Female Trump defenders go on offense — The Trump campaign has a message for its female supporters: It’s time to come out of hiding. “There’s a lot of people that are fearful of expressing their support, and I want you ladies to know it’s OK to have felt that way, but we need to move past that or the Democrats win,” said Tana Goertz, a Trump campaign adviser, at an Iowa “Women for Trump” event on Thursday. The Iowa event, held in the back room of a barbecue joint in a Des Moines suburb, was one of more than a dozen in battleground states nationwide as part of a push to make the president’s case on the economy and train volunteers. The move is a recognition of the president’s persistent deficit with women — an issue that has the potential to sink his chances for reelection. Over the course of his presidency and across public opinion polls, women have been consistently less supportive of President Donald Trump than men have. Suburban women in particular rejected Republicans in the 2018 midterm by margins that set off alarms for the party and the president. Trump called into a gathering of hundreds in Tampa, Florida, and insisted, to cheers: “We’re doing great with women, despite the fake news.”
Money crunch after Planned Parenthood quits federal program — Planned Parenthood clinics in several states are charging new fees, tapping financial reserves, intensifying fundraising and warning of more unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases after its decision to quit a $260 million federal family planning program in an abortion dispute with the Trump administration. The fallout is especially intense in Utah, where Planned Parenthood has been the only provider participating in the nearly 50-year-old Title X family planning program and will now lose about $2 million yearly in federal funds that helped 39,000 mostly low-income, uninsured people. It plans to maintain its services — which include contraception, STD testing and cancer screening — but is considering charging a small copay for patients who used to get care for free. Planned Parenthood in Minnesota is in a similar situation, serving about 90% of the state’s Title X patients, and plans to start charging fees due to the loss of $2.6 million in annual funding.
Avenatti seeks trial delay —California attorney Michael Avenatti hopes to show that charging Nike $25 million to probe corruption at the sportswear giant was a bargain rather than extortion, his lawyer told a judge Thursday. Avenatti was seated and quiet as attorney Scott Srebnick asked that a trial for his outspoken client be postponed from November to January to give lawyers time to gather evidence to show he wasn’t doing anything illegal by asking Nike for between $15 million and $25 million. Srebnick said at a Manhattan hearing he wants to subpoena Nike employees and others to prove Avenatti acted appropriately because Nike was among companies fueling bribes paid to NBA-bound college basketball players and their families to win their allegiance to schools and managers. The bribe-paying basketball scandal was revealed by federal prosecutors in New York over the last two years at several trials. As a result, four assistant basketball coaches at major schools pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy charges and were among several men convicted in the case.
North Korea foreign minister calls Pompeo ‘poisonous plant’ — North Korea’s foreign minister on Friday called U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “poisonous plant of American diplomacy” and vowed to “shutter the absurd dream” that sanctions will force a change in Pyongyang. The North’s blistering rhetoric may dim the prospect for an early resumption of nuclear negotiations between the countries. A senior U.S. diplomat said earlier this week that Washington was ready to restart the talks, a day after U.S. and South Korean militaries ended their regular drills that Pyongyang called an invasion rehearsal. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho made the comments to protest Pompeo’s remarks in an interview in which he said that Washington will maintain crippling sanctions on North Korea unless it denuclearizes.