1/ Flight records contradict Trump’s claim he never spent the night in Moscow during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. According to James Comey’s memos, Trump twice told the now-former FBI director that there is no way the “golden showers thing” happened because he claims he arrived on the morning of the event and left shortly after it ended in the early hours of the next morning. Christopher Steele’s dossier alleges that Trump had prostitutes perform “golden showers” on the bed in the Ritz-Carlton’s presidential suite in 2013 during the Miss Universe pageant. Flights records show Trump arrived in Moscow on November 8th, 2013, and left at 3:58am on November 10th, 2013. (Bloomberg)
Trump’s false claims to Comey about Moscow stay could aid Mueller. James Comey says the president told him that he never spent the night in Moscow in 2013, but flight records, social media and his bodyguard’s testimony show otherwise. (Politico)
TIMELINE: An hour-by-hour recap of Trump’s 2013 visit to Moscow. (Bloomberg)
Trump flew to Moscow on November 7th, 2013, landing Friday, November 8th.
The next day, Trump was at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, did a tour of Moscow, and attended the Miss Universe pageant, followed by an afterparty that started at 1am.
Keith Schiller, Trump’s bodyguard, testified before Congress that “a Russian participant” offered to send five women to Trump’s hotel room on November 9th. Schiller reportedly rejected the offer and stood outside Trump’s hotel room until he went to bed for the night.
The jet Trump took to Moscow left at 3:58am on the night of November 9th, 2013, landing in New Jersey at 4:11am local time.
2/ Trump’s new national security adviser chaired a nonprofit that promoted misleading and anti-Muslim news. Bolton was chairman of the Gatestone Institute from 2013 until last month. The advocacy group claims that a “jihadist takeover” of Europe is leading to a “Great White Death,” which was amplified by a Russian troll factory that sought to portray Western society as at risk of “Islamization.” (NBC News)
3/ The Trump administration is challenging Native Americans’ exemption from new Medicaid work rules because it would be illegal preferential treatment. Meaning Native Americans would need to get a job if they want to keep their health care in states that institute work requirements for Medicaid. The administration has allowed three states – Arkansas, Kentucky and Indiana – to begin instituting such requirements, and at least 10 other states have submitted or are preparing applications. (Politico)
4/ The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in favor of Mike Pompeo’s nomination for secretary of state, after Rand Paul flipped from opposing to supporting. The committee approved Pompeo by an 11-to-10 vote along party lines and is expected to win confirmation from the full Senate later this week. Earlier, Trump tweeted that it’s “hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State,” claiming Democrats “will not approve hundreds of good people” by “maxing out” the confirmation process. (Politico / Reuters / New York Times / NBC News)
Hard to believe Obstructionists May vote against Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. The Dems will not approve hundreds of good people, including the Ambassador to Germany. They are maxing out the time on approval process for all, never happened before. Need more Republicans!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2018
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: Democrats voting against Pompeo’s nomination don’t “love this country” and have to decide if “they hate this president” more. The press secretary’s comments came while she was appearing on Fox & Friends. (Daily Beast)
Pompeo has the support of three Democratic senators, increasing his chances of being confirmed by the full chamber. (CNN)
5/ Trump rejected speculation that Michael Cohen will flip, tweeting that he has “always liked and respected” his attorney. He added that “Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!” In a flurry of weekend tweets, Trump called New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman a “third rate reporter” and a Clinton “flunkie” following her report that Cohen could end up cooperating with federal officials as legal fees and possible criminal charges pile up. (Washington Post)
The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
....non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
....it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
A complete Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2018
- Hillary Clinton: The First Amendment is “under open assault” in the Trump era. “We are living through an all-out war on truth, facts and reason,” Clinton said. “When leaders deny things we can see with our own eyes, like the size of a crowd at the inauguration, when they refuse to accept settled science when it comes to urgent challenges like climate change … it is the beginning of the end of freedom, and that is not hyperbole. It’s what authoritarian regimes through history have done.” (Washington Post)
