From ABIGAIL TRACY at VANITY FAIR:
While Donald Trump and his surrogates were loudly campaigning against Robert Mueller on Twitter and on TV, the special counsel and his team of F.B.I. investigators has been quietly building their case, the details of which burst into public view Wednesday when The Washington Post reported that the bureau searched the home of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in a dramatic pre-dawn raid at the end of last month.
The raid, which occurred one day after Manafort met with the Senate Intelligence Committee, indicates that the Justice Department investigation has entered a heightened stage—and that Mueller is willing to use any investigative tools at his disposal to determine the extent of the Russian government’s interference in the presidential election
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Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal has been one of Trump’s sternest critics, and in typical style, the president has responded with attacks of his own.
Reacting to Blumenthal’s allegations of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia, President Trump today unleashed a new tirade against the Connecticut senator.
“Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist!,” tweeted Trump.
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From Mother Jones:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fallen out of favor with President Donald Trump, but that hasn’t stopped him from moving quickly to reshape the federal government’s approach to law enforcement. He has implemented new policies that will turn more offenses into federal crimes, confiscate suspects’ property, and crack down on sanctuary jurisdictions. The policies fit Sessions’ tough-on-crime attitude toward criminal justice—but he isn’t taking credit for them.
In announcing recent reforms, Sessions has said he is carrying out the recommendations of the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. […] But what exactly is this task force? It’s hard to say. The Justice Department has declined to disclose the task force’s membership, its meeting agendas, or its recommendations to the attorney general. The task force was slated to deliver a report to Sessions last week, but it has not been made public. Instead, the group supposedly behind some of the Trump administration’s most consequential policy moves remains an almost complete mystery.
Oooooh, I think I might know what the task force might look like! Please, I have my hand up. Pick me! Pick me!
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WASHINGTON ― Attorney General Jeff Sessions dismissed speculation that he would be resigning from his position following scathing criticism from President Donald Trump.
Sessions said it was an “honor” to serve as attorney general and that his team “wholeheartedly” shares the priorities of the Trump administration.
Tick, tick, tick……
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No matter what President Donald Trump seems to do — or how angry he seems to get — the Russia investigation just won’t go away. That became even more apparent over the past 24 hours […].
That’s because the Washington Post reported Wednesday night that special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of all-stars are expanding their Russia probe and now directly investigating whether Trump was trying to obstruct justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey.
In addition, the New York Times reported yesterday that the investigation is looking into whether Trump associates laundered money they’d received from Russia, presumably as part of a payoff for colluding with Moscow during the campaign.
(Don’t stop here, kids, there’s a bonus image if you keep reading!!)
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HHS Secretary Tom Price testified yesterday before the Senate Finance Committee on his department’s budget, and not surprisingly, there was a fair amount of discussion of the Republican plans on health care policy. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) asked the committee’s chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), whether the panel would hold any hearings on the GOP’s proposal.
The Utah Republican, apparently unsure how to respond, had an aide whisper a talking point in his ear.
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Eddie Munster Paul Ryan:
The president’s new at this. He’s new at government. He’s not steeped in the long running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses.
So, Eddi…I mean, Speaker Ryan, just when can we expect that new president stench to wear off? We need to know, because, Lordy, like the gastrointestinally-delicate James Comey, we are really nauseous!
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