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
Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a former Fox News analyst who left the network amid claims of pro-Trump bias, said late Wednesday that he believes President Trump is hesitant to take a hard stance against Russia because Russian President Vladimir Putin “has some grip” on the U.S. leader.
“When I first learned of the Steele dossier, it just rang true to me, because that’s how the Russians do things. And before he became a candidate or president, Donald Trump was the perfect target for Russian intelligence,” Peters said on CNN, referring to a dossier of salacious allegations about the president’s ties to Russia.
From The Hill
An attorney for Muhammad Ali said Friday that President Trump’s suggestion that he may pardon the late boxing champion was “unnecessary.”
“We appreciate President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary,” Ron Tweel said in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971.
“There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed,” he added.
The Justice Department said last night that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate has become unconstitutional. Even more importantly, it says the law’s most popular provision — guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions — also has to go.
Threat level: The legal challenge at issue here may be somewhat of a long shot on the merits. But if it does ultimately succeed, it could toss out the hardest-fought and most significant parts of the ACA.
The Group of Seven leaders have posed for a “family photo” on the first day of the international summit of industrialized nations in Canada.
President Donald Trump stood between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the ceremonial G-7 photo. The president then paused to speak with Merkel as the other leaders exited the spot overlooking the St. Lawrence River in Quebec.
Trump chatted with new Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (zhahn-KLOHD’ YUN’-kur) as they walked up to the photo shoot.
The meeting comes amid tensions over Trump’s trade policies and his call for Russia to be allowed back into the elite group of nations.
President Donald Trump said he wants to meet with NFL players and other athletes who kneel during the National Anthem so they can recommend people they think should be pardoned due to unfair treatment by the justice system.
In what he seemingly sees a solution, President Donald Trump said he wants NFL players and other athletes who kneeled during the National Anthem
“I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people who were unfairly treated,” Trump said at White House Friday. Trump’s contentious relationship with the NFL reached a peak last year when he lambasted players who took a knee during the National Anthem to protest institutionalized racism and police brutality.
From The Hill
President Trump waved off questions on Friday about whether his lawyer Rudy Giuliani has gone too far with a series of public statements that have stirred controversy. The president said he believes the former New York City mayor is “doing a very good job.”
“Rudy is great, but Rudy is Rudy,” Trump told reporters outside the White House as he prepared to head to Quebec for the Group of Seven summit. “But Rudy is doing a very good job, actually. He’s doing a very good job.”
Asked about a comment Giuliani made earlier this week saying that he does not have the same respect for adult-film star Stormy Daniels that he does for women in other professions, Trump said he did not disagree.
The House passed legislation Friday that includes language that Republicans say could require the Government Accountability Office to audit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The provision, attached as an amendment to a spending bill, serves to underscore skepticism of the Mueller investigation among House conservatives, many of whom have called for Mueller to end his more-than-year-long probe of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling of the 2016 presidential election.
Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, introduced the amendment, which was attached to an annual spending bill that in part funds the legislative branch. The bill still has to move through the Senate before reaching the President’s desk, making the future of the House-passed GAO requirement still a question.
From The Hill
The annual June tradition began in Congress in 1996. It was started by then-Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), reportedly as an effort to “bring a little southern charm to the Capitol.”