6/ The former lawyer for both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal is cooperating with investigators in the Michael Cohen probe. Keith Davidson provided the Southern District of New York with “certain limited electronic information” about the confidentiality agreements he negotiated between Cohen and the two women regarding their alleged affairs with Trump. (CNN)
- Stormy Daniels is telling the truth that somebody threatened her to stay silent about her affair with Trump, according to her friend and fellow porn star. Jessica Drake is named in the nondisclosure agreement Daniels signed as somebody with whom she discussed her alleged affair with Trump. Drake claims she refused a $10,000 offer to have sex with Trump after meeting him during a Lake Tahoe golf event in 2006. (ABC News)
7/ Kellyanne Conway accused CNN of sexism for asking about her husband’s critical Trump tweets. Conway said the question by CNN’s Dana Bash “was meant to harass and embarrass,” which was inappropriate and created a “double standard.” Conway’s husband, George Conway, has been tweeting and retweeting critical comments about Trump, but deleted a handful of tweets last month. (The Hill / Politico / CNN)
8/ During Barbara Bush’s funeral, Trump tweeted about the DNC’s lawsuit over hacked emails, accused James Comey of leaking classified memos, and called Jeff Sessions “Mr. Magoo” and Rod Rosenstein “Mr. Peepers.” Melania Trump, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama, meanwhile, attended the service. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mika Brzezinski called Trump’s tweets “especially insulting to the United States of America” on a day “the world said goodbye to Barbara Bush.” (The Hill)
9/ Trump’s legislative affairs director won’t rule out Trump firing Robert Mueller or Rod Rosenstein, saying the special counsel has moved outside his original mandate. Marc Short said: “We believe the scope has gone well beyond what was intended to be Russian meddling in the election,” adding, “We don’t know how far off the investigation is going to veer.” (Politico)
poll/ 78% of Americans believe teachers are underpaid, but only 52% support the teacher walkouts protesting low teacher pay and school funding cuts. (Associated Press)
poll/ 59% of registered voters believe that Trump does not deserve to be re-elected. 37% of voters say Trump deserves re-election, which is on par with Clinton (38%) and Obama (37%) who had similar figures at the time of the 1994 and 2010 midterm elections, respectively. (Gallup)
Mitt Romney failed to win the Utah Republican Party’s nomination and will now face 11 challengers in a June primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Orrin Hatch. (Reuters)
The Treasury Department eased sanctions on a Russian aluminum producer tied to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to Putin. (Politico)
A federal appeals court ruled that the Trump administration cannot delay fines for “gas-guzzling” cars that violate fuel efficiency standards. In July 2017, the Department of Transportation indefinitely postponed a scheduled increase in penalties for automakers while it reviewed the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program. (The Hill)
The Supreme Court will consider Trump’s third iteration of his travel ban on Wednesday, which bars most nationals from a small group of mostly Muslim nations. This is the first time the court has considered the merits of the policy. (Washington Post)
Sean Hannity is linked to a group of shell companies that spent $90 million buying more than 870 homes in seven states over the past decade through foreclosures and a Department of Housing and Urban Development assistance program. For some of the mortgages, Hannity obtained funding from HUD under the National Housing Act loan program, which the Fox News host didn’t disclose when he interviewed HUD secretary Ben Carson on his show last June. (The Guardian)
Hannity called it “ironic” that he’s “being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment.” In 2014, Hannity bought two apartment complexes in Georgia for $22.7 million, but funded the purchases with $17.9 million in mortgages through HUD’s National Housing Act program. (Politico)
The White House is cautioning Republicans and conservative allies to temper their defense of Scott Pruitt. Four Republicans and 170 Democrats have called on Pruitt to step down. (Bloomberg)
Ivana Trump: Donald “should just go and play golf” instead of running for reelection in 2020. “I’ll tell you something, I don’t think it’s necessary,” she said. “I think he probably [misses] a little bit of freedom, I don’t think he probably knew how much is involved of being the president. It’s so [much] information — you have to know the whole world.” (Page Six)
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