I almost hate to tempt fate at this point… but all has been quiet on the Twitter front since former FBI Director Jim Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (If for some reason you missed it, The New York Times has the full transcript.) I realize the moment I post this the president could decide to take out his phone and fire off some hot takes, but at this moment, we have been more than 24 hours without a presidential tweet.
Let’s savor that for a moment. BREAKING: The President has tweeted.
Well, that was short lived.
In his tweet this morning, Trump is taking issue with Comey being the “leaker.” He’s referring to the fact that Comey confirmed under oath that, following the President’s interview defaming him, Comey gave the content of his unclassified memo to a friend who then reported it to the press. Just a reminder: in a free and open society, it is not illegal for a government official to provide the press with unclassified information to help people understand how their government is working. I would say that is especially true if you are the head of that agency and that information disproves something the President said on camera. I know this can be confusing if, say, you are used to more authoritarian governments.
The press will have an opportunity to ask President Trump about this. He has a 2:45 p.m. Eastern time press conference with the president of Romania today before leaving for his New Jersey golf course.
However, we still have some insight into what was going on inside the White House as Comey was testifying. The New York Times filed this account of what was happening inside the White House during the testimony.
Here are a couple of my thoughts. First, it was amazing to hear Comey’s account in his own words and his poker face showed he was clearly well-prepped for yesterday’s testimony. Second, a lot of yesterday’s hearing was members of Congress “establishing a record” by asking questions to create documentation about what has been happening.
Finally, excuse me a moment for waxing poetic, but this does say something about the strength of our institutions if the former director of the FBI can testify in front of Congress and call the president a liar—and there is no violence or arrest. I think, in spite of this chaos, we should feel proud to live in a country that gives this level of transparency where we can watch this testimony. Even though we joke about the watch parties from D.C. to LA, it is awesome to see this sort of civic engagement.
A couple other things of note:
- During his testimony, Comey also disputed at least one New York Times article. So, The New York Times wrote an article about that story and their fact checks on it.
- Twitter (and my text messaging) lit up after Senator John McCain seemed… out of sorts… during the hearing. McCain later blamed it on staying up too late to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Since D.C. is leaking like a sieve, almost immediately after senators left the closed sessions CNN reported that Comey had told the senators that Sessions met with Kislyak a third time.
- On social media, comparisons are being made to Comey’s testimony and workplace sexual harassment. The New York Times even posted two opinion editorials about the subject. I thought this one was especially interesting.
National news of interest
Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-South Carolina), will take the place of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, (R-Utah), as chair of the House Oversight Committee.
Karl Rove, as in “Bush’s brain Karl Rove,” has a scalding hot take on Donald Trump in The Wall Street Journal.
And while we were all paying attention to Comey, something rather huge happened. House Republicans voted to repeal the Dodd-Frank rules put in place to regulate banks after the financial crisis of 2008.
Lost in the shuffle yesterday: Time has a new cover story out about how Trump’s D.C. hotel is the new swamp.
Some new polls are out in Georgia for the June 20th special election to fill the seat vacated by Tom Price. Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel had their debate this week. Polls taken after that debate show Ossoff ahead by about two points.
My last bit of national news is the latest in a segment I call “Ugh. Uber.”
So the UK had its election and the Labour Party handed the Tories a huge loss. Did I say that right? I have no idea. I’m no expert in UK politics, but I do know what happened there was really bad for Prime Minister and Tory Theresa May. However, it seems no party had enough seats to form a government which caused a hung parliament. What is a hung parliament? I wasn’t sure, but Politico Europe has this explainer.
(Also, can we talk about Lord Buckethead?)
I was pleased to read this piece about how the Kansas women lawmakers pieced together the tax repeal compromise. I would like to salute those women by dedicating to them this song by the great Beyoncé.
And finally, I leave you with my favorite story from yesterday: The German Shepard who flunked out of police academy has a new job.
Have a great weekend, everyone!