Liz Benjamin

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The Weekend That Was

President Donald Trump reportedly is in discussions with a veteran Washington lawyer who represented Bill Clinton during the impeachment process about joining the White House to help deal with the special counsel inquiry.

But Trump insisted via a series of tweets he was “VERY happy” with the legal team defending him against an investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election as he pushed back against the report that he interviewed a new attorney to be part of his team.

The legislative blitz that rocketed the $1.5 trillion tax cut through Congress in less than two months created a host of errors and ambiguities in the law that businesses big and small are just now discovering and scrambling to address.

On the heels of a whirlwind week in Washington, Trump held a fiery campaign rally in western Pennsylvania that was vintage 2016: rambling and animated, boastful and jocular.

Hillary Clinton has warned that the Trump administration “was not recognizing the danger” in discussing nuclear disarmament with Pyongyang, and said Washington lacked experienced diplomats to handle the talks.

Trump praised his own diplomatic prowess in a series of tweets about his plan to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Trump will get his military parade, but it is unlikely to mirror the Paris Bastille Day event which inspired him as it will not involve any heavy military vehicles like tanks to avoid doing damage to the streets of Washington.

Minutes after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a historic gun control bill Friday, the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit alleging that the new law violates the Second Amendment because it raises the sales age for guns from 18 to 21.

The Trump administration made its first move Saturday to ban the deadly bump stock with a proposed regulation would reclassify the controversial device as a “machine gun,” making it illegal to own, sell or manufacture bump stocks.

The White House announced that Trump has pardoned a Navy sailor who took photos of classified areas inside a submarine and served a year in federal prison after citing Clinton in his defense.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he doesn’t care about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election because the actions weren’t connected to his government.

The White House reportedly held private meetings with four Cabinet-level officials last month to scold them for embarrassing stories about questionable ethical behavior at their respective agencies.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren batted down calls for her to take a DNA test to prove her Native American heritage during a “Meet the Press” interview.

The World Health Organization has added a mysterious, yet-to-exist new malady to its list of nine diseases that may cause a worldwide epidemic: Disease X.

Russian trolls pushed Buffalo residents to rally over local controversies and later urged them not to vote in an effort to sow discord and help Trump amid one of America’s most contentious presidential elections.

Interest in Stephanie Clifford, the porn star known as Stormy Daniels, is at an all-time high, and she’s using it to her advantage, she told CNN after a performance Friday at the Solid Gold gentleman’s club in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Anti-opioid activists unfurled banners and scattered pill bottles on Saturday inside the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which is named for a family connected to the powerful painkilling drug OxyContin.

The federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, his wife, Linda, and former Town of Oyster Bay Executive John Venditto is scheduled to start with jury selection tomorrow.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was celebrated by New York’s elected Latino leaders Saturday night, as speculation mounts that he could face a Democratic primary from actress Cynthia Nixon.

Cuomo said he won’t be touring the power outage situation in his home county of Westchester, arguing he’s already applying sufficient pressure on the utilities for failing to work fast enough.

Cuomo and other prominent New York Democrats campaigned today in the Westchester County Village of Larchmont for Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, who is running for the state Senate seat vacated by now Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie late Friday night introduced legislation intended to help the embattled New York City Housing Authority speed up repairs to its heating systems and other building needs.

The City Council unanimously voted Friday to ban sales of guns and ammunition at the Saratoga Springs City Center, though a show scheduled to take place in May will go on as planned.

Schools on Long Island and nationwide are performing a delicate dance as they work both to allow and control student-led walkouts planned Wednesday morning in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026 into law, the first gun control legislation enacted in the state after the Parkland school massacre on Feb. 14. It tightens gun control in several ways but also allows some teachers to be armed.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was relaxed and joked with senior South Korean officials about his recent missile tests over a boozy dinner in Pyongyang this week, Seoul said, describing a self-assured Kim ahead of a meeting with President Donald Trump.

The NRA has given more than $7 million in grants to hundreds of U.S. schools in recent years, according to an AP analysis, but few have shown any indication that they’ll follow the lead of businesses that are cutting ties with the group following last month’s massacre at a Florida high school.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci apologized to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow after suggesting this morning she and other liberals should take a “suppository” to treat their “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

A new internal FBI report has concluded that a technical glitch was behind a seemingly abrupt tweet that shared records “from the FBI’s files related to the William J. Clinton Foundation” just days before the 2016 presidential election – and determined that the posting was “proper.”

The U.S. gained 313,000 jobs last month, the most since July 2016 and the 89th straight month of gains, a record. Economists had anticipated a gain of about 200,000.

Between stops on former VP Joe Biden’s book tour and in the ramp-up for what will be a heavy midterms campaign schedule, a tight circle of his aides has been brainstorming a range of tear-up-the-playbook ideas for a White House run in 2020.

Former Vice President Al Gore and Gov. Andrew Cuomo today denounced the Trump administration’s proposal to open up new areas to offshore drilling, and the governor announced that the state would formally request that New York be excluded from any federal move to expand offshore drilling.

