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A bad day for Washington Republicans as their party’s leader was further embroiled in scandal and, even worse, they will have to work during August. The president called his son a “high-quality person,” which makes Donald Trump Jr. sound less like his own son and more like a fake Vermeer he bought at auction in Macedonia. And was it just us or did anyone else hear a Ron Howard voice-over saying “But he did know about Russia’s involvement” this morning? This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, July 11th 2017:
THE APPLE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE SMALL-HANDED TREE - But what about her emails. Jo Becker, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo: ”The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton. The documents ‘would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,’ read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, ‘This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.’ If the future president’s eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication. He replied within minutes: ‘If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.’” [NYT]
WHITE HOUSE GIVES MUTED RESPONSE TO DJT JR. - Barron’s stock is rising so fast right now. S.V. Date: “The White House on Tuesday appeared to distance itself from President Donald Trump’s eldest son meeting with a Russian lawyer last year in an effort to get damaging information about his father’s Democratic opponent. White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders read a statement from the president vouching for Donald Trump Jr.’s character: ‘My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency.’ But she would not defend the meeting, instead repeatedly referring questions to outside lawyers representing Trump and his son. ‘Not to sound like a broken record, but on all questions related to this matter I would refer you to Don Junior’s counsel and outside counsel,’ she said. Just one day earlier, Sanders had stated unequivocally that nothing untoward had happened. ‘I’m saying that the president’s campaign did not collude in any way,’ she said.” [HuffPost]
HOW THE TRUMPS GOT COZY WITH MOSCOW - Michael Isikoff: “While in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant in November 2013, Donald Trump entered into a formal business deal with Aras Agalarov, a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, to construct a Trump Tower in the Russian capital. He later assigned his son, Donald Trump Jr., to oversee the project, according to Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who arranged the controversial 2016 meeting between the younger Trump and a Kremlin-linked lawyer. Trump has dismissed the idea he had any business deals in Russia, saying at one point last October, ‘I have nothing to do with Russia.’ But Goldstone’s account, provided in an extensive interview in March in New York, offers new details of the proposed Trump project that appears to have been further along than most previous reports have suggested, and even included a trip by Ivanka Trump to Moscow to identify potential sites.” [Yahoo News]
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HILL REPUBLICANS TRYING TO SIDESTEP DONALD TRUMP JR. BOMBSHELL - Marina Fang: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday refused to address the growing scandal over Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian government-linked lawyer because Trump Jr. was promised information that would ‘incriminate’ Hillary Clinton. At his weekly press conference, McConnell punted on several questions from reporters about the younger Trump’s meeting, deferring to the Senate intelligence committee’s ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia last year. The revelation about the meeting is the clearest indication yet that Trump’s campaign may have colluded with Russia in last year’s election. In response to questions about the news, McConnell said he had ‘a lot of confidence’ in the Senate investigation and that committee chair Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and vice chair Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) would ‘get to the bottom of whatever may have happened.’” [HuffPost]
MOTHER IS GOING TO HEAR ABOUT THIS - Marina Fang: “Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday offered a curious statement in response to that morning’s release of emails showing that the eldest son of President Donald Trump met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in 2016 intending to obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton…. ‘The vice president is working every day to advance the president’s agenda,’ the statement from Pence’s office says. ‘He was not aware of the meeting. He is also not focused on stories about the campaign ― especially those pertaining to the time before he joined the campaign.’” [HuffPost]
MCCONNELL SHORTENS AUGUST RECESS - Great opportunity to not be yelled at during town halls. Kelsey Snell, Sean Sullivan and Juliet Eilperin: ”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that he would cut the chamber’s August recess in half, saying the GOP needed more time to achieve its legislative goals given the protracted negotiations over health-care legislation and continued opposition from Democrats on several fronts. ‘To provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,’ said McConnell (R-Ky.). In addition to health care and appointments, the Senate will also devote time to passing a defense authorization bill ‘and other important issues,’ McConnell said. The Senate will now remain at work through the week of Aug. 7.” [WaPo]
TRUMP’S REGULATORS AREN’T EXACTLY REGULATORS - Yeah but the swamp is drained so…woooorth it. Danielle Ivory and Robert Faturechi: “The New York Times and ProPublica identified 71 appointees, including 28 with potential conflicts, through interviews, public records and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act…. At the Education Department alone, two members of the deregulation team were most recently employed by pro-charter advocacy groups or operators, and one appointee was an executive handling regulatory issues at a for-profit college operator…. The Interior Department has not disclosed the correspondence or calendars for its team. But a review of more than 1,300 pages of handwritten sign-in sheets for guests visiting the agency’s headquarters in Washington found that appointees had met regularly with industry representatives. Over a four-month period, from February through May, at least 58 representatives of the oil and gas industry signed their names on the agency’s visitor logs before meeting with appointees.” [NYT]
PLEASE @ ME - Charlie Warzel: ”Seven individuals blocked by Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account are suing the president and his communications staff because they say it’s unconstitutional for the president to exercise ‘viewpoint-based blocking.’ The Knight First Amendment Institute filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs on Tuesday morning in New York’s Southern District, about one month after the organization issued an open letter calling for the president to unblock users who’d replied to the president’s tweets with harsh criticisms…. In a formal complaint issued by Knight Institute lawyers Jameel Jaffer, Katherine Fallow, and Alex Abdo, they argue that as president, Trump’s personal ‘account is a public forum under the First Amendment.’ As evidence, the attorneys note that the Trump White House has previously acknowledged that Trump’s tweets are ‘official statements,’ and that Trump and his communications staff ‘use the account to make formal announcements, defend the President’s official actions, report on meetings with foreign leaders, and promote the administration’s positions.’” [BuzzFeed]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a Basset hound puppy.
- Find the farthest city from any number of international cities.
- The marble Olympics.
@MikeIsaac: twitter dot com: we may have product and revenue struggles, but we also played an instrumental role in taking down an administration
Douthat: Ban porn
Brooks: Fancy hams are confusing to some
Stephens: Boil the oceans and do more war crimes
@aparnapkin: NEVERTHELESS HE PERSISTED ON BEING A DUMDUM
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