Signs Suggest Flynn Cooperating with Mueller

“Lawyers for Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, notified the president’s legal team in recent days that they could no longer discuss the special counsel’s investigation, according to four people involved in the case, an indication that Mr. Flynn is cooperating with prosecutors or negotiating such a deal,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Flynn’s lawyers had been sharing information with Mr. Trump’s lawyers about the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining whether anyone around Mr. Trump was involved in Russian efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

A Father’s Lesson

Bret Stephens: “Many years ago, I committed an offense for which famous men are now being publicly, and rightly, shamed. I patted an office secretary on her behind. I won’t offer the usual lame defense that I didn’t know my advance was unwanted or that social attitudes were different back then.”

“My only excuse is that at the time of the incident I was about 7 years old.”

“I remember the moment because of what happened immediately afterward. The secretary, who worked at my father’s business in Mexico City, turned around and slammed a heavy stack of papers on my head. I marched indignantly over to my dad’s office to report her behavior — only so that he could march me over to her desk and have me apologize. He followed that up with a stern warning never to do anything of the sort again.”

“I don’t remember the secretary’s name. But what a service she did me by giving me a knock I’ll never forget, one that took courage and self-respect considering I was her boss’s son. What a service, too, that my dad defended her and gave me the talking-to that he did. It’s a lesson every boy should get — loud, clear, and early — from a male role model.”

Virginia GOP Seeks to End Gendered Titles

“With Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official preparing to take her seat in the House of Delegates, the Republican leader of that chamber says it is time to end a tradition of addressing lawmakers by formal male and female pronouns,” the Washington Post reports.

“Instead of the ‘gentleman’ or ‘gentlewoman’ from a given jurisdiction, lawmakers will all be referred to as “delegate” if Republicans maintain control of the chamber.”

“Conservative lawmakers hailed the change as a way to avoid what they said could be a potentially awkward situation. But one of the longest-serving House Democrats called the decision ‘shameful’ and said lawmakers ‘ought to be big enough to get over these hang-ups we have.'”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“The 14-year-old girl that was there, I can tell you right now if it was my daughter, I’d break his face, I’d break his fingers, and I’d probably do a lot worse.”

— Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA), in a CNN interview, saying he didn’t “feel comfortable” with Roy Moore’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Two More Women Say Franken Touched Them

Two more women have told HuffPost that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) touched their butts in separate incidents. These are the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week.

”The two additional women, who said they were not familiar with each others’ stories, both spoke on condition of anonymity. But their stories, which describe events during Franken’s first campaign for the Senate, are remarkably similar — and both women have been telling them privately for years.”

Barton Told Woman He Would Call Police

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), “who apologized for a lewd photo of him that circulated on the Internet, told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he would report her to the Capitol Police because she could expose his behavior,” according to a recording reviewed by the Washington Post.

“The woman described encounters and contact spanning a five-year period that began online after she posted a message on Barton’s Facebook page in 2011, leading to the sexually explicit exchanges and ultimately a pair of physical sexual encounters in Washington and Texas. Over time, she said, she became aware of and corresponded with multiple other women who engaged in relationships with Barton, who represents a suburban Dallas district and is one of the most senior Republicans in the House.”

CIA Told Mossad Putin Had Leverage Over Trump

An Israeli source told Vanity Fair about a meeting between a small group of Mossad officers and other Israeli intelligence officials at CIA headquarters just weeks before the inauguration of Donald Trump.

“The meeting proceeded uneventfully; updates on a variety of ongoing classified operations were dutifully shared. It was only as the meeting was about to break up that an American spymaster solemnly announced there was one more thing: American intelligence agencies had come to believe that Russian president Vladimir Putin had ‘leverages of pressure’ over Trump, he declared without offering further specifics.”

Just 22% Say Franken Should Stay In Office

A new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll in Minnesota finds that just 22% of Minnesotans surveyed said Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) should remain in office. Another 33% say he should resign, while 36% say he should wait for results of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.

Nate Silver: “I think Democrats have underestimated how seriously voters are taking the Franken allegations and how hypocritical it makes them look.”

Quote of the Day

“There is no compassion whatsoever in the White House. I’m just beside myself with sadness because our president is a bully, our president is a punk, and he just doesn’t get it. I don’t know where he was raised, but his family didn’t do a good job raising that guy.”

— Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D), quoted by NBC Philadelphia.

Cohn Faked Bad Connection to Get Off Call with Trump

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) told CNN that White House adviser Gary Cohn took a call from President Trump during a discussion with Democratic senators about tax reform.

Said Carper: “Gary gets up and takes a call on his cellphone, comes back into the room, and says, we have somebody calling in from Asia, and it was the president, which was nice. Nice of him to do that. 15 minutes later, the president is still talking. And I said to Gary, it was a room where we’re all sitting around this big table, and I said, Gary why don’t you do this… just say, ‘Mr. President, you’re brilliant! But we’re losing contact, and I think we’re going to lose you now, so good-bye.'”

He added: “And that’s what he did, and he hung up.”

Spicer Was Looking for TV Jobs Before the Election

A new book out next month — Let Trump Be Trump by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie — says that Sean Spicer was never a true Trump believer, revealing the now ex-White House press secretary was shopping for TV jobs even before the 2016 election, the Daily Mail reports.

“In the first chapter, they lay out who they consider Trump’s friends and foes, characterizing Spicer and other Trump team members who came from the Republican National Committee, including Reince Priebus and Katie Walsh, as the latter.”

Police Were Told to Keep Moore Away from Cheerleaders

A retired Alabama police officer said police were told in the 1970s to make sure now-GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore stayed away from high school cheerleaders because the “rumor mill was that he liked young girls,” The Hill reports.

Said former Gadsden police officer Faye Gary: “We were advised that he was being suspended from the mall because he would hang around the young girls that worked in the stores and, you know, really got into a place of where they say he was harassing.”

Washingtonian: Roy Moore’s communications director resigns.