Trump Team Blows Loophole in Its Own Anti-Lobbying Order

The Trump administration could’ve chosen not to put a health care lobbyist at the helm of the Department of Health and Human Services. Instead, it appointed one to a top post, then excused him from ethics rules on the grounds that they would impede his new duties.

The White House has exempted Department of Health and Human Services Chief of Staff Lance Leggitt from rules that bar former members of Washington’s influence industry from working on issues that could advance the financial interests of their recent clients—on the grounds that those rules would be too burdensome for such a powerful official.

Source: Trump Team Blows Loophole in Its Own Anti-Lobbying Order

Watergate ‘pales’ in comparison to Trump-Russia scandal, says ex-spy chief James Clapper

The situation in Washington has become more serious than during the Watergate scandal, and investigators must get to the bottom of ties between the Trump administration and Russia, the former director of U.S. national intelligence said Wednesday.

In a speech to Australia’s National Press Club, James Clapper said allegations that President Donald Trump shared intelligence with Moscow were “very problematic” and that the Watergate scandal, which led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974, “pales” in comparison.

Source: Watergate ‘pales’ in comparison to Trump-Russia scandal, says ex-spy chief James Clapper

Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills

On top of everything else Trump is a mooch:

Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

James Comey approached Attorney General Jeff Sessions with concerns about Trump

Shortly after President Trump allegedly pressed then-FBI director James Comey to shut down the federal inquiry into national security adviser Michael Flynn in February, Comey went to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to express his uneasiness about the president’s direct contact with him about such matters, according to a person familiar with his actions.

Comey, who was running the FBI’s probe into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the presidential campaign, sought to enlist the attorney general’s help in shielding the agency from such contacts, said the person who is not authorized to comment publicly.

Source: James Comey approached Attorney General Jeff Sessions with concerns about Trump

Jeff Sessions offered to quit during exchange with Trump

If he had any decency he would quit:

President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have had a series of heated exchanges in the last several weeks after Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe, a source close to Sessions told CNN Tuesday.

A senior administration official said that at one point, Sessions expressed he would be willing to resign if Trump no longer wanted him there.
The frustration comes at a critical juncture for Trump. Former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify Thursday about his private discussions with Trump and the Russia investigation has lapped into the White House, with questions about the President’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner.

Tuesday afternoon, White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to say whether Trump has confidence in Sessions.

Four top law firms turned down requests to represent Trump

Who would want to represent someone who incriminates himself every time he opens his mouth?:

Top lawyers with at least four major law firms rebuffed White House overtures to represent President Trump in the Russia investigations, in part over concerns that the president would be unwilling to listen to their advice, according to five sources familiar with discussions about the matter.

The unwillingness of some of the country’s most prestigious attorneys and their law firms to represent Trump has complicated the administration’s efforts to mount a coherent defense strategy to deal with probes being conducted by four congressional committees as well as Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ex-DOJ official: Trump’s anger over Sessions recusal ‘damning’ evidence of a cover-up

A former Department of Justice official expressed alarm over a “damning report” showing that President Donald Trump was angry at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Matthew Miller, a former communications director for the Justice Department and spokesman for former attorney general Eric Holder, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Trump’s frustration strongly suggested he wanted Sessions to oversee a cover-up.

“I thought that was a pretty damning report for the president,” Miller said. “Why would the president care if Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation or not unless he wanted him to exert inappropriate influence over it. It shouldn’t really matter who’s leading the investigation unless you want the person in charge to somehow steer it in a way that benefits you.”

Sessions recused himself in March from overseeing the FBI investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia after his secret meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were revealed.

Source: Ex-DOJ official: Trump’s anger over Sessions recusal ‘damning’ evidence of a cover-up

Eugene Robinson: Trump is Out of Control

The statements President Trump issued on Twitter in recent days lead to a chilling conclusion: The man is out of control.

I know that is a radical thing to say about the elected leader of the United States, the most powerful individual in the world. And I know his unorthodox use of social media is thought by some, including the president himself, to be brilliant. But I don’t see political genius in the invective coming from Trump these days. I see an angry man lashing out at enemies real and imagined — a man dangerously overwhelmed.

Source: Trump is out of control – The Washington Post