Something to Think About: Trump has raised more than $100 million for his 2020 reelection

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump return to the White House from Florida and Georgia on Monday. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Something to Think About: Trump has raised more than $100 million for his 2020 re-election

Daniels' Defamation Suit Against Trump Dismissed: Trump tweeted about it this morning, called Daniels a name

Aaron Schock is Back: The former congressman posted on Instagram for the first time since 2016

Kate Bennett

What the White House is Talking About:
President Trump has no public events on his schedule today.

What the White House Press Corps is Talking About:
A day without public events means tweets o'plenty -- already about 10 this morning. 
And, awaiting word from the Saudi government about what really happened to Jamal Khashoggi at that consulate in Istanbul. 
Also, another day in October, another day without a White House press briefing -- a practice that appears to have all but disappeared. The last one was 10/3. 

Saudis Might Admit Khashoggi Died:
CNN reported first yesterday the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is prepping a response to the disappearance of Khashoggi, which will likely say he died after an interrogation gone wrong. Which, of course, brings up a whole host of other questions -- especially about the alleged gruesome nature of his demise. 

Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo Arrives in Saudi Arabia, Appearing ... Happy?
Secretary of state arrived on the ground in Saudi Arabia hours ago to hold talks about what exactly happened to Khashoggi. No offense, but if I were secretary of state and I was going to Saudi Arabia, sent by the President, to get to the bottom of what happened to a journalist who may or may not have been chopped up by captors after being falsely lured to a consulate to get papers needed to get married, I would not look as relaxed and content as Pompeo does in these images meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, King Salman and other senior members of the Saudi government. 
Credit: Leah Mills/AFP/Getty Images

In this one, he looks thrilled to have received a gift.
Credit: Leah Mills/AFP/Getty Images

Trump Tweets He Has No Financial Interests in Saudi Arabia:
The President this morning tweeted a denial of any financial ties to Saudi Arabia, saying the suggestion is false. But, actually, here's a quote from Trump in 2015: "I get along great with all of them," Trump said of the Saudis at a campaign rally in Mobile, Alabama. "They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much!" So, yeah, there's that. 

Trump Tweets Again -- Calls Stormy Daniels Name:
I don't even want to post this because it's bad enough as it is, but the President, in a tweet, called Stormy Daniels an awful name. I can't even begin. So I'm not going to. Just leaving it here 
Credit: @realDonaldTrump/Twitter

Something to Think About: 
Trump has raised more than $100 million for his re-election bid in 2020.

Our Daily Melania:

Melania Trump's office announced today she will head to Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University Hospital tomorrow to visit with doctors and patients surrounding the medical facility's Neonatal abstinence syndrome program, a cause that FLOTUS has been championing for several months. NAS affects babies born with dependencies on opioids. Here's the deets: 
All Right, You Guys, Who Complained?:
Top emoji priority right here, people. It's handled.
Credit: @Emojipedia/Twitter

World Food Day:
Speaking of bagels, today is World Food Day, the international day seeking to achieve #ZeroHunger by 2030. Congratulations to former CNN Hero Nicole Lynn Lewis, doing good work as founder of Generation Hope, a DC-based nonprofit that helps families of college students who are experiencing food insecurity by giving them grocery store gift cards, crisis support and holding nutrition workshops. To mark her work, Nicole has been awarded the top prize of $100,000 in ascena's Jaffe Awards, recognizing organizations dedicated to improving the lives of women and children. Feel free to search Twitter for #ZeroHunger to learn more about today -- sorry for the PSA but I think this is a good one to shine a light on as humans. 

Hunter Schwarz

What America is Talking About:
  • It's 21 days until the midterm election.
  • Today is the last day to register to vote by mail or online in the District of Columbia, though there is same-day registration.
  • There is a debate tonight between candidates for the Pennsylvania 17th House District and Texas Senate.
  • In last night's Arizona Senate debate, Republican Martha McSally accused Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of treason for comments she made on a libertarian radio show in 2003.
  • Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams began a statewide bus tour Monday and told supporters, "I need all of you to find 53,000 additional votes just in case" the 53,000 voters whose registration is on hold can't vote.
  • Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen died Monday at 65.
  • Sears has filed for bankruptcy.
  • More than 200 children remain separated from their undocumented immigrant families.

Poll of the Day:
Registered Democratic and Republican voters don't agree much on which issues are "very big" problems facing the US today. According to a Pew poll released Monday, Democratic voters are more likely than Republicans to see issues like criminal justice, climate change, gun violence, the wealth gap, racism and sexism as big problems.
Credit: Pew

Democrats and Republicans are concerned about violent crime, drug addiction, and the deficit at similar rates. Republicans are much more concerned than Democrats with illegal immigration.

Daniels' Defamation Suit Against Trump Dismissed:
Here's the news that set off Trump's tweet that Kate mentioned above. A federal judge Monday dismissed Stormy Daniels' lawsuit claiming the President defamed her by suggesting she lied when she said she was threatened by a stranger to not talk about her alleged affair with Trump.

District Judge S. James Otero said Trump's comment, made in a tweet, "constitutes 'rhetorical hyperbole' normally associated with politics and public discourse" and is protected by the First Amendment. He also ordered Daniels to pay Trump's legal fees.

Trump attorney Charles Harder called it "total victory for President Trump" and Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted that he has appealed the ruling.

Cherokee Nation Responds to Warren DNA Test:
Oof, I don't think this is what Elizabeth Warren hoped to hear after releasing her DNA results Monday. Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement:

"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage."

Aaron Schock is Back:
Former Rep. Aaron Schock posted on Instagram today, the first time since 2016. The post, tagged at Donovan Park in Peoria, Illinois, was to promote the Yellow Bear Foundation and its annual Boo Run Zombie 5k that raises money for autoimmune deficiency awareness. Schock resigned from Congress in March 2015 amid a scandal over his use of public and campaign funds.
Credit: @aaronschock/Instagram

Mapping America's News Deserts:
Columbia Journalism Review is mapping out news deserts, defined as communities with no daily local newspaper. Made from Alliance for Audited Media, CJR is asking readers to fill in any gaps. The light-colored counties, like through much of Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska, represent areas with no daily newspapers.
Credit: Columbia Journalism Review

A National Park Service Proposal Got More Than 60,000 Comments:
A park service proposal to charge fees to protest on the National Mall and permanently close part of the White House fence to protesters received 60,466 comments by last night when public comments closed. The ACLU argues the proposal will limit freedom of speech. "President Trump might not like having protesters on his doorstep, but the First Amendment guarantees their right to be there," ACLU of D.C. legal co-director Arthur Spitzer wrote. And a group of Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke saying the changes "could have the disastrous result of undermining the freedoms of expression and assembly."
Credit: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Street Art Sighting:
This "IMP45CH" sticker was spotted near the White House last month.
Credit: @patrick_irelan/Instagram

If you spot political street art, tweet me @hunterschwarz, tag me on Instagram @hunterschwarz, or email me at coverlinehunter@cnn.com with your sighting so I can feature it in COVER/LINE.
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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN's Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.

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