Trump Reshuffles Legal Team

“President Donald Trump is reshuffling his legal team as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation moves full steam ahead,” CNN reports.

“Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s longtime personal attorney who has been the lead lawyer on the Russia investigation, will see his role recede… Instead, attorney John Dowd, along with Jay Sekolow, will now be the President’s primary personal attorneys for the investigation… Dowd will take the lead.”

“By being outside the White House, their dealings with the President will be protected under attorney-client privilege that is afforded any US citizen.”

Spokesman for Trump Legal Team Quits

Politico: “Mark Corallo, the spokesman, had grown frustrated with the operation and the warring factions and lawyers, these people said. Corallo also was concerned about whether he was being told the truth about various matters.”

“Corallo has been close to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation, and has praised him publicly. He didn’t like the strategy to attack his credibility.”

Trump Picks Scaramucci as Communications Director

“President Trump is expected to announce that Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci will be White House communications director,” Axios reports.

“Trump has left the role open since Mike Dubke resigned in May, and the President has vented frequently to his friends about the performance of his press operation… Trump’s plans to appoint Scaramucci came as a surprise to Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who found out after the plans had already been made.”

Trump Seeks Ways to Undermine Russia Probe

Washington Post: “Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.”

“Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.”

New York Times: “President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused.”

Manafort Being Investigated for Money Laundering

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible money laundering by Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, as part of his criminal investigation into what U.S. intelligence agencies say was a Kremlin-backed campaign to meddle in the 2016 presidential election,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The inquiry into the issue by Mr. Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and his team began several weeks ago.”

Trump’s Club Wants to Hire 70 Foreign Workers

“President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has asked permission to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House’s ‘Made in America Week’ — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers,” the Washington Post reports.

“Those requests were made to the Department of Labor in recent days and posted online Thursday.”

Christie Could Pick a Senator Before He Leaves

Gov. Chris Christie (R) “is the most unpopular governor in the country, but in his last days in office he may get to exercise enormous influence nationally: Choosing a successor to embattled Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), which could result in a Republican senator, at least temporarily, from deep-blue New Jersey,” Politico reports.

Menendez “goes on trial for corruption in September, and there are two scenarios that could see him leave Washington before Christie is term-limited out of office in January: If Menendez is convicted and the Senate acts quickly to expel him, or if he cuts a plea deal and leaves office even earlier.”

GOP Donor Calls Trump an ‘Abortion of a Human Being’

Billionaire and GOP megadonor Mike Fernandez says he can’t give to Republicans who don’t stand up to President Trump, Politico reports.

Said Fernandez: “All the Republicans who hide behind the flag and hide the church, they don’t have the fucking balls to do what it takes… It is demoralizing to me to see adults worshipping a false idol. I can’t continue to write checks for anyone.”

He also called Trump an “abortion of a human being,” while adding, “If I was the doctor and knew what that baby would do, I’d have made sure it never would have seen the light of day.”

GOP Senators Dismayed with Trump

A group of Republican senators criticized President Trump after he rebuked top law enforcement officials in an interview with The New York Times, CNN reports.

Said one GOP senator: “One gets the impression that the President doesn’t understand or he willfully disregards the fact that the attorney general and law enforcement in general — they are not his personal lawyers to defend and protect him.”

Said another: “Any thought of firing the special counsel is chilling. It’s chilling. That’s all you can say.”

More People Paying Attention to Politics

Pew Research: “Nearly six-in-ten women (58%) say they are paying increased attention to politics since Trump’s election, compared with 46% of men. Overall, more Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents than Republicans and Republican leaners say they have become more attentive to politics. But there are similarly wide gender gaps in heightened interest to politics among members of both parties.”

Also interesting: “Most people (59%) say it is ‘stressful and frustrating’ to talk about politics with people who have a different opinion of Trump than they do; just 35% find such conversations ‘interesting and informative.'”

The GOP Health Care Bill Is Just Barely Alive

HuffPost: “A day after just about everyone on Capitol Hill declared the Senate health care bill dead, the legislation once again seemed to have the tiniest bit of life, with Republicans staying late into the night Wednesday to discuss whether there was a path forward.”

“If Collins is a no vote on any form of the legislation and Paul won’t support a replacement, and Capito and Murkowski won’t support the repeal-only approach, and Lee and Moran won’t support the replacement, and it’s unclear if McCain will be back next week … Republicans simply don’t have the votes throughout all the confusing scenarios. And that’s to say nothing of Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who has been cagey all along on any form of the legislation.”

Politico: “A harsh reality is setting in among Senate Republicans: they’re extremely unlikely to repeal Obamacare in the coming days.”