Still no verdict in the Joe Percoco federal corruption trial, which will enter its eighth week next Monday.

The Rev. Al Sharpton has been called a race hustler, a hero, a buffoon, a freedom fighter. He would prefer to be remembered as the Martin Luther King of the North.

Longer subway trains. A robot that can build new communication systems. High-tech signals that would allow more trains on the tracks. These were among the winning entries as the MTA announced the results of a competition to come up with innovative ways to fix the city’s crumbling subway system.

New York City’s finances look to be on solid ground, with a strong economy, a balanced budget and out-year gaps that are manageable under current conditions, according to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s assessment of the mayor’s proposed spending plan, though there are risks in the years ahead.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has secured enough GOP support to win a slot on its ticket, and now has almost double the backing of his nearest rival in the contest for the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination, Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced on Long Island that she is co-sponsoring legislation designed to create more small business loans for women and minority entrepreneurs.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has rejected Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plea for the city to fund half of the $836 million Subway Action Plan, but City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is willing to consider it, with a few conditions.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was in Queens.

Rene Boucher, the Kentucky man who tackled Sen. Rand Paul last year over a dispute about landscaping, has pleaded guilty to an assault charge, and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond.

A third nor’easter in 10 days could strike the East Coast early next week, but early indications are that it won’t have much impact on Upstate New York.

DeFran: Molinaro Not Vetted

From the Morning Memo:

Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco hasn’t had the greatest week, watching support for his bid to challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the Republican line slowly erode as GOP leaders line up behind on a potential rival who hasn’t even announced his candidacy yet, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

It all started last week, when Molinaro, who announced back in January that he would not be mounting a statewide run against Cuomo this fall, won a straw poll of GOP leaders, who aren’t sold on DeFrancisco, and have been casting about for an alternative.

Even after his victory, Molinaro declined to saw whether he would indeed take his fellow Republicans’ up on their effort to draft him into the race, though he said through a spokesman that he was “deeply grateful and humbled” by their show of support.

If the subsequent barrage of press releases from various GOP county chairs announcing their endorsement of Molinaro – including a few who had already declared their fealty to DeFrancisco – is any indication, however, it will only be a matter of time before the former assemblyman formally jumps into the fray.

DeFrancisco has adopted an unconcerned attitude about Molinaro, insisting he plans to remain in the race until the party gathers at its convention in May to formally select a slate of candidates to run in the fall elections, though he has also said he will not fight for the nomination in a primary.

But the Syracuse Republican couldn’t help but take a few digs at Molinaro during a CapTon interview last night, reminding his fellow Republicans that he – not the county executive – has been making the rounds of various county committee gatherings for months now, answering questions on all manner of topics.

“The vote is in May, the end of May,” the senator said. “Over the last four months, I’ve been all over the state, as have others. I have been to regional meetings where candidates are asked questions by committee people. We’ve had debates in buffalo and other places, and, you know, Marc Molinaro hasn’t really done any of that.”

“And I think you have to vet somebody before you go forward and anoint that person as the candidate. So I’m available. I’ve always been available. And whatever happens happens, but I’m going to stay in it.”

DeFrancisco later added: “Many people don’t even know what his positions are on a lot of issues because he didn’t appear before a lot of these organizations. So I don’t know.” He also noted that Molinaro has “already gotten out once, so you just never know.”

To be fair, of course, Molinaro was never technically “in,” but did confirm he was mulling a potential run. In January he said it was “not the right time” for him to run for governor, which perhaps had something to do with the fact that this is expected to be a bad year for Republicans, writ large, thanks to the unpopularity of the man who won’t be on the ticket, but is the de facto head of the national GOP, President Donald Trump.

Even though he hasn’t yet announced his candidacy, the Democrats are already trying to link Molinaro to Trump, which is the same treatment they’ve been giving to DeFrancisco since he announced his campaign.

(In fact, the director of the state Democratic Party, Geoff Berman, has used the same line for both Republicans, referring to each of them separately as a Trump “mini-me,” indicating it might be high time for a new verbal barb).

Last month, Molinaro said he was heeding the requests of “many people” to reconsider his decision not to challenge Cuomo, saying: “(F)rankly, I owe it to myself and to them. There are only so many times you’re given an opportunity to have your voice heard.”

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and Albany.

This afternoon, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will travel to Baltimore, Maryland, where he will deliver remarks at the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center Strategy Summit.

President Donald Trump this morning receives his daily intelligence briefing, and has no public events scheduled.

Vice President Mike Pence this afternoon travels to Cleveland, OH, where he will deliver keynote remarks at an America First Policies “Tax Cuts to Put America First” event, and attend a campaign event for Rep. Steve Stivers before returning to Washington, D.C. this evening.

At 8:15 a.m., New York Law School’s CityLaw Breakfast Series features MTA President Patrick Foye, New York Law School, 185 W. Broadway, Events Center, second floor, Manhattan.

