News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: BY THE BOOK, Flynn Didn't Lie to the Feds and Much, Much More

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. Maxim Shipenkov, Pool Photo via AP)

Good Tuesday morning.

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

  • The president hosts a meeting with Members of Congress on trade
  • President Trump hosts a roundtable with the National Sheriffs’ Association
  • President Trump and Melania host a National African American History Month reception

Dear diary, me and my boss are innocent and didn’t break no rulez

A letter from Senate Judiciary Chair Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) to notorious liar and former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice is raising some eyebrows. The letter asks liar Rice about a freakish email she wrote to herself mere minutes after President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. The email to herself memorializes, whitewashes or fabricates (you pick which one) a conversation that took place two weeks before and was previously unknown to the public. Oh yeah, this seems totally kosher.

In the email, Obama’s national security adviser wrote: “President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’ The president stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”

Also revealed in the email: Obama was concerned about sharing information with the Trump administration because RUSSIA. “From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming [Trump] team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia,” wrote Rice.

We also learn from Grassley and Graham’s letter that former FBI director and self-identified moral compass James Comey may have lied to Congress about this meeting with President Obama.

If Rice’s email is accurate, Comey may have seriously misled Congress about his meetings with Obama.

Dated June 8, 2017, Comey’s “Statement for the Record” provided to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, notes, “I have tried to include information that may be relevant to the committee.”

Comey clearly did not find the January 5, 2017 meeting to be particularly relevant.

In other words, on January 5, 2017, an Oval Office meeting occurred between then-FBI director Comey, the soon-to-be-former president of the United States (Obama), his soon-to-be-former Vice-President (Biden), then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice and soon-to-be Acting Attorney General Sally Yates–and Comey apparently viewed this meeting as irrelevant to congressional investigators.

I mean come on, people. This stinks to high hell.

Related:

A top Justice Department attorney quit because she was reportedly afraid she would be forced to oversee the Russia investigation

BuzzFeed hires former FBI, White House cyber officials in attempt to verify Trump dossier: report

VERY IMPORTANT READ: Comey told Congress, FBI agents didn’t think Michael Flynn lied

According to two sources familiar with the meetings, Comey told lawmakers that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that Flynn had lied to them, or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional. As a result, some of those in attendance came away with the impression that Flynn would not be charged with a crime pertaining to the Jan. 24 interview.

Read the whole York piece.

Trump releases budget plan

President Trump released his 2019 budget plan and Democrats are saying it’s going to kill people and help the rich. “If Americans want a picture of who President Trump works for, the combination of the tax bill and this budget make it crystal clear. He’s for the rich and powerful at the expense of the middle class,” Schumer said in a statement.

Here’s the good news: the plan is going to slash 22 different agencies and programs.

The full proposal can be read here.

Some of the goals of the infrastructure plan include:

$100 billion toward a program to match financing from state and local governments for rebuilding projects
$50 billion for block grants to states for rural projects
$20 billion for transformative programs (new projects, not improvements to old infrastructure)
$20 billion to expand the use of loans and private activity bonds to fund infrastructure projects
$10 billion toward “capital financing”

And the wall.

Your daily WTF:

14 worms found crawling in eye of woman with rare infection

Winter Olympics picture of the day:

Chloe Kim, of the United States, jumps during the women’s halfpipe finals at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Other morsels:

Media frenzy after Sessions notes law enforcement’s ‘Anglo-American’ heritage

Donald Trump Jr.’s wife taken to hospital after getting letter with white powder, police say

Marriage license kiosk opens up at Vegas airport in time for Valentine’s Day

Opioid makers paid millions to advocacy groups: U.S. Senate report

Former Obama policy adviser caught taking pictures up women’s skirts on the DC Metro

Trump proposes restricting choices for food stamp recipients

Omarosa knocks ‘scary’ Mike Pence for his ‘extreme’ Christianity

Dow Jumps 400 Points After Worst Week In Two Years

Poll: 35% Of Americans Think The #MeToo Movement Has Gone Too Far

What did I just look at here? Barack and Michelle Obama’s official portraits unveiled

Commission says it can’t withhold $559M Powerball winner’s name

Remington set to file for bankruptcy

Chuck Schumer tells Kentuckians: New York makes some of best bourbon in the world

U.S. women’s hockey goalies may have to remove Statue of Liberty image

Principal offers year-end cash to students for not fighting

Maryland man who supported ISIS plotted major attack, feds say

Rob Porter told White House senior staff ex-wife’s black eye was accidental: Sources

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