News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Sessions Testimony, Cruz Explains Robin Hood to Bernie and Much, Much More

Jeff Sessions

Good Thursday morning.

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

  • In the afternoon, President Donald J. Trump will meet with Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico.
  • Later in the afternoon, the President will meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
  • In the evening, the President will participate in a gala dinner for UNHCR honoring First Lady Melania Trump at the Embassy of the State of Kuwait.

IS THE SPECIAL COUNSELS OFFICE LEAKING TO DEMOCRATS ON THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE?

Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was cross-examined by the Senate Judiciary Committee. I watched most of this hearing and got the distinct impression the Democrats were more interested in asking their questions so they have sound bytes for campaign commercials and fundraising appeals and less interested in Sessions’ answers to their questions. My favorite part of the hearing was when Senator Blumenthal (D-umbass) asked Sessions if Special Counsel Robert Mueller had interviewed him or requested to interview him as part of the ubiquitous RUSSIA investigation.

Here’s the transcript of that exchange from the CSPAN video:

Blumenthal: YOU ARE NOT AWARE THAT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL HAS CONTACTED YOUR OFFICE?

Sessions: HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO THE SPECIAL OFFICE HAS CONTACTED — THE SPECIAL COUNSEL HAS CONTACTED YOUR OFFICE?

Blumenthal: HAS YOUR OFFICE BEEN CONTACTED TO REQUEST AN INTERVIEW WITH YOU BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL? IT IS A YES OR NO —

Sessions: I DO NOT THINK SO.

Blumenthal: YOU DO NOT THINK SO, ARE YOU SURE? I AM ASKING YOU THIS QUESTION IF YOU CAN BE CLEAR.

Sessions: I AM WILLING TO ANSWER TO THE COUNCIL IN ANY WAY. I DO NOT HAVE RECALLED I HAVE BEEN CALLED. SEN.

Blumenthal: THE SPECIAL COUNSEL HAS ASKED HER [sic] OFFICE FOR INTERVIEW WITH YOU, CORRECT?

Sessions: I WILL BE GLAD TO LET YOU KNOW WITHIN HOURS.

Blumenthal: I AM ASKING YOU NOW.

Sessions: I DO NOT KNOW. I DO NOT RECALL OF PROVIDING INTERVIEW WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL. YOU SEEM TO KNOW. I DO NOT WANT TO COME HERE AND WANT TO BE TRAPPED. MAYBE YOU SHARED IT WITH SOMEBODY IN MY OFFICE OR SOMETHING. I WOULD CHECK AND LET YOU KNOW….

Blumenthal: IT MAKE SENSE FOR THE SPECIAL COUNSEL TO ASK FOR INTERVIEW, CORRECT?

Sessions: THAT IS HIS DECISION, NOT MINE.

Blumenthal: HAVE KNOWLEDGE RELEVANT TO THE INVESTIGATION TO COLLUSION AND POTENTIAL OBJECTION OF JUSTICE, CORRECT?

Sessions: IT WOULD BE UP TO THE COUNCIL, NOT ME.

Blumenthal: THE QUESTION TO YOU WAS WHETHER YOUR OFFICE HAS BEEN CONTACTED. YOU WOULD CERTAINLY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.

Sessions: I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF ANY MEETING, INTERVIEW TO BE CONDUCTED, NO DATES HAVE BEEN SET IF THERE HAS BEEN CONVERSATION WITH SOMEBODY. I WOULD VERIFY BEFORE I GAVE YOU AN ABSOLUTE FINAL ANSWER. WHAT MORE CAN I TELL YOU?…

Blumenthal: CAN YOU GIVE AN ANSWER BEFORE THE DAY IS OUT?

Sessions: JUST — I WOULD JUST LIKE TO CHECK. YOU SEEM TO KNOW. DO YOU HAVE A SOURCE?

Blumenthal: MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL, YOU WERE THE ONE ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS HERE TODAY. I WILL WELCOME AN ANSWER TO MY QUESTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOLLOWING THE STEERING.

Sessions did get word from his office later in the hearing and he informed Blumenthal:

“I would just say, Senator Blumenthal, my staff handed me a note that I have not been asked for an interview at this point,” Sessions told Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) several minutes after a heated exchange over the matter.

