👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile despite violation of the arms control treaty that helped seal the end of the Cold War. The move presents a major challenge for President Trump, who has vowed to improve relations with Putin and to pursue future arms accords. (New York Times)
2/ Trump knew Flynn misled officials on Russia calls for “weeks” the White House says. The comment contrasts the impression Trump gave aboard Air Force One that he was not familiar with a report that revealed Flynn had not told the truth about the calls. White House counsel Don McGahn told Trump in a January briefing that Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions with Russia. (Washington Post)
- The timeline of Michael Flynn’s resignation looks bad for the Trump White House. Was the White House concerned that Flynn had apparently lied to them — or at least done something he shouldn’t have and failed to disclose it? Would it ever have taken corrective action if the situation hadn’t been made public? (Washington Post)
- The F.B.I. interviewed Flynn in the first days of the Trump administration about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. If he was not entirely honest with the F.B.I., it could expose Flynn, who resigned his post, to a felony charge. (New York Times)
- Flynn sets record with only 24 days as national security adviser. The average tenure is about 2.6 years. (Washington Post)
3/ A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee calls for an exhaustive investigation into Trump-Russia connections following Flynn’s resignation. “The national security adviser of all the people that work with and for the President has to be absolutely trustworthy and truthful and apparently he wasn’t and he paid the price for that…” (CNN)
- McConnell: Flynn investigation “highly likely” in Senate committee. The Senate’s second-ranking Republican and other GOP senators have called for an investigation into the episode, building on a string of investigations underway on Russian interference in the US elections. (CNN)
- House Republicans rejected calls for an independent investigation into Flynn’s communications with Russia, laying bare the party’s reticence to challenge Trump in the early weeks of his presidency. The chair of the intelligence committee said he was less concerned with investigating Flynn’s conduct than with the question of who was behind the leaks that quickly spiraled into the former official’s dramatic resignation. (The Guardian)
- Democrats demand that Flynn’s resignation spur broader Russia investigation. In a joint statement, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said, “We in Congress need to know who authorized his actions, permitted them and continued to let him have access to our most sensitive national security information despite knowing these risks. We need to know who else within the White House is a current and ongoing risk to our national security.” (New York Times)
- FBI needs to explain why Flynn’s call were recorded with the Russian ambassador and later leaked information to the press. Intelligence officials had recorded Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office. Those recordings appeared to contradict Flynn’s own claims that he had not discussed easing U.S. sanctions on Russia. (Washington Post)
4/ Ethics office: Conway committed “clear violation” with Ivanka plug and recommends that the White House investigate Trump’s senior adviser. Conway offered what she described as a “free commercial” for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line after Nordstrom pulled her items from its racks, drawing a Twitter rebuke from Trump. (Politico)
- Scarborough rips Conway as an “out of the loop” liar after Flynn resignation. Conway’s assertion that Flynn enjoyed “the full confidence of the president” just hours before he offered his resignation is proof that Conway is acting recklessly. (Politico)
- Matt Lauer: “Kellyanne, that makes no sense” (Vox)
- Kellyanne Conway struggling to cool controversies she set off. The counselor to the president insists she hasn’t lost Trump’s confidence. (Politico)
- Conway claims she doesn’t know who retweeted a white nationalist from her twitter account. Seriously, WTF? (BuzzFeed)
5/ Russian lawmakers defend Trump’s ex-national security adviser. Russia’s foreign affairs committees are calling Flynn’s resignation a dark campaign of Russophobia and “thoughtcrime”. (Washington Post)
- The Kremlin is starting to worry about Trump. Vladimir Putin’s entourage cheered the outcome of the U.S. election. Now that Trump is in power, political elites in Moscow have stopped cheering. They recognize that Russia’s position has become abruptly and agonizingly complex. (Foreign Policy)
6/ How leaks and investigative journalists led to Flynn’s resignation. Journalists at The Washington Post, The New York Times and other outlets spoke with government officials who provided vital information about Flynn’s contacts with Russia. (CNN)
- Trump: The “real story” of Flynn resignation is illegal leaks. Democrat Hillary Clinton. In October, he told the crowd at a campaign rally “I love WikiLeaks” as the group continued to release hacked emails from Clinton’s top aides. (The Hill)
The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2017
7/ Bannon’s Breitbart takes shot at Priebus: As Flynn resigns, Priebus’ future is in doubt as Trump allies circulate list of alternate chief of staff candidates. (Breitbart)
8/ House conservatives fret GOP is blowing Obamacare repeal. Hard-liners are plotting a major push to repeal the law immediately without simultaneously approving an alternative. Trump has sent conflicting signals, initially saying he wanted Congress to act immediately but then cautioning the process could take all year. (Politico)
9/ US allies in Europe have no idea “what the fuck is going on” with the Trump Administration.“It’s a wake up call to European leaders that counting on America isn’t currently a smart policy,” one European intelligence official said after the sudden resignation of the US national security advisor. (BuzzFeed News)
10/ Secret Service director to step down, giving Trump chance to select his own security chief. The head of the Secret Service is leaving his post, a little more than two years after arriving in one of Washington’s toughest jobs. (Washington Post)
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