The Rundown for October 10, 2019

TRUMP DEFENDS SYRIA WITHDRAWAL… President Trump defended his decision to withdraw American troops from northern Syria yesterday. Among reasons Trump cited for the withdrawal was the fact that the Kurds didn’t help the U.S. during World War II. The U.S. pullout prompted Turkey to launch an attack on Syrian territory held by the Kurds, an Iranian ethnic group that had allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

TRUMP ASKED TILLERSON TO LAY OFF GIULIANI CLIENT… Bloomberg reported yesterday that President Trump urged former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to help convince the Justice Department to drop a criminal case against a former client of Trump’s personal Rudy Giuliani in a 2017 meeting. Giuliani client Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-Turkish gold trader, was being prosecuted by the feds for evading U.S. sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. Three people familiar with the meeting claimed Tillerson refused, saying the move would amount to interference in an active investigation. He is also said to have emphasized to then-Chief of Staff John Kelly in a separate conversation that the request to the DOJ would be illegal.

WHITE HOUSE QUIETED UKRAINE AID FREEZE… The White House instructed the State Department to play down the surprise freeze of $141 million worth of military aid to the Ukraine that had already been approved by Congress, according to a New York Times report. The National Security Council reportedly told American diplomats that the freeze was part of a normal review by the White House. The Times cited an email by Brad Freden, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary of Europe and Eurasia, that urged, “Keep moving, people, nothing to see here.”

TREY GOWDY JOINS TRUMP LEGAL TEAM… Former Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina is leaving his job at Fox News to join President Trump’s legal team. Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow said Gowdy will join the team as an outside adviser. Gowdy, who chaired of the House oversight committee and the House Benghazi committee, declined to seek re-election in 2018.

ARIZONA OFFICIAL CHARGED IN HUMAN SMUGGLING SCHEME… The Republican assessor of Maricopa County, Arizona, has been charged in three states with running a human smuggling scheme. Prosecutors say the scheme promised pregnant women thousands of dollars to lure them from a Pacific Island nation to the U.S., where they were crammed into houses to wait to give birth, sometimes with little to no prenatal care. Paul Petersen is facing human smuggling, sale of a child, fraud, forgery and conspiracy to commit money laundering charges in Utah, Arizona and Arkansas. The charges span about three years and involve some 75 adoptions.

ENTERTAINMENT
RIHANNA SIDED WITH KAEPERNICK… Rihanna says she turned down an invitation to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show out of solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The 31-year-old singer says she sided with Kaepernick stand against police brutality directed at people of color by kneeling during the National Anthem at NFL games. Rihanna said she couldn’t be a sellout in that situation.

MATT LAUER ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT DETAILED… A former NBC News employee has offered more details about her sexual assault complaint that led to the firing of former “Today” host Matt Lauer in 2017. In Ronan Farrow’s new book, “Catch and Kill,” Brooke Nevils alleges that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Neither Lauer or NBC News responded to Variety’s report. “Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time. That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague,” NBC News said in a statement that was read on air during yesterday’s “Today” broadcast.

SPORTS
MLB
CARDINALS, NATIONALS ADVANCE TO NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES…
The St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals advanced to the NL Championship Series with Game 5 victories yesterday in NL Divisional Series play… The Cardinals scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back in bombing the Atlanta Braves 13-1. Tommy Edman, Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong delivered two-run doubles for St. Louis. Jack Flaherty limited Atlanta to a run on four hits over six innings… The Nationals erased an early 3-0 deficit to stun the Dodgers 7-3. Howie Kendrick struck the fatal blow with a grand slam in the top of the 10th inning. Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto hit back-to-back solo homers off reliever Clayton Kershaw to tie the game in the eighth. The NLCS opens tomorrow in St. Louis.

TODAY’S AL DIVISIONAL SERIES SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow) is at Houston (Gerrit Cole) for Game 5, 7:07 p.m. Eastern, FS1.

NHL SCORES
BUFFALO 5 – Montreal 4 (OT)… The Sabres recovered to outlast the Canadiens after blowing a two-goal third-period lead. Marcus Johansson netted the winning goal 1:30 into overtime.

PHILADELPHIA 4 – New Jersey 0… Carter Hart stopped all 25 shots as the Flyers blanked the Devils. Ivan Provorov scored a goal and had an assist.

Los Angeles 8 – VANCOUVER 2… Brandon Sutter scored two goals and assisted on another as the Canucks walloped the Kings. J.T. Miller had a goal and three assists.

TONIGHT’S NHL SCHEDULE
Detroit is at Montreal…
Toronto hosts Tampa Bay…
Edmonton is at New Jersey…
Pittsburgh hosts Anaheim…
St. Louis is at Ottawa…
Winnipeg hosts Minnesota…
Washington is at Nashville…
Chicago hosts San Jose…
Calgary is at Dallas…
Colorado hosts Boston…
Vegas is at Arizona

TONIGHT’S NFL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Giants (2-3) are at New England (5-0)

GAMES
WORD OF THE DAY… NEPOTISM… (NEP–uh–tiz–um)… noun… 1) Favoritism shown to relatives… …Everyone knew that the inept George Jr. would replace his father at the helm of the company, yet they were powerless to end the NEPOTISM.

BOND, COMMON BOND…What do these 3 things have in common: BEEHIVES-CHESS SETS-ENGLAND? (They have QUEENS)

WHAT THE HECK AM I TALKING ABOUT… DOLL–PIN–CULT–ZOMBIES–CURSE?… (Voodoo)

USELESS TRIVIA… What is crime-fighting hero The Shadow’s real name?… (Lamont Cranston)

PHOBIA DU JOUR… Ostraconophobia… Fear of shellfish.

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