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James Comey’s written Senate testimony is filled with awkward silences, discussions of commitment, attempts to break hard truths and wait are we talking about obstruction of justice or our last breakup. A D.C. bar will give away beer every time Donald Trump tweets during Comey’s testimony, as if all of us don’t already start drinking whenever an @realDonaldTrump push notification pops up on our phones. And Ivanka Trump is featured on the cover of this week’s US Weekly with the headline “WHY I DISAGREE WITH MY DAD.” We can’t wait for next week’s follow-up about Mike Pence, “I WILL NEVER DISAGREE WITH MOTHER.” This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday. June 7th, 2017:
COMEY’S WRITTEN TESTIMONY: OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE - After President Pence is forced to resign over his association with the president and Paul Ryan is laid to rest after tearfully gorging on whey protein to death, we’re sure President Hatch will be forgiving and offer a pardon. Ryan J. Reilly: “Former FBI Director James Comey will testify Thursday that President Donald Trump demanded loyalty and tried to get him to close an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey, who Trump fired last month, will tell the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that he believed Trump was trying to ‘create some sort of patronage relationship’ with him when Trump asked Comey if he wanted to stay on as FBI director during a one-on-one dinner at the White House on Jan. 27. The dinner setup made Comey ‘uneasy.’ Trump told Comey he needed and expected loyalty, according to Comey. The former FBI director said that he didn’t ‘move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed.’ Trump and Comey ‘simply looked at each other in silence,’ the testimony says.” [HuffPost]
Benjamin Wittes: “it is the most shocking single document compiled about the official conduct of the public duties of any President since the release of the Watergate tapes.” [Lawfare Blog]
Read Comey’s full written testimony.
ROUND ONE OF HEARINGPALOOZA A BUST - Ryan J. Reilly: “Two of the country’s top intelligence officials on Wednesday declined to discuss their conversations with President Donald Trump about the federal investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers told members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that they did not think it was appropriate to describe their discussions with Trump in public. Both said generally that they didn’t feel pressured to do anything they considered to be wrong, but neither would reveal what, exactly, Trump had said to them about the Russia probe.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP’S ATTEMPTS TO MAKE YOU FORGET ABOUT COMEY ALSO A BUST - “Infrastructure week” is starting to feel like the new “recovery summer.” S.V. Date: “President Donald Trump talked about river barges and locks and highways and American steel during a visit to Cincinnati, Wednesday ― but even his mind seemed 500 miles to the east, where a Senate committee began two days of hearings that could bog down his presidency even further…. Trump’s day trip did not succeed. He had no sooner wrapped up his address than the committee released Comey’s prepared remarks that showed a president trying repeatedly to pressure the man leading the investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign to profess his personal loyalty to him…. White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on the Air Force One flight back to Washington that Trump’s staff was still reviewing Comey’s opening statement. ‘The president is very focused on his agenda,’ she said.” [HuffPost]
About that infrastructure plan… “President Donald Trump on Wednesday laid out his vision for overhauling the nation’s infrastructure, including upgrading inland waterways that are crucial to commerce…. The president did not, however, offer any additional details about his promised infrastructure plan. His transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, told members of Congress on Wednesday it would be released ‘hopefully soon,’ possibly in the third quarter of the year.” [HuffPost’s Igor Bobic and Ben Walsh]
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TRUMP NOMINATES NEW FBI DIRECTOR: WONDER WHAT HIS CONFIRMATION HEARING WILL BE ABOUT - Fast and Furious, no doubt (House Oversight literally had a hearing about it this morning). Alana Horowitz Satlin and Ryan J. Reilly: “President Donald Trump will nominate Christopher A. Wray to be the next director of the FBI, he announced on Wednesday. Wray served as assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush from 2003 to 2005. The Yale Law School graduate now works as an attorney in private practice…. Wray represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) in the wake of the ‘Bridgegate’ scandal. Christie told NorthJersey.com that he had ‘the utmost confidence in Chris.’ ‘He’s an outstanding lawyer,’ Christie said. ‘He has absolute integrity and honesty, and I think that the president certainly would not be making a mistake if he asked Chris Wray to be FBI director.’ Wray was interviewed for the job last week, the White House said. Trump was also said to have considered politicians including Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and, mostly notably, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). He appeared to reverse course following pushback from Democrats.” [HuffPost]
