Good Thursday morning.
Here’s what is on the president’s agenda today:
- In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will meet with Republican members of the Senate to discuss immigration.
- In the afternoon, the president will present the National Security Medal to Richard Ledgett Jr.
- Later in the afternoon, the president will meet with Republican members of the Senate about 2018 legislative priorities.
- The president will then meet with the Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.
News cycle consumed by new book on Trump
Yesterday the news cycle was dominated by some bombshells dropped from a new book on the Trump White House written by journalist Michael Wolff. The media frenzy was centered around remarks by former WH advisor Steve Bannon. Full disclosure: I used to work for Breitbart and Steve.
The swarm focused on the Trump children and family and the most salacious remarks concerned the meeting at Trump Tower attended by Don Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner with undercover RUSSIAN operator and Fusion GPS client Natalia Veselnitskaya. According to the Wolff book, Bannon said: “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.” There were other hair-raising revelations in the book as well.
Trump released a pretty brutal statement about Bannon’s comments and then his lawyers sent a cease and desist order. Don Jr. hit Twitter to defend himself and punch back at Steve. Last night on his radio show, Steve said he still supports the president. Sources are saying Bannon has lost the financial support of his backers and now and the pressure is on the 2018 candidates who are backed by Bannon. Will they bolt?
Here’s what I want to know: how did Wolff get this kind of access to the White House? Here is the description of his circumstances:
Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Wolff says, he was able to take up “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing” — an idea encouraged by the president himself. Because no one was in a position to either officially approve or formally deny such access, Wolff became “more a constant interloper than an invited guest.” There were no ground rules placed on his access, and he was required to make no promises about how he would report on what he witnessed.
Since then, he conducted more than 200 interviews. In true Trumpian fashion, the administration’s lack of experience and disdain for political norms made for a hodgepodge of journalistic challenges. Information would be provided off-the-record or on deep background, then casually put on the record. Sources would fail to set any parameters on the use of a conversation, or would provide accounts in confidence, only to subsequently share their views widely. And the president’s own views, private as well as public, were constantly shared by others. The adaptation presented here offers a front-row view of Trump’s presidency, from his improvised transition to his first months in the Oval Office.
This is absolutely outrageous. Stay tuned because this story is developing…
Here’s one more gem from the Wolff book: Trump purportedly called former acting Attorney General Sally Yates a See You Next Tuesday.
RUSSIA collusion “investigation” update
Grassley smacks down Comey’s claim that the FBI is an “independent” agency.
Grassley spox asks why Fusion GPS wanted a closed-door hearing and to plead the Fifth if they want transparency. Fusion GPS has been caterwauling for the transcripts of their testimony to be released. My guess is because they know the committee cannot release them so it makes them look good.
Meanwhile, Paul Ryan met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray about the RUSSIA investigation. Yesterday was the deadline for the FBI to turn over requested documents to Rep. Devin Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee.
Exciting development: Manafort sues Mueller.
[Alleged] sexual harassment update
Historical picture of the day:
Isn’t this the same line the Democrats/MSM use? Iran says Trump’s ‘absurd tweets’ have incited disruption
And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!