Thursday, June 7th.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION
The Justice Department plans to brief senior lawmakers next week with additional details and documents about how the FBI investigated whether Trump campaign advisers had suspicious ties to Russia — a concession to Republican demands for more information about the politically charged probe.
A senior Justice Department official said the briefing will allow lawmakers “to review certain supporting documents that were made available during the prior briefing.” Officials “are prepared to brief members on certain questions specifically raised by the speaker and other members. The department and FBI will also provide the documents that were available for review but not inspected by the members at the previous briefing, along with some additional material,’’ the official said.
The briefing will be for the Gang of Eight — the senior Democrat and Republican in the Senate and House, as well as the senior members of each party on their respective intelligence committees.
Fox News host Sean Hannity encouraged witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe to destroy their personal phones to thwart investigators’ efforts to view any encrypted messages they might have. The conservative TV personality said on his show Wednesday night that witnesses should perhaps “follow Hillary Clinton’s lead” after Mueller reportedly asked witnesses to turn in their phones for examination. The request came after Mueller’s team accusedformer Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of using encrypted messaging apps to engage in alleged witness tampering. “Delete all your emails and then acid-wash your emails and hard drives on the phones, then take your phones and bash them with a hammer to little itsy-bitsy pieces, use BleachBit, remove the SIM cards and then take the pieces and hand them over to Robert Mueller and say, ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton, this is equal justice under the law,’” Hannity said. He went on to acknowledge this was “bad advice” before repeating it all again step-by-step.
- Paul Ryan Boldly Rejects Trump’s War on the FBI, Which He Enabled
- The giant timeline of everything Russia, Trump and the investigations
- How a NY architect offers a window into Trump deals in Eastern Europe
He ghosted after the interview request. Completely vanished. Shut down his company, closed the website, the whole nine yards.
An ex-congressman has attracted scrutiny from the Senate Judiciary Committee, as it continues to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow to sway the 2016 presidential election.
Curt Weldon, a Republican and former Pennsylvania congressman, lost his re-election campaign more than a decade ago following an FBI probe into his ties to two Russian companies. He has “connections to both Russia and the Trump campaign” that are raising suspicions among senators, a spokeswoman for Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said. Feinstein is the committee’s ranking member, and wants to interview Weldon, the spokeswoman said.
The reasons for the committee’s interest in Weldon are murky, but his ties to Russia are significant. Members of Congress believe, for example, that Weldon may lead to answers about why the Trump administration sought to lift sanctions on Russia in the aftermath of the 2016 election despite a public statement by intelligence agencies that the Kremlin tried to help Trump win. Weldon may also have information about the role a Russian oligarch may have played in trying to influence the Trump administration—though Weldon denied this when I asked him about it.
- Manu Raju: Schiff Letter to Nunes about handing over transcripts to Mueller
- Spicy Mic on Schiff Letter, and here’s hoping Kash Pattel is next in the barrel
- Justice Dept. Seizes Times Reporter’s Email and Phone Records in Leak Investigation
WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporter’s phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks. It was the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump.
The seizure — disclosed in a letter to the reporter, Ali Watkins — suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.
- With Mueller Closing In, Manafort’s Allies Abandon Him
- Brennan: Trump threatened by law enforcement because they can expose his falsehoods
- Report on FBI’s Clinton email probe coming next week: Inspector General
- ACLU Sues Trump Over Census: “A Naked Act of Intentional Discrimination”
- Tucson federal judge wants answers on children separated at border
- ICE Launches $2.4M Deal With Data Surveillance Firm
- Torn from their families in the US, Salvadoran deportees return to a gang-ravaged homeland
- A Pizza Delivery Man Brought Pies To A Military Base. Then He Was Arrested And Turned Over For Deportation.
- Judge Calls Trump’s Border Separations of Children `Brutal’
- Where Are The Children? In Overcrowded Holding Cells – Rantt
- ‘It’s Horrendous’: The Heartache of a Migrant Boy Taken From His Father – The New York Times
- Stormy Daniels’ lawyer calls Rudy Giuliani an ‘absolute pig’ over comments
- Megyn Kelly defends Stormy Daniels: ‘Being an adult film star does not make you a liar’
- Michael Avenatti Apologizes to a Pig
- Melania Trump’s spokeswoman’s response to Rudy Giuliani is lit – CNNPolitics
- Top Democratic senator accuses Treasury Department of stonewalling his demands for Michael Cohen’s banking records
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said through a representative on Wednesday that the Treasury Department was not cooperating with his May request for information on Michael Cohen and his dealings with Novartis.
