News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
Preet Bharara is seeing all the texts, phone calls and DMs urging him to run for New York attorney general, including from some top operatives and Democratic donors. He’s hearing it from people coming up to him on the street.
And though Bharara is leaning against making a play for the job, according to three people close to him, the onetime powerhouse U.S. attorney fired by Donald Trump pointedly hasn’t said no, either. He wants to see how the next few weeks play out.
Melania Trump returned to the White House in “high spirits” on Saturday following a weeklong hospitalization for kidney treatment, a lengthy stay that raised questions about whether the first lady’s condition may have been more complicated than first revealed.
Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, has declined to release additional details, citing Mrs. Trump’s right to privacy.
“The First Lady returned home to the White House this morning,” Grisham said in an emailed statement. “She is resting comfortably and remains in high spirits. Our office has received thousands of calls and emails wishing Mrs. Trump well, and we thank everyone who has taken the time to reach out.”
From The Daily Beast
In a letter addressed to the inspectors general of the State Department, Treasury Department and Intelligence Community, the Democratic lawmakers said the administration has not complied with the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was passed overwhelmingly and signed into law last year in part to punish Russia for its election-meddling and its incursions into eastern Europe.
From The Hill
Adult-film star Stormy Daniels’s attorney Michael Avenatti mocked President Trump‘s personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Friday for “whining” in his attempts to bar him from an ongoing case.
In a court document filed Friday, Cohen suggested Avenatti was attempting to create a “carnival atmosphere” in court, condemning the attorney for releasing Cohen’s leaked confidential financial records to the public.
Avenatti defended his tactics on MSNBC with Lawrence O’Donnell, saying Cohen is only complaining because his team has been making “considerable inroads” on his client’s defamation case against Trump’s lawyer.
An unsupported theory circulating on Capitol Hill and conservative media outlets about an “informant” spying on the Trump campaign reached new heights Friday morning, as President Donald Trump tweeted about the “all time greatest political scandal.”
But US officials tell CNN that the confidential intelligence source was not planted inside the campaign to provide information to investigators.
One of the officials said the informant is a US citizen, but provided no other details on the identity.
From The Hill
President Trump‘s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. reportedly met with a Gulf emissary months before the 2016 presidential election who said that the crown princes of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were eager to help Trump win.
Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with George Nader was held at Trump Tower in August 2016, The New York Times reported Saturday, noting the meeting and other interactions are the first indication that a country other than Russia may have offered to help the Trump campaign before the election.
A Saturday Bonus Note from the “Not Sure How I Feel About That” file
What used to be a furtive secret is now out in the open. D.C. is typically late to the party—1962’s Spacewar!, arguably the first video game, will pretty soon be old enough to collect Social Security—and it’s not like Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer spend their weekends playing Fortnite: The Entertainment Software Association, the largest lobbying group for video games, estimates that about a dozen House members regularly play on consoles like a Switch, PlayStation or Xbox. Many more play games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds on their phone. Fewer play in the Senate, which skews much older than 35, the average age of a gamer.
More important, those who do play say that spending time with Mario Kart, Zelda and other virtual games has helped them excel in their jobs in politics and policy. “Gaming is good,” Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, says. “It involves critical thinking skills. It involves tactical skills and strategic skills. And I absolutely think it’s helped me navigate Washington tactically.” And even if learning the ins and outs of say, Blizzard’s Overwatch doesn’t directly translate into knowing how to make a bill a law, Washington’s gamers say that their shared knowledge has enabled them to make connections with colleagues, reporters—and voters.
Do you play video games? Or games like Candy Crush? Board games? Or do you just like to keep an eye on the politicians’ games?