At 9:15 a.m., Cuomo and former Vice President Al Gore make an environmental announcement, NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life, Eisner and Lubin Auditorium, 60 Washington Square S., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., de Blasio appears on The Brian Lehrer Show, and takes calls from listeners, WNYC.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul attends Sen. Tim Kennedy’s annual #WarmUpWNY blanket drive, Oishei Children’s Hospital, 818 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

Also at 10 a.m., MTA officials will announce the winners of the authority’s “genius transit challenge,” 20th floor, 2 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., Rep. Chris Collins takes a tour of Ford Gum & Machine Co.’s facility to call for reform of the U.S. sugar program, Ford Gum, 18 Newton Ave., Akron.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Westchester County Executive George Latimer, local elected officials and NYSEG and ConEd customers call on the heads of both utilities to step down for failure to respond in a timely manner on restoring power after the recent snow storms, Westchester County Center, White Plains.

Also at 10:30 a.m., SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson takes a tour of Hudson Valley Community College with its President Andrew Matonak, Hudson Valley Community College, Science Center, Bulmer Telecommunications Center, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Sens. Jose Peralta and Jesse Hamilton and Assemblyman Robert Carroll join local residents in a renewed push for increased street safety measures after the deaths of an infant and toddler in Park Slope, 9th Street & 5th Avenue, Brooklyn.

At 11:30 a.m., state Sen. Tony Avella holds a press conference about the response from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to constituent complaints regarding dangerous and overgrown trees, Avella’s district office, 38-50 Bell Blvd., Suite C, Queens.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Hochul highlights state investments at the Advanced Manufacturing program opening, Burgard High School, 400 Kensington Ave., Buffalo.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will announce a new school safety initiative that will allow school districts the ability to connect their existing CCTV camera systems directly to the Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County Police Department Police Academy, 1001 Crooked Hill Rd., Brentwood.

At noon, activists rally against state Sen. Sue Serino over campaign contributions, Serino’s office, 4254 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park.

At 1:30 p.m., state Sens. Jesse Hamilton and Jose Peralta, Assemblyman Robert Carroll and advocates hold a press conference on the need for action on street safety in the wake of tragic crash that killed two children, intersection of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn.

At 2 p.m., Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas announces new legislation to provide income tax and franchise tax relief to businesses that suffer significant losses stemming from state or local infrastructure projects, with NYC Councilman Costa Constantinides in attendance, 2848 31st St., Queens.

At 2:30 p.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer calls for comprehensive traffic calming measures on Center Boulevard in light of the tragic traffic deaths in Brooklyn, intersection of 48th Avenue and Center Boulevard, Queens.

At 6 p.m., state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman hosts the welcome reception for the Somos el Futuro conference, Renaissance Hotel, 144 State St., Albany.


President Donald Trump sent shock waves across the globe when he accepted an invitation from the North Korean dictator for talks – something no sitting US president has done.

The president’s North Korean decision surprised his own advisors, who had been hurriedly finalizing details on steel tariffs while also attempting to stave off unsavory questions about a porn actress.

Leaders in Japan and South Korea worry that Trump might offer concessions that the North’s Asian neighbors would find unpalatable, or, if the talks fail, resort to a military option.

Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum have elicited strong reactions from leaders in government, business and other organizations around the world, with most in opposition and saying they fear this move could escalate a trade war.

Former President Barack Obama is in advanced negotiations with Netflix to produce a series of high-profile shows that will provide him a global platform after his departure from the White House, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The doors to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s office are getting a nearly $139,000 upgrade. The Interior Department confirmed the project, saying it is both necessary to replace old doors that are in “disrepair” and attributing the high cost to the historical nature of the building.

Jared Kushner placed Observer Media into a family trust when he joined his father-in-law, Trump, as an adviser in the White House — but not before he tried to unload the publication to a pair of left-leaning political operatives.

Eleven countries signed a slimmed-down version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as they try to counter Washington’s new protectionism.

The lawsuit filed this week against the president by the porn star Stormy Daniels, seeking to break a 2016 agreement to keep silent about her affair with Trump in return for a $130,000 payout, ge&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Home%20Page&pgtype=article”>opens what could be a precarious new legal front for a White House already beset by the investigation by the special counsel Robert Mueller.

A mystery woman named in Daniels’ non-disclosure agreement is Jessica Drake, a fellow porn star who publically accused Trump of sexual assault during the campaign, her attorney said.

John Gibbs, a senior adviser at HUD, spread a conspiracy that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager was involved in a Satanic ritual.

Dissatisfied with Con Edison’s slow response to Wednesday’s storm in Westchester County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is questioning whether the utility company should keep its license. Waiting for power to be restored has left some customers feeling powerless, and many are wondering: Where is the governor (AKA “Mr. Storm Travel”)?

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who once ran against Cuomo for state attorney general, scoffed at reports that actress Cynthia Nixon is considering a primary challenge against the governor because he’s not progressive enough.

Cuomo said he has concerns that the Russians or another foreign entity could try to tamper with the state’s upcoming elections, and is pushing a bill that would require social media companies in New York to disclose who paid for online political ads.