“Treasury refuses to respond to our request, let alone provide key financial documents related to Cohen and Cohen’s business dealings with Novartis. There is no excuse for this kind of stonewalling,” the representative, Rachel McCleery, said. “All other parties are engaging in the Committee’s inquiry.”
- The Next Time a Hurricane Kills 5,000 Americans, Remember Trump’s Behavior in This FEMA Meeting
- Trump Reportedly Talked About Everything But Puerto Rico Deaths In FEMA Meeting
- Puerto Rico’s Oversight Board Putting Debt Repayment over People’s Needs in Midst of Humanitarian Crisis, New Report Concludes | Press Releases | CEPR
- Pruitt enlisted security detail in picking up dry cleaning, moisturizing lotion
- Scott Pruitt Has Until July 11 to Explain His Climate Skepticism, Judge Rules
- Republicans losing patience with scandal-scarred Pruitt
- There’s No Good Reason For Scott Pruitt to Still Have A Job
- ‘Start Here’: 2 Pruitt aides resign as questions continue to swirl around EPA chief
- Scott Pruitt’s strategy for dealing with EPA scandals looks a lot like Trump’s – Vox
- Fox News Research: A running tally of Pruitt’s costly scandals
Just in case that tweet disappears, here’s a screenshot…
ENERGY POLICY WRITTEN BY A COAL BARON
- Coal executive drafted orders for Trump to withdraw from Paris climate accord
- Trump officials took actions on energy policies suggested by coal tycoon, documents show
- Billions in US solar projects have been shelved after Trump panel tariff
- Trump Falsely Claims ‘We’re Now Exporting Energy for the First Time’
- Donald Trump called asbestos poisoning a mob-led conspiracy, now his EPA won’t evaluate asbestos already in homes
- Coal Tycoon Bob Murray Drafted Orders for Trump to Exit Paris Climate Agreement
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
Ralph Peters suggested during a CNN interview on Wednesday night that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “some kind of grip on Trump,” pointing to the US president’s documented affinity toward Putin, and his hesitation to speak critically of the Kremlin.
Peters, who trained in Russian studies, the Russian language, and has experience with Russian intelligence officers, indicated that what he sees in Trump’s behavior are the signs of someone who may be compromised by one of the US’s most formidable enemies.
“For years, I was glad to be associated with Fox. It was a legitimate conservative and libertarian outlet. And a necessary one,” Peters told Cooper. “But with the rise of Donald Trump, Fox did become a destructive propaganda machine. And I don’t do propaganda for anyone.”
Peters went on to say he believes the network in general and “particularly the prime time hosts” are attacking “our constitutional order, the rule of law, the Justice Department, the FBI, Robert Mueller,” and other intelligence agencies. “And they are doing it for ratings and profit,” he added. “And they’re doing it knowingly, and, in my view, doing a great, grave disservice to our country.”
Asked by Cooper if the prime-time hosts actually believe their own conspiracy theories about the “deep state,” Peters singled out Trump’s most loyal Fox News servant. “I suspect Sean Hannity really believes it,” he said. “The others are smarter, they know what they’re doing.”
“I want to cry out and say, ‘How can you do this? How can you lie to our country? How can you knowingly attack our Constitution, the bedrock of our system of government, the bedrock of our country?’” Peters said. “And when you go after the Constitution, you best beware, because you are doing a phenomenal, indeed immeasurable damage.”
- Hannity advises witnesses in Russia investigation to destroy evidence
- Fox News is a danger to this country — but don’t kid yourself: It’s just a small part of a bigger crisis
- Giuliani: Trump won’t do Mueller interview without seeing docs on informant | TheHill
One thing I truly enjoy from this mess is watching Rudy Giuliani destroy his reputation, his history, and everything he worked for to try to defend Donald Trump.
- Besty DeVos is in Switzerland instead of at her School Safety Commission’s public listening session
- Pressure Leads to Progress
- ‘Jarring’ nursery rhyme at Somerville school teaches kindergartners about lockdowns – The Boston Globe
COLD WAR 2.0
- Trump official ridiculed for saying D-Day is an example of America’s ‘strong relationship with government of Germany’
- Vladimir Putin Says Russia Will Make Sure Donald Trump’s Meeting With Kim Jong Un Goes Well
- Labour MP tells City watchdog to reconsider Rosneft’s London listing
- Trump strikes deal with China’s ZTE
- Trump claims U.S. is ‘respected again’ in the world. ‘Preposterous,’ say allies and diplomats.
