The Russia Probe, Whitefish Energy, and Skunk Fest
On this episode of The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast, we talk about the charges against Paul Manafort, the controversial Puerto Rico energy contract, and the world's first service skunk.
On The VICE Guide to Right Now, VICE's new daily podcast, we delve into the biggest news of the day and give you a rundown of the stories we're reading, working on, and most fascinated with.
Today, we check in with Taji Ameen who just visited Ohio's annual Skunk Fest for our new video series American Conventions. We hear Taji meet the skunk enthusiasts and their domesticated pets, and one attendee who claims to own the world's only service skunk that helps with seizures.
In the realm of national politics, Puerto Rico's governor just canceled a $300 million energy contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings to help rebuild the island's damaged electricity lines after Hurricane Maria. Whitefish, a small Montana company, has close ties to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and the deal has been criticized by FEMA.
In Washington on Monday, Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates turned themselves in to the FBI after being charged with 12 counts of conspiracy against the United States. Manafort is accused of laundering more than $18 million in a nine-year period before running Trump's campaign, and the charges against him are the first that stem from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling. Gates and Manafort have pleaded not guilty.