While the MTA is undertaking a $836 million emergency plan to reverse the New York City subway’s precipitous slide, an equally consequential crisis has been brewing aboard the city’s public buses, which provide more than 725 million rides a year and reach places that are not close to a subway line.

New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board met yesterday to begin the annual process of deciding how much rents can increase on the city’s one million rent-stabilized apartments.

Elected officials, parent leaders and educators ripped NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s choice of Richard Carranza for city schools chancellor after a suit alleging sexual discrimination by Carranza came to light.

De Blasio said that he can speed up boiler repairs at the city Housing Authority after initially saying the job would take years and couldn’t start until July. His announcement came the morning after Cuomo said he plans to declare an emergency to jump-start NYCHA’s fixup.

Syracuse-based political activist Howie Hawkins in the coming weeks will announce he is running for governor again on the Green Party line. This would be his third bid for the office since 2010.

Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, who is seeking to run for governor as an independent, is calling on his fellow Republicans in the state Senate to pass the Child Victims Act this year.

Calling it a necessity like toilet paper, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal said she is set to introduce a bill requiring free tampons and sanitary napkins in every bathroom in New York.

The de Blasio administration is illegally shipping homeless families off to unsuspecting, upstate towns with a year of free rent — forcing those municipalities to pick up the rest of their living expenses, Broome County officials said.

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More than four in ten Americans 42 percent – approve of Trump’s job performance, which is the highest job approval rating he has seen since he took office and an increase from the 38 percent score he received in Marist’s survey conducted Feb. 20-21.

The president signed a proclamation creating steel and aluminum tariffs, arguing he is “defending America’s national security” by taxing imports of the metals.

Trump said Gary Cohn might return to his administration some day even as he teased the departing economic adviser for being weak on tariffs.

Trump has threatened to veto a massive omnibus spending package if it includes money for the Gateway tunnel project in New York City, complicating the outlook for the $1 trillion-plus spending measure, which House Speaker Paul Ryan and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to pass before government funding runs out on March 23.

In the face of Trump’s newfound interest in denying federal funding to a rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York Penn Station — the Western Hemisphere’s busiest rail hub — the region’s leaders are playing it cool, somewhat.

A bill passed by Florida lawmakers empowering some personnel in public schools to carry firearms to guard against attacks like last month’s massacre near Miami could expose these employees to potentially costly civil lawsuits, legal experts said.

Amid the fairly large swings in the congressional generic ballot over the last three months, the odds of a Democratic takeover of the House have gone from very high to shockingly low to reasonably strong. That is not the case in the U.S. Senate.

Insurance premiums for Affordable Care Act health plans are likely to jump by 35 to 94 percent around the country within the next three years, according to a new report concluding that recent federal decisions will have a profound effect on prices.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, ever eager to expand his national profile, is expected to attend the South by Southwest conference in Austin to meet with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, host a panel discussion and attend a strategy session to discuss the 2020 census and immigration reform.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is prohibiting U.S. government employees from traveling to popular resort town Playa del Carmen. The U.S. Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen in the state of in Quintana Roo will be closed “until further notice,” due to an unspecified security threat.

The world’s richest 1 percent of families and individuals hold over half of global wealth, according to a new report from Credit Suisse, suggesting inequality is still worsening some eight years after the worst global recession in decades.

New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars from one of America’s largest news chains, a new lawsuit charges, damaging local news organizations to finance insider investment deals.

“Given that Cuomo’s administration has made gender equality a major part of its platform, responding to a viable woman challenger with snark and dismissiveness is a particularly bad look.”

A juror in the Joe Percoco corruption case was called for service on a second jury as deliberations stretch into the seventh week of trial.

Top officials at Nassau University Medical Center will be barred from spending two weeks a year in the Cayman Islands at hospital expense under one of a series of resolutions expected to be approved tonight by the Nassau Health Care Corp. board, its chairman said.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, today led a subcommittee hearing to examine the issues of intimate partner violence and child abuse within the military.

Former presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will receive an award in May for her impact on society from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Clinton honored a transgender woman, Virginia state Delegate Danica Roem, the first elected openly transgender state lawmaker, to mark International Women’s Day.

State Sen. John Bonacic, Racing and Wagering Committee Chair, accelerated his push to legalize sports betting in New York by introducing a bill that would allow it, but only at upstate casinos, which hinges on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a lawsuit to overturn the federal ban on sports betting.

The number of Long Islanders served by one of the region’s largest food banks increased by 19 percent last year despite the improving economy, according to the Hauppauge-based nonprofit.

A SUNY Oswego student was arrested and charged for attempted placing of a false bomb or hazardous substance, the university announced in a release.


President Trump is expected to formally sign off on imposing stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports at noon tomorrow, according to people familiar with the deliberations, although advisers close to the White House emphasized that the timing could change.

The lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels said she engaged in a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006 and claims there’s “no question” the president knew about a $130,000 payoff to keep her quiet.

