TPM News

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) defended his support for the Republican tax bill in an interview published Saturday by arguing that the legislation favors those who invest their money over those who spend their money on things like “booze” and “women.”

The House bill repeals the Estate Tax, while the Senate’s version doubles the exemption for the tax for individuals. Grassley argued in an interview with the Des Moines Register that repealing the tax is beneficial even if it only affects relatively few Americans.

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing,” he told the Des Moines Register, “as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

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White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said the President’s embrace of embattled Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is less about dismissing allegations that Moore molested multiple women when they were teenagers and more about Democrats not voting for tax cuts.

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” Monday morning, Short said Trump has “expressed concern” about the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore — one of the accusers claimed she was just 14-years-old at the time of the alleged misconduct — but said Trump questions why the accusations didn’t come out sooner.

“When allegations rise 38 years later, when Roy Moore has been a very public figure for the past 38 years, he’s run multiple times statewide in Alabama, the people of Alabama need to choose and make decisions about Roy Moore’s character, that there are certain questions that come about the timing of these allegations,” he said. “So when you put all of that together, he’s encouraging people of Alabama to make the right decision.”

He also said Trump thinks it’s a “factor to consider” that no Democrats have supported the Republicans’ tax overhaul bill.

“He is also making the point that it is one of our best opportunities for tax relief, tax relief that many Democrats had said they thought the idea of reforming our corporate code made sense, we couldn’t muster any support from Democrats on a plan that provides massive tax relief for middle income families,” he said.

When CNN host Chris Cuomo argued that Moore hadn’t yet indicated that he would even support the Republicans’ tax relief bill, Short agreed.

“Moore should weigh in. I agree with you,” he said.

Just two weeks ago, Short suggested that he and Trump think the allegations against Moore are credible, saying on ABC News that if Trump “did not believe that the women’s accusations were credible, he would be down campaigning for Roy Moore,”

His comments on the Alabama Senate race Monday come after Trump tweeted saying the Republicans need Moore’s vote in order to pass “massive Tax Cuts.”

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President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, told the Washington Post on Sunday that Trump knew back in late January that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had likely made similar comments to the FBI about his calls with the Russian ambassador as he had made to Vice President Mike Pence.

Following Flynn’s guilty plea on Friday to charges that he lied to the FBI about calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Trump tweeted on Saturday that he had to fire Flynn earlier this year “because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.”

Dowd told the Washington Post and CNN that he drafted that Saturday tweet but said the tweet was poorly worded. Dowd told the Washington Post that then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates suggested to White House Counsel Don McGhan that Flynn made comments to the FBI that were similar to his comments to Pence about the Kislyak calls. Dowd said that McGhan passed on those comments to Trump. Dowd insisted that the the Justice Department “was not accusing him of lying” at that time.

People familiar with Yates’ account told the Washington Post that Yates never discussed the Russia probe with the White House.

Only a couple of weeks after Trump apparently learned that Flynn had made inaccurate statements to Pence and the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak, Trump asked Comey to lay off Flynn. Comey testified that Trump asked him on Feb. 14 to “let this go” while discussing Flynn.

In a Sunday morning tweet, Trump denied asking Comey to stop the FBI probe into Flynn.

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Former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush over the weekend put to rest any doubts about the authenticity of the infamous recording in which Donald Trump is heard bragging about groping women.

“He said it. ‘Grab ‘em by the pussy,’ Bush wrote in an editorial published in The New York Times on Sunday.

Of course he said it,” he continued. “And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real. We now know better.”

Bush’s decision to set the record straight comes as the President has reportedly been questioning the authenticity of the “Access Hollywood” tape in recent weeks, floating the idea to aides and at least one U.S. senator that the voice on the tape is not his. That’s hit “a raw nerve” for Bush, who expressed sympathy for the women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct.

“I can only imagine how it has reopened the wounds of the women who came forward with their stories about him, and did not receive enough attention,” he wrote. “This country is currently trying to reconcile itself to years of power abuse and sexual misconduct. Its leader is wantonly poking the bear.”

