“The President is not a liar.” Welcome to the history books, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 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…
► Donald Trump’s Twitter account, which may or may not be making autonomous decisions about the fate of the free world, finally responded to FBI Director James Comey’s testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. As the Washington Post explains:
President Trump broke his public silence Friday morning on former FBI director James B. Comey’s testimony to Congress in the Russia probe, accusing him in a tweet of lying under oath and calling him a “leaker.”
A day after he had allowed surrogates to respond for him, Trump took to Twitter to attack Comey directly, writing: “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication … and WOW, Comey is a leaker!”
Trump’s statement came as surrogates fanned out to defend the president and his personal lawyer was preparing to file a “complaint” early next week over Comey’s testimony to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s Office and the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a person close to the legal team.
A spokesman for the Justice Department Inspector General declined to comment on the matter, which was first reported by Fox News and CNN.
Trump’s personal lawyer is preparing to file a “complaint,” eh? Nothing screams innocence like a strongly-worded letter. There will be exclamation points!!!
And what about other high-profile Republicans? Incredibly, they appear to be sticking by Trump’s side.
► President Trump will take a few questions from reporters today — theoretically, anyway — when he holds a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohanni at the White House. Chris Cillizza of CNN has a list of eight questions he’d love to ask Trump. One of the biggest questions on that list is whether or not there are audiotapes of Trump’s Oval Office discussion with Comey. The former FBI Director certainly hopes they exist.
► Colorado politicos reacted to the Comey hearings along largely partisan lines, though Senators Michael Bennet (D-Denver) and Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) agreed on the need for further investigations into Trump’s Russian ties. The three Colorado Democrats running for Attorney General also weighed in on the story.
Elsewhere, the Colorado Independent takes a look at how Colorado media outlets reported on Comey’s testimony.
► Voters in the United Kingdom dealt a serious blow to Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative Party on Thursday. May’s decision last month to call a snap election backfired bigly, as The Guardian explains:
Jeremy Corbyn said the face of British politics had changed and called on Theresa May to resign after her snap general election left Britain with a hung parliament 11 days before Brexit talks begin.
Speaking as he was returned as MP for Islington North, the Labour leader declared: “Politics has changed. Politics isn’t going back into the box where it was before. What’s happened is people have said they’ve had quite enough of austerity politics.”
Corbyn said May had called the election to assert her authority. “She wanted a mandate. Well, the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence. I would have thought that is enough for her to go.”
The Conservative leader appeared crushed as she accepted her victory in the constituency of Maidenhead with a shaky speech in which she repeated her resolve to provide the stability the country needed before Brexit talks.
Heavy losses by Conservative candidates left May without a true majority in Parliament, forcing the Conservative leader into a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party to maintain her tenuous hold on the top job in England. The New York Times has more coverage on the U.K. election results and what it means for the United States.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► The Denver Post reports on the latest developments in a stormwater lawsuit in Southern Colorado that involves the EPA and dunderheaded Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs):
A voter-created water conservation board representing southeast Colorado has become the latest group to urge the Environmental Protection Agency not to drop its stormwater lawsuit against Colorado Springs following news that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn has been lobbying the agency to forgo its legal action.
“EPA should not abandon the Lower Ark District,” wrote Lynden Gill, chair of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District in a letter dated Wednesday. “EPA should continue to pursue enforcement of the city’s stormwater violations.”
Gill’s letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was also sent to Lamborn, a Republican who represents Colorado Springs, as well as the other members of Colorado’s congressional delegation. Gill also wrote that contrary to comments made by Lamborn and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers about the lawsuit, “EPA is not ‘picking on’ Colorado Springs.”
Lamborn said he has spoken with Pruitt twice and written him a letter urging him to drop the EPA’s lawsuit, filed in November 2016 — along with the state’s health department — and alleging Colorado Springs has for years committed water quality violations stemming from its mismanagement of runoff, including silt and other debris. Pueblo County and the conservancy district later joined the lawsuit.
► House Republicans used the cover of the Comey hearings to quietly pass legislation gutting the Dodd-Frank act on Thursday. As the Huffington Post explains:
But instead of quietly sneaking the legislation through, Republicans were loudly touting the bill ― which passed, 233-186, with all Democrats and one Republican (Walter Jones of North Carolina) voting no ― as a major victory.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) spent most of the week pointing to the measure as a win for community banks, calling the so-called Financial CHOICE Act the “crown jewel” of a GOP effort to peel back regulations and bolster the economy. And Republicans, largely looking for something to discuss instead of Comey or Trump or any number of the other associated scandals, used the legislation as their preferred talking point of the week.
“The big banks are bigger. The small banks are fewer. We’re losing a community bank or credit union a day,” Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the sponsor of the bill, said Thursday…
…But Democrats were quick to point out that if Republicans simply wanted to help small banks, they could have crafted a bill that did so without gutting other consumer protections meant to protect the market from risky bets.
“This is about going backwards,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) told HuffPost. “Republicans were never very enthusiastic about holding Wall Street to account or protecting consumers, and this shows it.”
“It moves us back to an era before the 2008 meltdown when there was no one watching Wall Street,” Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said of the bill.
► There will be no prosecutions of federal officials over the ever-ballooning cost of the new VA hospital in Aurora. Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), the Chairman of the Oversight Committee under the House Veterans Affairs Committee, continues to point fingers at everyone else.
► Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and Jefferson County Commissioner Libby Szabo (a rumored candidate for Congress in CD-7) took a field trip to the White House to discuss infrastructure issues. The conversation must not have been terribly productive; as Mark Matthews reports for the Denver Post, Colorado’s representatives in the room arrived without any tangible ideas for how to move forward:
Szabo spoke of the need to improve I-70 but said she wasn’t sure of the best way to pay for infrastructure improvements. Raising the gas tax was “probably not” an option, she said.
Rather, Szabo suggested cutting other areas of the federal budget, though she didn’t identify a specific program or agency when asked. [Pols emphasis]
In fairness to Szabo, she may just be parroting the standard Republican talking point in Colorado that we can pay for road improvements by rubbing a magic lamp.
► If you’re planning on being in the Pueblo area on Saturday and would like to attend a rally about Climate Change, you’re in luck.
► President Trump’s social media director violated the “Hatch Act” in April, according to the Office of Special Counsel. In other news, President Trump apparently has a social media director.
One is House Bill 1313, which changes how officers and sheriff’s deputies seize money and property suspected of being tied to illegal activity. Law enforcement and local government groups are urging the governor to veto the legislation — addressing what’s called civil asset forfeiture — while the ACLU of Colorado, left-leaning advocacy group ProgressNow and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who sponsored the legislation are urging him to make it law…
…The other measure still pending action is Senate Bill 111, which — with bipartisan backing — seeks to change regulatory restrictions on how medical marijuana businesses can buy and sell pot. Specifically, the legislation, if signed into law, would drop a mandate that such businesses can only purchase or transfer up to 30 percent of their inventory, with a new, higher level to be set by the state’s cannabis authorities.
► Well-known liberal politico Michael Huttner is back in Colorado with a new organization focusing on marijuana issues.
► A tenuous compromise on the greater sage grouse may be unraveling.
► Colorado now has another third party. The Unity Party will now be officially recognized on account of the fact that they have 1,000 whole members.
► Remember 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes? He’s now selling funerals. Make your own joke.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Dead butt syndrome. Naturally, this CNN story quotes a chiropractor with the last name “Bang.”
► When you nearly succeed at trying to drown government in a bathtub, it is the people who suffer most. Let Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback be a lesson to us all.