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 on Thursday peppered his Twitter feed with falsehoods, claiming the media is ignoring a controversy he’s dubbed “spygate” and is maliciously pushing the idea that he fired FBI director James Comey because of the Russia probe — an explanation the president himself offered in the days after the ousting.
It was another example of Trump hammering the media as he tries to beat back damaging stories about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, the Trump campaign and whether the president tried to obstruct justice.
From The Hill
“He’s drinking the Kool-Aid,” Giuliani told CNN on Thursday.
He also criticized Gowdy for not moving to prosecute Hillary Clinton over Benghazi.
“I never understood what he did with Benghazi either. He really screwed that up. I don’t know what he was doing,” Giuliani said of Gowdy, who led the House investigation into Benghazi.
President Donald Trump asked Friday why comedian Samantha Bee hasn’t been fired for calling his daughter and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump a “feckless c***” on her TBS show earlier this week.
“Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show?” Trump wrote on Twitter.
In the wake of ABC canceling Roseanne Barr’s hit sitcom following a racist remark, Trump called the controversy with Bee “a total double standard” and added, “but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!”
From The Hill
Hart told the AP that the president “kept mentioning” the idea of arming teachers, and that he repeatedly referred to the suspected shooter and the trench coat he wore as “wacky.”
“Maybe if everyone had access to mental health care, we wouldn’t be in the situation,” she said she told the president.
Hart, who is an Army veteran, told the AP that she suggested employing veterans in schools to serve as guards, and that he responded, “and arm them?”
“It was like talking to a toddler,” she said.
Cell phone surveillance devices were detected near the White House and other sensitive locations in the Washington, DC, area last year, a government study found.
The spying technology, called International Mobile Subscriber Identity devices and known alternatively as Stingrays or IMSI catchers, was discovered as part of a review by the Department of Homeland Security conducted last year and detailed in a letter the agency sent to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, last month.
A federal appeals court judge is challenging his colleagues’ decision to appoint a special prosecutor to defend a district court judge’s handling of a pardon President Donald Trump issued last year to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on a contempt-of-court charge.
An unidentified member of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals objected to a split appeals court panel’s decision in April to use the special prosecutor mechanism in the review of Phoenix-based U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling, Chief 9th Circuit Judge Sidney Thomas said in an order Friday.
From The Hill
“I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything & asked 4 help in making things right. I’d worked doing publicity 4 them 4 free for weeks, traveling, thru bronchitis. I begged 4 ppls jobs,” Barr wrote in a since deleted tweet, CNN reported.
“He said: what were you thinking when you did this? I said: I thought she was white, she looks like my family! He scoffed & said: ‘what u have done is egregious, and unforgivable.’ I begged 4 my crews jobs,” the actress continued, saying in another tweet that has since been deleted: “Will I ever recover from this pain? Omg.”
President Donald Trump on Friday formally threw his weight behind an administration push to compel power companies to keep their coal-fired and nuclear plants operating in the name of national security — an effort that has stirred criticism from environmentalists, the oil and gas industry and some free-market Republicans.
Trump “has directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to prepare immediate steps to stop the loss of these resources,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Friday.
The White House has yet to spell out details of what those steps would entail.
From The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shelled out $1,560 to pay for customized fountain pens for Administrator Scott Pruitt, according to internal emails.
The 12 silver pens, made by a Washington-based jewelry store, included an EPA seal and Pruitt’s signature, The Washington Post first reportedFriday. The order was among a larger $3,230 order that included personalized journals from Tiny Jewel Box, a store that calls itself D.C.’s “premier destination for fine jewelry and watches.”
Each of the pens cost taxpayers $130, according to emails sent between an account manager and Pruitt’s political aide and scheduler Millan Hupp. The emails were released in a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club this week.