Exactly three weeks after he stalked the halls of his former high school, shooting and killing students and teachers alike, Nikolas Cruz was indicted on 34 counts of premeditated murder and attempted murder in connection with the rampage that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, a jarring 638 threats targeted schools within the two weeks after the Parkland shootings, a number they say is probably on the low side.

U. S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made a contentious visit to the site of last month’s Florida school shooting today, in which she was criticized by survivors and abruptly walked out of her own press conference.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer today called for the heads of Con Edison and NYSEG to resign, “in light of the inadequate and troubled response…” to the nor’easters to hit the region during the past week.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is predicting that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will face a “spirited” Democratic primary in his re-election bid this year and says he won’t be able to run as a moderate for president in 2020.

Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres introduced a bill to require the city to pay landlords by direct deposit, moving money into their bank accounts electronically if they opt for that method.

Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein has reportedly sold his luxurious seafront estate in Connecticut for $16 million.

Despite continuing declines last month in most serious crimes, New York City has witnessed an increase in rape complaints, something police officials think has been caused by sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein and other celebrities.

The NYPD is prepared to collar Harvey Weinstein for felony sexual assault, a police official with direct knowledge of the case told The Daily Beast, and is awaiting only a nod from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Ariel Palitz is New York City’s first Nightlife Mayor – its ambassador at large to the late-night world of bars, burlesques and cabarets.

Cuomo will speak at NYU’s Kimmel Center on Friday at 9:15 a.m., and plans to make an “environmental announcement.” The exact content of the address is currently unclear.

Twenty-five years after Gov. Mario Cuomo proposed building high-speed rail between New York and Boston, a group of Assembly members will introduce legislation on Wednesday establishing an “exploratory commission” to “study and develop Hyperloop and High Speed Rail within New York State.”

A prominent transportation expert, Bruce Schaller, is calling for charging all for-hire vehicles — including yellow taxis and Uber and Lyft cars — $50 per hour to drive in Midtown Manhattan during weekday business hours, and $20 per hour in Lower Manhattan, the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side.

Moving the horse racing at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, Queens, to Belmont Park in Elmont is one of the top policy priorities of Long Island’s largest business group.

Notorious RBG gets her due.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

President Donald Trump this morning receives his daily intelligence briefing, and then heads to the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. to deliver remarks at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit.

This evening, Trump will have dinner at an unidentified “private residence” in D.C.

The jury in the Joe Percoco federal corruption trial has the day off due to the storm.

Ditto the state Senate and Assembly, which won’t be back in session in Albany until next week.

At 7:30 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli attends the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Action Committee Breakfast, Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital, 241 North Road, Poughkeepsie.

At 8:15 a.m., grassroots organizations rally to urge Cuomo to stand up fossil fuel corporations and executives, outside of the New York Stock Exchange, 11 Wall St., Manhattan.

At 9 a.m., the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board holds an Audit Committee executive session, followed by a Committee on Finance executive session, 4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich St., Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will be in Washington, D.C. to participate in a discussion at the Center for American Progress, entitled “How Cities and States are Leading the Way on Mental Health,” with Neera Tanden, president and CEO of CAP, and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, 1333 H St. NW.

At 11 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill will hold a media availability on crime statistics, One Police Plaza, Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., the NYC Council holds a stated meeting, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., IDC Leader Jeff Klein and NYC Councilman Mark Gjonaj host a community safety meeting, P.S. 105 Senator Abraham Bernstein School, auditorium, 725 Brady Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 6 p.m., a reception in support of Republican senatorial candidate Josh Hawley, of Missouri, is held, (location provided upon RSVP), Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson hosts free community screening of “Saturday Church,” School of Visual Arts, 209 E 23rd St., Manhattan.


Snow. Snow. Snow. Snow. Snow.

Drivers are encouraged to avoid travel unless it’s necessary. Tractor trailers and larger vehicles will be restricted from entering some New York roadways.

The Trump administration escalated what had been a war of words over California’s immigration agenda, filing a lawsuit late yesterday that amounted to a pre-emptive strike against the liberal state’s so-called sanctuary laws.

Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, said that he would resign, becoming the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the Trump administration.

An adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to Trump is reportedly cooperating with the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and gave testimony last week to a grand jury.

Warning of economic fallout, congressional Republicans and industry groups pressed Trump to narrow his plan for across-the-board tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but he appeared unmoved, declaring: “Trade wars aren’t so bad.”

Adult film star Stormy Daniels (AKA Stephanie Clifford) has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Trump — alleging he never signed a “hush agreement” to keep quiet about their rumored affair.

The filing, in Los Angeles Superior Court, represents the latest development in a legal battle involving Trump, his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and Daniels.

Texas Democrats surged to the polls yesterday in the first primary of 2018, demonstrating a wave of Trump-inspired energy, but also showcasing party divisions that have emerged at the outset of an otherwise promising midterm campaign.

The Republican-controlled House will vote on a school safety bill next week as Congress struggles to respond to the deadly assault on a Florida high school.

