Monday's Morning Email: Fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Hints At Intrigue

Did Rupert Murdoch call in a favor?


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NOTE TO MORNING EMAIL READERS: Lauren Weber is on vacation this week. While she’s away Eat The Press Editor Jason Linkins and HuffPost Hill Editor Eliot Nelson will be taking over Morning Email duties, and attempting to follow Lauren’s complicated sleep patterns. Wish us luck, guys!

THIS WEEKEND’S MOST TELLING TWEET For once, it’s not a Trump tweet. “By the way, now I know what the Moreland Commission must have felt like.” That’s from recently-fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, likening his situation to the anti-corruption inquiry controversially scuppered by one of its targets, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. [HuffPost]

RUPERT MURDOCH THE ‘BIG WINNER’ IN BHARARA FIRING New York Mag’s Gabriel Sherman points out that Bharara was heading up a probe into Fox News, “looking at a number of potential crimes, including whether Fox News executives broke laws by allegedly obtaining journalists’ phone records or committed mail and wire fraud by hiding financial settlements paid to women who accused Roger Ailes of sexual harassment.” [NY Mag]

TOM PRICE MAKES BOLD HEALTH CARE PROMISE Years after President Barack Obama’s “if you like your plan, you can keep it” vow came back to haunt him, new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is writing checks that the GOP caucus will have to cash, saying that “nobody will be worse off financially” after the Obamacare repeal. [HuffPost]

KEY GOP FIGURES ARE WARNING COLLEAGUES ABOUT THE BILL, THOUGH Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.): “Do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote.” Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.): “I think we ought to embrace what’s good in the Affordable Care Act.” [HuffPost; Politico]

AND IS HHS SEC. TOM PRICE EVEN TELLING THE TRUTH? Vox health care reporter Sarah Kliff: “Let’s be clear: This is a lie. Price is making an impossible promise. Low-income Americans would receive significantly less help to purchase private coverage on the individual market, under the Republican plan in Congress right now. The plan would also end Medicaid expansion in two years, forcing many even lower-income Americans to lose health coverage.” [Vox]

PLUS: INITIAL REACTIONS TO NEW GOP HEALTH CARE PLAN ARE A MIXED BAG According to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey, “27 percent of Americans expect the new health care bill, if it passes, would be better than the current law, 32 percent think it would be worse, and 13 percent that it would be about the same.” Meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act is finally starting to feel the love. [HuffPost]

YOU’RE PROBABLY FOCUSED ON YOUR BRACKET THIS MORNING Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga are your top seeds. Southern Methodist is shaping up to be the trendy upset pick. Iowa State seems underrated. Oregon seems overblown. And Syracuse fans feel like they got snubbed. (They’re wrong.) Hopefully the boss will let your office do a bracket this year ― you can always call it “outcome modeling!” [ESPN]

BUT DON’T FORGET THAT WINTER IS FINALLY ARRIVING The Northeast begins the week under a blizzard watch, with Winter Storm Stella threatening up to 18 inches of snow and far too many “Streetcar Named Desire” jokes. Keep track of developments and stay safe! [HuffPost]

REP. STEVE KING EMBRACING LATEST TRENDS IN WHITE NATIONALISM The Iowa Congressman’s dodgy tweets are winning raves from former KKK leader David Duke as his GOP colleagues pretend not to notice. [HuffPost]

CUTS TO THE BONE COMING TO FEDERAL WORKFORCEWashington Post reporter Damian Paletta: “President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce.” Last time cuts of this size were proposed? The post WWII drawdown. [Washington Post]


KELLYANNE CONWAY DOUBLES DOWN ON WIRETAP CLAIMS Looks like Trumpworld allegations that they’ve been spied upon by the outgoing Obama administration aren’t going away, despite continued lack of evidence. “You can surveil someone through their phones,” said Conway, “certainly through their television sets — any number of ways.” [USA Today]

TRUMP’S SON SAYS HIS DAD IS KEEPING HIS DISTANCE “I basically have zero contact with him at this point,” said Donald Trump, Jr., before slowly rising from his therapist’s couch and walking to the parking lot as Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” played on the soundtrack. [HuffPost]

THE MOVIE TRAILER EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT It’s called “Baby Driver” and it’s the latest from “Shaun Of The Dead” genius Edgar Wright. [Digg]

EVER WANT TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL GOLD SMUGGLER? In this true story, 23-year-old Harold Vilches started with a Google search and proceeded from there. [Bloomberg]

THIS DAY IN THE INEVITABLE ENCROACHMENT OF ‘HAMILTON’ INTO EVERYTHING If 10,000 fans come through, a new ‘Hamilton’-themed Lego set may become a reality. Perfect for anyone who loved the musical but wanted the challenge of walking on it barefoot. [Mental Floss]

THIS SHOULD DEFINITELY THWART THE HACKERS The renowned cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky Lab are teaming up with beauty blogger Scarlett London to release “a line of perfumes for men and women to ‘raise awareness’ about the dangers of cyber-security.” [Jezebel]

“HOW TO KILL A CITY” That’s the title of the new book from journalist Peter Moscowitz, who’s actually looking to rescue cities by finding “policy-based strategies for working towards a less gentrified future.” [Motherboard


~ Donald Trump to receive another message from the Catheter Cowboy

~ FINALLY: Ed Sheeran is coming to “Game Of Thrones,” for some reason.

~ Jordan Peele’s critically-acclaimed horror satire “Get Out” has now crossed the $100 million threshold in grosses, and that’s before you see it a second time.

~ Scientists are using virtual reality to find out if you’d really be willing to risk your life to save someone else’s.

~ Here, let George Washington University professor Celeste Arrington get you up to speed on everything that’s happening on the Korean peninsula.

~ Wondering what witches have been up to lately?

~ Did you know that there was some beef between all the former drummers for Pearl Jam? Too bad! It’s all over now

~ “Black-ish” actress Yara Shahidi got former First Lady Michelle Obama to write her a letter of recommendation for college and, I don’t know, it kind of seems like overkill?? 

~ Someone tell Jonathan Franzen: in the war between cats and birds, the birds are striking back.

~ FOX’s “New Girl” to end its run after the sixth season but we’ll always have “True American.”

~ Here’s hoping that your Monday mood is as good as this goofy Jack Russell terrier’s attitude.