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.
Paul Manafort could log on to a computer from his first jail cell, a unit he described to friends and family as a “VIP” setup with its own private shower and bathroom. He also didn’t have to wear a prison uniform.
That all changed Thursday with the longtime GOP operative’s transfer two hours north to a maximum-security detention center in Northern Virginia where the meals are known to be carbohydrate-heavy and the internet, except in rare cases, is nonexistent.
Because of his high-profile status, the former Donald Trump campaign chairman whose first criminal trial on bank and tax fraud charges starts later this month, is still expected to be segregated from the general prison population.
A city sheriff’s official said Manafort is unlikely to have a cellmate at the 31-year old Alexandria Detention Center, and apart from meetings with his attorneys and approved visitors, he will get only limited breaks during the day for recreation activities in a common area without other prisoners around.
From The Hill
The woman accused of the racially charged beating of a 92-year-old man while he was walking around his Los Angeles neighborhood on Independence Day has reportedly been charged with attempted murder.
According to NBC, Los Angeles prosecutors are asking for her bail to be set at $1.125 million.
The charge stems from an incident in which Rodolfo Rodriguez was reportedly assaulted by Jones while he was taking a routine walk around his neighborhood on July 4.
Former President George W Bush said he is “disturbed” by the immigration debate taking place in the United States because it “undermines the goodness of America.”
“I think it doesn’t recognize the valuable contributions that immigrants make to our society. And it obscures the fact — the rhetoric does — that the system is broken and needs to be fixed,” Bush said on Thursday.
Bush made the comment when responding to a question at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.
From The Hill
Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio admitted that he was tricked into giving an interview to Sacha Baron Cohen, becoming the latest political figure to acknowledge becoming part of the comedian’s upcoming project.
Cohen was in disguise as a Finnish comedian during the October 2017 interview, Arpaio recalled in an interview with Breitbart News.
“I felt uncomfortable with some of the words they were using but I had to live through it. I am not the type of guy who gets up and walks out,” he told Breitbart. “I never walked out in thousands of interviews. I just take it.”
He said the experience made him “very uncomfortable” because of some of the language that Cohen’s character used, such as “golden shower.” He said he documented the experience in a personal memo shortly after the interview.
“Something told me I had better document this,” he said.
As a NATO summit he threw into chaos wrapped up Thursday, President Donald Trump cheekily declared himself a “very stable genius.”
The other world leaders present mostly begged to differ.
Trump’s wildly unpredictable performance over two days in Brussels left many European leaders convinced that there is little method to the American president’s rhetorical madness, and simply no way to anticipate what he might do next.
“Nobody knows when Trump is doing international diplomacy and when he is doing election campaigning in Montana,” Danish defense minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said. “It is difficult to decode what policy the American president is promoting. There is a complete unpredictability in this, and one of the things you need in this alliance is predictability towards Russia.”
Speeding state lawmaker asked cop to let him go because of his ‘immunity as a government official’: report
From The Hill
Republican Rep. Paul Mosley (Ariz.) was reportedly pulled over for driving 97 mph in a 55 mph zone and proceeded to tell the officer that he should be let go because of his “immunity as a government official.”
According to a police report published by ParkerLive on Wednesday, Mosley was stopped by police in March after he was reportedly seen swerving in and out of traffic at “criminal” speeds.
But when the deputy exited his patrol vehicle, he wrote in the report, Mosley waved a placard outside his window indicating that he was an elected official.
“I explained the reason for the stop to Mosley and asked if there was any reason he was traveling so fast,” the deputy wrote in the report.
“I informed Mosley that 97 mph in a 55 mph zone is considered criminal speed. Mosley stated he was just in a hurry to get home to surprise his family in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Mosley also told me that I should just let him go and that I shouldn’t waste anymore of my time dealing with him due to his immunity as a government official,” the deputy continued.
A top National Security Council official was forced out this week, the latest staffing change at the White House-based group since President Donald Trump named John Bolton his national security adviser in March.
Jennifer Arangio, a senior director in the NSC division that deals with international organizations, was let go Thursday, according to a former White House official and a former NSC staffer. The former NSC staffer said Arangio was escorted off the premises and told her services were no longer needed.
From The Hill
President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a joint press conference on Monday following their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki, the Finish government said Friday.
The White House announced late last month that Putin and Trump would be meeting on July 16 as the president seeks to improve relations with Moscow, but this is the first confirmation that the two will address the media together.
The news comes as several top Democrats have called on Trump to cancel talks with Putin due to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s Friday indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The Trump administration is weighing whether to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to moderate gasoline prices ahead of the midterm elections, Bloomberg reported Friday.
Why it matters: The move would represent a remarkable use of the stockpile for political purposes, given that there’s currently no crude oil supply shortage or emergency. And gasoline prices, while higher than in recent years, remain well below levels routinely seen in periods between 2010 and 2014, when they were frequently far in excess of $3 per gallon and at times neared $4.
From The Daily Beast
Those who forget the lessons of televised congressional hearings are doomed to repeat them, which is why the morning segment of the Capitol Hill show trial of veteran FBI agent and former head of the Bureau’s Counterespionage division Peter Strzok turned into a disaster for Republicans.
Donald Trump’s congressional enablers, sycophants, and political suck-ups wanted a punching bag, but Strzok instead delivered one of the rarest of moments: the full Joseph N. Welch.