Bush, who was fired from NBC after the tape surfaced, outlined the allegations Trump accusers Natasha Stoynoff, Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds, Jill Harth and Kristin Anderson have made against the President, saying their stories stack up against what he heard Trump say that day on the bus.

“I believe her,” he said. “To these women: I will never know the fear you felt or the frustration of being summarily dismissed and called a liar, but I do know a lot about the anguish of being inexorably linked to Donald Trump. You have my respect and admiration. You are culture warriors at the forefront of necessary change.”

Read the full editorial here.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Shouting matches and threats. A feud with a late-night television host. Standing ovations and standoffs with the media. Long stretches without campaigning.

Republican Roy Moore’s supposedly smooth ride to the U.S. Senate has become an off-color demolition derby since he was hit with decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenagers.

Moore has made limited public appearances, leading to Democrat Doug Jones, who held a flurry of events over the weekend, to mock Moore for hiding.

“We’re on the campaign trail meeting all of you and meeting folks here as no one knows where Roy Moore is,” Jones said Friday to a crowd of reporters interviewing him.

Moore made three campaign stops last week. Adoring audiences in little country churches still welcome the Bible-toting Moore. But the campaign also has been punctuated by tense moments and odd exchanges, including an online spat with late night television host Jimmy Kimmel.

The Rev. Jeremy Ragland was taken aback by the furor after he invited Moore to speak at a “God and Country” service held Thursday night in the gym at tiny Bryan Baptist Church in rural Walker County northwest of Birmingham. Ragland said he received death threats and lewd suggestions about his own children before the event, prompting a show of security that included uniformed constables, a burly doorman and plainclothes bodyguards.

“I’m just a rural preacher,” an exasperated Ragland said afterward. “When you’ve got people threatening to kill you, saying your children should be molested, what are you going to do?”

Moore’s campaign has been on the defensive since The Washington Post reported claims that he assaulted a young woman and tried to date other teen girls in the 1970s and 1980s. Moore was likely to win easily before the story, but the fallout has given Jones a shot in Republican-controlled Alabama.The Post quoted a Donald Trump-supporting Republican claiming Moore pursued her when she was 14 and he was 32, and that he eventually stripped down to his underwear and touched her. Another woman held a news conference in New York to claim Moore groped her also, and other women said Moore pursued them for dates while they were still in high school.

After days out of the public spotlight, Moore returned to campaigning with dodge-and-jab tactics. He has avoided reporters while speaking to enthusiastic audiences in evangelical churches as he tries to rally his base.

Appearing at Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, located near Mobile in southwest Alabama, the former judge known for his intense opposition to same-sex marriage blamed his political enemies for the allegations.

“They’ve done everything. When I say they, who are they? They’re liberals. They don’t want conservative values. They’re the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. They’re socialists who want to change our way of life, putting man above God and that government is our God. They’re the Washington establishment who simply wants to keep their job,” Moore said.

Moore — whose speeches typically include long, memorized recitations of scripture and quotes from early America patriots — got into an uncharacteristic Twitter spat with Kimmel after “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” regular Tony Barbieri crashed the event in Theodore.

After a heckler interrupted Moore and was hustled out by security, Barbieri jumped up in front of the pulpit where Moore stood.

“That’s a man’s man,” Barbieri shouted. “Does that look like the face of a child molester?”

That led to the social media knock-down between Moore and the comedian. Moore’s campaign wrote: “@jimmykimmel If you want to mock our Christian values, come down here to Alabama and do it man to man.”

“Sounds great Roy – let me know when you get some Christian values and I’ll be there!” Kimmel replied.

A crew from Fox News — the TV channel of choice for many Republicans — were shoved by two event organizers when they tried to film Moore entering a building before a rally in rural Henagar, in northeastern Alabama. Elsewhere, Moore has dodged the media by having security block access or using unexpected exits.

In yet another odd scene, about 20 pastors and activists in Birmingham took turns praising Moore for his decades of support for conservative causes. Afterward, speakers yelled down journalists and one grabbed a videographer’s camera as reporters attempted to ask questions. Moore spoke briefly during the event but refused to take questions.