Fresh off a series of tumultuous TV interviews, ex-Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg revealed that he is contemplating seeking treatment for alcohol abuse.

New York and New Jersey must shoulder more of the costs to build a transportation tunnel under the Hudson River, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said while confirming that the Trump administration was opposed to Congress financing the project.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is again calling for an investigation and potential penalties for utilities following a major storm, criticizing delays in power being restored in the aftermath of last Friday’s nor’easter.

Jury deliberations in the corruption trial of former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco appeared to have run aground on their fourth day, as three jurors issued notes asking to be excused from the case, with one expressing concern about the storm expected to slam the New York City metro area; and another saying that she has sick children.

This raises the specter of a mistrial, though the judge, Valerie E. Caproni, ordered the jurors to continue deliberating, delivering a version of what is known as an Allen charge, an instruction typically given to juries when they suggest that they have reached an impasse.

The Utica College student arrested for making threats that caused the college to go on lockdown for six hours Monday has been charged with four counts of making a terroristic threat, police said.

The Park Slope driver who killed two little children in a crosswalk told cops she suffers from MS, seizures and heart problems — and investigators are looking into whether she should have even been behind the wheel, authorities and sources said.

The Democrat-controlled state Assembly passed five gun control bills yesterday with little debate, including one that would allow judges to remove weapons from mentally-ill people following a request from a relative or law enforcement.

A week after public outcry forced the cancelation of an NRA fundraiser and gun raffle in Brooklyn, a similar event is proceeding without protest at The Vanderbilt on Staten Island.

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Gary Cohn, President Trump’s top economic adviser, plans to resign, becoming the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the Trump administration, White House officials said.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has requested documents and interviewed witnesses about incidents involving Michael Cohen, the longtime lawyer for Trump whose wide-ranging portfolio has given him a unique vantage point into the president’s business, campaign and political activities.

Former Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says a run for the White House in 2020 is on his “radar screen,” while adding that he’s far from making any final decision.

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has told South Korean envoys he is willing to negotiate with the United States on abandoning his country’s nuclear weapons, and also said he would suspend all nuclear and missile tests while such talks were underway.

Kellyanne Conway, a top strategist for Trump, violated federal law when she used her White House position to weigh in on political races — and the Office of Special Counsel recommended she be disciplined.

The Weinstein Co.’s proposed $500 million sale to a group of investors led by former Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet has fallen through, the investors said, delivering the latest turn in a rollercoaster ride that had the company warning last month of impending bankruptcy.

The Trump Organization says it has removed replicas of the presidential seal from one of its golf courses a day after a report that the private company’s use of the seal could be illegal.

In a shock to Westchester residents and officials, many Con Edison customers are now projected to be out of power until 11 p.m. Friday. “That sounds absurd to me,” Cuomo said in response. “That’s totally absurd to me.”

The late Shirley Chisholm of New York – the first-ever black congresswoman and first woman and African-American to seek a major party presidential nomination – could become the second black woman to receive a full statue in the U.S. Capitol.

Suffolk police are assessing a request to beef up patrols at polling places in schools during a special state Assembly election next month in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Citing health, work and childcare hardships, three jurors have asked to be excused as the jury struggles to reach “unanimous consent” in the bribery case involving a former top Cuomo aide and two Syracuse businessmen. The trial is in its seventh week.

Thanks to the impending storm, the jurors were given tomorrow off, though the judge admonished them to rededicate themselves to agreeing on a verdict when they return.

Jonathan Trichter, a Democrat who assisted Harry Wilson when the latter nearly defeated Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli in 2010, is preparing to launch his own bid for the GOP line in hopes of becoming the state’s chief financial officer. (He needs a Wilson Pakula to do so).

When Stephen Colbert asked Chelsea Clinton if Ivanka Trump was fair game for criticism, Clinton responded: “I think anyone who works for the president should expect to be scrutinized for whatever decisions not only he or she is making, but whatever decisions the White House is making on any given day.”

Anthony Scaramucci never let his wife know he was going to work in the White House, and it almost ruined his marriage.

After 35 summers of music, Syracuse Jazz Fest may be taking a break this year.

Rep. Claudia Tenney walked away from a TV interview after she was asked about her claim that Democrats are more prone to be mass shooters, claiming the question was “fake news.”

A civil war erupted within the state Republican Party, with Onondaga County Republican Party Chairman Tom Dadey saying state GOP Chairman Ed Cox should be fired.

A new movie filmed in Dutchess and Ulster counties, and featuring such actresses as Whoopi Goldberg and Tessa Thompson, will open in theaters March 16.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio faced a throng of angry protesters calling for safer streets when he arrived for his morning workout at the Park Slope Armory YMCA, less than one block from where two children were fatally run over the day before.

Warren County’s public works superintendent pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge last Friday as county supervisors were trying to work out a “separation” agreement with him to leave the county’s employ.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public events on his calendar.

The state Legislature is in session in Albany.

