It’s Friday, April 5, 2019. Let’s start here.
1. Long story short
Some members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team reportedly are unhappy with how their findings have been portrayed by Attorney General William Barr.
In a four-page letter to Congress two weeks ago, Barr said there wasn’t enough evidence to establish an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump, but an associate of the Mueller team told The Washington Post the evidence “was much more acute than Barr suggested.”
“The truth is somewhere in the middle,” says ABC News Senior Executive Producer Chris Vlasto, who suggests waiting for Barr to finish combing through Mueller’s findings. “If after we see those 400 pages people start saying, ‘Wait, that’s not enough,’ and people in Mueller’s office start talking, then I think that’s something that we should be concerned about and look at.”
Vlasto co-hosts “The Investigation,” a podcast on the Russia probe by the ABC News Investigative Unit.
After spending months criticizing the Federal Reserve and Chairman Jerome Powell over raising interest rates, Trump wants to add two allies to the central bank’s board.
On Thursday, the president announced he would nominate former Republican presidential candidate and huge fan of the number 9 Herman Cain for a Fed seat, two weeks after nominating conservative economist Stephen Moore, who owes tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes and has argued Trump deserves a Nobel Prize.
The picks indicate Trump’s willingness to tilt the independent agency, ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran says on “Start Here.”
“He’s willing to use all the tools and cudgels in the American economic toolbox,” Moran says, “including staffing the Fed … with people who think just like him and might even respond to some political pressure.”
3. ‘Notorious for banditry’
A desperate search continues in Uganda for an American woman and her local driver after they were kidnapped at gunpoint on a safari.
Authorities are now searching beyond the Queen Elizabeth National Park, a popular tourist destination, from which Kimberly Sue Endicott and Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo were taken by kidnappers now demanding a ransom of $500,000.
It’s possible the gunmen are poachers or militia rebels from the neighboring Congo, and local officials are urging tourists to travel with protection, says ABC News Senior Foreign Correspondent Ian Pannell.
“This is an area that’s notorious for banditry, for armed militia, for violence, for insurrection,” Pannell reports from Uganda, “so you do have this turmoil boiling over right on the border.”
4. Going head to head
“Vice President Biden leaned down, and grabbed my hands, and put his forehead to mine,” Sofie Karasek tells “Start Here.”
Karasek, an advocate for women’s rights and sexual assault survivors, describes on today’s podcast an uncomfortable encounter with Joe Biden at the 2016 Academy Awards.
Biden responded to accusations of inappropriate touching in a video message this week: “Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility, and I will meet it.”
“On the one hand,” Karasek says, “he clearly cared and was emotionally connected to this. But on the other, he had never asked me if I was OK with him putting his forehead against mine in that way.”
“Start Here,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.
‘Do you know how to stop somebody from having intercourse with you?’: A judge in New Jersey asks a sexual assault victim whether she tried closing her legs.
‘Charred and unidentifiable’: A body found in a New York City storage unit on Thursday may be the mother of three missing since Saturday.
‘But we do need to call out hypocrisy when we see it, and when we have people wrapping themselves in the flag who evidently faked a disability in order to get out of serving, when you have somebody seeming to want to impose his religion on others as the vice president has, and at the same time teaming up with the presidency that seems to have no regard for, at least, what I would consider to be Christian values, I do think that hypocrisy needs to be called out’: Youthful mayor Pete Buttigieg talks to George Stephanopoulos.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
When we say 70%, it really means 70%: One of FiveThirtyEight’s goals has always been to get people to think more carefully about probability. When we’re forecasting an upcoming election or sporting event, we’ll go to great lengths to analyze and explain the sources of real-world uncertainty and the extent to which events — say, a Senate race in Texas and another one in Florida — are correlated with one another. We’ll spend a lot of time working on how to build robust models that don’t suffer from p-hacking or overfitting and which will perform roughly as well when we’re making new predictions as when we’re backtesting them. There’s a lot of science in this, as well as a lot of art. We really care about the difference between a 60% chance and a 70% chance. … When we say something has a 70% chance of occurring, it doesn’t mean that it will always happen, and it isn’t supposed to. But empirically, 70% in a FiveThirtyEight forecast really does mean about 70%, 30% really does mean about 30%, 5% really does mean about 5% and so forth. Our forecasts haven’t always been right, but they’ve been right just about as often as they’re supposed to be right.
Doff your cap:
On the morning of Feb. 21, 2005, a utility worker dispatched to a vacant cul-de-sac on the outskirts of Miami spotted something unusual in the weeds a few feet from the street.
It was a woman.
She was naked, brutally beaten, miraculously still alive. Miami-Dade Police estimated that the petite, blond-haired woman had been unconscious for nearly 24 hours. She couldn’t be immediately identified, and officers canvassing the neighborhood didn’t find helpful clues.
The next day, the woman regained consciousness, fought through a fog of pain, tried to explain what happened to her.
“She was dumped out and left for dead,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alan Foote.
What investigators didn’t know at the time was that they’d stumbled on a case that would eventually lead them to a serial rapist who’d already claimed victims in another state — and who, according to authorities, would strike again and again.
Watch the full story on “20/20” tonight at 9 Eastern on ABC.