The Rundown for Feb. 28, 2019

TRUMP, KIM MEET IN HANOI… President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi yesterday. The two leaders engaged in talks that reportedly centered on North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor as well as sanctions relief for North Korea. NBC reported that the U.S. dropped its demanding that North Korea provide a “full accounting of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.” Analysts say the decision to drop the demand is an indication that North Korea does not plan to denuclearize fully.

MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES… President Trump’s longtime personal attorney and former Republican deputy finance director Michael Cohen accused Trump of criminal conduct during testimony yesterday before the House Oversight Committee. Among other topics, Cohen discussed Trump’s hush-money payments, avoidance of taxes, relationship with WikiLeaks and plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 campaign. Cohen also said Trump provided inflated assets to an insurance company and denounced the president as a “racist” and a “conman.” Afterward, Democratic Congressman Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts said the hearing could help give the Ways and Means Committee “probable cause” to subpoena Trump’s tax records. Committee chairman Elijah Cummings said She would “probably” bring in Trump’s money-handler Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr. for questioning. Both had been identified in financial schemes that Cohen detailed.

CONGRESSMAN MATT GAETZ INVESTIGATED BY FLORIDA BAR… The Florida Bar is investigating a tweet by Republican Congressman and licensed Florida attorney Matt Gaetz that may have violated professional conduct rules. Gaetz’ tweet on Tuesday was interpreted by many legal experts as witness tampering because it threatened former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen with allegations of his infidelity that could be shared with his wife. Gaetz defended the tweet, but later apologized and claimed that it was not his intent to threaten.

HOUSE APPROVES BACKGROUND CHECKS ON GUN SALES… The House voted 240-190 yesterday to approve legislation that mandates federal criminal background checks on all firearms sales. The legislation’s future remains in doubt, though, because even if it is passed in the GOP-controlled Senate, it faces a likely President Trump veto. Today, Congress will vote on legislation intended to closes a loophole that allows people to buy guns before background checks are completed. The legislation would also extend the time period for any background checks from three days to as long as 20 days.

TRUMP INAUGURAL COMMITTEE SUBPOENAED AGAIN… Washington D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine has subpoenaed documents from President Trump’s inaugural committee as part of his effort to determine whether the committee was “self-dealing.” The New York Times reported that Racine wants to know if any of the $107 million raised by the committee was “wasted, mismanaged and/or improperly provided private benefit, causing the committee to exceed or abuse its authority or act contrary to its nonprofit purpose.” The subpoena seeks evidence of payments to the Trump International Hotel or the Trump Organization, communications about the venue’s rental prices and any payments to a committee official or a committee official’s business, according to the report. The committee was previously subpoenaed by New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and Manhattan prosecutors.

NORTH CAROLINA POLITICAL OPERATIVE ARRESTED… The political operative whose work on behalf of Republican Mark Harris in North Carolina’s 9th District congressional race resulted in a fraud scandal was arrested yesterday on charges of illegal ballot handling and conspiracy. Prosecutors say 63-year-old Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. hired people to collect and mail in other people’s absentee ballots during the 2018 Republican congressional primary and the 2016 general election. Harris won the congressional race by 905 votes in November, but suspicions of ballot fraud put the election and Dowless under scrutiny. Harris’ victory was not certified and the seat remains unfilled pending a special election ordered by the state elections board.

EXPERTS WARN OF CYBERATTACK… Experts issued a dire warning yesterday that U.S. elections remain vulnerable to cyberattack. During a House Financial Services and General Government subcommittee hearing, chairman Mike Quigley said Russia will again try to meddle in the 2020 elections. Mike Quigley, chairman of the committee, urged Americans to prepare for Russia to meddle in the 2020 vote. The Illinois Republican has openly criticized President Trump’s lack of response to evidence indicating Russian interference in 2016.

ENTERTAINMENT
NBC RETURNS ‘BROOKLYN NINE-NINE’… NBC announced yesterday that it is bringing back the police comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for a seventh season in 2019-20. The network picked up the sitcom before last season when Fox canceled it after five seasons. The show stars Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher.

FOX TO AIR ‘90210’ REBOOT… Fox plans to air a new “Beverly Hills, 90210” series next summer. “90210” will feature original cast members Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth and Brian Austin Green. The series will consist of six episodes.

SPORTS
NBA SCORES
Houston 118 – CHARLOTTE 113… The Rockets pulled past the Hornets in the second half to win their third straight. James Harden scored a game-high 30 points. Clint Capela added 23 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.