The jury continues its deliberations in the Joe Percoco corruption trial in Manhattan.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public events scheduled.

President Donald Trump this afternoon greets and then meets with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden. The two leaders will participate in an expanded bilateral meeting.

After that, the president will meet with Swedish business representatives, and then participate in a joint press conference with the prime minister.

Vice President Mike Pence this morning participates in a phone call with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, and then departs D.C. aboard Air Force Two en route to to Omaha, NE.

In Nebraska, Pence will deliver keynote remarks at an America First Policies “Tax Cuts to Put America First” event, and also speak at a campaign event for Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The vice president then heads to Lexington, KY, where he’ll be spending the night.

At 8:30 a.m., protestors will rally outside de Blasio’s gym (the Park Slope YMCA), which is near the scene of a crash yesterday that left a 4-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy dead and a pregnant woman critically injured.

Also at 8:30 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli attends the NYS Council of School Superintendents Conference, Albany Capital Center, State Street, Albany.

At 9 a.m., the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 946, Conference Room, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., Friends of Recovery – New York holds its annual Stand Up for Recovery day, featuring state Sens. George Amedore and Chris Jacobs, Empire State Plaza, Convention Hall, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at ribbon cutting for a new Strive New York job training and placement site, 205 E. 122nd St., third floor, Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission holds a public hearing, 1 Centre St., ninth floor, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., NYC Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer and Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. launch the new HPD outreach van, The Davidson Community Center Inc., 2038 Davidson Ave., Bronx.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Deputy Commissioner Nicole Perry holds a press conference to address top consumer concerns and complaints, IRS, 290 Broadway, 30th floor, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., Airbnb hosts and advocates will be joined by actor and activist Danny Glover for a rally in support of home sharing, state Capitol, Albany.

At 11 a.m., NYC Health Commissioner Mary Bassett announces the launch of a sexual health marketing campaign for women, Planned Parenthood NYC’s Diane L. Max Health Center, 21-41 45th Road, Queens.

At noon, over 500 members of Make the Road New York from New York City, Long Island and Westchester will rally to pressure Cuomo and the Legislature to enact key policies that benefit immigrants and working-class New Yorkers of color, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at noon, advocates from across the state hold a press conference to call on Cuomo and the Legislature to address the overwhelming need for additional resources to promote and support recovery from alcohol and other drug addictions in New York, Western staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 1:30 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will provide remarks at the NYC Unity Project Faith Summit and the official launch of the Unity Project Faith Network, Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., Brewer hosts the opening reception for an exhibition of works by Béatrice Lebreton, Borough President’s Office, Maggi Peyton Art Gallery, 1 Centre St., 19th floor, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chele Chiavacci Farley holds a fundraiser, Manhattan. (The location is being provided upon RSVPing; tickets are $500 a head and up).

At 6:30 p.m., GOP state Senate candidate Julie Killian holds a fundraiser, Ernie’s Wine Bar & EATS, 7 Pondfield Rd., Bonxville. (Tickets are $99 apiece, $50 for district leaders).


Prepare yourself, a second nor’easter is set to hit the tri-state area in less than a week as March gets underway.

The next storm is particularly bad news for thousands of people in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley who are still without power due to last week’s storm.

The worst-case scenario now for the mid-week storm is for a foot or more of snow in the areas that got hammered last week, but that can change as the storm gets closer.

Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, spent much of the day yesterday promising to defy a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller, even throwing down the challenge to “arrest me,” then backed off his defiance by saying he would probably cooperate in the end.

Nunberg provided entertaining television as he went — while possibly drunk — on a news marathon, calling White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders a “fat slob” and vowing to defy a grand jury. CNN’s Erin Burnett asked him if he had been drinking, and he insisted he had not.

Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, 80, chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee, will resign April 1 for health reasons. He was first elected to the Senate in 1978 after serving six years in the House.

When it comes to a trade imbalance with China, Trump and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer appear to agree, but the senator says he needs more information about the president’s plan to instate a 25 percent tax on all steel imports and a ten percent tax on aluminum imports.

Trump insisted that he’s “not backing down” on his plan to impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum despite anxious warnings from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans of a possible trade war.

The bank used by Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to wire $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, a former adult-film actress, flagged the transaction as suspicious and reported it to the Treasury Department.

Rep. Peter King, other New York members of Congress and comedian Jon Stewart denounced as “downright irresponsible” a Trump administration proposal that would change the leadership of a federal health program that provides aid to 9/11 first responders.

Former University of Miami President Donna Shalala, a Democrat who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President Bill Clinton, is running to replace retiring Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, according to paperwork filed with the FEC.

In response to a deadly Florida school shooting last month, the state’s Senate narrowly passed a bill that would create new restrictions on rifle sales and allow some teachers to carry guns in schools.

Jon Romano, who is serving time for a 2004 shooting at Columbia High School and is now 30, praised the survivors in Parkland, Fla., for their “courageous and inspiring” calls for stricter gun control laws.

