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 team is requesting that witnesses turn in their personal phones to inspect their encrypted messaging programs
Special counsel Robert Mueller‘s team is requesting that witnesses turn in their personal phones to inspect their encrypted messaging programs and potentially view conversations between associates linked to President Donald Trump, sources told CNBC.
Since as early as April, Mueller’s team has been asking witnesses in the Russia probe to turn over phones for agents to examine private conversations on WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Fearing a subpoena, the witnesses have complied with the request and have given over their phones, the sources said.
Rudy Giuliani said today that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un got “on his hands and knees and begged” for President Trump to reverse his decision to cancel their summit, the Wall Street Journal’s Felicia Schwartz reports.
From The Hill
According to sources and emails reviewed by the news outlet, Ivanka Trump communicated with an athlete during the presidential campaign who had offered to introduce President Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin to facilitate the building of a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Ivanka Trump told Cohen he should speak with the former Olympic weightlifter, Dmitry Klokov, in November 2015 and Cohen then had at least one conversation with him, according to sources that spoke with BuzzFeed.
From The Atlantic
A top aide to Scott Pruitt, Millan Hupp, resigned from the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a source briefed on the matter and correspondence reviewed by The Atlantic. Her last day will be Friday.
Hupp, who worked as the director of scheduling and advance, has been entangled in many of the scandals dogging EPA Administrator Pruitt. In March, she was one of two aides who received hefty salary bumps, even after the White House refused Pruitt’s request for raises. And as The Washington Post reported on Monday, she recently testified to the House Oversight Committee that she regularly spent her days doing personal tasks for Pruitt, from hunting for housing to calling the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., in order to inquire about purchasing a used mattress.
We are now almost a year into the contrived battle between President Donald Trump and the NFL over the national anthem, which is easily the most overblown narrative of the Trump administration, if not the country itself. And yet, I surmise that a huge majority of the population still has no idea about what may be the key fact which is driving at least part of the controversy.
I am referring to the reality that Trump has a very clear and deeply intense reason to possess a personal vendetta against the NFL which goes back to the mid-1980s. It was then that Trump, an owner of the New Jersey Generals of the rival USFL spring football league, tried to compete with the NFL and got completely crushed.
Trump, an incredibly insecure narcissistic egomaniac, has always desired to be seen as part of the really rich people’s club, and wanted a way to prove the prodigiousness of his manhood. I believe this is because Trump has never been really very wealthy, and is a guy who dodged the Vietnam War after being forced to go to military school because he was too much of a brat for his parents to put up with.
From The Hill
A South Dakota state lawmaker argued in a Facebook comment that businesses should be allowed to turn down people based on the color of their skin.
The comment from state Rep. Michael Clark (R) came shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs.
That prompted a Facebook post from Clark, hailing the decision as a “win for freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” according to the Argus Leader newspaper, which reported on the since-deleted post.
From Wall Street Journal
The Trump administration on Tuesday amended its Russia sanctions program, paving the way for aluminum giant United Co. Rusal to escape from the blacklist and granting the metals market a reprieve from a supply scare that rocked markets over the past month.
Facing delisting from the London Stock Exchange this week, Rusal’s owner, EN+ Group, sought the 11th-hour amnesty from the U.S. Treasury late last week by pledging that its majority shareholder and a primary target of the U.S. sanctions, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, would reduce his holdings and relinquish his board seat.
Stormy Daniels says in a new lawsuit that her former attorney betrayed her and became a “puppet” for President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer while still representing her.
The filing Wednesday alleges that Trump attorney Michael Cohen “hatched a plan” and “colluded” with the adult film actress’ lawyer, Keith Davidson, to get her to go on Fox News in January and falsely deny she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
From The Hill
Fox News contributors Jonah Goldberg and Sebastian Gorka traded verbal blows on Twitter on Monday night, with Goldberg calling Gorka a “bullshit poseur” and Gorka questioning Goldberg’s conservative credentials.
The back-and-forth came after Goldberg, also a senior editor for National Review, slammed President Trump for his decision to cancel a White House event honoring the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles because of what he called “deceitful propaganda.”