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Happening Today: American Airlines, Jared Kushner, Taxes, Garrison Keillor

What to Know

  • Jared Kushner has been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators about ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn
  • American Airlines is scrambling to find pilots to operate flights over the upcoming holiday season after a glitch hit its scheduling system
  • Garrison Keillor became another celebrity felled by allegations of workplace misconduct when Minnesota Public Radio terminated his contracts

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Mueller's Team Questioned Kushner About Flynn, Source Says

President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators about former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a person familiar with the investigation confirmed to The Associated Press. The person said the questioning of Kushner earlier this month took about 90 minutes or less and was aimed in part at establishing whether Kushner had any information on Flynn that might be exculpatory. The person said multiple White House witnesses have been asked about their knowledge of Flynn, who was forced to resign from the White House in February after officials concluded he had misled them about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. The confirmation of Kushner's interview came as prosecutors working for Mueller postponed grand jury testimony related to Flynn's private business dealings.

Thousands of American Airlines Holiday Flights Don't Have Pilots, Union Says

Fort Worth-based American Airlines is scrambling to find pilots to operate thousands of flights over the upcoming holiday season after a glitch hit the company's scheduling system. The Allied Pilots Association, which represents about 15,000 American Airlines pilots, says they were notified by airline management of "significant holes" in the schedule due to a failure with the pilot schedule bidding system. A spokesman for the airline told The Associated Press that they expect to avoid canceling flights by paying overtime and using reserve pilots. American isn't saying how many flights are affected, but the pilots' union says that about 15,000 flights were scheduled without a captain, a co-pilot or both. Captain Dennis Tajer, APA communications committee chairman, said those flights fall into the "critical travel period," which he defined as Dec. 17 through Dec. 31. American hasn't confirmed the dates impacted. A computer glitch last Friday allowed pilots to drop flights they were assigned to fly next month, without having someone to cover for them.

Conservatives Slam GOP Proposal to Automatically Raise Taxes

Conservative groups and lawmakers are lining up against a proposal by Senate Republicans to impose automatic tax increases on millions of Americans — if their sweeping tax package doesn't grow the economy and raise tax revenues as much as projected. The opposition comes as the tax package cleared a key procedural vote in the Senate on Wednesday. The Senate voted 52-48 to start debating the bill. Wednesday's vote potentially could pave the way for the Senate to pass the package later this week. The Senate could start voting on amendments Thursday evening. Opposition to the tax "trigger" could doom a delicately negotiated proposal aimed at mollifying deficit hawks who worry that tax cuts for businesses and individuals could add trillions to the mounting national debt. Tucking a potential tax increase into the tax cut bill isn't sitting well with conservatives.

Reckoning Time for Fans of Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct

When it comes to fandom, it's reckoning time for Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor and scores of other men accused of sexual wrongdoing. Hero celebrities have fallen before — Bill Cosby's career ended after assault allegations in 2014 — but never in the rapid succession that has rocked so many worlds since revelations about Harvey Weinstein exploded in October. Accusers of politicians, actors, comedians, singers, producers, directors, other media powerhouses and assorted business moguls have taken the power and fans of the disgraced have largely stood with the wronged. But for some, giving up heroes isn't easy. Savannah Guthrie, in breaking the news on NBC's "Today" show about Lauer's firing over "inappropriate sexual behavior" with a colleague, appeared to be on the verge of tears.

Trump Shares Videos Claiming to Show Muslim Violence Posted by Far-Right British Politician

Stoking the same anti-Islam sentiments he fanned on the campaign trail, President Trump retweeted a string of inflammatory videos from a fringe British political group purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims. The tweets drew a sharp condemnation from British Prime Minister Theresa May's office, which said it was "wrong for the president to have done this." May spokesman James Slack said the far-right Britain First group seeks to divide through its use of "hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions." Brushing off the criticism in an evening tweet, Trump said May instead of focusing on him should "focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom." Trump had turned away from taxes, North Korea and other issues facing his administration to share the three videos tweeted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the British group. It was not clear what drew him to the videos, though one had been shared by conservative commentator Ann Coulter the day before.

Garrison Keillor Fired, Says He Put Hand on Woman's Back

Garrison Keillor, whose stories of small-town characters entertained legions of public radio listeners for 40 years on "A Prairie Home Companion," became another celebrity felled by allegations of workplace misconduct when Minnesota Public Radio terminated his contracts. The homegrown humorist told The Associated Press he was fired over "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard." Keillor didn't detail the allegation to AP, but he later told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he had put his hand on a woman's bare back when trying to console her. MPR said only that it received allegations of "inappropriate behavior" against Keillor last month involving one person who worked with him. MPR said it had received no other complaints but had retained an outside law firm that was continuing to investigate.

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