A recent scare and lockdown at a South Buffalo community center, coming in the wake of the nation’s most recent mass shooting, has Common Council members poised to implement active shooter training for employees at city facilities.

The long-looming deadline — March 5 — for youthful immigrant Dreamers facing loss of legal status under Obama-era DACA protection came and went yesterday with more of a whimper than a bang.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget plan includes $1 billion in new taxes and fees. But that could change, with lawmakers and the governor agreeing there’s as much as $750 million in additional money coming in from existing revenue streams.

The Republican-led state Senate yesterday approved bills intended to improve school safety in the wake of the latest school shooting massacre, but only after voting down a number of Democratic gun-control proposals and trading insults.

The state Senate also passed a bill ordering the Health Department to devise regulations regarding ultraviolet lamps that nail salons use to dry the gels that are used in manicures.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio tapped the superintendent of Houston schools, Richard Carranza, to be the city’s next schools chancellor, days after the mayor’s first choice pulled out.

Carranza will be paid a record $345,000 a year by the city — over $100,000 more than outgoing Chancellor Carmen Farina.

At one of his first meetings with de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, to discuss the job of New York City schools chancellor, Carranza serenaded them with a mariachi song: “Maria Elena.”

Observers wondering why the mayor’s wife has had a role in appointing top City Hall staffers are sexist, he said.

More >


Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said that he has been subpoenaed to appear in front of a federal grand jury investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election but that he will refuse to go.

Nunberg indicated he did not know what the special counsel, Robert Mueller, was seeking by ordering him to appear before the grand jury and to hand over a number of documents. There was no way to authenticate the subpoena; Mueller’s office declined to comment.

President Trump said that he might visit Israel in May to preside over the opening of a new American embassy in Jerusalem in what would be a potent act of symbolism, even as he expressed optimism that Palestinians angered by the move would nonetheless return to the peacemaking table.

Paul Mitchell has big plans for the former titanium and iron mines in the hamlet of Tahawus, and it could end the controversy over the storage of old tanker cars on the rail line to the mines.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz signed a law making gay conversion therapy illegal. Practicing such therapy on minors would be a misdemeanor crime punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or one year in jail.

Armed officers continued moving students at Utica College to a secure location on campus late this afternoon, hours after the school received a “real, credible threat” of violence earlier in the morning, officials said.

Hoping to chase away Alberto Carvalho’s specter as soon as possible, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio named Houston schools boss Richard Carranza as his new chancellor to replace the retiring Carmen Farina.

De Blasio and Carranza entered City Hall together for an announcement that was scheduled to take place in the Blue Room, the same spot where, last Thursday, a testy and embarrassed mayor fielded questions from reporters about the televised rejection by his first choice for chancellor, Carvalho.

CBC President Carol Kellermann informed state lawmakers that the governor’s proposed budget does not go far enough to contain spending and is too reliant on new revenues, some of which may be speculative.

Jurors in the Joe Percoco federal corruption trial met from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, asked some questions, and didn’t reach a verdict.

The state Democratic Committee and Gov. Andrew Cuomo plan to target Republican congressional districts and state Senate districts in a campaign beginning tomorrow aimed at strengthening sexual harassment and abortion measures, a party official said.

Cuomo is proposing changes to the state’s parole system to help formerly incarcerated individuals adjust to life outside prison walls.

Republican Rep. John Katko, who feuded for three years with former Democratic Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, (she even considered challenging him this fall), said he’s enjoying a “refreshing” relationship with her successor, Ben Walsh.

A person is in custody following a reported threat of violence that closed the Camden Central School District in Oneida County today, state police said.

Cuomo today announced $3.1 million in funding for the Albany Skyway project, which would convert an underused Interstate 787 exit ramp into a linear park with space for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as landscaping and places to sit.

Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey is upset with some members of his own party after GOP leaders gathered Friday in Saratoga Springs to discuss the state of the gubernatorial race, and rejected his hometown candidate, Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco.

New York state will likely shift the focus of its advertising this year, giving more weight to ads that tout tourist attractions, and less to those that promote the advantages of doing business in the state.

The city of Saratoga Springs is considering a ban on the sale of guns and ammunition at the City Center, Mayor Meg Kelly announced this weekend in a welcoming speech to Local Progress New York.

Caitlin Salisbury, who has cooked at several Hudson Valley hot spots including Grimaldi’s in New Paltz and Yum Yum noodle bar and Diego’s Taqueria in Kingston, will appear on the “Chopped” episode airing tomorrow.

FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver picked apart a theory that Democrats have already won the House majority in 2018, arguing that many pollsters predicted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would beat Trump in a landslide in 2016.

The International University Sports Federation has selected Lake Placid as the site for the 2023 Winter World University Games.

The man who allegedly swiped Frances McDormand’s Oscar statue has been arrested and booked on felony grand theft charges.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand joined members of the Working Families Party on Sunday to accept the group’s endorsement of her reelection bid and voice support for numerous progressive causes, as the state’s junior senator eyes a possible 2020 presidential run.

The pizza wars of New York City, still going strong.