The VICE Morning Bulletin

The VICE Morning Bulletin

Trump goes after Al Franken over alleged sexual misconduct, GOP wins key votes for tax bill, Russian diplomat admits to "long list" of Trump contacts, and more.

by VICE Staff
Nov 17 2017, 4:00pm

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.

US News

Trump Decides Al Franken's Alleged Sexual Misconduct Is an Issue
The president criticized the senator on Twitter after he was accused of forcibly kissing Leeann Tweeden and groping her while she slept. Trump said a photo showing “Frankenstien” touching Tweeden was “really bad," adding, "Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?” Franken apologized Thursday and said he would “gladly cooperate” with the Senate Ethics Committee.—The Guardian/VICE News

Russian Diplomat Admits to ‘Long’ List of Trump Contacts
Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s former ambassador to the US, reportedly told Russian TV that he could not name all the Trump officials he had contact with because “the list is so long that I’m not going to be able to go through it in 20 minutes.” He also dismissed the idea that Russia swayed the outcome of the US election as “very sad.”—CNBC News

GOP Wins Key Votes for Tax Bill
The Senate Finance Committee voted 14–12 in favor of a major tax reform bill late Thursday, with a vote on the Republican legislation now expected in the Senate after Thanksgiving. The win came just after the GOP passed its tax bill in the House. “Now the ball is in the Senate’s court,” Vice President Mike Pence said.—CBS News

DHS Official Quits After Racist Remarks Unearthed
Reverend Jamie Johnson was forced to resign from his role leading the Department of Homeland Security’s community work after comments he made on Accent Radio Network in 2008 were revealed. Johnson said America’s black community “has turned America’s major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use, and sexual promiscuity."—The Washington Post

International News

Mugabe Makes His First Outing Since Military Takeover
President Robert Mugabe made an appearance at a university graduation ceremony in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare Friday, accompanied by a military escort. He had not been seen in public since the army seized power earlier this week. Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition figurehead who recently returned to Zimbabwe, urged 93-year-old Mugabe to quit and called for the establishment of a “national transition body."—BBC News/Al Jazeera

Russia Obstructs Inquiry into Chemical Weapons
Russia’s UN representatives vetoed a resolution aimed at allowing investigators more time to establish responsibility for nerve gas attacks in Syria. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the veto meant Russia had “killed” the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) looking into the attacks. “In effect Russia accepts the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” she said.—Reuters

Wounded North Korean Defector Has Parasites
The North Korean solider shot and injured when fleeing into South Korea has an “enormous number of parasites,” according to the South Korean surgeon treating him. Lee Cook-Jong said one of the roundworms was 11 inches long. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.—AFP

Sicilian Mafia Boss Dies at 87
Salvatore “Toto” Riina, the Cosa Nostra leader given 26 consecutive life sentences for multiple killings, has died after a period of poor health. Known as the “boss of bosses,” Riina was shown by Italian prosecutors to order the killing of judges and cops.—AP

Everything Else

Actress Accuses Jeffrey Tambor of Sexual Harassment
Trace Lysette alleged the star told her “I want to attack you sexually” while on the set of Transparent. She claimed Tambor later held her and “thrust back and forth against my body.” Amazon Studios said Lysette’s accusations would be “added to our ongoing investigation.”—The Hollywood Reporter

Tesla Reveals New Electric Truck
Elon Musk paraded his Tesla Semi at an event in Los Angeles Thursday, claiming the electric prototype could travel 500 miles on a single charge. Musk said the vehicle would go into production in 2019.—Los Angeles Times

‘Despacito’ Triumphs at Latin Grammys 2017
The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee track won four awards at Thursday’s night ceremony in Las Vegas, including song of the year. Fonsi denied he had fallen out with Daddy Yankee after his collaborator did not turn up for the show.—Billboard

Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels of Oil
At least 210,000 gallons of oil spilled from the pipeline in South Dakota Thursday, the TransCanada Corporation revealed. The company, close to achieving full approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, claimed the spill was isolated in 15 minutes.—Motherboard

Showtime Drops Trailer for ‘The Chi’
The network revealed a first glimpse at the drama about Chicago’s South Side, produced by Lena Waithe, winner of an Emmy for her writing on Master of None. Waithe said The Chi would explore “the humanity behind the headlines.”—i-D

Father John Misty Reveals Track Titles for New Album
The artist said his upcoming release would feature songs titled “Ouch, I’m Drowning” and “Mr Tillman, Please Exit The Lobby.” He said it was a “heartache album” written during a period in which he was “kind of on the straits.”—Noisey

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