Is Trump just setting himself up with another Comey? “Trump doesn’t like Comey. But former colleagues say Wray shares some of the characteristics of his predecessor. ‘Chris, in so many ways, is cut from the same cloth as James Comey is,’ Bill Mateja, who worked with Wray in George W. Bush’s Justice Department, told HuffPost. ‘They have terrific moral compasses, and they’re very motivated to do the right thing and will do the right thing no matter what.’ Wray is, however, ‘much more introverted’ than Comey, Mateja said. He said Comey and Wray had a strong relationship.” [HuffPost’s Sam Levine and Ryan J. Reilly]
Yep, things are running just as well as they were during the transition: “The top two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee weren’t told ahead of time that President Donald Trump would announce his pick to lead the FBI, lawyer Christopher Wray. A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said his office found out when Trump tweeted the news Wednesday morning. The panel’s top Democrat, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, also wasn’t told. She told reporters she needs time to review his credentials.” [AP]
TRUMP NOMINATES MORE JUDGES, CONSERVATIVES REJOICE - Josh Delk: “President Trump announced 11 new appointments to high-profile courts on Wednesday, his fourth round of appointments to the judiciary during his young presidency…. Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, complimented Trump’s latest round of judicial nominations, writing in the conservative National Review that ‘it’s a fantastic list, again drawing from his previous success from his Supreme Court list…. [M]any of the nominees are well known in the conservative legal movement…’ Severino said that these nominations are a ‘major victory’ for Americans concerned with constitutionalism in the judiciary.” [The Hill]
KUSHNER NOT MORE POPULAR THAN TRUMP: POLL - Well, a bit of good news for the president, it seems. Grace Sparks: “The number of people who say they don’t know who Jared Kushner is has decreased, and the number of people who dislike him has increased since April, according to a new poll…. In April, a Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 47 percent of respondents had never heard of Kushner or didn’t have an opinion about him. Only 30 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him. But in a new Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday, 37 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of Kushner, and 38 percent said they either haven’t heard of him or don’t have any opinion about him. Only 26 percent of voters reported a favorable opinion of him.” [HuffPost]
WELL, HERE’S AT LEAST ONE PIECE OF GOOD LEGAL NEWS FOR THE PRESIDENT - Josh Gerstein: “President Donald Trump’s decision to rely on an outside lawyer as he confronts multiple Russia probes may help him avoid a trap that befell President Bill Clinton during the investigations of the 1990s: being forced to hand over notes or provide testimony about meetings that took place in the White House. A pair of legal showdowns between Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr’s office and the Clinton White House two decades ago erased the idea that presidents and their aides are protected by attorney-client privilege when talking with government lawyers…. [C]ommunications directly with Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s personal attorney who’s been tapped to lead the group of lawyers representing the administration in the Mueller probe and related congressional investigations, would be easier to shield.” [Politico]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here are a bunch of dogs in bags.
NORTH KOREA SLAMS DEAR LEADER - This is where we are. Adam Taylor: “North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned President Trump for pulling the United States out of the Paris agreement on climate change, dubbing it a ‘shortsighted and silly decision.’ In a statement published Tuesday on Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and attributed to an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman, the isolated country warned that ‘global warming is one of the gravest challenges humankind is facing today’ and praised the Paris accord for its attempt to stop it. Noting that the Trump administration had announced on June 1 that the United States would leave the landmark agreement, the unnamed official attributed the decision to Trump’s ‘America First’ policy and to ignorance ‘of the fact that the protection of the global environment is in their own interests.’ ‘This is the height of egotism and moral vacuum seeking only their own well-being at the cost of the entire planet,’ the statement said.” [WaPo]
- The best Ivanka Trump, “Why I Disagree With My Dad” memes.
- How to make that delicious-looking chocolate cake from “Matilda.”
- Egg drop experiment goes hilariously pear-shaped.
@MaxineWaters: So Comey told Jeff Sessions he didn’t want to be alone with Trump. Women across the country can relate.
So really, it’s Trump presses Comey to drop Flynn probe
Comey tells Sessions not to leave him alone w Trump
Sessions says fire Comey
@swin24: tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick life has no meaning, commit cannibalisms tick tick tick tick tick
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