👋 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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Comey has been invited to testify at a closed Senate Intelligence Committee hearing next week. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner said the invitation went out with Republican committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr’s consent. (Reuters / ABC News)
The Senate intelligence committee subpoenas Michael Flynn for documents regarding his interactions with Russian officials. The order went out Wednesday after Flynn’s attorneys informed the panel they would not cooperate with the probe unless the former general was granted immunity. The Senate panel first requested the documents on April 28. (Politico / CNN)
1/ Trump met with Putin’s top diplomats at the White House. The talks came one day after Trump fired the FBI Director, who was overseeing an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Sergey Lavrov met with Rex Tillerson earlier in the day and sarcastically acknowledged the dismissal of James Comey by saying “Was he fired? You’re kidding. You’re kidding.” The Kremlin said Trump’s firing of Comey will have no effect on bilateral relations between the two countries. Trump also met with Sergey Kislyak, a key figure in the Flynn investigation. (Associated Press / Reuters / Washington Post / NPR)
2 photos of Trump in the Oval Office with Russian FM Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak. They're from the Russians. Nothing from White House yet. pic.twitter.com/s8BSYDGn62— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 10, 2017
2/ Trump defended firing Comey and said both parties will thank him in an early morning tweetstorm. Trump justified dismissing Comey, saying Democrats and Republicans had lost faith in his leadership due to “scandals.” Trump then mocked his critics and suggested that a Democratic senator be investigated after appearing on TV condemning the president’s action. Later, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Comey was dismissed because he committed “atrocities” and that Trump had been considering the decision to fire Comey before his inauguration. Putin weighed in, saying the firing will have “no effect” on US-Russia relations and that Trump acted in accordance with the US law and Constitution. Thanks Putin! (New York Times / Vox / Associated Press / The Daily Beast / CBS News)
Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, "I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer." Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke. "Richie" devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history. For....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
years, as a pol in Connecticut, Blumenthal would talk of his great bravery and conquests in Vietnam - except he was never there. When....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
- Sessions was told to find reasons to fire Comey. To justify the decision, Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, cited Comey’s handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, which Trump repeatedly promoted during the 2016 campaign. (The Hill)
- Trump has now fired 3 officials who were investigating his campaign or administration. 10 days into his presidency, Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who announced that the Justice Department would not defend Trump’s travel ban. A month later, Trump fired Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was investigating Rep. Tom Price, then Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary. Then, on May 9, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey was fired who was leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Washington Post)
- Pence praised Trump’s decision to fire Comey and insisted the decision wasn’t due to the ongoing probe into alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. (CNN)
3/ Days before he was fired, Comey asked for a significant increase in money and personnel for the Russia investigation. Comey asked for the resources during a meeting last week with Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who wrote the Justice Department’s memo used to justify his firing. (New York Times)
4/ Trump also met with Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s national security adviser, less than a day after firing Comey in Nixonian fashion. Kissinger was there to discuss “Russia and various other matters.” (Slate)
Pool brought into the Oval. It's Trump and ... Kissinger. pic.twitter.com/1F1CPO4kQw— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) May 10, 2017
5/ Mitch McConnell rejected calls for a special prosecutor or independent commission to investigate Russia’s election meddling in the wake of the firing of FBI Director James Comey. The Senate Majority Leader said, “Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation, which could only serve to impede the current work being done.” Democrats exerted pressure on their Republican colleagues, moving to shut down Senate committees, using procedural moves to block or delay hearings on Russia, cybersecurity, presidential nominees and more. (Politico / New York Times)
6/ Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of Michael Flynn seeking business records. The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI’s broader Trump-Russia investigation. (CNN / Reuters)
- Senate Intelligence Chairman threatened to subpoena Trump campaign aides if they ignore deadlines to turn over records. Richard Burr has received just two responses to an initial request for information. The panel has asked a number of Trump campaign aides to provide records, including Page, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn. (Politico)
7/ Rudy Giuliani is visiting the White House, but says he’s not a candidate for FBI director. A source close to the president confirmed Giuliani was in consideration for the position. Giuliani, hanging out at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., said he was “in town for several business meetings, law firm meetings.” (New York Magazine / The Atlantic)
8/ Senate Russia investigators asked the Treasury criminal investigation division for financial information related to Trump, his top officials and his campaign aides. Sen. Mark Warner said they made the request to FinCEN, the federal agency that has been investigating allegations of foreign money-laundering through purchases of US real estate. (CNN)
9/ The Senate failed to revoke Obama-era methane rules. The measure would have given oil and gas companies a reprieve from methane emission rules on federal land. The defeat is a blow to oil and natural gas drillers who had made this a top priority. (Reuters / Bloomberg)
10/ The Census Bureau director resigns as the agency faces a funding debate over the 2020 Census. Congress wants the cost of the 2020 count to not exceed the cost of the 2010 count, the bureau wanting to implement a new system that relies more on electronic data collection, which was promoted as a cost-saving measure. (NPR / Washington Post)
11/ A West Virginia journalist was arrested after asking HHS Secretary Tom Price a question. Dan Heyman was charged with willful disruption of governmental processes, a misdemeanor, for allegedly causing a disturbance and yelling questions at federal leaders in town. (WSAZ News)
12/ Students booed and turned their backs on Betsy DeVos as she gave the keynote address at a historically black university. The speech was part of an effort by Trump and DeVos to reach out to historically black schools. Students and alumni said that outreach is an empty gesture. (Washington Post)
poll/ Trump’s first 100 days have been “mainly a failure,” 58% of voters say. (Quinnipiac)
poll/ Just 36% of voters approve of Trump’s job performance. His disapproval rating rose to 58%. (Quinnipiac)
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