“This Russia thing with Trump” just keeps getting more and more complicated. Over the weekend, the New York Times that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, was promised compromising information about Hillary Clinton before he met with a Russian lawyer connected to the Kremlin.
Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the June 2016 meeting, which as Maggie Haberman pointed out came at a pivotal moment for the Trump campaign. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Donald Trump Jr. and the White House changed their explanations for the meeting multiple times over the weekend. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus called it a “big nothing burger” But this is the first meeting to suggest that Trump’s closest associates were willing to accept Russian help in the election. No matter how you spin it, that’s a something burger, which could have serious implications for the multiple investigations into Russian meddling in our election.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Guess Who’s Back. Congress is back (back again) after their Fourth of July recess and that means they are going to get serious about pushing their wildly unpopular health care plan through the Senate. You’ve helped stop Trumpcare so far, but we cannot let the pressure down now. Welcome your senator back from break with a message to oppose Trumpcare. Everything you need at TrumpcareToolkit.org.
“Serious rewrite plan.” Freshly back from a bruising recess, Congress has a lot of work to do to pass Trumpcare and even some Senate Republicans aren’t optimistic. Sens. McCain (R-AZ) and Cassidy (R-LA) both suggested that the plan and the rumored “serious rewrite plan” are dead. Here are 9 charts showing why Trumpcare could/should be dead. But don’t forget: the House version of Trumpcare seemed completely dead until it wasn’t. Senate majority leaders are counting on us getting confident and distracted enough to allow them to sneak this cruel bill through. Don’t let it happen.
Psych! That was more or less Trump’s response after his idea of teaming up with the Kremlin on a cyber security unit to safeguard against election hacking was harshly criticized. Thirteen hours after his initial tweet announcing the idea, Trump tweeted: “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!” Since it still has not gotten through to the Trump administration we will state again for the record: the U.S. intelligence community has confirmed that the Russian government itself hacked into U.S. election systems. That does not make them a good candidate for partner on anything, especially cyber security.
G19. Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it but thanks to Trump, the U.S. is further than ever from our traditional allies on just about everything from trade to climate policy. At the G20 summit last week, all other attending countries reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement. You can reaffirm your own commitment at IAmStillIn.org.
Final Countdown. Today is the final day to let the Trump administration know that altering or revoking national parks and monuments is un-American. Leave your comment now.
UNDER THE RADAR
DeVos. ICYMI: 18 states and DC are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Education Department over the decision to halt rules that forgive student loan debt of students who were cheated by fraudulent schools. The rules were set to go into effect on July 1, but DeVos froze the changes.
Paid Leave. Last week, Washington State became the fifth state in the country to establish a paid family and medical leave program. The bipartisan bill provides workers with two weeks of paid medical leave and up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child or family member.