A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Esper Tells All
President Trump asked then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper at least twice during the summer of 2020 if it were possible for the U.S. to fire missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs,” Esper writes in his upcoming book, per an excerpt reported by the New York Times.
- Trump also believed that the U.S. government’s involvement in firing those missiles could somehow be kept secret, saying “no one would know it was us,” according to Esper’s book.
- Quick reminder: Trump also had asked Esper why he couldn’t “just shoot” the George Floyd protesters in 2020, per Axios’ previous report on Esper’s upcoming memoir.
GOP Rep. Offended By Jan. 6 Being Called A Terrorist Attack
Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) finds it “insulting” that anyone would call the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection a domestic terrorist attack.
- ‘Twas nothing but “a protest,” Mooney insisted during an interview on local radio station West Virginia Metro News on Thursday.
- “A few people went in and the law should be implemented for those who broke it,” the Republican lawmaker said.
Psych! Giuliani Abruptly Ditches Jan. 6 Panel Interview
Ex-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani suddenly canceled his interview with the House Jan. 6 Committee that was scheduled for today because the panel rejected his demand to be allowed to videotape the discussion, according to his attorney.
- A spokesperson for the committee indicated in a statement that Giuliani could be held in contempt for the stunt, saying that the panel “will consider all enforcement options” if he doesn’t comply with their subpoena. That would make him the fifth Trump crony the panel recommended for contempt charges.
- Giuliani’s testimony isn’t off the table, but he won’t do it unless the committee agrees to his demand, his lawyer said.
- The committee has already interviewed more than 970 people, per the New York Times.
Schumer Schedules Abortion Rights Vote
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced on Thursday that the Senate will take up the Women’s Health Protection Act on Wednesday to enshrine abortion access into law now that the Supreme Court is ready to strike down Roe v. Wade.
- Schumer acknowledged that the vote would be purely symbolic, but at least Republican senators “will not be able to hide from the horror they’ve unleashed on America.” And, well, it’s true that they’ve been trying to hide to some degree by faking outrage over the SCOTUS decision being leaked rather than taking a victory lap over the actual decision.
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), one of very few pro-choice Republican senators (yet who helped usher in Roe‘s demise to begin with) doesn’t support the legislation. So even if the filibuster didn’t already doom the bill, it’s not likely Democrats would’ve had the votes for it anyway given that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) helped Republicans block the bill in February.
- Codifying abortion rights into law isn’t a silver bullet, as TPM’s Kate Riga reports.
Michigan Police Seize Voting Machine
The Michigan State Police seized a voting machine in Irving Township in a raid last Friday as part of its investigation into third party voting machine breaches in wake of the 2020 election, CNN reports.
“One of Madison Cawthorn’s liabilities: He’s too online for Congress” – The Washington Post
Must Read (Well, Watch)
“The War in Ukraine, as Seen on Russian TV” – The New York Times
GOP Candidate Won Primary While Charged For Murder
Andrew Wilhoite won a Republican primary election for a local town board in Indiana on Tuesday as he remains charged for his wife’s alleged murder. Wilhoite was arrested on March 26 after telling law enforcement that he had struck his wife with a flower pot and dumped her in a creek.
Biden Announces New Press Secretary
Karine Jean-Pierre, who currently serves as White House principal deputy press secretary, will be replacing outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki when she departs on May 13, Biden announced on Thursday.
- Jean-Pierre, who is gay, will be the first openly LGBTQ+ person and first Black woman to serve as a White House press secretary.
- Psaki is leaving the White House to join MSNBC for an on-air role, according to multiple reports.
Pelosi Sets New Minimum Salary For House Staffers
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Friday that she would be establishing the House’s first-ever minimum annual salary for staffers at $45,000. The House will also vote on a resolution to allow congressional staffers to form a union next week, per Pelosi’s letter.
Amazon Union President Wears ‘Eat The Rich’ Jacket At Congressional Hearing
Amazon Labor Union president Chris Smalls showed up at his hearing with the Senate Budget Committee and White House meeting with Biden on Thursday wearing this:
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