“My office certainly hasn’t been contacted with regard to that. Maybe you better check your source.

It appears that someone in the special counsel’s office is leaking to the Senate Judiciary Democrats. Isn’t that interesting? I had to dig this exchange up myself because apparently the media does not find this revelation noteworthy.

Also at the hearing, there was an interesting exchange between former and current court jester Al Franken and Sessions.

Weinstein update

The hammer continues to drop on the Hollywood industrial complex. Actress Jessica Chastain spoke out yesterday, saying: “Oh we’re very quick to point the finger at others and address the issue with social action and fundraising. Yet there is a clear disconnect between how we practice what we preach in our industry.” I’m sure this idea crossed your mind as you watched (or didn’t) year after year of self-righteous award speeches delivered in front of the rich, powerful, successful entertainment community but really directed at their lesser, ignorant television audience.

The reporter set to break a story on Weinstein back in 2004 says her story was killed after Weinstein visited her editors at The New York Times. “Weinstein, his lawyer David Boies and spokesman Matthew Hiltzik all came personally to the newsroom to meet with Executive Editor Bill Keller about the story,” said Sharon Waxman. Feminist attorney Lisa Bloom was made aware of the accusations against Weinstein back in 2016 during the election when she was having drinks with an attorney involved in another Weinstein legal matter. The attorney mentioned that people had come to him with tales of Weinstein’s behavior. Ultimately, she had to cut off contact with the other attorney after Weinstein had optioned her book for a television series. Why would she want to do business with Weinstein if she knew about his alleged behavior?

Channing Tatum has cut ties with the Weinstein Company and Harvard has rescinded a medal awarded to Weinstein for his contribution to African-American culture.

Cruz, Sanders square off

I missed this event but I give them both kudos for engaging in a debate on the current tax reform battle that typically is fought through Twitter, Facebook and TV commercials.

Here is one insightful exchange:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday slammed the GOP tax plan as a “Robin Hood proposal in reverse.”

“They are taking from the working families and the poor and they are giving to the rich. It’s a proposal that must be defeated,” he said during a CNN Debate about the tax plan with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Cruz, however, said Sanders had “fundamentally misunderstood that story” by missing that the kingdom was overtaking the working class.

“Robin Hood was robbing the tax collectors, who were collecting too much taxes from the working men and women, and taking it for the rich. In Bernie’s analogy, it is Democrats who are King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham,” Cruz said in response to the reference.

“And Robin Hood is saying, ‘Tax collectors: stop hammering people who are struggling, who were laboring in the fields who are working, stop taking it to the castle to give out to your buddies.’ Bernie’s going to tell you all this free stuff he’s going to give and Democrats love corporate welfare,” he continued.

The left always thinks it’s helping out the underdog, but really they are helping their rich patrons in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and New York City finance. Those folks are all lefties and get protected by the politicians they purchased; it’s the middle class who has to pay for Obamacare.

Historical Picture of the Day:

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange work frantically Monday, October 19, 1987 as the Dow Jones Industrial average plunged more than 500 points for a loss of 22.62 percent. It was the biggest one-day loss in history. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

Other morsels:

Campaign Aides For Jeff Flake’s Primary Challenger Apologize Profusely For Ever Supporting Her

Settlement proposed in North Carolina transgender bathroom lawsuit

Suspect in Maryland shooting that killed three arrested in Delaware

Survey: Most minorities not offended by ‘microaggressions’

‘Not inclusive’: Another elementary school bans Halloween parade; adults rip ‘political correctness’

There’s a Melania Trump body double conspiracy brewing online

FBI Investigates Puerto Rican Officials Distributing FEMA Aid Based On ‘Loyalty’

Eric Holder: Gold Star Families ‘Should Not Necessarily Feel Offended’ By Players Kneeling

Fusion GPS officials visit Capitol Hill, won’t testify

Judge plans to rule next week in Obamacare subsidies fight

Dolly Parton donates money, books to 2017 hurricane victims

46% of voters think the media concocts fake Trump stories, poll says

Judge orders government to allow detained teen immigrant’s abortion

The Army is trying to bring in more recruits, and it’s changing its standards to get them

Russian internet trolls sought to co-opt unwitting American activists

Obama returns to campaign trail for Dems in governor’s races

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