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James Comey testified today and 100% validated your opinion of Trump and Russia. At this point, we’re pretty sure all Paul Ryan is capable of doing is rolling up his sleeves and telling you that, hey, man, people make mistakes, but why don’t we rap about getting your grandmother off the dole. And British voters went to the polls to vote for one of two potential leaders, each of whom speak in full sentences, control their emotions, read books, treat women with respect, know geograph — wow, what is that like. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, June 8th, 2017:
TIMID BRITISH VOTERS POLITELY SPREAD POWER TOO EVENLY - Imagine if something like this happened if, say, the president of a country didn’t win the popular vote. Samuel Chamberlain: “An exit poll projected a hung parliament following Britain’s general election Thursday, in what would be a crippling political defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government. The exit poll, commissioned by the U.K.’s three main broadcasters and released after the polls closed at 10 p.m., projected the Tories to hold 314 seats, down 16 from their total at the end of the last Parliament. The Labour Party was forecast to gain 37 seats for a total of 266, the Scottish National Party was projected to lose 20 seats for a total of 34, and the center-left Liberal Democrats were projected to have 14 seats, up five from the last Parliament.” [Fox News]
What is a hung parliament? “A hung parliament means no party has won enough seats in a general election to have a majority in the House of Commons. In a hung parliament, the incumbent PM stays in office — and lives in Downing Street — until it is decided who will attempt to form a new government…. [T]he incumbent PM is entitled to attempt to form a government then stay in office until Parliament meets, when they can ask MPs to approve his Queen’s Speech. Parliament is expected to meet for the first time after the election on Tuesday, June 13.” [Telegraph’s Asa Bennett]
COMEY, COMEY, COMEY, COMEY, COMEY’S A (POLITICAL) CHAMELEON - He comes and goes, he cooooomes and gooooooes. Ryan J. Reilly: “Trump was not under criminal investigation himself when Comey was fired last month, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee. What could put the president in hot water with Special Counsel Robert Mueller now are his alleged attempts to lean on Comey to end the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Rather than facing an FBI probe that might have ended with Flynn, the president is now looking at an expanding and independent investigation.Comey said he is ‘sure’ that whether Trump engaged in obstruction of justice is a focus of Mueller’s investigation. ‘I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct,” he added.” [HuffPost]
THESE TAPES GET JAMES COMEY ALL HOT AND BOTHERED - Mollie Reilly: “White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that she has ‘no idea’ whether there is a recording system in the Oval Office, despite President Donald Trump suggesting he may have recordings of his conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey. Sanders’ remarks came during Thursday’s press briefing, according to reporters in attendance. Three days after he fired Comey, the president hinted on Twitter that he had recorded their conversations. While testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, Comey encouraged the president to release any such tapes that might exist. ‘Look, I’ve seen the tweet about tapes,’ Comey said. ‘Lordy, I hope there are tapes.’ ‘Release all the tapes,’ he continued. ‘I’m good with it.’” [HuffPost]
Guess what Fox News will be discussing: “Comey said he leaked details of an Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump to prompt an independent investigation of Russia’s possible collusion with the Trump campaign. The leak was indirect, Comey said during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Comey said that after Trump fired him in May and threatened that he had tapes of their meetings, Comey told a friend and faculty member of Columbia Law School to share details from his own memo of the meetings.” [HuffPost’s Elise Foley]
Get off my lawn… wait, is this my lawn? “Sen. John McCain said that his decision to stay up late watching an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game contributed to his confusing series of questions to former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday. ‘I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people’s heads. Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games,’ the Arizona Republican said in a statement.” [Washington Examiner’s Kelly Cohen]
This event was covered: “Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), in his pinstriped navy suit, pale blue shirt and yellow-and-blue power tie, tended to keep his arms crossed in front of him as he questioned Comey, showing off a set of distractingly well-groomed nails. So even and shiny.” [WaPo’s Robin Givhan]
