News from the Note
A round-up of the day’s news that you might find useful…
It’s worth pausing to reflect on just how unusual all this is. Presidents don’t often face lawsuits related to extramarital affairs, let alone those with porn stars and Playmates. Their press secretaries aren’t left to answer questions about FBI raids on the homes of campaign aides and attorneys. Nor do they tend to accuse the people charged with upholding the nation’s laws of attacking the country.
Most presidents enter office knowing relatively little about foreign policy and learn a lot on the job. Trump knew less than any of his predecessors and has learned less than any of them. The perpetual fog that clouds his thinking has not lifted an inch; if anything, it is becoming ever more impenetrable.
Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the State Department, told senators on the Foreign Relations committee on Thursday he has cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“I have spoke with special counsel Mueller, who interviewed me, requested an interview, I cooperated,” he told the committee’s top Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez, who asked about the investigation, during his confirmation hearing.
The battle plan against Comey, obtained by CNN, calls for branding the nation’s former top law enforcement official as “Lyin’ Comey” through a website, digital advertising and talking points to be sent to Republicans across the country before his memoir is released next week. The White House signed off on the plan, which is being overseen by the Republican National Committee.
The owner of the National Enquirer paid $30,000 in late 2015 to a onetime Trump Tower doorman who was offering an embarrassing story about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump but never published it, according to a person familiar with the payment.
A spokesman for the Trump Organization on Thursday denied the story that doorman Dino Sajudin told the tabloid: that Trump fathered a child with another woman while he was married and that top executives of the Trump Organization, including longtime security chief Matt Calamari, knew about it.
Scott Pruitt’s month isn’t getting any easier as the Washington Post is reporting that lawmakers will soon investigate the Environmental Protection Agency chief for having four different email addresses. But that’s not all. A former EPA staffer told Politico he was fired because he refused to upgrade a flight to first class for another EPA official.