Tomorrow is the big special election for the open House seat in Montana. But something wild and really crazy apparently just happened. The GOP candidate Greg Gianforte reportedly body-slammed reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian. “Body slam” is often a loosely even comically used phrase. But Jacobs’ account as well as that of witnesses seems to confirm something like a literal and unprovoked body slamming.
It’s so far in the weeds and doesn’t directly implicate or exonerate Trump. So I suspect it may somehow not get the attention it deserves. But the new report from the Post that James Comey’s decision to announce the Clinton “no charges” decision on his own in July 2016 may itself have been the product of a successful Russian disinformation campaign is simply remarkable.
President Trump has hired lawyer Marc Kasowitz as his personal lawyer in the on-going Trump-Russia probe. In itself, this is uncontroversial and unsurprising. Every modern president has hired personal lawyers – in addition the White House Counsel – when they’re part of major investigations.
But there are more details about Kasowitz.
They clashed during the 2016 campaign. But today President Trump visit Pope Francis at the Vatican, only with his family and a few top aides.
This is a very interesting passage from former CIA Director Brennan’s testimony before the House from about 20 minutes ago.
As a young analyst, I wouldn’t have had direct interaction with Andropov. But I have studied Russian intelligence activities over the years and I’ve seen it manifest in many different of our counterintelligence cases and how they have been able to get people, including inside the CIA, to become treasonous. And frequently, individuals who go along a treasonous path do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late. And that’s why, again, my radar goes up early when I see certain things that I know what the Russians are trying to do, and I don’t know whether or not the targets of their efforts are as mindful of the Russian intentions as they need to be.
Let me share a few more thoughts about yesterday evening’s breaking news about President Trump’s overtures to the head of the NSA and the Director of National Intelligence.
Given what we knew already, these new details cannot be terribly surprising. Indeed, they fit a clear pattern. But they show just how far-reaching, widespread and brazen President Trump was in trying to shut down the investigation into his campaign and Russia.
The Washington Post is reporting that after James Comey confirmed the existence of ‘collusion’ investigations in Senate testimony in March, President Trump personally called the head of the NSA, Adm Michael S Rodgers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats asking them to dispute that there was any collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Separately, White House officials asked top intelligence officials to intervene with Comey to shut the investigation down. Here’s our run-down.
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A short time ago on CNBC, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared on CNBC to discuss the President’s trip to Saudi Arabia. After raving about a “very bright, very attractive young woman” at a venture capital panel he attended on the trip, Ross noted the absence of any protestors during the visit, in contrast to the situation in the US.
Ross: I think the other thing that was fascinating to me … there was not a single hint of a protestor anywhere there during the whole time we were there, not one guy with a bad placard, instead …
The main takeaway from Friday’s Washington Post story on Trump/Russia was that the investigation has now expanded to include a current White House official who is close to the President as a “significant person of interest.” That’s a big deal not least because the description (1. current White House official, 2. present during the campaign and 3. “close to the president”) matches up so closely with the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. But to me that wasn’t the most noteworthy revelation.
What jumped out to me was that the authors twice invoked investigators’ focus on “financial crimes.”