Longtime Moore aide Dean Young chided reporters for even trying to question the candidate during an appearance on the steps of Alabama’s Capitol.

“This Jerry Springer stuff is over,” she said.

Not yet it isn’t. Election day is Dec. 12.

___

AP writer Jay Reeves contributed to this report from Dora, Alabama.

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After initially backing away from Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, President Donald Trump on Monday morning urged Alabama voters to support Moore, arguing that Republicans need his vote in the Senate.

Moore thanked Trump for his support Monday morning.

When the accusations that Moore made sexual advances toward teenage girls when he was in his 30s first surfaced, the White House and top Republicans distanced themselves from Moore. Though Trump never condemned Moore publicly, the President was silent as women came forward with accusations about Moore. The White House also called for Moore to step aside if the allegations were true.

However, as Election Day in Alabama nears, Trump has signaled that he still supports Moore. At the end of November, Trump told reporters that Republicans “don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat” and noted that Moore has denied the accusations. About a week later, he followed up with tweets noting that he did not support Moore in the primary but arguing that the Democratic candidate in the race was not a good choice.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also softened his tone on Moore recently. When the sexual misconduct claims against Moore first surfaced, McConnell called for Moore to drop out of the race. However, on Sunday, McConnell said that Alabama voters should decide who to sent to the Senate.

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s Metropolitan Opera on Sunday said it was suspending its relationship with longtime conductor James Levine pending an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

“Mr. Levine will not be involved in any Met activities, including conducting scheduled performances at the Met this season,” the Met said in a statement.

The Met also said it has appointed attorney Robert J. Cleary, a former U.S. attorney and the current head of the investigations practice at the Proskauer Rose law firm, to lead the investigation into the allegations that took place from the 1960s to 1980s.

The move to suspend Levine came a day after the New York Post first reported that one of Levine’s accusers claimed he had sexual contact with Levine as a teenager. Met officials said they were launching an investigation. Then on Sunday, The New York Times reported similar accounts from two other men accusing Levine of sexual misconduct.

One of Levine’s accusers, Ashok Pai, also spoke to The Associated Press in recent weeks but declined to tell his story on the record at the time. He declined to be interviewed again when contacted this weekend.

According to the Times, Pai said he was sexually abused by Levine starting in the summer of 1986, when he was 16. He reported the allegations to the police department in Lake Forest, Illinois, in October 2016. Details of the police report were first reported on Saturday on the New York Post’s website. Met officials said they learned of the police report last year.

Pai said he reached out to police in Lake Forest because some of his encounters with Levine took place there in the mid-1980s. Levine served as music director at the Ravinia Festival, outside Chicago, from 1973 to 1993.

Chris Brown played principal bass in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for more than 30 years. He told the Times that he and Levine masturbated each other when Brown was 17 at the Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan, where Levin was on the summer program’s faculty.

James Lestock described a similar account there when he was a 17-year-old cello student.

“Based on these new reports, the Met has made the decision to act now, while we await the results of the investigation,” said Peter Gelb, Met General Manager. “This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”

An email to Levine’s manager seeking comment on the accusations was not immediately returned.

Met officials said in an earlier statement that Levine has denied the charges.

On Saturday afternoon, Levine conducted a performance of Verdi’s “Requiem” that was broadcast on radio worldwide. It was expected to be his last appearance at the Met for at least the rest of this year and possibly the foreseeable future. Levine was scheduled to conduct a New Year’s Eve gala performance of “Tosca.”

The opera company honored Levine with the title of Music Director Emeritus after the end the 2015-2016 season.

The Associated Press does not generally name alleged victims of sexual abuse unless they come forward with their allegations. In this case the three alleged victims agreed to have their names published in the Times.

The accusations against Levine, among the most prominent classical music conductors in the world, are the latest in a stream of sexual misconduct charges involving high-profile men in entertainment and the media that have rocked the nation since accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein were reported in October.

Levine served as music director of the Met from 1976 to 2016, when he assumed the position of music director emeritus.

