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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…