The Morning Briefing: Democrats Announce Who Will Make Political Balloon Animals at the Debate

Good Friday morning.

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

  • The president has lunch with the Secretary of State
  • President Trump meets with the Secretary of Education
  • The president delivers remarks on expanding health coverage options for small businesses and workers

Day two freakout over foreign election interference

Yesterday was day two for the media-resistance freakout about Trump's comments during an interview with a Clinton surrogate on ABC. Senator Lindsay Graham chimed in saying: “No party should be hiring foreign agents to look at their opponents and we shouldn’t be taking meetings” with them, either.

“I’m hoping that some of my Democratic colleagues will take more seriously,” Graham argued, “that Christopher Steele was a foreign agent paid for by the Democratic Party to gather dirt on Trump.” Lindsay needs to get woke. The issue isn't as much about Steele as it is that Steele paid off RUSSIANS who delivered disinformation that was used to activate the most powerful surveillance machinery in the United States arsenal against a political campaign. It literally doesn't get any worse than this if foreign interference if a legitimate fear.

Byron York knows what's up.

If you are going to use foreign assistance in an election, you just need to make sure you have sufficient cut-outs to skirt campaign finance reporting requirements. Get a law firm to hire a consulting firm to hire a former foreign spy who hates your opponent to pay off RUSSIANS for disinformation. The Trump Tower meeting was amateur hour.

The FEC chairwoman weighed in:

“Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election,” her statement begins. “This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation. Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about ‘foreign Interference, Intrigue, and Influence.’”

Yes, something of value is something that costs money, that has a price. TV commercials, mailers, social media ads, putting together an oppo book on your opponent, polling are all things that cost money. Taking a meeting with people under a pretense that does not pan out is of NO VALUE.

Related:

Pelosi accuses Trump of an assault on democracy but says any impeachment decision must be 'methodical'

Trump smashed months of FBI work to thwart election interference

Iran making trouble...again

Iran is rested and ready and flush with cash money from Obama's "Iran deal" billion-dollar give away bonanza. The military released a video of the Iranians removing an unexploded mine from an oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, "suggesting the Islamic Republic sought to remove evidence of its involvement from the scene." Oh.

The U.S. Navy rushed to assist the stricken vessels in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran, including one that was set ablaze Thursday by an explosion. The ships’ operators offered no immediate explanation on who or what caused the damage against the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous. Each was loaded with petroleum products, and the Front Altair burned for hours, sending up a column of thick, black smoke.

“The U.S. and the international community stand ready to defend our interests, including the freedom of navigation,” Central Command spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said. “The United States has no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. However, we will defend our interests.”

Iran responded with a statement. “The U.S. economic war and terrorism against the Iranian people as well as its massive military presence in the region have been and continue to be the main sources of insecurity and instability in the wider Persian Gulf region and the most significant threat to its peace and security,” the statement said.

Secretary of State Pompeo placed the blame on Iran for the attacks on the tankers: “Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran,” he said, vowing the U.S. would defend itself and its partners.

Democrats announce clown lineup in 2020 circus

The Democrats have announced the lucky 20 clowns who made the cut and will make political balloon animals in their nomination circus. The televised debate will air during prime time in a few weeks.

The 20 candidates who qualified under the DNC's polling and grassroots criteria include: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, motivational speaker Marianne Williamson and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Are you going to watch?

Other morsels:

I wish it were more. Oberlin College to pay bakery the now-massive sum of $44M over racism dispute

No one wants to read his diary. Acosta: I Wrote My Book for Republicans

Michael Avenatti is sued for allegedly siphoning paraplegic's $4 million settlement

Officer-involved shooting in Memphis leads to riot, 36 officers and 2 reporters injured

Man shot and killed by US marshals was wanted in Mississippi in connection with shooting

‘Central Park Five’ Prosecutor Resigns From Columbia Law After Student Protest

Cancel any vacation plans to the DR. Yoga teacher dragged out to sea is latest to die in Dominican Republic

Son of woman who died in DR says he was told country’s toxicology machines are broken

Experts split over Hatch Act after watchdog says can Kellyanne Conway

Safe, legal, and rare? Fewer women are having abortions. Why?

Kim Kardashian assists Trump's justice reforms

Who cares what this joker thinks? Andrew McCabe celebrates Sarah Sanders' exit from White House: 'I have to say I will not miss her'

AOC spokesman tweets, then deletes, F-bomb rant against potential GOP challenger

Illegal immigrant charged in 3 DUI deaths now also facing weapons counts, authorities say

The son of parents who pleaded guilty in college admissions scandal arrested for alleged assault on his father

Telegram reports powerful cyberattack from China during Hong Kong protests

Brain disease linked to lychee toxins kills 47 children in India

Charges dropped for 8 people in the Flint water scandal

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