President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets said the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller to look into the Trump-Russia allegations gives his administration a chance to refocus on pulling the rug out from voters who put him into office.
“Mueller will finally get the fake Russia story out of the news,” Trump said in the first of his tweets this morning. “We welcome the chance to take away health care from 24m, raise taxes on 70% of homeowners, cut heating aid to the old,” he said in a second tweet.
In a third, he said he wants to get back to “wrecking U.S. standing in world, being a pushover to China, undercutting our allies.”
Reince Priebus, Trump’s White House chief of staff, reinforced the message in a meeting with reporters by saying the administration is going to redouble its focus on helping the country’s wealthiest people get wealthier. “The Russia controversy has been a distraction that we’ve said all along amounts to nothing,” he said. “By having it in the hands of the special prosecutor, we can do what voters brought us here to do: transfer more wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich.”
On Capitol Hill, the mood among Republicans was also upbeat. “Let’s let the special prosecutor do his work and see what the facts are on the Russia question,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). “In the meantime, we have health insurance to take away from millions of Americans, taxes to raise on millions of homeowners, and almost a trillion dollars in tax savings to shift from the middle class to the rich. So, we’re seeing the special prosecutor as an important opportunity that we want to take advantage of as best we can.”
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Republican lawmakers in the Senate say they urgently must pass tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy before the end of the year because of pressure coming from Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “Would it be better to slow down and better think through our tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy? Of course,” says John Thune (R-S.D.), the Senate whip. “Right now our own analysis is showing a $1 trillion addition to the budget deficit even after projected growth in the economy. So, if we had more time we could craft changes that address that and still give our wealthy donors what they want. Unfortunately, time is a luxury we don’t have.” That’s because Mueller’s investigation is winding down. More.
After seeing how President Donald Trump deployed his legendary dealmaking skills on the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, Americans say they now “get” what Trump was talking about when he said on the campaign trail that no one can make deals like he can. “I admit I thought he was just boasting when he said he was a great dealmaker,” says Harold Gardner, a retired accountant in Des Moines, Iowa. “It sounded like a lot of hyperbole to me. But I see now that he really is the consummate dealmaker. The way he got into the back-and-forth about what lawmakers needed to get the health care law passed—it was revealing. You could see how he works to understand what each person wants so he can cut a deal that gives each person a little of what they want so everyone can claim a victory. It was dazzling.” More.
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) in an NPR interview this morning refused to say whether everyone in the United States is entitled to eat food, drink water, occupy space, and breathe air. “People are given bootstraps for a reason,” Smith told NPR’s Scott Simon in an interview about federal budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration. “If we’re not willing to pull ourselves up by them, why do we have them? Why do we have these bootstraps?” “Not everyone is born with bootstraps,” Simon said. “We have people who are born into poverty who don’t get adequate nutrition, don’t have heat in the winter . . . .” “But they have bootstraps,” said Smith, “because God wants us to pull ourselves up by them. Government isn’t a shoe store for poor people.” More.
PALO ALTO, Calif.—A major symposium on the presidency of Donald Trump erupted into a heated discussion yesterday as some of the United States’ most distinguished professors of political science disagreed over whether President Trump is an utter moron or an absolute idiot. Benjamin Heitzberg, professor emeritus of political science at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, said Trump burst from the starting gate as an utter moron by targeting an entire religion in his immigration ban. “The United States has become a great nation in part because it’s been a beacon of hope for people the world over to come here and realize their full potential,” said Heitzberg, who last year was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the International Society of Political Scientists. “Only an utter moron would purposefully damage one of the country’s greatest intangible assets.” More.
In a sensational news scoop by Third-World Times, President Donald Trump of the United States secretly recorded his phone conversations with James Comey, his FBI director, before he fired him! According to the Times, President Trump asked Comey to say whether the FBI was investigating him, and Comey, not knowing he was being recorded, said he wasn’t! Now, if the FBI indicts Trump on a charge of colluding with the Russians to win the presidency, President Trump can call Comey a liar and ruin his reputation! Trump has boxed Comey in and painted him into a corner! “He’s a smart cookie, that Trump,” says a Washington insider, according to the Times. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers in Washington are upset at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for drafting the memo that Trump used as the basis for Comey’s firing. More.
Former FBI Director James Comey, whose eleventh-hour intervention in the 2016 election is widely believed to have resulted in the election of Donald Trump as president, said he never would have thrown the election to Trump if he had known getting fired just a few months later would be his reward. “Donald Trump has a lot of nerve firing me when I’m the whole blippin’ reason he’s even in his blippin’ office,” said Comey, a Republican who was appointed to head the FBI four years ago. More.
President Donald Trump said in a press briefing today that his administration has talked more about helping working class Americans than any administration in the United States. “No one’s talking about the interests of our workers like I am,” said Trump, whose tax reform plan, released in late April, cut taxes for corporations and pass-through entities, of which The Trump Organization is one. Most middle-class homeowners would see their taxes go up because the plan would eliminate the deductions for mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and state and local taxes. It would keep the mortgage interest deduction, but that’s not enough to offset the losses elsewhere, pushing them to take a new $24,000 standard deduction that’s less than what they got when they itemized. More.
