politics | KUOW News and Information

politics

KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

Journalist David Cay Johnston has known and reported on President Donald Trump for nearly 30 years. When they first met, in Atlantic City, Johnston says he recognized Trump as “the P.T. Barnum of our age.” He has also said about Trump, and repeats in this talk, that “Donald doesn’t know anything.”

In 2016, Johnston published a damning book, “The Making of Donald Trump.” The work detailed Trump’s avoidance of military service, his failure as a self-proclaimed philanthropist, and a litany of other personal and business failures.

The White House
Flickr Photo/joswr1ght (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/JeAj3d

Here’s a test for you. Who was the first U.S. President to be born an American, i.e., after the Revolution? Hint: He is the same man who said “As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.”

That would be President Martin Van Buren.

The U.S. Presidency is marked by pomp, circumstance and widespread reference to its occupant being “the most powerful man in the world.”

Flickr Photo/Andreas Eldh (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Samuel Woolley, director of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute of the Future, about how social media bots have influenced and driven conversations online and what can be done to stop the flow of disinformation. 

The Hale-Bopp comet passes overhead on March 26, 1997.
Flickr Photo/Richard Dinda (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/aQBC9

You probably don't remember the passage of a comet named Hale-Bopp in the late 1990s. But you might remember what came after that. Glynn Washington, host of the podcast Snap Judgment, couldn't look away from that story. 

Ever since Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller unveiled charges against George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, the White House has insisted Papadopoulos played an unimportant role in the campaign.

Protesters crowd into the University of Washington's Red Square on Friday, January 20, 2017 during a speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Last year the University of Washington's College Republicans invited former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos to campus. Yiannopoulos is a conservative and provocative speaker whose speeches and rallies often draw protests. The night he spoke at the University of Washington those protests turned violent.

This year when the College Republicans decided to hold a rally with the Patriot Prayer group, the university told them to pay a $17,000 security fee.

Memoranda have only been Washington's favorite dueling weapons for a short time but the art of wielding them has evolved quickly.

Witness the slow-motion jiujitsu between President Trump and his Democratic antagonists this week over a secret countermemo that rebuts the once-secret GOP memo unveiled last week.

UPDATE (Feb. 6, 10:27 p.m. PST) — An investigation into behavior by Oregon Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, released Tuesday states Kruse had a pattern of "engaging in unwelcome physical contact toward females in the workplace."

Courtesy of Jamie Rand Imaging/Jamie Colman

The second annual Women’s March was celebrated in Seattle on January 20. Organizers say as many as 100,000 people attended. But those organizers had more in mind than a one-day march. They want to make a change.

The decision by Bill Nye to attend the State of the Union Address alongside the Trump administration's nominee to head NASA has put the celebrity science educator at odds with many scientists.

Nye, who starred in the children's program Bill Nye the Science Guy and now has his own Netflix original series, Bill Nye Saves the World is also CEO of the Planetary Society.

Hillary Clinton responded Tuesday night to revelations that she kept a senior adviser on her campaign staff in 2008, even after the adviser was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a subordinate colleague.

"The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn't," Clinton wrote online, in a seeming nod to the #MeToo movement of the last year.

Updated at 7:16 p.m. ET

President Trump is planning a bipartisan pitch to Congress with his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, but he will have his work cut out for him with a public that is more divided than ever.

"Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family," Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

'The Legend of Bigfoot' is a store along Highway 101 in northern California.
Flickr Photo/Amit Patel (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dAdW3o

Bigfoot might not be real, but he's a heck of a fundraiser. We are forever fascinated with that critter and now a Washington state senator wants to harness that fascination to help maintain Washington state parks. 

The Environmental Protection Agency said in a surprise announcement Friday that it is putting on hold a plan to do away with Obama-era proposals to restrict mining at a southwest Alaska watershed. But the EPA also said it would continue to consider permit applications from those hoping to extract copper and other minerals from the proposed Pebble Mine.

The proposed Pebble Mine is located about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage and roughly 100 miles upstream from the Bristol Bay watershed, one of the world's most important sockeye salmon fisheries.

A liberal group is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday to demand an investigation into whether the National Rifle Association took contributions from Russians, which would be a violation of the law.

"Why did he even have a gun?" — it's a common refrain in America, often after mass shootings by people who legally aren't supposed to have firearms.

One of the worst recent examples was the massacre in a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church last November, in which 26 people were killed by a man whose domestic violence conviction should have barred him from buying guns.

The Washington state Senate has passed a ban on trigger modification devices known as bump stocks that allow semi-automatic firearms to operate more like automatic weapons.

The vote Thursday evening came in response to last October’s mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and left hundreds more injured.

From 'people feel you don't belong here' to City Council

Jan 25, 2018
Zak Idan, Tukwila city council member
KUOW/Katherine Banwell

In early January, Zak Idan was sworn in to the Tukwila City Council. He's the first Somali refugee to be elected to office in Washington state.

Tukwila is one of the most racially diverse places in the state. But when Idan and his family arrived in the city in the late 1990s, the city was considerably whiter. As Idan told Katherine Banwell of KUOW's Race and Equity team, his family didn't experience any racism back then.

Victims of sexual harassment are urging Washington lawmakers to take steps to make the workplace safer. At a public hearing Wednesday, lawmakers heard personal stories and a rare acknowledgment of past failures.

A former top official at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been convicted of breaking into the home of a colleague and raping her. The verdict Wednesday follows a lengthy trial in a case that revealed a sexualized workplace culture at WDFW.

Updated at 3:39 p.m. EST on Jan. 24

The hottest thing on Capitol Hill this week is a document that no one in the outside world is allowed to see.

A secret four-page memorandum prepared by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has become a rallying cry for Republicans waging a sustained campaign against the FBI and the Justice Department.

The document, pulled together by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., alleges that the Obama administration abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in targeting the Trump campaign.

The Washington state House Environment Committee hosted public hearings Tuesday on two bills that would restrict a class of chemicals found in everything from firefighting retardant to food wrappers.

Perflourinated (PFAS) chemicals have been linked to numerous health problems, from endocrine disruption to cancer.

In Olympia, state lawmakers are considering stronger protections for the critically endangered population of resident killer whales.

Courtesy of Jamie Rand Imaging/Jamie Colman

Tens of thousands of people participated in the second annual Seattle Women’s March. The day started with a rally of fiery speeches to warm up participants on a chilly, rainy morning.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET

So, here we go again.

The federal government is once more on the verge of a shutdown, and just like the last time, in October 2013, there will some things you'll notice that are shuttered and others you won't.

On Sunday, people around the country will mark one year since the Women's March on Washington, D.C. Last year it brought hundreds of thousands of liberals to the capital, many wearing pink knitted caps in solidarity. Others marched in hundreds of cities and towns across the United States and more than 80 other countries.

Washington lawmakers are taking steps to address sexual harassment at the state Capitol. The House passed a resolution Thursday to establish a task force on sexual harassment. Members will include lawmakers, lobbyists and staff.

The Constitution of the United States in the rotunda of the National Archives, in Washington, DC.
Flickr Photo/MrTinDC (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7txMkC

The political climate in the United States is marked by ultra-partisanship. So it’s a good time to ask, how’s the Constitution holding up? A recent event brought together two people with a depth of political and jurisprudent experience to explore that question.

Pramila Jayapal
Flickr Photo/Joe Mabel (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/zznt82

Kim Malcolm talks with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) about why she won't attend President Trump's State of the Union address on January 30.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.

There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

Pages