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
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that President Trump is open to letting Russian investigators come to the United States to question U.S. citizens, including a former American ambassador to Russia.
Sanders said during a White House press briefing Wednesday that Trump is “gonna meet with his team” and discuss the possibility of allowing Russian officials to question U.S. citizens like Michael McFaul, who was ambassador to Russia from January 2012 to February 2014.
“There was some conversation about it, but there wasn’t a commitment made on behalf of the United States,” Sanders said. “The president will work with his team and we’ll let you know if there’s an announcement on that front.”
Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he is looking into whether it is appropriate to ask President Donald Trump’s translator from the one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to testify or turn over her notes from the summit.
Corker says Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, raised the idea with him and that he is looking into precedent for such a request.
“Look, all of us want to know what took place in this meeting,” Corker said.
“We’re looking into precedent there. … These are notes taken by translators, you understand in a meeting. I’m not sure it’s even appropriate. We’re checking that. If it is, certainly we’ll pursue it.”
President Donald Trump on Wednesday returned to a defiant posture, insisting his deeply controversial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will prove to be a great success “in the long run” and newly undermining the top U.S. intelligence chief.
One day after issuing a rare mea culpa — in which Trump claimed he meant to say there’s no reason to believe it “wouldn’t” have been Russia that meddled in the U.S. election — Trump appeared to be walking back his walk-back.
“While the NATO meeting in Brussels was an acknowledged triumph, with billions of dollars more being put up by member countries at a faster pace, the meeting with Russia may prove to be, in the long run, an even greater success. Many positive things will come out of that meeting,” Trump tweeted.
Robert Mueller’s special counsel’s office appears to still be investigating Trump adviser Roger Stone and working on a case in court involving one of his former associates.
At least five prosecutors from Mueller’s office and two attorneys representing Andrew Miller, a former Roger Stone associate, spent almost 90 minutes in a sealed court proceeding before Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court Wednesday morning.
The courtroom activity was not open to the public, but Miller’s attorneys previously told CNN they were challenging requests for Miller to provide information to Mueller’s grand jury. Their public statements about a challenge to Mueller came before investigators indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers, and Stone surfaced as a person in contact with them during the campaign. Stone was not charged in the Russian hacking indictment Friday.
From The Hill
Pollster Lee Miringoff said on Wednesday that Republicans are in danger ahead of November’s midterm elections due to a shrinking base.
“In addition to [President] Trump’s approval rating, it’s the damaged brand right now, and that’s the Republicans have to worry about,” Miringoff, who is the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha on “What America’s Thinking.”
“The base is shrinking because there are fewer Republicans. So the base is more solid than it was, but there’s fewer of them,” he said.
The committee charged with delivering a House majority for Democrats in the midterm elections raised $15.2 million in the month of June, its best fundraising month of the 2018 cycle so far and the latest sign of Democratic enthusiasm ahead of November.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced the haul Wednesday. The announcement comes on the heels of a strong fundraising quarter for Democratic House candidates and builds on months of robust fundraising by House Democrats’ chief campaign committee.
Last month, the DCCC broke its record for May fundraising with a $11.2 million haul.
The National Republican Congressional Committee had yet to release its June fundraising figures as of Wednesday but has trailed the DCCC in monthly fundraising since January of this year. While the committees ended May neck-and-neck in cash-on-hand at just over $60 million, the DCCC announced it now had over $68 million banked going forward.
Rep. Jim Jordan has been interviewed as part of an ongoing internal investigation into a sex abuse scandal at Ohio State University, the Ohio Republican said on Wednesday.
Jordan — who has gained a national following as the leader of the hardline House Freedom Caucus — told an Ohio radio program that he spoke with lawyers conducting the inquiry. That session took place on Monday.
Jordan has repeatedly denied knowledge of sexual abuse allegations tied to the late Dr. Richard Strauss, who killed himself in 2005.
Strauss was a team doctor for a number of OSU sports programs from the 1970s into the 1990s, including the wrestling team. Jordan, an elite college wrestler, was an assistant coach on the OSU wrestling team from 1986 to 1994.
Trump’s military parade expected to cost nearly as much as ‘tremendously expensive’ canceled war games
President Donald Trump’s military parade in DC is likely to cost nearly as much as the now canceled military exercise with South Korea that Trump called “tremendously expensive” and said cost “a fortune,” three US defense officials tell CNN.
The parade, which is now scheduled to take place on November 10, is currently estimated to cost approximately $12 million, the officials said. One official called the number “a planning figure,” saying cost estimates could still change as planning develops.
“We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!” Trump tweeted in June following his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker downplayed his interaction with a woman accused of being a Russian operative, saying Wednesday that they only met one time in 2015 when she showed up at a National Rifle Association convention and had her picture taken with him.
Maria Butina was charged Monday with being a covert Russian agent who gathered intelligence on American officials and political organizations and worked to establish back-channel lines of communications for the Kremlin. Butina, 29, was due in court Wednesday in Washington.
Walker met her at the NRA convention in 2015 when she approached him to have her picture taken. She was with Alexander Torshin , deputy head of the Russian Central Bank and a target of U.S. sanctions since April.
U.S. prosecutors suggest Butina used her gun-lobbying efforts to infiltrate the NRA and the Republican Party, both during the 2016 presidential campaign and after Donald Trump’s election. Prosecutors detailed extensive private Twitter conversations and other discussions between Butina and a senior Russian official about her activities in the United States.
A Rare Wednesday Bonus Note From The “New Buzzword My Left Foot” File
President Donald Trump and his supporters have a new buzz phrase to diagnose his critics: “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
The term is supposed to describe voters who are so angry and opposed to the U.S. president that they are incapable of seeing any good in what he does. “TDS” has popped up on Fox News in recent weeks and was cited by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in interviews this week before being used by the president himself on Twitter on Wednesday.
His tweet: “Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”