Good Wednesday Morning
Here’s what’s on the President’s agenda today:
- The President will depart the White House for Joint Base Andrews en route to Cincinnati, Ohio.
- In the afternoon, the President will meet with Obamacare victims.
- The President will then give remarks on his infrastructure initiative.
- Later in the afternoon, the President will depart Cincinnati, Ohio, for Washington, D.C., en route to the White House.
CNN is reporting that Iran was attacked by gunmen and suicide bombers this morning.
Attackers have mounted simultaneous gun and suicide bomb assaults on Iran’s parliament building and the tomb of the republic’s revolutionary founder in Tehran.
At least seven people were killed and 35 others injured in the twin assaults, the semi-official Fars agency reported. The attacks were the most audacious
State media reported that gunmen stormed the parliament building in Tehran and went on a shooting spree. At least one attacker detonated a suicide bomb. Five people died and at least 25 were injured there, Fars reported.
At the same time, a gun and suicide bomb attack targeted the Ayatollah Khomeini mausoleum on the southern outskirts of the Iranian capital. Two people died and 10 were injured at the shrine, Fars said.
ISIS is claiming responsibility for the attack. The New York Times writes:
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which are believed to be the terrorist group’s first major assaults within Iran’s borders. The Islamic State is run by Sunni Muslim militants, and Iran is the largest Shiite Muslim country in the world. The assaults immediately raised concerns that a broader sectarian conflict could worsen.
According to reports, the situation is under control. Developing…
The most important hearing in the history of America
Excitement is in the air following the news that former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He will appear Thursday at 10 a.m. for those who want to prepare popcorn or alcoholic beverages or those who want to go to Costco in Pentagon City without the crowds.
CBS News reports exclusively that Comey will “stop short” of saying Trump interfered with the Flynn/Russia investigation.
There will be much in former FBI Director James Comey’s upcoming congressional testimony that will make the White House uncomfortable, but he will stop short of saying the president interfered with the agency’s probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a source familiar with Comey’s thinking told ABC News.
Although Comey has told associates he will not accuse the president of obstructing justice, he will dispute the president’s contention that Comey told him three times he is not under investigation.
More from the anonymous source:
“He is not going to Congress to make accusations about the president’s intent, instead he’s there to share his concerns,” the source said, and tell the committee “what made him uneasy” and why he felt a need to write the memo documenting the conversation.
Get ready for the most deconstructed, parsed testimony ever offered.
I hate you, don’t leave me
President Trump has blocked some users on Twitter and now people are upset. Constitutionally upset.
President Donald Trump may be the nation’s tweeter-in-chief, but some Twitter users say he’s violating the First Amendment by blocking people from his feed after they posted scornful comments.
Lawyers for two Twitter users sent the White House a letter Tuesday demanding they be un-blocked from the Republican president’s @realDonaldTrump account.
“The viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional,” wrote attorneys at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York.
“The crucial question is whether a government official has opened up some space, whether public or private, for expressive activity, and there’s no question that Trump has done that here,” the institute’s executive director, Jameel Jaffer, said. “The consequence of that is that he can’t exclude people based solely on his disagreement with them.”
Another opinion on the issue comes from law scholar Michael W. McConnell, the director of Stanford’s Constitutional Law Center and, from 2002 to 2009, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
“The president is entitled to communicate with whoever he wants to whenever he wants to,” McConnell told The Washington Post. “No one has the right to compel someone else to communicate with them.”
“If Trump or anyone else wants to limit his Twitter audience, he can do that,” McConnell added. “As can any other public official or any private person.”
Twitter had no comment about the situation.
I don’t want a holiday in the sun
The House Freedom Caucus called on GOP leadership to cancel the August recess in order to continue to work on GOP legislative priorities.
“We need to work through August recess to get everything done,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), coming out of the meeting. “We believe that we need to stay through August to get through tax reform… and get our appropriations done.”
Time is running out.
Lawmakers only have seven weeks left before the break. And, once they return, much of the focus will be on funding the government before it expires Sept. 30, and raising the debt ceiling — two votes that will suck up a lot of time and energy. Lawmakers really only have until the end of 2017 to finalize their landmark pieces of legislation. Since 2018 is an election year, every vote becomes tougher.
The only reason I can think for this to happen is if the politicians want to avoid returning home so they don’t have to face the violent, astroturfed crowds waiting to get 10 minutes of YouTube fame.
And that’s all I’ve got, now go fight off the angry mob!