Happening Today: Russia Probe, UK Bomber, Trump Budget, 'Top Gun' Sequel, Michael Bay - NBC New York

Happening Today: Russia Probe, UK Bomber, Trump Budget, 'Top Gun' Sequel, Michael Bay

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Forecast for Wednesday, May 24

    Chris Cimino's weather forecast for Wednesday, May 24. 

    (Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017)

    What to Know

    • President Trump is expected to retain Marc Kasowitz as his private attorney on matters related to the Russia investigation, sources say

    • Salman Abedi, the man believed to have killed 22 people in a suspected suicide bombing, had ties to al Qaeda, an intelligence official says

    • The long-discussed sequel to "Top Gun" is a sure thing and should start shooting soon, actor Tom Cruise says

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    Trump to Retain Private Attorney for Russia Investigations, Sources Say

    President Trump is expected to retain Marc Kasowitz as his private attorney on matters related to the Russia investigation, sources told NBC News. Kasowitz has represented Trump a number of times in the past and has a long relationship with the president, Business Insider reported. He is a partner at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman in New York and has represented Trump in numerous cases, including on his divorce records, real estate transactions and allegations of fraud at Trump University, The Washington Post reported. He also has represented the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the New York Jets. Meanwhile, former Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat, joined Kasowitz' law firm in 2013 — and Lieberman is under consideration by Trump to replace Comey as FBI director.

    UK Bomber Had al Qaeda Ties, Terrorist Training, Officials Say

    Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old man believed to have killed 22 people in a suspected suicide bombing, had ties to al Qaeda and had received terrorist training abroad, a U.S. intelligence official told NBC News. The U.S. intelligence official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, said Abedi was identified by a bank card found in his pocket at the scene of the explosion at Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert. Abedi had traveled to Libya within the last 12 months, one of the multiple countries he had visited, the official said. And while he had "clear ties to al Qaeda," the official said, Abedi could have also had connections to other groups. His own family, of Libyan descent, had even informed authorities about him in the past, telling British officials that he was dangerous, according to the intelligence official.

    Cabinet Members Testifying on Trump Budget on Capitol Hill

    Top officials in President Trump's Cabinet are heading to Capitol Hill to defend his plans to cut domestic programs and parry Democratic criticism of his tax proposals. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will appear before the House Budget panel while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will testify at the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. The budget contains virtually no further detail on taxes beyond the cuts the administration proposed in a one-page outline last month. Trump released a 10-year budget plan containing jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net and a broad swath of domestic programs. The plan, Trump's first as president, combines $4.1 trillion for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year with a promise to bring the budget back into balance in 10 years, relying on aggressive spending cuts, a surge in economic growth — and a $2 trillion-plus accounting gimmick. Trump's budget is simply a proposal.

    “Top Gun” Sequel Is “Definitely Happening,” Tom Cruise Says

    The Danger Zone may have gotten old and dusty, but Tom Cruise says he's about to fly back in. The 54-year-old actor says the long-discussed sequel to "Top Gun" is a sure thing and should start shooting soon. Cruise made the announcement Wednesday in response to questions from anchors on the Australian morning news show "Sunrise." The actor said filming will likely begin within the next year. He added, "It's definitely happening." Cruise has said in similar interviews that the film was in development and a strong possibility, but has not offered such clear confirmation. The 1986 Reagan-era flyboy epic propelled Cruise to superstar status. Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of the original, had been dropping hints too. He posted a picture of himself and Cruise on Saturday's 31st anniversary of the original's release.

    Michael Bay to Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

    One month before the release of what is anticipated to be his newest box-office blockbuster, director Michael Bay will sink his hands and feet into cement in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre. Bay, 52, is known for helming some of Hollywood's biggest special-effects-laden box office hits, with credits including "Bad Boys," "Bad Boys 2," "The Rock," "Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor," "The Island" and the "Transformers" franchise. The latest "Transformer" film — "Transformers: The Last Knight" — is scheduled for release June 21. A Los Angeles native and graduate of Wesleyan University and the Art College of Design, Bay once worked as an intern for George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic, but he began his directing career with commercials, including a "Got Milk?" ad, and music videos, including shoots for artists such as Tina Turner, Lionel Richie and Meat Loaf. His first feature-length film was "Bad Boys," starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

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