Dem threatens legal action in standoff with White House over Trump whistleblower

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Congress, White House at standstill over whistleblower complaint reportedly over alleged Trump 'promise' to foreign leader 
A whistleblower complaint that reportedly involved allegations President Trump made a troubling and unspecified "promise" to a foreign leader has triggered a standoff between the White House and Congress as both the acting director of national intelligence and intelligence community’s top watchdog refused to share the details of the complaint with lawmakers and the president adamantly denied the accusations. Both the Washington Post and the New York Times, citing anonymous sources, reported Thursday evening that at least part of the complaint involves Ukraine. Fox News has not confirmed the report, and White House officials have not offered additional comment on the claims.

The Post reported that a U.S. intelligence official filed the formal complaint in regard to Trump’s communications with the unnamed foreign leader. Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire would not share details of it with lawmakers. Those lawmakers pressed intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson for details during Thursday’s closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Associated Press reported, though, that he would not discuss the substance of the complaint.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., voiced concerns about not having access to the information and warned Congress could use legal action or budgetary powers as leverage to force the White House to open up about the complaint. Click here to read more about our top story.

Pentagon weighing move to send more troops to Middle East to deter conflict over attack on Saudi oil fields 
The Trump administration is currently weighing whether to send more troops, including air defense units, to the Middle East to prevent possible conflict over last weekend's attack on two Saudi Arabian oil sites, defense officials told Fox News on Thursday. Gen. Kenneth Mackenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, has requested more air defense units but the White House has not yet approved the request, officials said. Additional Patriot air defense batteries could help shore up the holes in Saudi Arabia's air defense units.

President Trump is expected to meet with his top national security officials at the White House on Friday and could make a decision on deploying additional troops soon after. U.S. officials have blamed Iran for Saturday's attack on Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant and another oil field just to the south.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California judge blocks law requiring Trump to submit tax returns to compete in state's 2020 primary
A federal judge in California on Thursday granted the Trump campaign’s request to block a new law that requires presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release five years of tax returns to run in the state’s primary elections. The law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, in July would have left the sitting president off the ballot in California’s March 2020 primary unless he submitted his recent tax history by Nov. 26, the Los Angeles Times reported. Under the law, Trump would still qualify for the state’s general election ballot in November 2020.

Trump's legal victory in California came as he filed a lawsuit against his own accounting firm, Mazars USA, and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in federal court on Thursday in an effort to prevent the release of his tax returns.

Vaping illnesses reach 530 cases, cause remains unknown, CDC says
The number of recorded lung illnesses related to vaping has now reached 530, but health officials are still searching for an exact cause. In an update provided Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said confirmed cases of illnesses have now been reported in 38 states and one U.S. territory, with two-thirds of the cases involving patients ages 18 to 34 years old. The number of cases marks a sharp increase compared to last week’s numbers, when officials had tallied 380 illnesses. Among the instances have also been seven deaths. All patients have reported using either an electronic cigarette or vaping device before falling ill, but no one product or ingredient has been linked to all illnesses.

Red-faced Trudeau struggles to contain fallout after more images of him in blackface and brownface emerge
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is struggling to contain a growing firestorm after a series of images of him in blackface and brownface have surfaced amid a tough re-election battle. Three images surfaced since late Wednesday, the latest a video Thursday that shows Trudeau in the early 1990s in blackface.

The scandal has damaged Trudeau's reputation as a progressive champion of diversity and thrown his campaign into chaos ahead of the Oct. 21 election. He apologized Thursday but stopped short of saying whether more photos or videos of him in darkened makeup existed. Trudeau, son of the late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, blamed his "place of privilege" for his actions.

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SOME PARTING WORDS

Sean Hannity rips news reports on the whistleblower allegations against President Trump, saying "key facts, details don't matter" to the media mob.

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