The Morning Briefing: Comey's Break with Reality Continues at CNN Town Hall

Good Friday morning.

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

  • The president and first lady participate in the Celebration of Military Mothers

Here come da' tariffs

The Trump administration has moved forward with $200B in tariffs on Chinese goods after talks yesterday did not resolve the U.S.-China trade conflicts. Talks are expected to continue today.

“This evening, Ambassador Lightizer and Secretary Mnuchin met with President Trump to discuss the ongoing trade negotiations with China," White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement. “The Ambassador and Secretary then had a working dinner with Vice Premier Liu He, and agreed to continue discussions tomorrow morning at USTR." (USTR refers to the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.)

According to the Wall Street Journal, the tariffs will affect goods such as circuit boards, vehicle parts and machinery. China already slaps tariffs on nearly all American goods.

Related:

Tariffs go into effect as US, China promise more trade negotiations ahead

James Comey continues to lose grip on reality, talks about Trump eating his soul...again

CNN hosted a super fun, totally awesome, fun-fun town hall to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the firing of FBI director and Twitter personality James Comey.

At the town hall, Comey explained that the FBI doesn't spy on people.

“Yeah, I’m not going to comment on a particular investigative step, because that’s for the bureau to do, and I’m not in the government any longer, but the FBI doesn’t spy to begin with. The FBI investigates. And you got to remember where we were in the end of July 2016,” Comey answered. “We knew the Russians were engaged in a massive effort to attack our democracy, and then we learn from an allied ambassador that one of President Trump-elect — candidate Trump’s advisers had been talking to a Russian representative long before that about dirt they had on Hillary Clinton that the Russians wanted to make available.”

“You said it’s not spying. Why do you think Attorney General Barr used the word ‘spying’ which is obviously the word the president has used as well?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked.

“The only explanation I can think of is he used it because the president used it, which is really disappointing. He knows better than that, and knows that the FBI conducts electronic surveillance by going to federal judges and getting warrants based on probable cause,” the former FBI director responded.

Everyone knows the FBI spies on people. He's playing word games and his signature is on FISA warrants. Gimme a break.

Comey continued to lie: “No, it’s a reasonable — that was the guy, Papadopoulos, who was the subject of the information we got from the Australians that he had talked to the Russians,” Comey added. “I don’t remember talking about that particular step with my team. I knew they were trying to see if they could check it out. That’s a totally normal step. See if you can get somebody close to the person and see if they’ll confirm what we heard from the Australians.”

Papadopoulos didn't talk to RUSSIANS, unless you are pretending that Western intelligence asset Joseph Mifsud is really working for the RUSSIANS. Read all about Joseph Mifsud in Lee Smith's terrific story, The Maltese Phantom of Russiagate. If Comey really believes his own crap, why didn't the FBI go to Trump and tell him one of his associates was involved with the RUSSIANS?

It's clear that Comey is speaking out to cover his ass and set up a narrative before the inspector general reports come and before Barr reveals the results of his investigation into the origin of the RUSSIAN-collusion sham.

Related:

Even James Comey Says There's No Constitutional Crisis

Trump rips Comey after CNN town hall: 'He brought the FBI down'

Comey: Trump eats your soul in small bites

QAnon conspiracy sparked by Comey tweet forces cancellation of school fundraiser

Comey says Barr has 'lost most of his reputation' by acting like Trump's lawyer

Don't let the door hit your a$$ on the way out

Rod Rosenstein officially retired from the DoJ yesterday. Rosenstein, as you might remember, appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to conduct a $30M+ investigation into the president that ended with no charges brought against Trump, his family or his associates. Great job, Rob.

Jeff Sessions, the feeble, fired, disappointing former attorney general who Rosenstein effectively replaced, attended the send-off and said, “Rod, you did your duty as it fell upon you. You didn’t ask for it—that’s for sure.” Right. Sessions asked for it with his pathetic recusal.

“Decisions had to be made, and those decisions fell to him,” Sessions continued, adding that decisions were made “all in accordance with procedures of the Justice Department.”

“Rod understood better than most that justice would be best served by appointing a special counsel.”

He added: “You have honorably overseen this process, which has affirmed the rule of law and achieved a degree of justice.”

Sessions called Rosenstein a “friend and a loyal partner,” and reminisced on their “many wonderful times" together.

I'm going to vomit.

I bet we haven't seen the last of Mr. Rosenstein.

Related:

Sessions sends off Rosenstein: He did ‘what he thought was best for this country’

Rosenstein honored at farewell ceremony amid lingering questions about role in Mueller probe

RUSSIA-collusion fall out round up

Burr holds firm despite GOP anger over Don Jr. subpoena

Et Tu, Sen. Burr? RINO Senator Does the Bidding of Democrats by Issuing Subpoena to Trump Jr.

Trump now says William Barr should decide if Mueller testifies

Blumenthal Is Ready To Lock Up Donald Trump Jr.: ‘He Has No Privilege’

Harris demands Barr clarify if Trump has asked him to investigate anyone

Other morsels:

Trump says John Kerry ‘should be prosecuted’ for Iran contacts

McConnell’s re-election campaign is selling ‘Cocaine Mitch’ shirts

Ocasio-Cortez: We need a “public option” for banking — modeled on the US Postal Service

Student government at Williams College refused to recognize a pro-Israel group

Weak marijuana sales ding California budget

US B-52 bombers land in Qatar over unspecified Iran threat

A Catholic church hosted Louis Farrakhan for an anti-Facebook speech. At least one Jewish group was not happy about it

Liberal Student Arrested After Allegedly Punching Pro-Life Advocate at UNC

Some members of alleged N.Y. sex cult thought leader could influence weather: witness

Portland’s plan to address homeless people pooping in the street is not a hit with neighbors

Colorado Students Walk Out of 'Vigil' for Fallen Classmate After Democrats Turn It into Gun-Control Rally

Tlaib, Green to deliver petition from over 10 million calling for Trump's impeachment

Pro-Trump group plans to spend $250M in six battleground states

ICE Forced To Release 160,000 Illegal Migrant Family Unit Members Since December, Official Says

Facebook Is Promoting ISIS Propaganda, Whistleblower Says

Chinese nationals charged for Anthem hack, 'one of the worst data breaches in history'

ICE is denying migrants rightful access to lawyers, legal group says

Washington Post implies Trump encourages shooting border crossers

TSA confiscates massive machete at checkpoint

The suspect in the California synagogue shooting faces 109 federal civil rights and hate crime charges

Trump to nominate Shanahan as defense secretary

US seizes North Korean ship amid tense moment in relations

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