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.
President Donald Trump’s claim that the FBI embedded a spy in his campaign for political purposes began to crumble Wednesday after a prominent Republican, as well as defenders of the president, said he might have the story wrong.
In less than 24 hours, Trump’s allegations were publicly refuted by House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), one of just nine lawmakers briefed on highly classified details of the FBI’s operation; Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, a Trump favorite; and prominent legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, a vocal Trump ally who has advised the president on legal strategy.
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said at a political conference in Michigan Thursday morning that the Republican party has lost its identity and is “taking a nap”.
Meghan McCain on ‘Roseanne’ cancellation: ABC holds employees to higher standard than the White House
From The Hill
Meghan McCain on Wednesday blasted President Trump while praising ABC’s decision to cancel the sitcom “Roseanne,” saying that the network “holds a higher standard to their employees than apparently the White House does.”
McCain made her comments on “The View” a day after ABC canceled “Roseanne.” The network made the decision after the show’s star Roseanne Barr sent a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to President Obama.
“I’ve been so disheartened by what’s acceptable in the world right now, what’s acceptable in the White House,” McCain said. “It’s refreshing to see someone take a stand and say ‘No, not at ABC. Not at this company. This is not acceptable rhetoric.’ ”
McCain has been a fierce critic of Trump, who has disparaged her father Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that he is considering pardoning Martha Stewart and commuting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s sentence.
Trump floated the idea of pardoning or commuting the sentences of the two former “Apprentice” series stars hours after he pardoned the conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza. Last week, Trump also pardoned the deceased boxer Jack Johnson.
Trump is weighing the Stewart pardon as his attorney Rudy Giuliani has taken to comparing the dilemma Trump faces about whether he should testify before the special counsel Robert Mueller to Stewart’s prosecution. Stewart, who was investigated for insider trading, was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction and making false statements to investigators — the latter of which Giuliani has seized on as a reason for why Trump should not sit for an interview.
The former official said he doesn’t think Trump is playing “the sort of three-dimensional chess people ascribe to decisions like this. More often than not he’s just eating the pieces.”
Another source close to the president said the D’Souza pardon “showed poor judgment.”
The pardon is an example of one of the things the president does best, though, countered another former White House official: trolling.
North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is one of the more vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year, but Republicans are the ones worrying about her race, Politico reports.
Battle lines: President Trump recruited her challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, but he invited Heitkamp to a bill signing last week and hasn’t attacked her (yet.) Just last night at a rally in Tennessee he said, referring to Heitkamp and other red-state Democratic senators, “Democrats running for office, many of them, are saying great things about me — in fact, I think they’re Republicans.”
Samantha Bee has apologized for calling White House senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump a “feckless c***” on her TBS show Thursday.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it,” Bee said in a statement.
Bee had gone after Trump for failing to take action to stop the separation of undocumented families.
From The Daily Beast
The Senate intelligence committee has asked to interview Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s longtime political adviser and self-described dirty trickster.
Stone’s lawyer, Grant Smith, told The Daily Beast that the committee last week sent them an email with a list of search terms for communications to use to determine which electronic communications to turn over to the Senate Intelligence Committee. At the same time, according to Smith, the committee said its members would like to question Stone after receiving the documents. Smith said the process has been amicable and that the interview date has not yet been set.
Stone told The Daily Beast he hopes the interview with the committee will be public, and said he has “already begun to think about what to wear.”