News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Kellyanne Ascending, Leakers Feed WaPo, and Much, Much More

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway speaks with a reporter at the White House, Monday, July 10, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Good Tuesday Morning.

Here’s what is on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • In the afternoon, the President will participate in an event with small businesses.

Mooch out, Conway in?

Yesterday, the White House announced Anthony Scaramucci was out as the new communications director. “Mooch” had the job for a mere 10 days.

The White House cast the move as Scaramucci’s decision. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that “he felt it was best to give chief of staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team.”

But speaking to reporters later at a press briefing, Sanders suggested the president made the call to force him out, calling his exit the result of a “mutually agreed conversation that took place between several people.”

Who will replace him? The Daily Caller exclusively reports that might be Kelleyanne Conway.

There is chatter within the White House that Kellyanne Conway is being looked at as the next communications director, an executive branch insider told The Daily Caller.

What do you think, two ladies at the top of the WH comms shop? I like it. (I’ve also heard from my own ANONYMOUS SOURCES  that Jason Miller’s name has been floated.)

ANONYMOUS SOURCES leak to Washington Post about Don Trump Jr.

Some anonymous leakers are back on the Trump scandal circuit and this time the Washington Post has some sources telling them that President Trump lied when he said he had no involvement in his son’s statement describing a meeting with some RUSSIANS to talk about the Magnitsky act.

On the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany last month, President Trump’s advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump’s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril.

The strategy, the advisers agreed, should be for Donald Trump Jr. to release a statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful, so their account couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged.

But within hours, at the president’s direction, the plan changed.

Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared an article, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”

The claims were later shown to be misleading.

The WaPo breathlessly reports:

The extent of the president’s personal intervention in his son’s response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy.

Where are these leaks coming from? Who was on Air Force One with President Trump that might have this knowledge? Also notable: this information was just leaked but it was presumably known shortly after Trump Jr. released his statement, so why the delay in transmitting it to the press?

I question the timing.

Second Amendment foe Katie Couric out of cushy gig at Yahoo

TEN MILLION A YEAR. POOF. GONE.

Katie Couric is ending her flagship Web interview show for Yahoo, as well as a range of other online news programming, Oath confirmed after Recode contacted the company about the development.

Instead, the Verizon-owned company has struck a deal to do work with the longtime television news star on a “project” basis.

“Over the last four years, Katie has created a vast portfolio of work that has been equal parts inspiring, thought-provoking and fun to watch,” said an Oath spokesperson. “We’re proud of everything she has accomplished and look forward to exploring ways to work together in the future.”

Buh-bye.

Picture of the day:

A diver drops through the air from the Mostar bridge during the 451th traditional annual high diving competition, in Mostar, 140 kms south of Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, Sunday, July 30, 2017. Total of 41 divers from Bosnia and neighbouring countries competed diving from 25 meters high Old Mostar Bridge into the Neretva river. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

Other Morsels:

White House sets ‘aggressive schedule’ for tax reform

White House opioid commission to Trump: “Declare a national emergency” on drug overdoses

NBC Lawsuit: The network’s desire for ‘attractive employees’ created a ‘toxic environment’

CNN won’t hire Scaramucci

Republicans ignore Trump’s Obamacare taunts

Facebook put cork in chatbots that created a secret language

Sony Pictures posts $86 million quarterly loss

Texas community colleges to allow guns starting Tuesday

Top Republican congressman calls for Mueller to resign as special counsel

Los Angeles reaches deal with Olympic leaders for 2028 Games

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!