There is so much breaking news lately on the ever-widening allegations about Russian ties to the Trump campaign that it can be difficult to keep track of everything. With that in mind, we’ve created what we’re calling “The Daily D’oh!” to help you stay up-to-date on President Trump and the rest of the White House staff as more news emerges about Russia, James Comey, Robert Mueller, special investigations and everything else related to this ongoing crisis…
The New York Times reports on new information from that infamous Oval Office meeting between President Trump and his Russian pals:
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” [Pols emphasis]
Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”
The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.
Chris Cillizza of CNN offers more perspective on the “nut job” story:
There is no worse way to convince people that all of the Russia stuff is made up and a “total hoax,” in Trump’s words, than to share classified information with two top Russian officials and, in the same damn meeting, call your recently-fired FBI director a “nut job” and make clear you got rid of him because of the pressure on you regarding Russia’s influence in the election.
I dare you to come up with a scenario in which Trump could do more in a single meeting to undermine his case regarding the Russia investigation. [Pols emphasis] Short of saying “Hey guys, thanks for colluding with my campaign to hurt Hillary and get me elected,” and then releasing a video and a transcript of Trump saying exactly that, it’s hard to imagine.
The official White House response to the Times report is, in and of itself, stunning…
…The most important takeaway from that statement is that the White House is not denying the Times’ reporting on the meeting. So, Trump did call Comey a “nut job” and did say that “great pressure” had been taken off of him in regards Russia as a result of firing Comey.
As the Washington Post reports, the Russia probe is moving along swiftly. The investigation is coming up with specific names, including a senior White House official:
The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter. [Pols emphasis]
The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.
The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas. The intensity of the probe is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks, the people said.
Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo is working very hard to make sure that people know he was the first Republican Member of Congress to call for impeachment hearings.
Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) goes ballistic on Trump in a new interview.
And then there’s this quote from a story in The Daily Beast:
“Every day he looks more and more like a complete moron,” said one senior administration official who also worked on Trump’s campaign. “I can’t see Trump resigning or even being impeached, but at this point I wish he’d grow a brain and be the man that he sold himself as on the campaign.”