News Wrap: Trump meets with business leaders on tax reform

News Wrap: Trump meets with business leaders on tax reform

JUDY WOODRUFF: And in related news: President
Trump took to Twitter today to downplay the role of a former campaign aide who pled guilty
in the Russian probe. George Papadopoulos admitted to lying to the
FBI about his contacts with Russia. Today, Mr. Trump tweeted — quote — “Few
people knew the young low-level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be
a liar” — end quote. We will take a closer look at Robert Mueller’s
investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election after the news summary. Mr. Trump also met with business leaders at
the White House to push his plans for tax reform. Emphasizing speed, the president said that
he is — quote — “hopefully not looking” to phase in a corporate tax rate cut, something
proposed by congressional Republicans. He revealed his economic advisers will stay
in Washington during his upcoming Asia trip to help fine-tune the tax overhaul. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
I want the House to pass a bill by Thanksgiving. I want all of the people standing by my side
when we get ready to sign by Christmas. Hopefully, before Christmas, you will all
be in the room standing front-row center. I think we will be able to find a place where
you can all stand front-row center. It will be a big event. It will be the biggest tax event in the history
of our country. JUDY WOODRUFF: House Republicans will unveil
details of the tax reform legislation tomorrow. Another influential Republican member of Congress,
Jeb Hensarling of Texas, announced today that he will not seek reelection in 2018. Hensarling has been elected eight times and
currently chairs the House Financial Services Committee. He said he wants to spend more time with his
family. At least a dozen GOP Congress members have
announced they are retiring or resigning this year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says
it’s spending more than $200 million a day on disaster relief after the recent torrent
of hurricanes and wildfires. Its administrator, Brock Long, told a Senate
panel that the $52 billion approved by Congress for emergency relief isn’t enough. Long also had few answers about a canceled
contract between Puerto Rico’s power authority and a company called Whitefish, a small Montana
company that — chose to rebuild its ruined grid. BROCK LONG, Administrator, Federal Emergency
Management Agency: There’s no lawyer inside FEMA that would have ever agreed to the language
that was in that contract to begin with, so let me be very clear about that. And we raised the red flag. There were many things wrong. There was also language in there that would
suggest that the federal government would never audit Whitefish. There’s not a lawyer inside FEMA that would
ever agree to that type of language. JUDY WOODRUFF: Two-thirds percent of Puerto
Ricans are still without power more than a month after Hurricane Maria struck. Here in the U.S. mainland — mainland U.S.,
800,000 customers across New England also woke up without electricity today. Crews worked through the night to restore
downed power lines and to clear debris left behind from a powerful storm the night before. With the work just beginning, Halloween festivities
were postponed in communities from Maine to Connecticut. FRAN PORIS, Connecticut: It’s hard to take
a shower when it’s all cold water, and it’s hard to eat every cold meal without being
cooked, because we don’t have gas. We only have an electric stove. It’s getting frustrating, and every time I
call the power company, there’s no response about when it’s going to be over. If we had an end in sight, it would be a little
easier. JUDY WOODRUFF: Dozens of school districts
across the Northeastern U.S. were also forced to cancel classes for a second straight day. Catalonia’s ousted leader has agreed to a
snap election in December, called by Spain’s central government. It follows Madrid’s move to strip the region
of its autonomy for declaring independence last week. Speaking in Brussels, the deposed Catalan
leader insisted that he wasn’t seeking political asylum in Belgium, after Spain’s state prosecutor
filed rebellion charges against him, and he vowed to keep up the fight for Catalonia’s
independence. CARLES PUIGDEMONT, President of Catalonia
(through translator): We continue with our work, despite the limits imposed on us by
this strategy of non-confrontation, and we will defend the idea that the demand of the
state is a political demand. So we will oppose it from a political standpoint,
not a legal one. That means that we will not evade the actions
of justice. We do not want to remove ourselves from the
responsibilities in the face of justice. We will fight this serious injustice that
the Spanish government is imposing politically. JUDY WOODRUFF: Spain’s high court also summoned
the ousted Catalan leader and members of his Cabinet to testify in Madrid Thursday on the
rebellion charges that have been filed against them. President Trump’s chief of staff is drawing
criticism for his defense of Confederate heritage and its military leader during the Civil War. In an interview Monday night with FOX News,
retired Marine Corps General John Kelly made the case for keeping Confederate monuments
as part of the nation’s history. Kelly spoke about the roots of the Civil War,
without mentioning its root cause, slavery. JOHN KELLY, White House Chief of Staff: Robert
E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight
for his state, which in — 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back
in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led
to the Civil War. JUDY WOODRUFF: Today, the head of the Congressional
Black Caucus, Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, issued a statement, saying that
Kelly — quote — “needs a history lesson for minimizing slavery’s role in the run-up
to the Civil War.” And stocks closed higher on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 28
points to close at 23377. The Nasdaq rose more than 28, and the S&P
500 added two.

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