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Morning Briefing: More Bad News for Sessions, Hannity, Priebus; Gianforte Fall-Out

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | May 25, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | May 25, 2017 |

— Three Montana newspapers withdrew their endorsement of Gianforte this morning after he was charged with misdemeanor assault for choking and body slamming a Guardian journalist; it’s hard to say if it’s too late to matter, because over half the votes have been cast in early voting. Here’s one particularly damning retraction.

— Donald Trump met the new French President this morning. They had a totally normal handshake.

Indeed, Macron’s handshake game is strong.

— Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is now worried that there might be a James Comey memo on him, detailing Priebus’ efforts to quash the investigation into Michael Flynn, according to The Daily Beast.

— Jeff Sessions did not disclose his meetings with Russians when he applied for security clearances, although he says he was advised not to disclose those meetings by advisers and the F.B.I. Democrats are renewing their calls on the Attorney General to resign for lying under oath.

— American intelligence agencies have learned that Russian officials and politicians began talking last summer about how they could influence Donald Trump by manipulating Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, with whom they had close relations.

— In case anyone missed it yesterday, Trump snubbed his own Press Secretary, Sean Spicer — an avowed Catholic — by leaving him off the list of people who could meet the Pope. It was high on his bucket list as Press Secretary, and it is very much seen as a slight, a cruel and unusual slight. Many in the press are expressing sympathy for Spicer.

— Ben Carson believes that “poverty is a state of mind.” Ben Carson is a fucking numbskull.

— Britain is furious with America for leaking details out about the Manchester bombing, including forensic details and the name of the bomber, which were published in the NYTimes. Theresa May intends to have a word with Donald Trump about it later today, and law enforcement officials in Britain have ceased sharing intelligence with America for the time being. It’s unclear (at least to me), who exactly is leaking. Is it the administration? The intelligence agencies? The press?

— The CBO scores for House-passed healthcare came out yesterday. It’s not pretty. Among the highlights:

51 million would be uninsured by 2026

Maternity coverage could rise to $1,000 a month.

In areas where states seek waivers (mostly red states), it may become impossible for those with pre-existing conditions to obtain health insurance

Premiums would skyrocket for the elderly (although, they would drop for younger, healthier people because they wouldn’t have to subsidize older people, who couldn’t afford coverage)

In many cases, premiums may dip because insurance policies wouldn’t provide full coverage

This chart from the Washington Post provides the best overview:


It should be noted, however, that this bill will never pass in the Senate. In fact, as of this moment, there’s very little movement in the Senate on a new bill, because the Republicans haven’t been able to find the right compromise.

— It is worth noting one more time that Sean Hannity has now lost seven advertisers, and is going on “vacation” today.

Finally, this hit me in the feels.

p.s., I know the header photo is of actor Michael Gaston, and not Greg Gianforte. I just wanted to see how many people would notice. Also, it should be noted that Gaston is NOT a Trump fan.

In fact, his IMDB photo is of him flipping of Trump. I think I love Michael Gaston.

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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.

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