Big day for politically minded alcoholics. “Hundreds gathered before 10am at the local brunch spot in north-west Washington DC to watch James Comey testify that Donald Trump attempted to interfere with the FBI investigation into the president’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. ‘To see this you’d think it’s the Super Bowl,’ said Jonah Wolff of the assembled masses.” [The Guardian’s Lucia Graves and Amanda Holpuch]
TRUMP DISPATCHES ANGRY LAWYER TO PLAY DEFENSE - Have you been injured in a widely watched Senate intelligence hearing? Marc Kasowitz will fight for you. Paige Lavender Alana Horowitz Satlin: “President Donald Trump’s lawyer responded to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday by suggesting that Comey broke the law by leaking information to The New York Times. ‘It is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications,’ Marc Kasowitz said. ‘Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of the leakers.’ ‘We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks should be investigated,” he added. Trump has long vowed to crack down on leakers, and his administration made its first leaks-related arrest earlier this week.” [HuffPost]
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HOUSE PASSES DOOMED DODD-FRANK REPEAL - Just the sort of debate Richard Cordray wants Washington to have as he mulls a run for governor in Ohio. Matt Fuller and Ben Walsh: “House Republicans [jammed] through a bill that would largely gut the financial regulations in Dodd-Frank, the landmark banking legislation passed in 2010 after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But instead of quietly sneaking the legislation through, Republicans were loudly touting the bill ― which passed, 233-186, with all Democrats and one Republican (Walter Jones of North Carolina) voting no ― as a major victory. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) spent most of the week pointing to the measure as a win for community banks, calling the so-called Financial CHOICE Act the ‘crown jewel’ of a GOP effort to peel back regulations and bolster the economy...Specifically, the bill would subject the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the appropriations process, meaning lawmakers could substantially cut, or even defund, the consumer watchdog. Democrats say subjecting the CFPB to congressional appropriations is the first step in eviscerating the agency.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP: I’M BASICALLY MOSES - Igor Bobic: “President Donald Trump did not respond to former FBI Director James Comey’s congressional testimony in his first public appearance on Thursday, but he seemed to allude to the event by telling supporters his administration was ‘under siege.’ Speaking at a conference hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition, an annual gathering of conservative evangelicals and activists in the nation’s capital, Trump thanked attendees for working to elect him and promised ‘the truth’ would come to light about his presidency. ‘As you know, we’re under siege. You understand that. But we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever. You watch,’ he said. ‘As the Bible tells us, we know that the truth will prevail,’ he continued, to applause. ‘We are winners. We are going to fight, and we are going to have an unbelievable future.’” [HuffPost]
The first lady moving into the White House constitutes news nowadays.
PAUL RYAN EXPLOITS OUR DEPRESSINGLY LOW EXPECTATIONS OF DONALD TRUMP - Remember this the next time any House Republican candidate accuses their opponent of lacking experience. Matt Fuller: “Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) shrugged off the bombshell testimony of former FBI director James Comey with a mix of claimed ignorance and overwhelming sympathy toward President Donald Trump’s neophyte political status. Ryan said it was important to have independence between the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the White House. But he defended Trump and acted as if the president’s apparent attempts to influence Comey and have him drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should be excused because the commander in chief is ‘new at this.’ ‘He’s new to government,’ Ryan said. ‘And so he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI, and White Houses. He’s just new to this.’” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog watching “Planet Earth.”
HOW THE MEDIA PLAYED THE COMEY HEARING - Hadas Gold: “Accord to many right-wing outlets, Comey not only cleared Trump by confirming that he was not personally under investigation, he also helped stir up old drama around the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails and admitted he orchestrated leaks to the media after his firing. Much of the rest of the media, however, focused on Comey saying he took Trump’s statement that he ‘hopes’ the FBI would drop the investigation into Michael Flynn as a directive, that Trump ‘lied’ and ‘defamed’ Comey and the FBI, and that Comey took detailed notes about his meetings with Trump because he was concerned that Trump would later lie about them.” [Politico]
- We may be heading toward and impeachment crisis, but at least Horsey McHorseFace is thriving.
- Incredible Jupiter flyby.
- Huskies without body hair…yikes.
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