- No leader is forever, Macron says as ‘G6’ gears up to confront Trump
- Trump: ‘Don’t have to prepare very much’ for North Korea summit | TheHill
- Majority of Russians ‘Never Heard’ of Protests Against Putin’s Inauguration, Poll Says
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- Ex-White House Press Secretaries Agree: Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Lies Hurt America
- Jeb Bush: ‘I don’t know’ if I’d ever run again, but I’d never do what Trump did to get elected
TRADE AND TARIFFS
- European Union to hit US with $3.3 billion in retaliatory tariffs starting next month
- Trump is reportedly venting about about having to spend 2 days in Canada with Trudeau and wants to find new ways to punish the country
- Billions in US solar projects have been shelved after Trump panel tariff
- Three Arkansas companies say they’ll close if Trump doesn’t give them exemption from steel tariffs
- Trump Organization Deals In Asia Fuel Debate On Emoluments Lawsuit : NPR
- What’s included in the EU list of tit-for-tat tariffs? Bikes, bourbon, and fishing boats
MORE CABINET CORRUPTION
- Mick Mulvaney fires all 25 members of consumer watchdog’s advisory board
- Elizabeth Warren says there’s a dirty little secret behind the Republicans’ push for broad deregulation
- ‘What Happens When You Put Someone in Charge of Agency They Think Shouldn’t Exist,’ Says Warren After Mulvaney Guts CFPB Panel
- Analysis: HUD plan would raise rents for poor by 20 percent
GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD
- ‘No Gays Allowed’: Tennessee store owner puts sign back up after SCOTUS ruling
- Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by 20 GOP-led states, endangering much of law, including consumer protections
I’m old enough to remember when Republicans argued for Universal Health Care. Up until 2009, when a black man was elected President and advocated the same thing they’d been asking for for 40 years.
Here’s another take on how bad this is…
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- 80 arrested, 95 pounds of meth and 75 guns seized in largest drug bust in recent history- Seattle WA
- Trump Admin Has Zero Percent Success Rate in Prosecution of Anti-Trump Protesters
- Colin Kaepernick’s legal team expected to subpoena President Trump in case against NFL
- Colin Kaepernick’s lawyers seeking to subpoena President Trump, VP Mike Pence as part of collusion case against NFL
- Trump interns used to fill out crowd at replacement White House Super Bowl event
- Majority of voters say NFL players kneeling is not unpatriotic
PROGRESS IS PROGRESS
- In the Age of Trump, Civics Courses Make a Comeback
- GOP gets wiped out in California senate race
- Years After Defending His Lesbian Moms In Stirring Speech, Zach Wahls Wins Iowa Primary
- Religious Exemptions Have Chipped Away at the Right to Choose. LGBT Equality Could Be Next.
- A Republican who filmed herself harassing a trans woman lost her election. By a lot.
- Democrats Outnumber Republicans In Texas Races
FIXING THE INTERNET
- A Facebook bug made private posts of 14 million users public
- Lawmaker ‘Disturbed’ That FCC Made up DDOS, Lied to Press
- To Keep ‘Internet Free and Open for All,’ Dems Demand Paul Ryan Schedule Net Neutrality Vote Immediately
OP-ED AND COLUMNIST PIECES
- Representative Eric Swalwell on Protecting American Elections – The Atlantic
- The Trump campaign was all about making money
- You can read the white rage in their MAGA hats
- President Trump Is Wrong. The Mueller Probe Is Constitutional: History and Legality of the Special Counselor’s Office
- Millennials and retirement: How bad is it?
Between low employment, stagnant wages, student loans, day care, medical expenses, every other bill, 401(k)’s instead of pensions, and near zero percent APR on savings accounts, here’s the Millennial Retirement Plan.
Hope that you eventually find a job.
Change jobs every couple years because it’s the only way to get a pay raise or promotion.
Keep this up until you get old.
Hope that you die swiftly one day so as to not leave your loved ones with gigantic medical bills.
- Sarah Smith: Hannity committing obstruction of justice
- Donald Trump Shows his GUILT as Mueller Closes In – Dr. Dena Grayson
- Aliasvaughn: Thread on Ivanka, Cohen, and the Weightlifter
- Eric Garland’s take on the NY Times/Ali Watkins story
I’m not sure I necessarily agree with Eric’s stance on this. I don’t doubt that there’s some CI work going on involving the NYT, but I don’t see this case being related to it. This sounds more like a “traditional” investigation into a reporters’s sources. Then again, I might be missing something here.
That’s it for today. I’m going to be away from the internet for a while tomorrow, so I might not catch as much as usual, but if anything big breaks, I should get it.
I’ve said this before, but at sometime over the next few weeks, I likely will disappear for a couple days. I’ll tell you why then.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur