Snow? Again? What is this, Russia? 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…
It is not difficult to picture a sullen President Trump shaking his fist and softly mumbling the name of former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the man who will lead a special investigation into potential Trump ties with Russia. The White House issued a bland statement last night in response to the news of Mueller’s appointment, but it wasn’t long before President Twitter took to social media to vent his rage.
From the New York Times:
President Trump lashed out on Thursday, saying he was the target of an unprecedented witch hunt, a day after the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to investigate ties between his presidential campaign and Russian officials.
In a pair of early morning tweets, Mr. Trump cited, without evidence, what he called the “illegal acts” committed by the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and the campaign of his former opponent, Hillary Clinton — and said they never led to the appointment of a special counsel.
Moments later, Mr. Trump added, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
And yet, the bell tolls.
As Chris Cillizza summarizes for CNN:
Republicans — from Donald Trump on down — will now live or die by what Mueller finds out. Full exoneration is now possible. But so too is full guilt or blame. Republicans’ political fate — in 2018 and perhaps 2020 as well — is now largely in Mueller’s hands.
► Oh, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly expressed concern last summer that Trump was on Russia’s payroll. From the Washington Post:
A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.
► Colorado Republican officials had been largely quiet about President Trump as his administration unravels, but the appointment of Robert Mueller as special prosecutor appears to have finally shaken many of their media malaise. As Jason Salzman writes, Trump talk is also dominating the Republican gubernatorial primary.
► The oil and gas industry is directing millions of dollars to Colorado Republicans as concerns grow about the safety of drilling practices near communities. According to a new report, the amount of money pouring into GOP coffers from O&G interests provides the industry with enormous political clout — much more than had been previously considered.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Colorado Republicans continue to fight with fellow Republican Matt Arnold over a host of allegations related to illegal campaign finance maneuvers. Meanwhile, Arnold continues to notch victory after victory in his legal pursuits.
► Roger Ailes, the deposed founder of FOX News, has died.
► President Trump wanted former FBI Chief James Comey TO PUT JOURNALISTS IN JAIL for being mean to the administration by publishing leaks.
Read that sentence again.
► Denver attorney David Bernhardt will face a Senate panel today as part of a process he hopes will result with the approval of his appointment for the #2 job in the Department of the Interior. Conservation groups are not pleased with Bernhardt’s appointment.
► Black Hills Energy is trying to push out Public Utilities Commissioner Frances Koncilja because she isn’t doing what they want.
► Working in the White House just might be the worst job in Washington. As the Washington Post explains, morale in the Trump administration is falling faster than the President’s approval ratings:
In his wake remain his exhausted aides and deputies, the frequent targets of Trump’s wrath as they struggle to control an uncontrollable chief executive and labor to explain away his stumbles.
Wednesday evening brought yet another challenging development for the White House, as the Justice Department announced a special counsel to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
Some White House staffers have turned to impeachment gallows humor. Other mid-level aides have started contacting consultants, shopping their résumés. And at least one senior staffer has begun privately talking to friends about what a post-White House job would look like, according to two people close the staffer.
Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that President Trump is still struggling to fill hundreds of key administration positions — it just means that there are fewer people who will inevitably submit their resignations.
► Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver) will hold a town hall meeting on Friday in Fort Collins. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)…will not.
► There may soon be
three four Democrats angling for the chance to take on Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) in 2018.
► Governor John Hickenlooper will make several stops during a tour of Colorado’s Western Slope this weekend.
► Durango residents are not pleased about a FOX News report alleging that the town has been overrun by dirty pot-smoking vagabonds.
► President Pence? It is that thought that consoles some conservatives as the Trump administration unravels before our eyes.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Friends of H.R. McMaster are sad to see the National Security Adviser essentially taking a dive for President Trump.
► This week’s cover of TIME magazine is a stunner:
► It’s difficult to predict what will be more harmful to Republicans in 2018: President Trump or wildly unpopular attempts by Congress to gut Obamacare.