May the Eighth be With You…yeah, that doesn’t work at all. It’s time to Get More Smarter! If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday about her warnings to the Trump administration that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn could be “blackmailed by the Russians.” From NBC News:
“We were concerned that the American people had been misled about the underlying conduct and what General Flynn had done,” Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
Yates declined to go into specifics, which she said were classified, but she essentially confirmed news media accounts about what led up to the firing of Flynn in February. Flynn misled officials, NBC News and others have reported, by saying he hadn’t discussed Obama administration sanctions on Russia, when in fact he had.
Yates said she conveyed the information to White House counsel Don McGahn on Feb. 26, two days after Flynn was interviewed by the FBI on Feb. 24. McGahn asked Yates how Flynn did in the interview, she testified, “and I declined to give him an answer to that.”
NBC News also reported today that former President Barack Obama personally warned President Trump about hiring Flynn to be his National Security Adviser. Concerns about Flynn’s connections to Russia prompted him to resign from the Trump administration in February after just a few weeks on the job.
Chris Cillizza of CNN tries to understand why Trump ignored the advice of so many others who warned against hiring Flynn:
The question now is why. Why, after being told by the outgoing president that Flynn was bad news — in the sense that his name was all over the ongoing Justice Department investigation into Russia’s attempts to hack the 2016 election — did Trump ignore that advice within a week? And why has Trump continued to publicly defend Flynn in the face of repeated warnings — from then Acting Attorney General Sally Yates among others — that his ties to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak represented a major problem?
► The Colorado legislature will wrap things up for the 2017 session on Wednesday, also called “Sine Die” by the cool kids. We’re still not sure how to correctly pronounce “Sine Die,” but this Merriam-Webster audio doesn’t sound right at all.
Anyhoo…John Frank and Brian Eason take a look back (and a peek forward) on the 2017 session for the Denver Post.
► Colorado lawmakers are forging ahead with legislation to require the oil and gas industry to publicly disclose “flowline information” in the wake of a deadly home explosion in Firestone last month that killed two people and badly injured two others. Republican Rep. Lori Saine, who represents Firestone residents in the legislature, is actively opposing these efforts as what she calls a “knee-jerk reaction.”
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) is sponsoring legislation that would allow legal marijuana-related businesses to have access to banking services.
► Congressional Republicans who supported Trumpcare having activated a new wave of activists, as NBC News reports:
Judith Casale said she is going to do everything in her power to stop Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country in the 2018 midterms.
“I have never canvassed before, but I will f—ing crawl door to door to make sure you lose,” the otherwise mild-mannered 60-year-old recalled that she tweeted at Curbelo as she sat in her living room on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, some House Republican supporters of Trumpcare are being thanked for their efforts in television ads from the American Action Network, a group aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Aurora Republican Mike Coffman had been on the receiving end of similar ads in March after he voiced his support for the original version of Trumpcare (Coffman voted “NO” on Trumpcare 2.0 last week).
► Just because you are a two-term Governor of a state doesn’t mean that the Trump administration won’t lie to your face, as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is learning.
► DaVita CEO Kent Thiry funded a barrage of television commercials over the weekend targeting two state lawmakers who are trying to shepherd legislation that would implement 2016 ballot measures giving Unaffiliated voters the ability to vote in partisan primaries. Thiry is a potential 2018 gubernatorial candidate who apparently thinks that Unaffiliated voters can be the key to winning a GOP primary next June.
► France has a new President after voters on Sunday supported Emmanuel Macron, the “moderate” candidate, over right-wing leader Marine Le Pen. Macron’s election was widely considered a rebuttal of the kind of nationalistic politics popularized by Donald Trump.
► A constituent of Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) reveals some interesting details in a letter-to-the-editor regarding interactions with Tipton’s staff prior to last week’s Trumpcare vote.
► White House officials are pressuring Senate Republicans to fix a litany of problematic policy guidelines contained in the House Republican healthcare bill.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), your constituents are upset.
► Michelle Obama will be the featured speaker at a Women’s Foundation of Colorado event in July.
► Senator Cory Gardner is exchanging insults with North Korea.