Wait…it’s almost June??? 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 seems like a great guy to work for…just ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump Tweeted on Wednesday that he wished he had never selected Sessions to be his Attorney General.
► As the Washington Post reports, President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigrants has left thousands of families shattered:
The number of migrant children held in U.S. government custody without their parents has surged 21 percent in the past month, according to the latest figures, an increase driven by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” crackdown on families who cross the border illegally.
Although the government has not disclosed how many children have been separated from their parents as a result of the new measures, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that it had 10,773 migrant children in its custody, up from 8,886 on April 29.
Under the “zero tolerance” approach rolled out last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, anyone who crosses into the United States illegally will face criminal prosecution. In most cases, that means parents who arrive with children stay in federal jails while their children are sent to HHS shelters.
Those shelters are at 95 percent capacity, an HHS official said Tuesday, and the agency is preparing to add potentially thousands of new bed spaces in the coming weeks. HHS also is exploring the possibility of housing children on military bases but views the measure as a “last option,” according to the HHS official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the agency’s preparations.
► Democrat Mike Johnston has been spending a lot of time talking about his ideas for combating gun violence in his bid to win the Democratic nomination for Governor…which makes this story from the Vail Daily a little strange:
Vail native and former state Sen. Mike Johnston says he’s the only Democrat in a crowded Colorado governor’s race for his party’s nomination in the June 26 primary who owns guns and knows how to use them.
“I own four guns right now and I’m very proud of it, and I’ve owned guns since I was 10,” Johnston said. “I’m comfortable to challenge anyone in the race, Republican or Democrat, to a shooting contest if they want to do that.”
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, apparently has a shitload of evidence on his cellphones. As the Washington Post reports:
Federal prosecutors investigating President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen are poised to receive on Wednesday 1 million files from three of his cellphones seized last month, according to a filing submitted to the court Tuesday night by special master Barbara Jones.
In her update to the court, Jones said investigators from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York have already been given access to nearly 300,000 pieces of potential evidence seized from Cohen’s office and residences in an April raid…
…In their initial request for a special master, Cohen’s attorneys said thousands of the seized documents might be covered by attorney-client privilege.
But in her update Tuesday to the court, Jones noted that so far only 252 items have been flagged by Cohen’s or Trump’s attorneys as privileged. She is set to make a recommendation to the court about that material by June 4.
If you have worried that you were doing a terrible job of erasing worthless photos and emails from your cellphone, this should give you some comfort. At least you probably don’t have one million files on your devices.
► Mitt Romney’s Nephew is not shy about his support for a Personhood ballot measure in Colorado.
► If there were an award for race-baiting whistle-blowing, these Colorado Republicans would be among the finalists.
► Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton is not very keen on details when it comes to personal financial disclosures. Stapleton failed to disclose income from a “blind trust” that appears to be fairly visible to him after all.
Oh, and Stapleton is doubling-down on an unnecessary lie that was first pointed out here on Colorado Pols:
Walker Stapleton, GOP front-runner in a 4-way Colorado #cogov race, failed factcheck for a TV ad saying he’s the only state treasurer to endorse Trump’s tax plan (https://t.co/59z8q0jsaa). Also using the line, which camp says came from a White House press release, in a mail piece pic.twitter.com/uBJZtyG7Yj
— Corey Hutchins (@CoreyHutchins) May 30, 2018
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is going off the rails with President Trump on the crazy train with North Korea.
► Politico tracks down the White House aide that President Trump claimed did not exist:
Matthew Pottinger must have been surprised to learn that he doesn’t exist. As the top official for Asia on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, Pottinger had briefed dozens of reporters about North Korea two days before Trump angrily tweeted that a New York Times article citing his remarks had relied on an official who “doesn’t exist.” The president was furious that the Times had paraphrased Pottinger, who spoke on background and thus could not be identified in its story, as saying it would be “impossible” for Trump to go forward with his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because there wasn’t enough time to prepare.
“Use real people, not phony sources,” Trump fumed…
…But there is no debate about whether Pottinger is real. More than that, he is among Trump’s longest-serving aides. As the NSC’s director for Asia, the sandy-haired, boyish-looking 45-year-old is the president’s top adviser on North Korea and China. He organized Trump’s 12-day trip to Asia last fall, during which he was rarely far from the president’s side. He has played a central role in coordinating Trump’s North Korea policy since early last year — one reason he was among a handful of U.S. officials to fly into Pyongyang earlier this month with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And he has been in the thick of White House preparations for a possible summit with Kim.
Pottinger, says former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, is “one of the most significant people in the entire U.S. government.”
► Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens resigned from office on Tuesday amid a flurry of scandals that seemed likely to lead to his impeachment. As Amber Phillips writes for the Washington Post, Greitens tried unsuccessfully to use Donald Trump’s playbook to survive:
Greitens just demonstrated the limitations of the Trump playbook — the first rule of which is to fight allegations fiercely — for anyone not named Trump.
Actually, even in admitting defeat, Greitens refused to admit defeat…
…One potential lesson here is that politicians’ defiance and outrage in the face of serious allegations is not always a winning strategy. Even if it works for the president, it’s not guaranteed to work for anyone else.
► Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.
► Sandra Fish breaks down television ad spending for Colorado candidates in a story for the Colorado Independent.
► Boulder county health clinics could suffer mightily because of family planning changes proposed by President Trump.
► President Trump is sad that nobody from ABC News called him to apologize for…something.
► Democrat Karl Hanlon is on the television in his bid for the Democratic nomination in CD-3.
► 9News does not have great things to say in a “Truth Test” looking at a television ad being run in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► So, this happened:
A Russian journalist and Kremlin critic, reported to have been shot dead in Ukraine, has appeared alive at a news conference and declared that his murder was faked by Ukrainian security services to foil an assassination plot against him.
Arkady Babchenko was said to have been killed in his apartment building in the Ukrainian capital Kiev Tuesday. Ukraine blamed Russia for his “death.”
But in a stunning development, he appeared alongside Ukrainian security officials in a news conference broadcast live on Ukrainian television Wednesday afternoon.
Ukraine’s Security Service said it had staged the murder in an attempt to foil a Russian plot to kill Babchenko. The Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak, said the operation had been planned for two months.
Obvious question here: Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of faking your death in the first place?
► Kim Kardashian West is at the White House to discuss prison reform with first son-in-law Jared Kushner. This is a real sentence.
► Vice President Mike Pence was in Vail, Colorado over the Memorial Day Weekend and didn’t give you a call.