Levine has struggled with health problems including Parkinson’s disease in recent years but was scheduled to conduct several productions this season.

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Drugstore operator CVS is making a $69 billion offer for insurer Aetna as it tries to position itself as a one-stop shop for Americans’ health care needs with prescription drugs, clinics and insurance plans to cover those goods and services.

The companies announced Sunday that CVS Health Corp. will pay about $207 in cash and stock for each share of Aetna Inc., a 29 percent premium over Aetna’s stock price before the first report about a possible deal in October.

The mammoth acquisition pairs a company that runs more than 9,700 drugstores and 1,100 walk-in clinics with an insurer covering around 22 million people. CVS Health Corp. is also one of the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefit managers, processing more than a billion prescriptions a year for insurance companies, including Aetna.

The companies planned a Monday morning conference call to discuss the deal.

The deal’s impact on prescription drug prices is uncertain. Aetna customers could first see some changes in how their plans are managed. Over time, a bulked-up CVS may gain more negotiating leverage over prices, but it is difficult to say how much would trickle down to customers.

The deal could generate a new stream of customers to CVS stores, many of which now offer a growing menu of medical services in addition to the usual fare of prescriptions and cold-and-cough supplies.

That could help fuel a push by CVS to become more of a one-stop shop for health care, a place where patients can get blood drawn, then see a nurse practitioner and pick up prescriptions.

By acquiring Aetna, CVS can enter new businesses including health savings accounts, home care and telemedicine and go after more of the consumer’s health-care dollars, said RBC analyst George Hill.

With traditional lines blurring in health care, CVS must worry about competition from the likes of UnitedHealth Group Inc. The nation’s biggest health insurer also manages a large pharmacy benefits business, and it runs doctor practices and clinics.

CVS and Aetna together “have the chance to close the competitive gap quickly,” Hill said. “You can see the path where CVS is going.”

CVS Health started adding clinics to its drugstores years ago and has been expanding the services they offer. Customers can get physicals, flu shots or treatments for sinus infections at the clinics. They also can receive cholesterol screenings or find help monitoring chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Analysts say clinics aren’t especially profitable, but they are important because they draw people into the stores and help build deeper customer relationships.

The clinics also provide services that can’t be purchased online. Like other retailers, drugstores are struggling to hold onto customers who are buying more goods through outlets such as Amazon.

By expanding its medical services, CVS would essentially be “replacing aisles and products with services,” Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut said. He and others on Wall Street expect the Aetna deal to fuel a health care services expansion for CVS. The company might open more clinics or add services such as eye care or hearing aid centers.

The deal also will help CVS keep Aetna’s business managing the insurer’s pharmacy benefits. That could keep millions of customers away from Amazon if the retail giant decides to expand into prescription drugs. Investors have been worried about that prospect since reports about the possibility first appeared earlier this year. Amazon has not commented.

Aetna stockholders will get $145 cash and 0.8378 CVS shares for each Aetna share. They would own 22 percent of the company, with 78 percent remaining with current CVS shareholders.

Antitrust regulators still need to approve the deal, and that is not guaranteed.

Last month, the Justice Department sued to block AT&T’s $85 billion purchase of Time Warner. Regulators also sued to stop Aetna’s proposed $34 billion purchase of Humana Inc. — a deal that fell apart earlier this year. Opposition from antitrust regulators also helped kill Anthem Inc.’s $48 billion bid to buy Cigna Corp.

The latter two were deals in which one major health insurer sought to buy another.

“This is a different kind of alignment,” Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said of the CVS move. “If it works well for consumers, then maybe it will be OK (to regulators). The companies can make that pitch.”

Leerink analyst David Larsen said in a recent note that the CVS-Aetna deal has a decent chance of approval because regulators may believe it will put pressure on manufacturers to hold down drug prices.

Hartford, Connecticut-based Aetna and Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS both manage Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some of that business may have to be sold to address antitrust concerns.

___

Tom Murphy reported from Indianapolis. David Koenig reported from Dallas.

