Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Thursday

posted by Justice & Drew - 

1. Comey to Congress: President Trump Told Him 'I Need Loyalty'

Channel 5: Former FBI Director James Comey will testify that President Donald Trump sought his "loyalty" and asked what could be done to "lift the cloud" of investigation shadowing his administration, according to prepared remarks released ahead of his appearance on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Comey, who is scheduled to appear before the Senate intelligence committee, will also tell lawmakers that he informed Trump that he was not personally under investigation. Comey will say that the FBI and Justice Department were reluctant to state that publicly "because it would create a duty to correct, should that change."

Comey's testimony will be his first public comments since Trump abruptly fired him on May 9. At the time of his firing, Comey had been overseeing the federal investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia's election meddling, outraging Democrats who claimed the president was interfering in an active probe.

2. DC bars are going to open early for Comey hearing watch parties

wtop.com: Shaw’s Tavern plans to open its doors at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. For the viewing party, the establishment will feature a “FBI” breakfast special of French toast, bacon and ice cream, as well as a “FBI” sandwich with fried chicken breast, bacon and iceberg lettuce for $10 each. It also plans to feature $5 Stoli Vodka flavors.

3. Sources: Major Investigation of Possible Security Issues at U.S. Bank Stadium

Channel 5: Multiple sources told KSTP the Minnesota Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board is investigating serious allegations leveled against the security company hired by the state to protect U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Chicago-based company, Monterrey Security, confirmed in an email the state is looking into the company's hiring practices.

Sources said the allegations against Monterrey Security include: Falsification of government documents required for security training which includes "hundreds of employees", failure to conduct background checks on employees as required by Minnesota law and hiring people with felony criminal convictions--without proper scurity clearance--to work at U.S. Bank Stadium games and events.

The Monterrey Security website lists a number of high-profile stadiums and events that it provides security for around the country.

4. Former Gov. Jesse Ventura has a new gig — on Russian television

Star Tribune: Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura says he is now working for "the enemy of mainstream media."

The guy who once wrestled for a living, then blew away the pundits by getting elected governor of Minnesota, has a new gig — on Russian television.

"I am working for the enemy of mainstream media now," Ventura said of "The World According to Jesse," a variety show airing Fridays beginning this month on RT America, the Washington D.C. arm of the international network RT. The network formerly known as Russia Today is funded by the government and touts itself as bringing "the Russian view on global news."

A promo for the show features Ventura on a motorcycle, ponytail flapping in the breeze as he cruises down a mountain-lined highway.

"It's called the feeling of Freedom," Ventura's voice echoes. "Welcome to my world; come along for the ride."

5. Amazon lowers Prime membership rate for low-income customers

NPR: Amazon is attempting to lure low-income shoppers from Walmart by offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance.

The giant online retailer said in a statement Tuesday that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card — used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps — will pay $5.99 per month for a year. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for qualifying customers.

The typical Prime membership is $99 a year, though people have the option to pay $10.99 a month. Prime benefits include free shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, and a rotating selection of free e-books and magazines.

"We designed this membership option for customers receiving government assistance to make our everyday selection and savings more accessible, including the many conveniences and entertainment benefits of Prime," Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime, said in the statement.

As Reuters notes, "The online retailer's move directly challenges Walmart — the biggest beneficiary of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — where at least one in five customers pay by food stamps."

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