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 Hill
“My father’s life became exponentially worse the minute he decided to run for president,” Eric Trump, told Westchester Magazine in an interview. “He didn’t need to do this, but he was immensely frustrated with where the country was going.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is denying a Russian company’s claim that prosecutors are improperly trying to make it easier to win a case charging that Russian businesses and individuals illegally interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A Russian corporation accused of funding social media ads and internet troll activity in the 2016 presidential election, St. Petersburg-based Concord Management and Consulting, contends that Mueller’s prosecutors are trying to make an end-run around the high legal standard typically applied in criminal cases stemming from federal election law.
Donald Trump has been President Trump for 500 days as of noon today, and everything has changed, and nothing has changed.
Be smart: In 500 days, Trump’s hijacking of the formerly conservative GOP is complete — an astonishing accomplishment. The majority party in America is fully defined by his policies, his popularity with the base, his facts-be-damned mentality, his ability to control and quiet virtually all Republican elected officials.
MM hears that before he left the White House, former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn would withhold jobs report data from President Trump until shortly before their release because he was worried the president couldn’t help but say something about them.
It’s now easy to see why he did this. I wrote at some length on Friday about Trump’s extraordinary tweet an hour before the May jobs report suggesting that he was “looking forward” to the numbers, which turned out to handily beat expectations. Markets jumped on Trump’s tweet, which pushed right up to the line (and perhaps beyond) of rules forbidding federal officials from saying anything about the data until an hour AFTER its release.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeatedly refused Monday to account for the discrepancy between contradictory statements she and President Donald Trump’s lawyers made about the President’s role in dictating the 2016 Trump Tower meeting response.
“You’re referencing a letter that came directly from outside counsel and I would refer you to them,” Sanders said Monday during the White House briefing. “I’m not going to get into a back and forth.”
Trump’s personal attorneys said in a January letter to special counsel Robert Mueller obtained by The New York Times last week that Trump “dictated a short but accurate response to The New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.”
From The Hill
Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate leadership, gave no hint of what Congress would do if Trump tried to give himself a pardon.
“I think that’s an academic argument — sounds like a debate law students would have over what the technical power is. I think it’s a distraction because so far there’s been, on a bipartisan basis, a conclusion that there’s no evidence of collusion,” Cornyn told reporters.
The known death toll for the eruption of Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire has taken a sudden jump upward.
The director of Guatemala’s National Institute of Forensic Science says that 62 bodies have been recovered following the eruption.
Fanuel Garcia said Monday that only 13 of those bodies have so far been identified. The bodies were recovered in the hamlets of Los Lotes and El Rodeo.
From The Hill
George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, slammed President Trump‘s assertion on Monday that the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the Russia probe “is totally unconstitutional.”
“The appointment of the Special Councel [sic] is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!” Trump wrote on Twitter, before deleting the post and re-posting it with the spelling error corrected.
George Conway shared commentary by a Politico reporter critiquing Trump’s claim, saying: “If this is true, you’d think Trump’s ex-campaign chairman would’ve made this argument since he’s facing a potential life sentence. But he hasn’t.”
North Korea will only receive sanction relief once its government takes “verifiable and irreversible steps to denuclearization,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Sunday.
The Trump administration official painted a far-from-rosy picture of negotiations with Pyongyang during a security summit in Singapore on Sunday, stressing that the U.S. will not budge on its harsh economic penalties on North Korea until the country demonstrates its commitment to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
From The Hill
NBC host Craig Melvin confronted former President Clinton, during an interview that aired Monday, over the scandal surrounding his affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky while he was president.
Melvin, speaking with Clinton on “Today” about the relationship in the context of the “Me Too” movement, asked the former president if he ever apologized to Lewinsky.
“I apologized to everybody in the world,” Clinton said.
“But you didn’t apologize to her?” Melvin pressed.
The former president said that he does not feel like he owes Lewinsky an apology and that he “never talked to her.”