The Montana Republican candidate for Congress who is accused of body-slamming Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian (and previously for The Daily Beast), has been issued a citation for misdemeanor assault. Greg Gianforte was making a campaign appearance Thursday when Jacobs asked him a question. “We’ll talk to you about that later,” Gianforte said, according to an audio recording published at The Guardian. “Yeah, but there’s not going to be time,” Jacobs responded. “I’m just curious about it right now.” Then an altercation takes place, and Jacobs said, “You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses.” If convicted, Gianforte faces a maximum of six months in jail, in addition to a $500 fine. Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna published her own account of the incident Thursday evening, writing that the tech executive had “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.” Acuna added, “I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I'm sick and tired of this!’” A spokesman for Gianforte issued a statement Wednesday evening claiming that Jacobs incited the violence.
U.K. officials have stopped sharing information related to Monday night’s Manchester bombing with their U.S. counterparts after repeated leaks to the American media, the BBC reports. Crime-scene photos showing blood from the victims of the attack were published in The New York Times, enraging British authorities. The name of the suspected bomber, Salman Abedi, had already been given to the U.S. media, while the British press remained in the dark. The attack killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert and injured dozens more. Prime Minister Theresa May said she will tell President Trump at this week’s NATO meeting that shared intelligence “must remain secure.”
Even after the FBI began probing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s ties to Russia, he continued to advise the president's team on the scandal, Politico reported Thursday morning. Manafort reportedly called Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, to push back against the controversy after memos written by a former British spy regarding alleged ties with Russia were leaked. “On the day that the dossier came out in the press, Paul called Reince, as a responsible ally of the president would do, and said this story about me is garbage, and a bunch of the other stuff in there seems implausible,” said an unnamed source close to Manafort, according to Politico. Manafort was forced to resign from Trump’s campaign five months earlier, as his past work for Kremlin-aligned politicians came under fire.
Several companies have pulled advertising from Sean Hannity’s Fox News show after he promoted a conspiracy theory about the death of a former Democratic National Committee staffer. Hannity was still peddling a story— even after it was widely discredited—that Seth Rich was shot and killed because he had supplied DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Police say it was a botched robbery. His family and parents for a long time pleaded with Fox News to quit speculating about his death. Cars.com said in a statement on Wednesday: “In this case, we’ve been watching closely and have recently made the decision to pull our advertising from Hannity.” Others followed suit: Leesa Sleep, Peloton, USAA, Crowne Plaza Hotels, Casper, and Ring. Ring told BuzzFeed News in a statement: “We are always evaluating and monitoring our advertisements to ensure they align with the Ring brand. As of May 23rd, we have asked our media buying partners not to place Ring ads on The Sean Hannity Show.”
According to a report in The New York Times, American spies collected information last summer indicating that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were talking about how to influence Donald Trump through his advisers. Those advisers included Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, who went on to serve as national security adviser. The information collected at the time was credible enough that it was passed over to the FBI, resulting in the bureau's opening of a counterintelligence investigation. It remains unclear, however, as to whether these Russian officials tried to directly influence Flynn and Manafort.
A U.S. Navy warship neared an artificial island built by Beijing in the South China Sea on Wednesday, the first challenge of China’s territorial claims conducted under the Trump administration. Officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Reuters the USS Dewey came within 12 miles of the Spratly Islands, which are a matter of territorial dispute between China and other countries in the region. Under international law, territorial waters extend to 12 miles from the coastline, meaning the U.S. Navy’s maneuver is considered a direct challenge to China’s territorial claim. The move comes as President Trump seeks the help of Beijing in reining in North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities. But the maneuver appeared to send a signal to Beijing that the U.S. agrees with a ruling by a court in the Hague last year that found China’s claims to large portions of the South China Sea were invalid. The last such freedom-of-navigation operation was conducted under then-President Barack Obama in October.
According to a CNN report, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose meetings he had last year with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak when he applied for his security clearance. The clearance form requires an applicant to list “any contact” with a “foreign government” or its “representatives” over the past seven years, officials told CNN. Previously, Sessions came under fire for not disclosing the exact same contacts during his Senate confirmation hearing this year. Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sessions initially listed an entire year’s worth of meetings with foreign officials, but was later told by an FBI employee who assisted in filling out the form, known as SF-86, that he didn’t need to list meetings with ambassadors while he was a senator. The FBI declined to comment to CNN for the report.
President Trump’s housing secretary on Wednesday proposed one way to cut down on poverty: Stop having a “defeatist attitude.” In a radio interview on SiriusXM, Ben Carson, the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, described poverty as a “state of mind” that could be prevented in some cases, saying parents should be passing down to their children “the mind-set of a winner.” “If you take somebody with the wrong mind-set, you can give them everything in the world and they’ll work their way back down to the bottom,” he said. Carson, who grew up in a low-income family in Detroit, said the government needs to steer people away from negative thinking. “I think the majority of people don’t have that defeatist attitude, but they sometimes just don’t see the way, and that’s where government can come in and be very helpful,” he said.
Three Indonesian police officers were killed and 10 people injured on Thursday when two suspected suicide bombers struck near a bus stop in the capital. Twin explosions went off about five minutes apart near the site of a parade at Jakarta’s Kampung Melayu terminal, police said. “The police officers were on duty to guard a group of people who were holding a parade. The parade hadn’t passed yet when the blast happened,” National Police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said after the attack, Reuters reported. Five of those injured were police officers, while five civilians were also wounded, he said. Authorities have not yet confirmed whether the attack was carried out by Islamist extremists, but Jakarta has been the site of several attacks by supporters of the so-called Islamic State in recent years. Authorities have warned that about 400 Indonesian citizens have joined the terrorist group in Syria and may launch attacks upon their return.
Two staff members of a Pennsylvania halfway house for recovering drug addicts were found dead Wednesday—from a drug overdose. The names of the victims were not released, but officials report they were employed at the Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge in suburban Philadelphia. Residents at the West Chester halfway house found the staff members dead Sunday afternoon, with plastic bags of heroin near their bodies, authorities said Wednesday. Police believe the drugs may have been laced with fentanyl, a dangerous additive that has been blamed for a spike in overdoses across the country. Pennsylvania, with a drug-overdose rate that is “statistically higher” than that of other states, has seen overdoses skyrocket since 2014. Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan described the drug counselors’ deaths as a “frightening example” of the state’s opioid epidemic in a statement released Wednesday. “The staff members in charge of supervising recovering addicts succumbed to their own addiction and died of opioid overdoses. Opioids are a monster that is slowly consuming our population,” Hogan said. Gov. Tom Wolf deemed the opioid epidemic a “public-health crisis the likes of which we have not before seen” last September.