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.
From The Daily Beast
Schwartz continues to serve as Cohen’s spokesman in addition to his attorney. But his TV appearances have receded since late March, leaving the task of defending Cohen to White House allies and surrogates who are increasingly wary of being forced to stick up for the man at the center of the biggest Trumpworld scandal since the Russia investigation.
Michael Cohen, in short, has become a Trumpworld pariah.
Senior White House officials habitually dodge questions on Cohen, his predicament, and its potential consequences for the president, instead referring related questions to attorneys representing Cohen and Trump. Officials privately wish that President Trump never talked or tweeted publicly about his personal lawyer—which, true to form, is a wish the president has refused to grant.
From The Hill
The former U.S. ambassador to Panama compared President Trump to a velociraptor when describing the president’s leadership style in a new interview.
“In private, he is exactly like he is on TV, except that he doesn’t curse in public,” John Feeley told The New Yorker.
“He’s like a velociraptor,” he continued. “He has to be boss, and if you don’t show him deference he kills you.”
Feeley is a former Marine Corps helicopter pilot and a career diplomat.
He announced his resignation from his diplomatic post earlier this year, saying he could no longer serve under the Trump administration.
The US will aim to “crush” Iran with economic and military pressure unless it changes its behavior in the Middle East, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.
Pompeo, unveiling the Trump administration’s new policy on Iran just weeks after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, said the US will work to counter Tehran’s activities and curb its influence in the Middle East and make sure that it never gains a nuclear weapon.
“Sanctions are going back in full effect, and new ones are coming,” Pompeo said, speaking at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
President Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, recommended appointing Stefan Halper, an academic and suspected FBI informant on the Trump campaign, to a senior role in the Trump administration, Axios has learned.
Behind the scenes: During the presidential transition Navarro recommended Halper, among other people, for ambassador roles in Asia. A White House official said Halper visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building last August for a meeting about China.
Former President George H.W. Bush is in Maine for the summer.
The 93-year-old arrived Sunday evening at his seaside home in Kennebunkport. Dozens of residents greeted his motorcade at the town’s Dock Square, with some waving flags and holding signs.
Friends say the nation’s 41st president was eager to get to Maine after enduring the death of his wife, Barbara, and then falling ill with a blood infection.
In a yearlong pursuit of money and influence, two American businessmen played Middle East countries against each other, as they leveraged connections stretching from Persian Gulf palaces to the Oval Office into millions of dollars in contracts.
An investigation by The Associated Press found that fundraiser Elliott Broidy and George Nader, an adviser to the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, pushed the interests of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
From The Hill
Presidential historian Jon Meacham said Monday that he thinks impeachment will be the “season finale” to President Trump’s time in office.
Meacham told “Morning Joe” that Trump’s vow to ask the Justice Department to investigate whether the FBI spied on his campaign is similar to former President Nixon’s behavior ahead of firing special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and that his presidency is likely to end the same way as Nixon’s.
But if there had been any lingering questions about whether the 50-year-old justice would disappoint Trump’s core supporters, a new case released on Monday answered the question with a resounding ‘No.’The junior-most justice penned the 5-4 opinion siding with employers. The ruling was a victory for business and the Trump administration as it held that employers could require employees to sign class action waivers to bar them from banding together to fight legal disputes.
From The Hill
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said on Sunday that he will not meet with officials from the Justice Department (DOJ) until he receives documents connected to an FBI source who met with Trump campaign aides in 2016 over alleged contacts between members of the campaign and Russia.
Nunes accused someone in the DOJ of leaking the information after he and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) did not agree to Justice officials’ offer to answer questions from lawmakers in a briefing.
Former coal executive and ex-convict Don Blankenship announced Monday his plan to launch a third-party bid for a West Virginia Senate seat after finishing third in this month’s GOP primary, reports NPR.