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Morning Briefing: Donald Trump is Having a Swell Day!

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | May 17, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | May 17, 2017 |

What’s going on this morning in the world of politics? Briefly:

— A number of Republicans have “raised questions,” and demanded James Comey testify before Congress. We’re seeing a lot of “deeply disturbing if true” talk. It feels different this time, in part, because no one is defending the President. At best, they’re saying, “We need to wait and see,” or “that’s just the way the President talks,” but no one is saying, “Oh, the President has every right to obstruct justice.” Maine GOP Senator Susan Collins has been particularly outspoken this morning.

Republicans — in Congress and in the White House — are all otherwise avoiding news shows.

— According to Politico, the White House itself is in complete disarray, and there’s no one to defend Trump, because no one knows exactly what Trump said, because the staff was asked to leave the room when Trump had the conversation with Comey.

Top White House officials learned of the looming New York Times story about a memo Comey wrote memorializing Trump’s request two hours before it went online. Aides rushed to ask Trump what he had actually told Comey. But the White House had no memos or tapes of the meeting to rebut the claims, several officials said. Trump didn’t even give an entire readout of his conversation, leaving staffers “actually unaware of what happened,” one official said.

“It’s not like we were in on the meeting,” this person said. “We had no idea. We still don’t really know what was said.”

— Trump himself is in a dark mood, and angry with even Jared Kushner.

The president’s appetite for chaos, coupled with his disregard for the self-protective conventions of the presidency, has left his staff confused and squabbling. And his own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark, and he has turned against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — describing them in a fury as “incompetent,” according to one of those advisers.

There might be a reason Trump is so mad at Kushner right now:

There’s also this, for whatever it’s worth:

Adam Kinzinger — who I’m still furious with for voting for the health care bill — is at least going after Trump and doesn’t give a shit about Putin’s transcripts.

God, this is embarrassing.

Here’s something to look forward to.

A lot of winning going on this morning.

Meanwhile, it’s good to hear something from President Obama in these troubling times. From People:

“He’s nothing but a bullsh-ter,” Obama told two friends early last November, describing an election night phone call with Trump, in which the businessman suddenly professed his “respect” and “admiration” for Obama—after years of hectoring.

Speaking to PEOPLE for its new cover story on Obama and his wife Michelle adjusting to life outside the White House, the two friends quoted Obama’s blunt assessment of President-elect Trump. And how has Obama’s opinion changed since Trump been in office? “Well,” said one of the sources, “it hasn’t gotten any better.”

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.