White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer said there’s no truth to rumors that President Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have agreed to shoot a television commercial for Viagra®, the erectile dysfunction drug, while Duterte is in Washington for his White House meeting. “The fake news operation of the Democratic party is at it again,” said Spicer at his press briefing this morning. “The claim that President Trump and Philippine President Duterte have any intention of shooting a Viagra® commercial is absurd.” More.
Brenda Smalter says she breathes a sigh of relief every day because she managed to avoid the attention of Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and the other men at Fox News who were accused of treating women like sex objects. “How despicable is that kind of behavior?” says Smalter, who worked as an assistant producer at the network for seven years before she left for another network. “Other women would walk into meetings or onto the set and one of the guys would look at them or make some comment about their physical appearance or something and I’m just so relieved I avoided all that.” Smalter, 41, said she would wear short skirts or flirty blouses but none of the men ever made comments to her or tried to get her into bed. “I just don’t know why I was so lucky to have avoided all that,” she says. More.
A report by the Kleinbaum Institute of Forensic Sciences at Columbia University says there’s a good chance President Donald Trump has been hiding his bald spot in his taxes since 1995 and maybe even as far back as 1991. “As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump was willing to risk losing the election by refusing to do what presidential candidates have been doing for the last 40 years: release their tax returns,” says William Berger, professor of forensic sciences at Columbia and the director of the Kleinbaum Institute. “The question that has intrigued Americans and even people around the world for the past 18 months is, why? We think we know why.” Berger says it’s understandable people think Trump is trying to hide embarrassing financial matters by keeping his taxes out of the public spotlight. More.
Former Fox news host Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes, former chairman of Fox News, were seen last night at a New York City hotel bar trying to pick up chicks but people who watched say the two men were unsuccessful. “Bill O’Reilly was a little drunk, I think,” says Cindy Carlson, a legal secretary who says she saw the two men try to flirt with women for about an hour at the bar, called The Tap Room, located in the New York Park Hotel on 5th Avenue. “I think O’Reilly said something like, ‘What’s your sign?’ and the woman seated next to him looked away. I don’t think she knew who he was.” More.
President Donald Trump said today he might drop more bombs in hot spots around the world because people appear to like the bombs on a bipartisan basis. “Who would have thought the bombs would be so popular, but they are and we’re going to do more of them, I can guarantee you,” Trump said at a press briefing after meeting with business officials on tax reform. “Syria was a big win for us. People liked the Tomahawks. President Bashar al-Assad poisoned his own people. We fired the bombs. That was good. A big win. Then we dropped the mother of all bombs on Afghanistan. People are sick of Afghanistan. They can’t believe we’re still there. We can’t get out of that country? We dropped the bomb.” More.
President Donald Trump, his step a little lighter now that the reviews have been good on his decision to bomb a Syrian airbase, says Americans can expect more bombings in the weeks ahead. “There are going to be so many good opportunities to bomb things,” Trump said in his weekly radio address at the White House today. “We have North Korea. We have Iran. We have some other hot spots we’re looking at but aren’t ready to talk about yet. But they’ll be good bombing targets. A lot of pride among Americans, especially after all those disastrous Obama years when we blew so few things up.” Trump acknowledged he wasn’t expecting reviews across the political spectrum to be so good in response to his snap decision to send 59 Tomahawk missiles to the Shayrat military airbase in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its own citizens. More.
President Donald Trump said he based his decision to bomb the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria on “raw emotion” and he’s left it to his generals to create a long-term engagement strategy that doesn’t leave Americans more vulnerable to middle east chaos. “I saw children murdered by their own government and I reacted to that,” Trump said today at the White House. “Now we’re working hard to build a policy around my decision. I think we’ll have a plan soon, maybe even before the weekend.” Trump said he’d been given policy papers on the situation in Syria, but what matters is what he sees on cable news. “And what I saw horrified me,” said Trump. “I think it’s important for the head of a country to act on the basis of emotions and without a long-term plan.” More.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn insisted he’s not guilty of colluding with Russia to help Donald Trump become president in 2016 and to prove it, he said he’ll gladly testify before Congress as long as he’s given immunity. “I’m eager to clear my name of these incorrect charges,” said Flynn, who has kept a low profile since resigning in January after just a few weeks working for the Trump White House. “That’s why l’m saying, give me immunity to testify and I’ll tell you everything I know.” Flynn said his testimony will show he has done nothing wrong and the entire Russia-Trump connection amounts to nothing. More.
Recent sightings in the foothills of Spring Creek, Calif., of a mysterious beauty object have caused a stir in this former mining town 175 miles north of San Francisco. “I haven’t seen the town buzzing like this since we had the frog jumping contest here one year because the track was too muddy in Calaveras County,” says Sam Baker, a retired rancher who serves as the town’s unofficial historian. The cause of all the excitement are recent sightings of an unidentified beauty object that many locals believe is Melania Trump, the rarely seen wife of President Donald Trump. “We thought she only existed in New York City,” says Helen Carter, owner of Carter’s Diner on Route 43. “The idea that she would be sighted way out here—about as far from New York City as you can get—makes me think it’s not really her but a local girl who probably got pregnant and doesn’t want to tell her parents.” More.