Polite Politics Daily Briefing: June 13, 2017

It’s going to be another active day in Washington: Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee at 2:30 pm Eastern time today. It sounds like a lot of the networks will be covering it live.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS NewsHour, a Trump confidant stated that the president is mulling over firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (See what I did there?) This seems like a bad idea, but this administration has done equally perplexing things regarding this investigation (ahem… Comey) so who knows if this is legit. My feeling is it is just staff members leaking information to gauge reaction and prove to Trump this is a bad idea.

A Quick-and-Dirty Inventory of the Many Russia-Related Stories

Russian protests: Opposition leader (and I should mention, presidential candidate) Alexei Navalny was arrested just before the protests, but the protests went on and were well attended… and of course, ended with police beating the $#@% out of protestors.

Navalny received 30 days in jail for organizing the protests. He quipped on Twitter last night and people were translating it as “It’s not enough that they plundered the country, I’ll miss the Depeche Mode concert in Moscow tomorrow because of them.”

Meanwhile, you’ll note in looking at the pictures that most of the protestors are young.

Russian active measures: Politico magazine has a terribly frightening story about how Russia’s active measure techniques are targeting U.S. servicemen and women. Politico also has this analysis that the U.S. needs to recognize the interference is part of a larger “hybrid war.”

Oliver Stone: Oliver Stone has interviews with Putin he’s airing on Showtime. His interview on CBS this morning was highly disturbing—repeating Russian propaganda talking points leading me to believe this is just straight up Kremlin propaganda.

There certainly is news value in interviewing Putin—but not if you’re going to make a buddy film out of it. I feel similarly about Megyn Kelly’s expected interview with tin foil hat-wearing internet disinformation huckster Alex Jones. You have to go into these interviews prepared to counter disinformation otherwise you lend them legitimacy.

NATIONAL NEWS

Fighting the swamp one graph at a time: This piece about a liberal attorney representing the Trump family was making the rounds on Twitter today because of this paragraph:

In a quintessentially D.C. move, some longtime friends of Gorelick contacted for this article offered complimentary comments about her on the record, and then, after asking if they could make other remarks without attribution, bashed their colleague to smithereens. Those people will not be quoted in this article, by name or anonymously, as one tiny bulwark against outright awfulness.

Emoluments clause: New York magazine has a long read about the nonprofit CREW which is working to sue Trump under the emoluments clause.

Dear leader: A lot of people are talking about the weird cabinet meeting where everyone professed their love of Trump.

Ambassador McCain? The Daily Beast is reporting that Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, may join the Trump administration as an ambassador overseeing human trafficking, refugees and humanitarian aid. Some are speculating that might be why Sen. McCain has softened his tone toward the administration as of late.

Also of note, the health care bill continues to be debated by the GOP behind closed doors and without hearings or the opportunity for amendments. You’ve probably heard that they’re trying to get a vote done before July 4th. If you are concerned about that then today might be a good day to call your representative.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

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