating is 42.1%. (Politico)

  • A Trump campaign adviser was questioned about his relationship with a Kremlin-controlled broadcaster, which U.S. intelligence authorities have called Russia’s principal propaganda arm. Mueller’s investigators have questioned Ted Malloch about his appearances on RT. (The Guardian)

4/ Trump and the NRA used the same consultants to execute complimentary TV advertising strategies during the 2016 presidential election. The NRA used a media strategy firm called Red Eagle Media, while the Trump campaign purchased ads through a firm called American Media & Advocacy Group, which were aimed at the same demographic as the NRA spots. Both firms are affiliated with the conservative media-consulting firm National Media Research, Planning and Placement, with both the NRA’s and the Trump campaign’s ad buys were also authorized by the same person at National Media. The arrangement is likely a violation of campaign finance laws. (Mother Jones)

poll/ 67% of voters are concerned about the recent climate change report that concludes that global warming is already “transforming where and how we live.” 58% agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is being caused by human activity. (Politico)

  • 📌 The Re-up: Day 685. Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record. Global emissions grew 1.6% in 2017 with 2018 expected to increase 2.7%. The U.S. is the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon emissions, but that hasn’t stopped the Trump administration from moving to roll back regulations designed to limit those emissions from vehicle tailpipes and power-plant smokestacks. As United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said this week at the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference: “We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change.” (Washington Post / New York Times)

  • 📌 Day 678. Trump – again – dismissed his own government’s report on the devastating impacts of climate change and global warming, saying he doesn’t see climate change as a man-made issue and that he doesn’t believe the scientific consensus. “One of the problems that a lot of people like myself,” Trump said, “we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers.” He continued: “You look at our air and our water, and it’s right now at a record clean.” (Washington Post)

  • 📌Day 676. The National Climate Assessment concludes that global warming is already “transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us.” The findings from the landmark scientific report, issued by 13 federal agencies, are at odds with the Trump administration’s environmental deregulation agenda, which Trump claims will lead to economic growth, and its plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. The report predicts that the effects of global warming could eliminate as much as 10% of the U.S. economy by the end of the century, and warns that humans must act aggressively now “to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.” The first report, released in November 2017, concluded that there is “no convincing alternative explanation” for the changing climate other than “human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases.” Trump recently questioned the science of climate change, saying that “I don’t know that it’s man-made” and that the warming trend “could very well go back.” (New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / CNN)

  • 📌Day 627. A U.N. report on the effects of climate change predicts a strong risk of an environmental crisis much sooner than expected. The report finds that the atmosphere could warm by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels by 2040 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, which would cause sea levels to rise, intensify droughts, wildfires, and poverty, and cause a mass die-off of coral reefs. To prevent 2.7 degrees of warming, greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and fully eliminated by 2050. The use of coal as an electricity source would have to drop from nearly 40% today to between 1% and 7% by 2050. Renewable energy would have to increase to about 67%. Trump has mocked the science of human-caused climate change, vowing to increase the burning of coal, and he intends to withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement. The world is already more than halfway to the 2.7-degree mark and “there is no documented historic precedent” for the scale of changes required, the report said. (New York Times / Washington Post)


  1. The Trump administration proposed loosening rules on carbon emissions for new coal power plants. Under the existing Obama-era rule, new coal plants would have to burn some natural gas, which emits less carbon, or install carbon capture equipment. The proposal would allow new coal plants to emit up to 1,900 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity, up from 1,400 pounds now. (Reuters)

  2. The Trump administration moved forward with plans to ease restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling that were put in place to protect a bird that is close to endangerment. The greater sage grouse is a chickenlike bird that roams across nearly 11 million acres in 10 oil-rich Western states. Trump’s plan would limit the grouse’s protected habitat to 1.8 million acres. (Associated Press / New York Times)

  3. Canada arrested Huawei’s chief financial officer on a U.S. request for extradition the same day Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day pause in raising tariffs to allow for trade negotiations. Meng Wanzhou was arrested for allegedly shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws. (Bloomberg / CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

  4. The Dow dropped nearly 800 points before rebounding over concerns that trade talks between the U.S. and China could collapse and result in trade war escalation. Trump took to Twitter to express optimism about the state of trade negotiations, claiming that China is sending “very strong signals.” (ABC News / New York Times / CNBC / Washington Post)

  5. Former attorney general William Barr is Trump’s leading candidate to replace Jeff Sessions. Barr served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under then-President George H.W. Bush. (Washington Post / Reuters)

  6. An undocumented immigrant has worked as a maid at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., since 2013 using fake documents to secure employment. After Trump became president, one of her managers told her to get both a new green card and new Social Security card because there were problems with her current ones. When she told the manager that she did not know how to obtain new forgeries, her manager suggested she speak with a maintenance employee to acquire new documents. Her manager lent her the money to replace the one that had “expired.” (New York Times)

  7. Pat Cipollone will start as the new White House counsel on Monday after a nearly two-month delay since his appointment. Trump appointed Cipollone in October as Don McGahn’s replacement. Cipollone will start his new job just as House Democrats are preparing to assume their new committee chairmanship roles in January. (Politico)

  8. Democrats plan to send Mueller the transcripts of testimony by some of Trump’s closest associates when they take control of the House next month. Democrats want Mueller to review the transcripts for evidence and possible falsehoods. The list of testimony transcripts includes Jared Kushner, Trump Jr., Roger Stone, Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks, Keith Schiller, and others. (Reuters)

  9. The Supreme Court is hearing a case with implications on Trump’s pardon power. At stake is whether to overturn the “separate sovereigns” doctrine, which lets a state and the U.S. government press separate prosecutions involving the same conduct. Eliminating the doctrine would mean that a presidential pardon could block some state charges as well. However, the Supreme Court appeared unlikely to change its existing rules. For Paul Manafort, a presidential pardon could keep him out of federal prison, but it would not free him from being prosecuted on similar state charges. Trump hasn’t ruled out a pardon for Manafort. (Bloomberg / NBC News)