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.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators questioned White House senior adviser Jared Kushner about potential Russian collusion, his contacts with foreign nationals and potential obstruction issues, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, Kushner’s lawyer said Wednesday.
Abbe Lowell, who has represented Kushner in the Russia investigation, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Kushner answered all the questions that were asked during Kushner’s second interview with the Mueller team. Lowell said the topics were “the appropriate topics that Bob Mueller and his team were looking at.”
Rudy Giuliani says that an ultimate decision won’t be made on whether President Donald Trump will sit for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller until “the details of this ‘Spygate’ situation” are figured out.
Giuliani, in an interview with BuzzFeed News, was focused Wednesday on the same topic as the president — despite the fact that the two last talked, he said, a “couple weeks ago.”
Who of the outside lawyers on the special counsel matter is talking with Trump then? “I’m not. People from our office are,” Giuliani said. How often are those people talking with Trump? He hedged: “Talking, correspondence? A couple times a week.”
From The Hill
President Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon predicts that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could be fired “very shortly,” in an interview that will be broadcast Wednesday evening in the United Kingdom.
Bannon said that Rosenstein “either … is going to take the direct order of the president of the United States or I think Rosenstein will be fired.”
Bannon also said that the president should give evidence in writing — but not in person — to special counsel Robert Mueller. Bannon praised Mueller as an “honorable guy.”
From Vanity Fair
Rudy Giuliani has played a multitude of parts in public life: Tenacious federal prosecutor of the mob. Two-term mayor leading the revival of New York City—and consoler-in-chief when the city was attacked by terrorists. Giuliani has also been an enthusiastic drag queen and a failed Republican presidential candidate. Now he has taken on his least-likely role: spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller. Unofficially, that is, but energetically and craftily. One week ago, Giuliani declared to CNN that Mueller had told him the special counsel “acknowledged” that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Three days ago Giuliani announced to The New York Times that Mueller’s timeline has the special counsel wrapping up the investigation into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice by September 1. All of which may be true—or not. Hours after Giuliani’s most recent declaration, Reuters ran a story saying the September 1 deadline was “entirely made-up” by Trump’s new lawyer, attributing the pushback cryptically to a “U.S. official.” Mueller’s actual spokesman, Peter Carr, did what he has done for more than a year, however: quickly and politely decline to comment.
From The Hill
Disgraced former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is set to turn himself in to New York police on Friday to face charges of sex crimes, according to a report in The New York Daily News.
Weinstein, who faces allegations of sexual assault and rape, will surrender himself in connection to an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and New York Police Department.
President Donald Trump worries that his lawyer, Michael Cohen, might cut a plea deal and turn against him. But an even greater threat may be creeping up on Trump: Roger Stone.
Although Cohen is considered the keeper of Trump’s most private secrets, Stone has known the president for much longer, and is a self-described dirty trickster with broad knowledge of his personal, business and political histories.
But Stone may also feel limited loyalty to his former boss, with whom he has at times bitterly feuded.
From The Hill
An NFL player is slamming the league’s new rule preventing players from kneeling during the national anthem, saying “freedom of speech” no longer exists for football players.
“Freedom of speech does not exist for NFL players now, we get fined for protesting for something we believe in, FINE ME!!!!” Dawuane Smoot tweeted Wednesday. “You can’t change my opinion, and can’t stop my protest I have a right as an American to protest when I feel there is injustice in this country.
From The Hill
President Trump did not invite three Senate Democrats who co-authored legislation loosening banking rules to a White House signing ceremony on Thursday, according to aides for the senators.
Two of the senators not invited, Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.) and Joe Donnelly(Ind.), are in hotly contested Senate races in this fall’s midterm elections, the results of which could help determine the Senate majority.
Trump has also been in a personal feud with Tester, who he blamed for the withdrawal of his nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs Department (VA).
The third senator and co-author of the banking bill not invited to the signing ceremony was Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).
Ivanka Trump’s security clearance was upgraded to permanent Top Secret at the same time as Jared Kushner’s upgrade on May 1, according to a person briefed on the matter. The White House declined to comment on this story.
Why it matters: Ivanka’s security clearance status hasn’t always been known, and there was speculation she wouldn’t obtain permanent security clearance after CNN reported the FBI was investigating one of her international business deals back in March.