Maddow Blog | Friday’s Mini-Report, 5.3.24

Today’s version of fast hits.

* A high-profile witness in Donald Trump’s felony trial: “Former White House communications director Hope Hicks, who was involved in discussions on suppressing negative stories about Trump ahead of the 2016 election, has taken the stand.”

* Hmm: “The auditing firm for Trump Media and the auditor’s owner were charged Friday with ‘massive fraud’ by the Securities and Exchange Commission for work that affected more than 1,500 SEC filings, the federal regulator announced.”

* In North Carolina, President Joe Biden promoted his efforts to replace toxic lead pipes: “Mr. Biden has committed to replacing all lead pipes across the nation within a decade. Lead exposure can affect brain development in children, damage kidneys and interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen.”

* Republican Rep. Troy Nehls’ navy service draws scrutiny: “There is no question that Nehls served overseas, engaged in combat, and was awarded a Bronze Star for his duties there. But military documents obtained by CBS News after a months-long investigation and a review of his service record by the U.S. Army at the Pentagon show Nehls received one — not two — Bronze Star medals. And his Combat Infantryman Badge from Afghanistan was revoked from his service record in 2023 because Nehls served as a civil affairs officer, not as an infantryman or Special Forces soldier.”

* A terrible story out of Texas: “As soon as Collin Davis found out his ex-partner was planning to travel to Colorado to have an abortion in late February, the Texas man retained a high-powered antiabortion attorney — who court records show immediately issued a legal threat.”

* Trump claimed yesterday {that a} gag order would stop him from testifying in his felony trial. Judge Juan Merchan defined to the previous president at this time that the opposite is true.

* Striking findings: “One of the most rapid sea level surges on Earth is besieging the American South, forcing a reckoning for coastal communities across eight U.S. states, a Washington Post analysis has found.”

* Worthy recipients: “President Biden on Friday will give the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 19 people — with recipients covering nearly every corner of American life, including former House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Olympic champion Katie Ledecky, Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh and, posthumously, civil rights leader Medgar Evers.”

* A deeply scary thought: “Hospital leaders say the health system won’t be ready if the avian flu that’s infected American dairy cattle becomes widespread among humans.”

Have a protected weekend.

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