Morning Briefing: The Trump Firing Mueller Story Has Legs
Twitter remains aflame this morning with speculation that Donald Trump might fire special prosecutor Bob Mueller. Yesterday, when allies like Newt Gingrich and Anne Coulter were floating the possibility, it felt like a reach. Last night, after Trump’s pal Christopher Ruddy went on PBS to essentially warn Trump not to fire Mueller, it felt more possible. Then, Sean Spicer issued a statement last night saying that Christopher Ruddy speaks only for himself, but notably, Spicer did not deny that Trump is considering firing Mueller, as Ruddy himself noted on Politico last night:
Spicer issued a bizarre late-night press release that a) doesn’t deny my claim the president is considering firing Mueller and b) says I didn’t speak to the president about the matter — when I never claimed to have done so. Memo to Sean: focus your efforts on exposing the flimflam Russian allegations against POTUS and highlighting his remarkable achievements! Don’t waste time trying to undermine one of your few allies.
Meanwhile, this morning, Newt Gingrich went on Good Morning America and continued to make the case for why the President should fire Mueller. The gist: The first four people Mueller hired to be a part of his team are apparently people who donated money to Hillary Clinton, never mind the fact that Mueller worked for three Republican administrations and that Gingrich himself touted Mueller as beyond reproach only a few weeks ago.
Newt Gingrich defends his flip-flop on Mueller by citing—wait for it—Kathy Griffin and Julius Caesar. pic.twitter.com/A9H2PBQugM— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 13, 2017
Look: Trump is not going to fire Mueller unless Trump believes that Mueller can find something on him that’s actually worse for Trump than firing Mueller, and considering that firing Mueller would trigger the Democrats into calling for an immediate impeachment, whatever Mueller might have on Trump has to be very bad.
For instance, what if Trump actually did collude with the Russians, because what we’re finding out this morning from Bloomberg is that the Russian’s attempts to hack the U.S. electoral system goes wider than we even previously believed based on that top secret report leaked to the Intercept. Apparently, the Russians were successful in hacking into 39 of the 50 state’s voter databases.
Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.
There’s still no indication yet that the Russians managed to change or delete any votes, but they sure as hell tried. And if Trump was in any way complicit with that, well, I’m sure the Republicans will find an excuse to justify it.
— At least the Republicans are standing up in one sense. The Senate has agreed on a measure to apply new sanctions to Russia, which would also make it more difficult for President Trump to lift those sanctions. Why else would they need to do such a thing? Think about the absurdity of that: The Senate has to build in mechanisms to protect us from our own goddamn President. The Senate is at least confident the President will sign the bill, but you never know with this guy.
— Meanwhile, Jeff Sessions is scheduled to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee today. He is expected to assert executive privilege on some questions.
5. Sessions will reportedly assert executive privilege to avoid answering those questions— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 13, 2017
We also found out that Sessions personally asked Congress for the authority to prosecute medical marijuana providers. This is guy is scum.
— Trump is ranting on Twitter again this morning. Fake news blah blah blah where’s my apology I’m such a victim blah blah blah HILLARY.
— Pro Publica, which is a serious goddamn news organization, is reporting this morning that Trump’s personal attorney bragged that he got Preet Bharara fired.
Marc Kasowitz, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in the Russia investigation, has boasted to friends and colleagues that he played a central role in the firing of Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to four people familiar with the conversations.
Kasowitz told Trump, “This guy is going to get you,” according to a person familiar with Kasowitz’s account.
Trump had assured Bharara that he could keep his job before his inauguration, but later changed his mind. Bharara was conducting an investigation into Trump’s secretary of the health and human services, Tom Price, at the time he was fired.
— Finally, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship last night. Sorry, Cavs fans. Also, the Warriors have unanimously agreed that they will not be visiting the White House (maybe Obama will invite them over for dinner at his place, instead).
NBA champion Warriors skipping the White House visit, as a unanimous team decision per reports.— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) June 13, 2017
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