Swaying Trump

Thursday, May 25, 2017Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 8.31.13 AM

Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
The Russia Investigation
  • American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence.

  • The House Intelligence Committee will issue subpoenas to Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, the committee’s senior Democrat said on Wednesday, escalating Mr. Flynn’s troubles with Congress.

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose meetings with Russian officials when he applied for security clearance because he was told not to do so by advisers and the F.B.I., a Justice Department spokesman said Wednesday.

Repealing Obamacare
  • A bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that narrowly passed the House would increase the number of uninsured by 23 million in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office projected.
  • View the key findings from the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Republican health care overhaul bill passed by the House on May 4.
Trump and the Climate
Other Developments
  • The Republican candidate in a hotly contested special House election in Montana was accused of assaulting a journalist on Wednesday. The incident brought police officers to the event and sent the reporter to the hospital for X-rays.
  • Despite a pledge to donate “all profits” from foreign government patronage of Trump hotels, the company told Congress that it was all but impossible to identify every foreign government official who walked through the doors of its hotels.
  • Sally Yates, the acting attorney general who was fired by Mr. Trump, told a graduating law class that she could not honestly defend his restrictions on Muslim travelers.
  • As the case of the Seth Rich murder shows, uncorroborated stories will spread as long as some people want to tell them, and others want to believe, Jim Rutenberg writes.
— The First Draft Team
Fact Check: Manchester Bombing Rumors and Hoaxes
After the bombing in Manchester, England, this week that killed 22, internet users and publishers have spread rumors and hoaxes, and miscast blame.
How much of this false information is intentional trickery or well-meaning confusion is difficult to know. But here we look at some themes of misinformation, along with context and sourcing to verifiable information.
Read more »
U.S.-Russia Hotline Is Buzzing Even After Strike on Syria


The two countries’ militaries have actually increased communications since the American missile strike on an airfield in Syria, Russia’s ally.

Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, defended a school choice agenda, including vouchers, before a House subcommittee on Wednesday.

Betsy DeVos Refuses to Rule Out Giving Funds to Schools That Discriminate


The education secretary defended plans to divert money to a school choice agenda, including funds for vouchers to private school, which she said states should regulate.

A traveler removed her laptop from her bag for scanning at Kennedy International Airport last week.

T.S.A. Tests New Screening Procedures for Larger Electronics


The agency will require passengers at nearly a dozen airports to place electronic items larger than a cellphone in a separate bin for X-ray screening.

A mother, joined by her daughter, at the grave of her son. He was killed in a shooting on a river near the village of Ahuas, Honduras, in May 2012.

D.E.A. Misled Overseers on Deadly Honduras Operations, Watchdogs Say


Agents combating drug smuggling were involved in three shootings and misled the public, lawmakers and the Justice Department, two inspectors general said.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines in Moscow on Monday. Mr. Duterte asked President Trump about the threat posed by North Korea, according to a transcript of their April 29 call.

Trump Praises Duterte for Philippine Drug Crackdown in Call Transcript


A Philippine account of the phone call includes the president commending a program in which the government has sanctioned the killing of drug suspects.

Elinore McCance-Katz has been tapped by President Trump to fill the position of assistant secretary for mental health and substance use. The “czar” position was created to overhaul the mental health care system and bridge more than 100 related federal agencies.

Trump’s Pick for Mental Health ‘Czar’ Highlights Rift


Elinore F. McCance-Katz has promoted drug and hospital treatment as paths to wellness, leaving some who emphasize community and family support skeptical.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans in 2015, the year he called for the removal of four monuments related to the Confederacy and its aftermath.

New Orleans Mayor’s Message on Race


In a speech after Confederate monuments were taken down, Mayor Mitch Landrieu made it clear how much racial attitudes needed to change.

Janet L. Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, speaking at a conference at Brown University this month. On Wednesday, the Fed released an account of its early May meeting.

Fed Sounds Cautious Note but Doesn’t Deter Forecast of Rate Increase


According to the minutes of the Fed’s May meeting, officials said they wanted to see signs of stronger growth. But investors still increased their bets on a June rate hike.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Anthony H. Cordesman in The Hill:
“The president gave the right speech in the right place at the right time.”
Mr. Cordesman, who once served as national security assistant to Senator John McCain, had a favorable review for the president’s remarks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He argues that “issues like human rights and Yemen,” which the president avoided, are superseded by his efforts to “ start rebuilding the foundations of America’s strategic partnerships in the Muslim world.” Read more »
From the Left
• Robin Wright in The New Yorker:
“Trump framed his counterterrorism policy in Let’s-Make-a-Deal terms: Washington will sell weaponry to the Arabs, which will in turn create defense-industry jobs in the United States.”
If the speech in Riyadh was an attempt to “hit the reset button” on Mr. Trump’s relationship with the Islamic world, it was no roaring success, Ms. Wright argues. While parts of the address were “right out of the Bush-Obama playbook,” the president failed to acknowledge the political and “economic grievances that have fueled so much of the dissent and militancy” and, instead, favored a “military approach to extremism.” Read more »
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