Polite Politics Daily Briefing: June 12, 2017

Before I get started I want to thank dear reader, Allison, who suggested changing the title to the PPDB for Polite Politics Daily Briefing. I love it!! It takes a village to run a blog, I tell you. Now without further ado… the PPDB for June 12, 2017.

Hey, how did everyone like infrastructure week? Did you even know last week was the White House’s infrastructure week? I’m going to guess probably not.

The beginning of this week is also looking to be “off message” for the administration as instead of talking about health care, jobs or literally anything else… we’re going to still be talking about Russian interference.

Reportedly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but that’s not confirmed by the committee yet. It’s also not confirmed whether it will be in closed or open session. The White House would probably prefer closed session in order to keep the issue out of the public eye and their message more on point than during “infrastructure week.” However, this would obviously not be very transparent to the public and Democrats are calling for the testimony to be open.

In related news:

This story about how a fake news story about former FBI Director James Comey went viral had a lot of people talking this weekend.

This is a good read from a former FBI agent explaining her concern about Trump’s lack of concern regarding Russian hacking.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said on ABC’s This Week that Trump tried to cultivate a relationship with him before firing him.

Other National News

New Trump lawsuit: D.C. and Maryland Attorneys General reportedly will sue Trump, saying his foreign business ties violate the U.S. Constitution. This after the Maryland legislature granted that state’s A.G. expanded powers to sue.

Who needs a Chief of Staff anyway: Politico is reporting that Trump is giving Chief of Staff Reince Priebus until July 4th to clean up the White House or he’ll be let go. As the article points out, these rumors seem to keep swirling.

Midterm elections: Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver is quoted in this New York Times story about the Democratic Party and the midterm elections.

Holocaust Museum funding: The Hill has a report that the Trump budget cuts millions from the Holocaust Museum. As you can imagine, there’s bipartisan criticism of that.

Puerto Rico: In a vote yesterday, Puerto Rico voted to pursue statehood. However, questions linger about the vote since turnout was only 23%, the lowest since 1967.

International News

Trump UK visit on hold: President Trump won’t be headed to Britain for a state visit anytime soon reportedly due to concerns there would be massive protests. He reportedly won’t go to the UK until the British people support his visit. (Maybe a good first step would be to lay off criticizing their politicians on Twitter?)

Macron and French Parliament: After Emmanuel Macron won the presidency pundits speculated whether he would be able to put together a supportive parliament. That’s because Macron basically put together his own party in order to run. Well, yesterday’s first-round election results seem to indicate his new party will gain a large number of seats in parliament—a pretty significant endorsement of his platform from the French people.

Alexei Navalny: We continue to discuss Russian interference, but there’s some other interesting stuff going on in Russia. Despite continued harassment, anti-corruption activist and opposition leader Alexei Navalny organized more protests in 200 Russian cities today. Earlier this year, Navalny released a YouTube video detailing corruption in the Russian government that now has more than 20 million views. Today is “Russia Day,” so Russians have the day off from work and there was speculation the protests could be well-attended. (Update: Navalny was arrested leaving his apartment this morning. )

Shove heard around the world: Politico has an interview with the Prime Minister of Montenegro who, at the NATO meeting, was shown being pushed out of the way by Trump. The piece talks about more than the shove. It gives good insight into the lengths Russia went to to try and prevent Montenegro from joining the NATO alliance.

Ashcroft and Qatar: Former U.S. Attorney and Missouri Senator John Ashcroft has filed paperwork showing he will represent Qatar in this whole kerfuffle with the Trump administration.

Podcast recommendation: I just caught up with my podcasts for the weekend and I want to recommend this weekend’s episode of Lovett or Leave It titled “There’s Just Like So Much Going On.” First of all, they talk about ISIS’s messaging and why this is a messaging war as much as it is a battle against terrorism. Also, Ronan Farrow is on the show and gives a rant that I wanted to make here about the State Department and the absence of their leadership in this administration. So, instead of me rehashing those issues here, I recommend you check out that podcast.

Finally, if you have a recommendation for an article or topic you think I should research for this site, please let me know.

Happy Monday, y’all!

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