July, 2017

White House Officials Tricked by Email Prankster

“A self-described ’email prankster’ in the UK fooled a number of White House officials into thinking he was other officials, including an episode where he convinced the White House official tasked with cyber security that he was Jared Kushner and received that official’s private email address unsolicited,” CNN reports.

“White House officials acknowledged the incidents and said they were taking the matter seriously.”

Corey Lewandowski Has Been Fired Again

“Three sources with knowledge of the situation tell the Daily Beast that the former Trump campaign manager and current informal adviser to the president has been let go from One America News Network, a pro-Trump cable channel pitching itself as an aspiring Fox News.”

“Lewandowski angered OANN leadership with his frequent appearances on Fox and other competitors, which one former OANN employee described as ‘a big no-no’ with the channel’s leadership. Senior staff at the network knew it was likely that Lewandowski would do other network appearances, but things came to a head when it began to appear that Lewandowski was giving more attention to competitors than his employer.”

Republicans Ignore Trump’s Obamacare Taunts

“Senate Republicans have no plans to revive their party-line attempts to repeal Obamacare this summer, despite President Trump’s increasing frustration over the chamber’s failed attempts last week to gut the law,” Politico reports.

Said Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “Until somebody shows us a way to get that elusive 50th vote, I think it’s over. Maybe lightning will strike and something will come together but I’m not holding my breath.”

Trump Personally Dictated Son’s Misleading Statement

“On the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany last month, President Trump’s advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump’s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril,” the Washington Post reports.

“The strategy, the advisers agreed, should be for Donald Trump Jr. to release a statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful, so their account couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged.”

“But within hours, at the president’s direction, the plan changed. Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had ‘primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children’ when they met in June 2016… The claims were later shown to be misleading.”

Kushner Says Trump Team Too Disorganized to Collude

Jared Kushner told a group of interns that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign “could not have colluded with Russia because they were barely talking to each other,” Foreign Policy reports.

Said Kushner: “They thought we colluded, but we couldn’t even collude with our local offices.”

“For investigators attempting to determine whether Trump’s associates knowingly worked with Russia to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a defense claiming chaos and confusion might be the key difference between criminal behavior and incompetence.”

Kelly Considered Resigning After Comey Firing

“New White House chief of staff John Kelly was so upset with how President Donald Trump handled the firing of FBI Director James Comey that Kelly called Comey afterward and said he was considering resigning,” CNN reports.

“Comey, who took Kelly’s call while traveling back from Los Angeles to Washington, responded to Kelly by telling him not to resign… The sources said Comey and Kelly are not close friends but that they had a professional relationship and a deep mutual respect for each other.”

Hatch Says Senate Too Divided to Take Up Health Care

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told Reuters “that senators for now are too divided to keep working on healthcare overhaul legislation and that he and other senior Republicans will take that message to the White House.”

President Donald Trump has been urging lawmakers not to drop the matter, despite a series of failed votes last week.

Said Hatch: “There’s just too much animosity and we’re too divided on healthcare.”

Scaramucci Listed as Dead In New Harvard Directory

“Pity poor Anthony Scaramucci: reportedly getting divorced, sacked from his job after a mere 10 days — and now there’s an erroneous report that he’s dead,” the Washington Post reports.

“The blink-and-you-missed-him former White House communications director is listed as deceased in the new Harvard Law School alumni directory, which arrived in alums’ mailboxes the very week that “The Mooch” became the most talked-about guy in politics. An asterisk by the 1989 graduate’s name indicates that he was reported dead since the last directory, which was published in 2011.”