Good morning, Bulletin readers. Two House Democrats want to know whether the national security advisor disclosed his prior NRA-related work with an accused Russian agent. And a Parkland survivor has his sights set on elected office — while the wife of a Supreme Court Justice was found sharing right-wing memes mocking him. Those stories and more in today’s news roundup.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
How much did the White House know about John Bolton’s work with a Russian gun group? That’s the question Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Stephen Lynch asked White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in a letter on Monday. Bolton, now President Trump’s national security advisor, appeared in a 2013 video filmed for the Right to Bear Arms, in which he encouraged the Russian government to loosen gun restrictions. The Moscow-based organization was founded by Maria Butina, who last month was charged with attempting to infiltrate the National Rifle Association as a covert Russian agent. “Given the alarming and unprecedented nature of these revelations — and the high-level position of trust Mr. Bolton now holds — we request that you produce documents relating to whether Mr. Bolton reported his previous work with this alleged Russian spy on his security clearance forms or other White House vetting materials prior to President Trump appointing him to his current position,” the letter reads.
Two people died in a workplace shooting in Texas. A woman opened fire early Monday on her co-workers at a food distribution center in Missouri City, a southwestern suburb of Houston, killing the overnight manager and wounding another employee. The shooter died from a gunshot wound. Police have not said whether it was self-inflicted.
The Democratic governor of gun-friendly Montana says he would support an assault weapons ban. Steve Bullock affirmed his position during a CNN interview. It marks a stark change from his 2016 re-election campaign, when he refused to support universal background checks. Bullock, whose name has appeared on the long list of potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, announced his support for gun reform in May, when he wrote an op-ed advocating comprehensive background checks, red flag laws, and a ban on bump stocks.
Parkland survivor David Hogg says he wants to run for Congress after he turns 25. Hogg, who has spent the summer registering voters in order to flip the balance of power in the House and Senate, told New York magazine that he wants to start laying the groundwork for a congressional run after college, which he plans to start attending in 2019. “The reason Republicans are successful right now is because they’re empowering young people,” he said. “Older Democrats just won’t move the fuck off the plate and let us take control.”
The Fort Lauderdale airport gunman is sentenced to life in prison. Esteban Santiago, who admitted to killing five people with a gun he retrieved from his checked baggage at a Florida airport last year, was sentenced Friday to five consecutive life sentences plus 120 years. His guilty plea allowed him to avoid the death penalty. From The Trace archives: Several months before the shooting, Santiago told FBI agents that the CIA controlled his mind, but he was allowed to keep his gun. Here’s why.
Clarence Thomas’s wife shared memes mocking Parkland survivors. In a Facebook post that’s since been deleted, Ginni Thomas, wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, shared a meme from a pro-Trump group that called David Hogg and Emma González “radicalized Democrats” who are “dangerous to the survival of our nation.” In another post, just six weeks after the Parkland massacre, Thomas shared Facebook messages that called Hogg “a special kind of stupid” and suggested that gun control led to the Holocaust. The posts were first reported by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern.
A Senate intern was wounded by a stray bullet after returning home to Chicago. After working in Republican Senator Tim Scott’s office, DaQuawn Bruce, 23, intended to take a quick break in his hometown before heading to grad school in Wisconsin. But on August 10, he was struck in the pelvis by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting. He’s relearning how to walk with the help of physical therapy.
A 15-year-old girl in North Carolina who killed her mother’s abusive boyfriend will not be charged. Rutherford County District Attorney Ted Bell said the teen, who fatally shot 46-year-old Steven Kelley as he choked her mother on August 8, learned firearms training from her late father. Her mother had recently hidden several guns, including the Colt .45-caliber revolver used in the shooting, around the house out of fear that Kelley would attack her. The D.A. concluded the shooting was justified.
Reddit has prohibited posting or sharing blueprints for 3D-printed guns. Reddit quietly made the change last Wednesday, two weeks after a federal judge blocked a Texas company, Defense Distributed, from publishing schematics for the weapons on the Internet. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said anyone making or possessing undetectable plastic guns will be prosecuted.
ONE LAST THING
“Sweet treats for bitter realities.” In an effort to find out how educators maintain an inviting learning environment amid lockdown drills and news of deadly massacres, CNN explored a range of products and techniques used by America’s teachers. They include decorative lockdown shades; handbooks and wall charts to guide students through the aftermath of traumatic events; and lollipops. Yes, lollipops: After the Parkland massacre, Kristen Hewitt, a mother of two in south Florida, created Lollipops for Lockdown, which solicits donations of the candies from local stores. Hewitt said she got the idea after Parkland when she came across a blog post by a teacher who distributes lollies to her students to keep them calm and quiet during drills. Her group has now collected more than 150,000 lollipops, surpassing her initial goal of 112,000 — one for every elementary school student in Broward County. “Obviously, we’re not going to stop school shootings with lollipops,” Hewitt told CNN, “but the idea is to give teachers something small to help their kids through a stressful situation.”