ATLANTA 131 – Minnesota 123 (OT)… The Hawks got 36 points from rookie Trae Young and 34 from John Collins in outlasting the Timberwolves. DeAndre Bembry delivered 16 points and 14 boards off the bench.

Washington 125 – BROOKLYN 116… The Wizards built a 22-point lead through three quarters and coasted past the Nets. Bradley Beal scored 31 points to lead all scorers. Trevor Ariza had 23 points and 10 boards.

MIAMI 126 – Golden State 125… Dwyane Wade’s 3-pointer beat the buzzer and lifted the Heat over the Warriors after Miami let a 23-point lead slip away. Wade finished with 25 points. Fellow reserve Goran Dragic scored a team-high 27 points. Josh Richardson tossed in 21 points.

Chicago 109 – MEMPHIS 107… The Bulls held on down the stretch to top the Grizzlies. Zach LaVine scored game-high 30 points. Laurie Markkanen added 22 points and Otto Porter Jr. dropped in 20.

Portland 97 – BOSTON 92… Damian Lillard lit it up for 33 points as the Trail Blazers held off the Celtics. Maurice Harkless had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

SAN ANTONIO 105 – Detroit 93… LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points to lead six players in double figures as the Spurs topped the Pistons. Jakob Poeltl grabbed 14 boards to go with his 11 points.

DALLAS 110 – Indiana 101… The Mavericks came on strong in the fourth quarter to get past the Pacers. Luka Doncic had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Jalen Brunson added 24 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 20.

UTAH 111 – L.A. Clippers 105… The Jazz shook off a slow start to escape with a win over the Clippers. Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points to lead all scorers. Rudy Gobert finished with 20 points and 13 boards.

Milwaukee 141 – SACRAMENTO 140 (OT)… Eric Bledsoe scored 26 points, Malcolm Brogdan added 25 and the Bucks outlasted the Kings. Khris Middleton and Nicola Mirotic scored 21 points apiece.

L.A. LAKERS 125 –.New Orleans 119… LeBron James pumped in 33 points and dished off 10 assists in leading the Lakers past the Pelicans. Brandon Ingram scored 23 points and Kyle Kuzma added 22. Rajon Rondo had 16 assists to go with his 11 points.

TONIGHT’S NBA SCHEDULE...
Minnesota is at Indiana…
Orlando hosts Golden State…
Cleveland is at New York…
Houston hosts Miami…
Philadelphia is at Oklahoma City…
Denver hosts Utah

NHL SCORES
TORONTO 6 – Edmonton 2… Andreas Johnsson scored two of his team’s four unanswered goals in the second period as the Maple Leafs put away the Oilers. Mitch Marner scored a goal and set up two others. Patrick Marleau, William Nylander and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist.

Calgary 2 – NEW JERSEY 1… Elias Lindholm and Mark Giordano scored second-period goals off assists from Johnny Gaudreau and the Flames held off the Devils to win their seventh straight. Goalie David Rittich made 19 saves.

Tampa Bay 4 – N.Y. RANGERS 3 (OT)… The Lightning outlasted the Rangers to extend their winning streak to 10 games. Victor Hedman netted the winning goal at 3:25 of overtime. Nikita Kucherov assisted on three goals.

COLORADO 3 – Vancouver 2 (SO)… Carl Soderberg netted the winning goal in the shootout to send the Avalanche past the Canucks. Nathan McKinnon and Mikko Rantanen scored first-period goals for Colorado. Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots at goal.

Chicago 4 – ANAHEIM 3… Patrick Kane’s goal with 17 seconds remaining gave the Blackhawks a come-from-behind win over the Ducks. Alex DeBrincat’s second goal of the game tied the score with 4:54 to goal. Jonathan Toews and Erik Gustafsson scored two goals apiece.

TONIGHT’S NHL SCHEDULE
Toronto is at the N.Y. Islanders…
Columbus hosts Philadelphia…
Tampa Bay is at Boston…
Arizona hosts Vancouver…
Dallas is at Los Angeles

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
#2 VIRGINIA 81, Georgia Tech 51…
#7 Tennessee 73, MISSISSIPPI 71…
#8 Houston 99, EAST CAROLINA 65…
VILLANOVA 67, #10 Marquette 61…
#11 TEXAS TECH 84, Oklahoma State 80…
#12 NEVADA 89, UNLV. 73..
#14 PURDUE 73, Illinois 56…
PENN STATE 74, #17 Maryland 61…
#23 Cincinnati 52, SMU 49

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