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News Wrap: Trump steps up attacks on unsigned essay

In our news wrap Friday, President Trump called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to find out who wrote an editorial about him in The New York Times. Also, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh now over.

    The final day saw the American Bar Association give Kavanaugh its highest rating. But former Nixon White House counsel John Dean warned that Kavanaugh would fail to oppose presidential abuse of power.

    We will have a full report after the new summary.

    The president today stepped up his attacks on an unsigned essay criticizing his leadership. He called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to find out who wrote the piece in The New York Times. And he raised the possibility of legal action against the newspaper.

    Mr. Trump spoke off-camera to reporters while traveling aboard Air Force One.

  • President Donald Trump:

    I think it's a disgrace that somebody could do that. And I think it's more disgraceful that The New York Times would do it. But that somebody is allowed to do that is — it's a very sad commentary.

    Jeff should be investigating who the author of that piece is, believe I really believe it's national security.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The New York Times responded that the president's demand for an investigation would constitute — quote — "a blatant abuse of government power."

    Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced today to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. Prosecutors had asked for a six-month sentence. Papadopoulos was the first person to plead guilty in the special counsel's Russia probe.

    Former President Obama aimed sharp criticism at President Trump today, as he called on Democrats to vote in the midterm elections. He named his successor in a speech at the University of Illinois, but said the trouble goes even deeper.

  • Former President Barack Obama:

    In the end, the threat to our democracy doesn't just come from Donald Trump or the current batch of Republicans in Congress or the Koch brothers and their lobbyists or too much compromise from Democrats or Russian hacking.

    The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    At a campaign stop in North Dakota, President Trump dismissed the criticism. He said, "I watched it, but I fell asleep."

    We will hear more of Mr. Obama's remarks later in the program.

    The anti-establishment surge in Democratic primaries has been stopped for the moment in Delaware. Veteran U.S. Senator Tom Carper easily won renomination Thursday. He defeated first-time candidate Kerri Evelyn Harris, who had tried to paint Carper as out of touch.

    In Japan, the death toll rose to 18 a day after an earthquake rocked the northern island of Hokkaido. Rescue workers searched homes destroyed by a landslide in the town of Atsuma. At least two dozen people were still missing. Officials also say fully restoring power to the region will take at least a week.

    Back in this country, part of a major West Coast highway, Interstate 5, remains closed in California, as a wildfire burns out of control. The Delta Fire broke out Wednesday near the Oregon state line. It has now spread across 38 square miles. Official say the section of I-5 will stay close through the weekend.

    The August U.S. jobs report is out. And it shows continued strong hiring. The Labor Department says U.S. employers added a net of 201,000 jobs last month. At the same time, the unemployment rate held steady at 3.9 percent. That's near the lowest in 18 years. Average hourly wages were up nearly 3 percent from a year ago, just enough to keep pace with inflation.

    The good jobs news failed, though, to boost Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 79 points to close at 25916. The Nasdaq fell 20 and the S&P 500 slipped six.

    Shares in automaker Tesla fell 6 percent after its CEO, Elon Musk, smoked marijuana on a live online show. And the company's chief accounting officer resigned after just a month on the job.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour", we wrap up the week's coverage of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing; Iran, Russia and Turkey discuss what could be the last major offensive in Syria's civil war; how laws in some U.S. states impede access to abortion; and much more.

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