Day 45: Troubling.
1/ Trump wants congressional probe of claims that Obama had him wiretapped during last year’s election, but won’t comment further. Trump is “requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016,” Spicer said. (USA Today)
2/ Trump called “reports” about the wiretapping “very troubling” and said Congress should examine them as part of its inquiry into Russia’s meddling in the election. (New York Times)
3/ Senator: Intel panel to look at alleged wiretap. Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations that his predecessor ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower will become part of the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (ABC News)
4/ Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied any suggestion that Trump Tower communications were wiretapped before the election. Asked again whether there was a FISA Court order to monitor Trump Tower, Clapper said, “Not to my knowledge.” (NBC News)
5/ Schumer: “The president is in trouble.” The Senate minority leader said that Trump’s Saturday morning allegations about Obama will be damaging to his presidency whether they are true or not and that “the president makes it worse with these tweets.” (Politico)
6/ The Trump administration may be skirting its own ethics rules by hiring of three former lobbyists to work in the White House. The administration appears to be either ignoring or exempting top staffers from its own watered-down ethics rules. (ProPublica)
7/ Trump angry and frustrated at staff over Sessions fallout for stealing his thunder in the wake of his address to Congress. “Nobody has seen him that upset,” one source said, adding the feeling was the communications team allowed the Sessions news, which the administration deemed a nonstory, to overtake the narrative. (CNN)
8/ Trump plans to sign updated travel ban early next week. Trump was scheduled to sign the order last week but pushed it back after his joint address to Congress received overwhelmingly positive reviews. “We want the (executive order) to have its own ‘moment,’ “ a senior administration official said. (CNN)
9/ Russia is the slow burn of the Trump administration, and it’s not going away. Not much is known about the controversy, but that there were contacts is not in dispute. The Session controversy shows the administration doesn’t know what it doesn’t know, leaving itself vulnerable to calls for more investigations. (Washington Post)
10/ Trump skips the Gridiron Dinner as his staffers get roasted. Trump declined his invitation as tensions between him and the press are as high as ever. Gridiron Club is an exclusive group of Washington’s top political reporters. (NPR)
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