CVS bids $69 billion for Aetna amid health care changes

By TOM MURPHY and DAVID KOENIG,  Associated Press
Drugstore operator CVS is making a $69 billion offer for insurer Aetna as it tries to position itself as a one-stop shop for Americans’ health care needs with prescription drugs, clinics and insurance plans to cover those goods and services.

The companies announced Sunday that CVS Health Corp. will pay about $207 in cash and stock for each share of Aetna Inc., a 29 percent premium over Aetna’s stock price before the first report about a possible deal in October.

The mammoth acquisition pairs a company that runs more than 9,700 drugstores and 1,100 walk-in clinics with an insurer covering around 22 million people. CVS Health Corp. is also one of the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefit managers, processing more than a billion prescriptions a year for insurance companies, including Aetna.

The companies planned a Monday morning conference call to discuss the deal.

The deal’s impact on prescription drug prices is uncertain. Aetna customers could first see some changes in how their plans are managed. Over time, a bulked-up CVS may gain more negotiating leverage over prices, but it is difficult to say how much would trickle down to customers.

The deal could generate a new stream of customers to CVS stores, many of which now offer a growing menu of medical services in addition to the usual fare of prescriptions and cold-and-cough supplies.

That could help fuel a push by CVS to become more of a one-stop shop for health care, a place where patients can get blood drawn, then see a nurse practitioner and pick up prescriptions.

By acquiring Aetna, CVS can enter new businesses including health savings accounts, home care and telemedicine and go after more of the consumer’s health-care dollars, said RBC analyst George Hill.

With traditional lines blurring in health care, CVS must worry about competition from the likes of UnitedHealth Group Inc. The nation’s biggest health insurer also manages a large pharmacy benefits business, and it runs doctor practices and clinics.

CVS and Aetna together “have the chance to close the competitive gap quickly,” Hill said. “You can see the path where CVS is going.”

CVS Health started adding clinics to its drugstores years ago and has been expanding the services they offer. Customers can get physicals, flu shots or treatments for sinus infections at the clinics. They also can receive cholesterol screenings or find help monitoring chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Analysts say clinics aren’t especially profitable, but they are important because they draw people into the stores and help build deeper customer relationships.

The clinics also provide services that can’t be purchased online. Like other retailers, drugstores are struggling to hold onto customers who are buying more goods through outlets such as Amazon.

By expanding its medical services, CVS would essentially be “replacing aisles and products with services,” Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut said. He and others on Wall Street expect the Aetna deal to fuel a health care services expansion for CVS. The company might open more clinics or add services such as eye care or hearing aid centers.

The deal also will help CVS keep Aetna’s business managing the insurer’s pharmacy benefits. That could keep millions of customers away from Amazon if the retail giant decides to expand into prescription drugs. Investors have been worried about that prospect since reports about the possibility first appeared earlier this year. Amazon has not commented.

Aetna stockholders will get $145 cash and 0.8378 CVS shares for each Aetna share. They would own 22 percent of the company, with 78 percent remaining with current CVS shareholders.

Antitrust regulators still need to approve the deal, and that is not guaranteed.

Last month, the Justice Department sued to block AT&T’s $85 billion purchase of Time Warner. Regulators also sued to stop Aetna’s proposed $34 billion purchase of Humana Inc. — a deal that fell apart earlier this year. Opposition from antitrust regulators also helped kill Anthem Inc.’s $48 billion bid to buy Cigna Corp.

The latter two were deals in which one major health insurer sought to buy another.

“This is a different kind of alignment,” Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said of the CVS move. “If it works well for consumers, then maybe it will be OK (to regulators). The companies can make that pitch.”

Leerink analyst David Larsen said in a recent note that the CVS-Aetna deal has a decent chance of approval because regulators may believe it will put pressure on manufacturers to hold down drug prices.

Hartford, Connecticut-based Aetna and Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS both manage Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some of that business may have to be sold to address antitrust concerns.

___

Tom Murphy reported from Indianapolis. David Koenig reported from Dallas.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is announcing plans to scale back two sprawling national monuments in Utah, responding to what he has condemned as a “massive federal land grab” by the government.

