“Single Greatest Witch Hunt”

That’s what Donald Trump is calling the investigation into his ties to Russia. This morning’s tweet came just a few hours after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special prosecutor in the investigation into Trump’s Russia connections.

To recap, the decision to name a special prosecutor comes after Trump abruptly fired FBI Director Comey and admitted his reason for doing so was “this Russia thing.” Then we found out that Trump asked Comey to kill the investigation into former National Security Adviser and friend of Russia Michael Flynn. And the latest—out just this morning—is that while the investigation into Flynn was heating up, Trump sent him a private message: “Stay strong.” So it’s safe to say that naming a special prosecutor is a welcome first step in getting to the bottom of Trump’s connections to Russia.

Naming a special prosecutor acknowledges the significant erosion of public trust resulting from the Trump’s work to undermine the investigation into his own campaign. But we’ll need more than just a special prosecutor to hold accountable a president who has shown such a flagrant disregard for the rule of law. Through an independent commission, Congress must continue with stronger bipartisan inquiries into Trump’s possible collusion with Russia.

ACTION DAY

#YesGovWorks. The Trump Administration has made it clear that it doesn’t understand the importance of government agencies and programs that are vital to everyday Americans. In fact, it launched a website to solicit feedback on which government departments they can slash in order to gut protections for hundreds of millions of people. So we launched www.yesgovworks.org to give them the feedback they’re asking for! Watch this video for more info on what’s at stake. Then tell Trump’s budget chief to stop trying to cut programs that are important to you. Tell him that #YesGovWorks:

  1. Go to yesgovworks.org.
  2. Choose a government agency that’s important to you and write a short note about why it must be protected.
  3. Click Submit and we’ll be sure to pass along the message.
  4. Tweet your response with the hashtag #YesGovWorks

WHAT’S TRENDING

This Russia thing. Still isn’t going away. Last night, news broke that just a month before Trump secured the Republican nomination, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” The comment came from a leaked tape of a private meeting of House leadership.

Selective memories. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign from his post after he lied about his pre-election conversations with Russian officials. Recently, we found out that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House about Flynn’s Russia ties weeks before he was fired. In addition to his questionable Russia ties, Flynn was under investigation for secret lobbying in Turkey during the campaign. Now the New York Times has reported that Flynn himself told the Trump Administration about the federal investigation into his secret lobbying and the Trump Administration offered him the job anyway.

Roger Ailes. The “architect of conservative-oriented TV news” passed away today at 77. Ailes stepped down after more than two decades at Fox News over sexual harassment allegations earlier this year. Fellow conservative media star Sean Hannity criticized the media for not leaving Ailes’ family alone, while at the same time pushing a discredited conspiracy theory about Seth Rich, a former DNC staffer killed last year.

#ThanksTrump. Wall Street and global stock markets are coming crashing down as nervous investors rapidly purge their risky assets due to mass uncertainty over Trump’s presidency. And with more and more Russia news coming out, it’s looking like the “bloodbath in global markets” will continue. Read more here.

Myth busting. Despite what conservative pundits say, it looks like Social Security is not actually to blame for declining male labor force participation. A new study from the Center for American Progress finds that disability benefits from Social Security are not the reason men are dropping out the work force.

(No) Priorities. Just 100 days after signing the Muslim Ban executive order, the Trump Administration is already tearing families apart. New Immigration and Customs Enforcement data shows that arrests of unauthorized immigrants is up 38 percent from the same period last year. And those most affected by the increase in arrests? People without criminal records, whose arrested spiked by more than 157 percent. Instead of focusing on serious threats, the Trump administration is indiscriminately going after anyone it encounters—including Dreamers, parents of citizen children, and survivors of domestic abuse.

UNDER THE RADAR

Report Card. Secretary DeVos was confirmed as Education Secretary on February 7, 2017 and she has had a tumultuous first 100 days in office to say the least. It has been hard to keep up with the gaffes, insults and harmful policies that have emerged from her Department of Education but we thought we’d try to evaluate her first 100 days in a way that seemed fitting. We put together a report card reviewing just some of the highlights from the first 100 days of DeVos.

GOOD NEWS

Record lows. Despite Congressional Republican leaders’ efforts to sabotage the progress made by the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate has remained at a historic low of 9.0 percent for all Americans, according to a new CDC report. For context, in 2010 before the ACA took effect, the uninsured rate was 16 percent. And states that expanded Medicaid under the law have seen their uninsured rates cut by more than half.