Greetings, comrades! Let us commence with today’s lesson plan. 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…
► President Trump’s administration is crumbling faster than Cory Gardner can flee a constituent. As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, news that Trump passed highly-confidential information to the Russians just might be the proverbial back-breaking straw on this here camel:
In a number of conversations Monday evening with Republican House members and GOP strategists, there was a widespread feeling that this time Trump might have gone too far…
…consider the following five things Trump has done since coming into office: 1) Twice failed to enact a travel ban 2) Engaged in an extended argument over crowd size at his inauguration 3) Falsely accused then-President Barack Obama of wire-tapping Trump Tower during the election 4) Took 18 days to get rid of national security adviser MIchael Flynn after being informed Flynn was compromised by the Russians 5) Fired Comey, even as he was overseeing the Russia investigation.
Any ONE of those are the sort of thing that would be a major slip-up in any other administration — and might lead to defections from within the president’s own party. All five of them — plus the new revelations regarding classified information being shared with two top Russian officials — is something close to an avalanche of political malpractice.
How much more can — or will — congressional Republicans take?
If you’re looking for answers as to why Trump would have divulged such sensitive information to the Russians, there aren’t a lot of plausible answers.
If you’re looking for a response to this growing crisis from Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)…well, good luck with that. But Gardner has certainly painted himself into a corner with his previous bold declarations about national security.
Actually, if you’re looking for a response from any Colorado Republicans, you’re not alone.
► Things would have to improve at the White House before you could even begin to use the word “disarray.” From the Washington Post:
This time it did not even take 24 hours for Donald Trump to throw his staffers under the bus and contradict their denials.
The president revealed highly classified (code word) information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during an Oval Office meeting last week, potentially endangering a coveted intelligence asset, compromising a crucial alliance and undermining the war effort against the Islamic State.
After The Post broke the story, senior White House aides quickly denied it. “I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” said national security adviser H.R. McMaster. “This story is false,” added Dina Powell, his deputy.
Then, on Twitter this morning, Trump essentially acknowledged that The Post’s reporting is accurate, defended his decision to share the information and complained about the leak that allowed what he’d done to get out.
Working for Trump at the White House certainly appears to be nothing short of awful. It can’t help that Trump’s approval ratings continue to drop and the public is demanding a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia.
► Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, also the second-longest-serving Attorney General in Colorado history, is apparently no longer on a short list to become the next FBI Director. We’re sure Suthers is absolutely (not) despondent to learn that he won’t be next in line to manage this particular shit show.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► As Cathy Proctor reports for the Denver Business Journal, two longtime government-relations executives in the oil and gas industry are moving elsewhere:
Chris Castilian, who for nine years worked on government relations for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) throughout the Rocky Mountains, most recently as its director of strategy and engagement, has decamped to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)…
…Also entering a new chapter is Jack Ekstrom — who retired in January from Denver’s Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL), where he was the oil and gas company’s vice president of corporate and government relations — but didn’t stay retired for long.
Ekstrom has launched PolicyWorks America, a Denver-based consultancy specializing in advocacy for conventional fuels and energy production, political strategy and corporate communications.
► DaVita and CEO Kent Thiry — a potential GOP candidate for governor in 2018 — were absolutely dismantled by a searing report on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. If you haven’t seen it yet, set aside some time today to watch the full story.
► Proving once again that he is denser than that fruit cake still sitting in your freezer, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is calling for a special prosecutor…to investigate the Obama administration?
► This is what it sounds like when the rats start fleeing the sinking ship:
— Ed O’Keefe (@edatpost) May 16, 2017
► Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute is very sad that Republicans no longer pay any attention to him whatsoever.
► The Aurora City Council has passed a resolution declaring that it is NOT a “sanctuary city.” So, there’s that.
► In an effort to do absolutely anything other than respond to questions about President Trump, Sen. Cory Gardner issued a statement calling on China to do more to push back against militaristic threats from North Korea.
► Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) believes that many Trump officials will ultimately face criminal indictments for any number of illegal activities.
► Governor John Hickenlooper has not yet decided on whether to call a “special session” and recall lawmakers to work on transportation funding issues. From Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman:
Gov. John Hickenlooper hadn’t yet decided on Monday whether to call a special session to come up with more funding for the state’s transportation needs, among other topics he said were left unfinished in the General Assembly’s 120-day regular session.
While Hickenlooper called it “the most productive legislative session” since he took office in 2011, he said the day after the regular session adjourned that he would ponder over the weekend whether to order lawmakers back to the Capitol to address unresolved matters. Those included whether to ask voters to raise taxes for transportation, authorization to keep the doors open at the Colorado Energy Office, funding to expand rural broadband and several issues involving health care spending.
But the governor’s spokeswoman told The Colorado Statesman on Monday that Hickenlooper wouldn’t be announcing his decision just yet, adding that he’s taking more time to talk to stakeholders and review the issues.
► 9News explains the story of how “asset forfeiture” brought Democrats and Republicans together in the state legislature.
► The Denver Post reports on a lawsuit filed Monday related to the home explosion in Firestone in April that killed two people and severely wounded two others:
The lawsuit names as defendants Anadarko and Noble Energy Inc., which the lawsuit identified as the previous operator of the well the flowline was connected to. It also names as defendants ST-Firestone LLC, the land developer of housing in the vicinity where the explosion occurred. Also sued were Hearth at Oak Meadows, and CC Communities LLC, both identified as builders. The developers and builders had a duty to confirm that the lots were free of any “oil and gas related facilities, pipes or other hazards” related to oil and gas production, the lawsuit claims.
This is likely the first of many similar lawsuits that will arise from the Firestone tragedy.
Two Republican lawmakers in the Firestone area, meanwhile, are planning to embark on a “Sorry the oil and gas industry blew up your house” tour.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Victor Mitchell has 10,000 “likes” on Facebook, which means…well, nothing for future prospects of the Republican gubernatorial candidate.
► Why would she? And why would she?
► “Kid President” seems about as perfect an explanation for Trump as anything else.