'Waste of time': Trump exits shutdown talks

Editors
President Donald Trump delivers an address to the nation on Jan. 8, 2019.

President Donald Trump stormed out of a shutdown meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday, threatening to declare a national emergency at the border after Democrats refused him money for a border wall. Trump later called the meeting "a total waste of time."

Meanwhile, the partial shutdown droned on for 800,000 federal workers, slowly affecting millions more.

But first: Auto-thefts are at an 8-year high. Why? Maybe because people leave key fobs in cars with push-start buttons, letting thieves just hit the gas and go.

Shutdown is getting real

The shutdown is getting real for Americans: Weddings are upended as national parks close. New craft beers can't hit the market without approval from the shuttered Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Native American tribes could face reduced health care with half the Bureau of Indian Affairs at home. The National Zoo is closed. The Smithsonian Institution is closed. And federal employees begin missing paychecks this week. 

TSA officers asked to work without pay are not only calling in sick but quitting, a union leader said, leaving fewer available to scan for threats at our nation's airports. Hydrick Thomas, council president of the TSA union, predicted increased wait times at airports, too — a claim the TSA disputes. 

About Trump's speech last night

Bezos splitzos: The world's richest man is getting divorced

Billions of dollars don't guarantee marital bliss. Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie are splitting up after 25 years of marriage. With Jeff Bezos currently the richest man in the world with a fortune of $160 billion, the divorce could become the most expensive in history. The couple met in New York City and married in 1993, a year before they moved to Seattle and founded Amazon, now the world's most valuable company at $810 billion. Will the divorce roil corporate waters at Amazon? Experts say the seemingly amicably-worded announcement suggests it won't. 

Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos attend the 2018 Vanity

Real quick: 

Rod Rosenstein, Mueller's key shield, is out

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special investigation into the 2016 election, is expected to leave his post in a matter of weeks, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Rosenstein has been seen as a key shield for special counsel Robert Mueller as Trump has openly mulled removing them both. Rosenstein will leave on his own terms, the source said, to make way for Attorney General nominee William Barr. 

Trump says he's cutting off money for California fires

During California's deadly wildfires last year, Trump blamed blazes on "gross mismanagement of the forests" and suggested Californians prevent fires by "raking and cleaning things." On Wednesday, Trump let loose a rhetorical flamethrower: "Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" he tweeted. It wasn't clear if Trump actually sent the order to FEMA, and critics questioned whether he could legally withhold already-appropriated funds.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Waste of time': Trump exits shutdown talks