Every Living Former President Will Come Together for Harvey Relief: Your Texas Roundup

Plus: Two top Texas Republicans in Congress move toward gun control, a man is arrested for allegedly threatening a Vegas-like mass shooting in San Antonio, and Tillerson addresses Morongate


QUOTE OF THE DAY


“You know the saying, ‘Go big or go home.’ You look at it and think, ‘Oh, your back is going to hurt.’ But my back or neck didn’t hurt, and I wore it from 8 a.m. until 11 that night.”

–Alvarado High School senior Brittany Eicker, who spent almost $600 on her purple-and-white, five-foot-tall mum, according to WFAA.


BIG NEWS


In this handout provided by the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former U.S. presidents (L-R) Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and President Barack Obama pose at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Paul Morse/George W. Bush Presidential Center via Getty Images)

Top Billing
Every living former leader of the free world will be in College Station later this month to attend a hurricane relief benefit concert at Texas A&M, the President George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation announced Wednesday, according to the Texas Tribune. Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter are all set to attend the October 21 concert at the university’s Reed Arena, which will feature the country music band Alabama and Texas musicians Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, and the Gatlin Brothers. As the Tribune notes, Bush senior’s presidential library is on the A&M campus. “The 43rd President and I, and our distinguished colleagues in this ‘One America Appeal,’ are very grateful to these wonderful performers—some of them old friends, some of them new—for giving their time and talent to help the urgent cause of hurricane recovery in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean,” George H.W. Bush said in a statement, according to the Tribune. “It’s important that those affected by these devastating storms know that, even if the path to recovery feels like a road that goes on forever, we’re with them for the long haul.”


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


Rext Question
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held an unscheduled press conference on Wednesday to respond to a report that he had to be walked off a ledge by Vice President Mike Pence, who reportedly convinced him to stay in the White House until the end of the year rather than quit amid a rift with President Donald Trump. During one particularly contentious point in the summer, Tillerson allegedly had referred to Trump as a “moron” following a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump’s national security team and cabinet officials. Tillerson had been at odds with Trump’s positions on a long list of foreign policy issues during his rocky tenure as Secretary of State, but apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back was Trump’s controversial speech in July before the Boy Scouts of America, a group that Tillerson, a Wichita Falls native and former CEO of Exxon, used to lead. Trump took to Twitter to call the report of Tillerson’s possible departure “fake news,” while Tillerson scrambled to call an emergency press conference at the White House, during which he directly addressed the claim that he was once ready to jump ship. “I have never considered leaving this post,” Tillerson told reporters, praising Trump’s foreign policy before adding that he is on board the team to “make America great again.” Strangely, though, he didn’t deny calling the president a “moron,” refusing to address it directly. “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that,” Tillerson said regarding the moron remark. After the non-denial blew up, a State Department spokesperson later addressed Morongate more directly at a press briefing, claiming Tillerson “did not say that.” Trump again tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the report was “fake news,” adding that “NBC should issue an apology to AMERICA!”

Position Change
In light of the weekend’s deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, some Texas Republicans in Congress have indicated that they’d support a measure of increased gun control, according to the Texas Tribune. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representative Bill Flores, who represents Bryan, said Wednesday that they would be interested in supporting a federal ban on “bump stocks,” a type of gun attachment used by the Vegas gunman that makes rifles shoot like automatic weapons. “I think they should be banned. There’s no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semi-automatic to something that behaves like an automatic,” Flores told The Hill in an interview on Wednesday. “Based on the videos I heard and saw, and now that I’ve studied up on what a bump stock is—I didn’t know there was such a thing—there’s no reason for it.” Cornyn told reporters Wednesday that the role of the bump stock in the Vegas shooting should be investigated further, though he didn’t go as far as Flores to outright call for a ban. Cornyn said he had spoken with Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, about holding a hearing on bump stocks.

Terroristic Threat
A man who threatened on Facebook that he wanted to carry out a mass shooting in San Antonio, similar to what happened in Las Vegas last weekend, was arrested on Wednesday, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Roderick Lamar Robinson, 39, was arrested by police in Oklahoma City after allegedly threatening violence in several Facebook posts earlier in the week. “I’m going to kill a lot of folks at the San Antonio strip then an [sic] others,” he wrote in one post on Tuesday. “Just bought me a gun with a lot of rounds in it so get ready bitches won’t no one me [sic] making fun of me after this shit.” The post went locally viral in San Antonio, as people warned family and friends to stay away from a stretch in San Antonio popular among the LGBTQ community, which the police later identified as the “strip” Robinson was referring to. “I will cut off the San Antonio strip forever more,” Robinson wrote in the post. “No one will go there again an yrs [sic] that strip needs to be done like more than vages [sic].” He later apologized for the post, saying San Antonians had “nothing to worry about.” Robinson, who commutes between San Antonio and Oklahoma City, was charged with a terrorism hoax under Oklahoma law and faces a charge in Bexar County of making terroristic threats.


WHAT WE’RE READING


Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.

Labor shortages are making it hard to rebuild after Harvey Washington Post

An anti-leak training email sent to staff at Rick Perry’s Energy Department was, of course, immediately leaked Wired

Frat accused of forcing members to wear clothes covered in vomit is suspended at Southern Methodist University Dallas Morning News

A young girl was trapped inside a gun safe at a gun shop in Denton for half an hour before she was freed Denton Record-Chronicle

Brownsville residents want to remove a city commissioner who won’t resign after using the n-word Brownsville Herald