Trump is traveling to Salt Lake City on Monday to outline his intention to shrink the Bears Ears and the Grand-Staircase Escalante national monuments spanning millions of acres in Utah. The two national monuments were among 27 that Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review earlier this year.

Utah’s Republican leaders, including Sen. Orrin Hatch, pressed Trump to launch the review, saying the monuments declared by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton locked up too much federal land.

Trump’s plans to curtail the strict protections on the sites have angered tribes and environmentalist groups who have vowed to sue to preserve the monuments.

In December, shortly before leaving office, Obama irritated Utah Republicans by creating the Bears Ears National Monument on 1.35 million acres of land sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.

Trump signed an executive order in April directing Zinke to conduct a review of the protections. Trump is able to upend the protections under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which gives the president broad authority to declare federal lands as monuments and restrict their use.

The president said in April his order would end “another egregious abuse of federal power” and “give that power back to the states and to the people where it belongs.”

Trump said at the time that he had spoken to state and local leaders “who are gravely concerned about this massive federal land grab. And it’s gotten worse and worse and worse, and now we’re going to free it up, which is what should have happened in the first place. This should never have happened.”

The move marks the first time in a half century that a president has attempted to undo these types of land protections. And it could be the first of many changes to come.

Zinke also has recommended that Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou monuments be reduced in size, although details remain unclear. The former Montana congressman’s plan would allow logging at a newly designated monument in Maine and more grazing, hunting and fishing at two sites in New Mexico.

Democrats and environmentalists have opposed the changes, accusing Trump and Zinke of engaging in a secretive process aimed at helping industry groups that have donated to Republican campaigns.

__

Associated Press writer Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or whether to proceed immediately in moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. That’s according to his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

Kushner said Sunday that the president continues to weigh his options ahead of an announcement on the matter that is expected this week.

“The president is going to make his decision,” Kushner said in a rare public appearance at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “He is still looking at a lot of different facts.”

Kushner’s comments were his first public remarks on his efforts to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. And, they came as he faces increasing scrutiny over actions taken during the transition period following former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea on charges of lying to the FBI.

Shortly before Kushner spoke, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would jeopardize the White House’s Mideast peace efforts.

“Any American step related to the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, or moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, represents a threat to the future of the peace process and is unacceptable for the Palestinians, Arabs and internationally,” Abbas told a group of Arab lawmakers from Israel, according to the official Wafa news agency.

U.S. officials said last week that Trump is poised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy but also to put off once again moving the embassy from Tel Aviv. The officials said Trump is expected to make his decision known in a speech on Wednesday.

The highly charged declaration risks inflaming tensions across the Middle East, and U.S. embassies and consulates around the region have been warned to expect protests. But it would also offset disappointment from Trump supporters from deferring once again his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Trump’s announcement will follow months of internal deliberations that grew particularly intense last week, according officials familiar with the discussions. They described the president as intent on fulfilling his pledge to move the embassy but also mindful that doing so could set back his aim of forging a long-elusive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, who claim part of Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual state.

Moving the embassy could spark widespread protest across the Middle East and undermine an Arab-Israeli peace push led by Kushner. Trump’s campaign season promises won him the support of powerful pro-Israel voices in the Republican Party. But as president, he has faced equally forceful lobbying from close U.S. allies such as King Abdullah II of Jordan, who have impressed on him the dangers in abandoning America’s carefully balanced position on the holy city.

Under U.S. law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the U.S. must relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless the president waives the requirement on national security grounds, something required every six months. If the waiver isn’t signed and the embassy doesn’t move, the State Department would lose half its funding for its facilities and their security around the world. Republicans have championed embassy security since a 2012 attack on American compounds in Benghazi, Libya.

Trump is likely to issue a waiver on moving the embassy by Monday, the officials said, though they cautioned that the president could always decide otherwise.

All presidents since Clinton have issued the waiver, saying Jerusalem’s status is a matter for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate. Trump signed the waiver at the last deadline in June, but the White House made clear he still intended to move the embassy.

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