Mail ballots are on their way to your home in advance of the June 26 Primary. 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…
► Special prosecutor Robert Mueller is accusing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort of witness tampering. From the Washington Post:
Prosecutors accused Manafort and a longtime associate they linked to Russian intelligence of repeatedly contacting two members of a public relations firm and asking them to falsely testify about secret lobbying they did at Manafort’s behest.
The firm of former senior European officials, informally called the “Hapsburg group,” was secretly retained in 2012 by Manafort to advocate for Ukraine, where Manafort had clients, prosecutors charged.
In court documents, prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III allege that Manafort and his associate — referred to only as Person A — tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps. The description of Person A matches his longtime business colleague in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik.
Manafort, 69, has been on home confinement pending trial.
Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to consider revoking Mueller’s release while he awaits trial. Manafort has until Friday to respond to tampering allegations.
► President Trump is again lashing out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not doing enough to get rid of the Russian collusion investigation. As Vox.com explains, Trump is throwing Sessions completely under the bus.
The White House is still struggling to figure out how to respond to an obvious lie related to the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump, Jr. and several Russians. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is trying to peddle a narrative that this is all just one silly error, as CNN reports:
Rudy Giuliani denied Monday that the disclosure by Donald Trump’s attorneys that the President dictated a crucial statement on the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting — a reversal from past denials — constituted a lie, instead claiming it was a routine mistake.
“It was a mistake,” Giulani, a lawyer for Trump in the Russia investigation, said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” Monday. “I swear to God, it was a mistake.”
At least Rudy Giuliani is not your attorney.
► Environmental Protection Agency leader and prolific tax-dollar spender Scott Pruitt will be in Denver this week to speak at the annual Western Conservation Summit.
►The June 26 Primary Election is exactly three weeks away, which means the attack ads are getting heavy. A total of eight states are holding their Primary Elections today, including California; NBC News runs down everything you need to know.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► President Trump announced that he was cancelling a planned White House visit from the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles after it became apparent that many Eagles’ players were not going to make the trip. As CNN reports, Trump’s went full-dictator in his statement:
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”
Make no mistake about what Trump is doing here: He is appointing himself the arbiter of what patriotism is and means to the 300+ million citizens of the United States. Patriotism is standing for the National Anthem before NFL football games. If you don’t stand, you are — by Trump’s thinking via the statement above — dishonoring not only the “great men and women of our military” but also the “people of our country.”
And he’s saying something else: If you don’t meet my standard of patriotism, you don’t get to come to my house.
There’s a whole hell of a lot of things wrong with the statement, the logic and that Trump decided to voice it.
► Blair Miller of Denver7 reports on the response (and non-response) from Colorado’s Congressional delegation on President Trump’s stated belief that he could pardon himself for any wrongdoing:
Among Colorado’s members of Congress, Rep. Mike Coffman was the only Republican to comment on the president’s latest Twitter insinuations, along with all of the state’s Democratic representatives in Washington.
“I don’t believe the President can pardon himself. It’s an absurd idea,” Coffman said in a statement to Denver7. “The rule of law applies to everyone—no matter their position or office.”
Denver7 sent two emails each to the spokespersons for Republican Reps. Ken Buck, Scott Tipton and Doug Lamborn, respectively, on Monday but none of them returned those emails. Buck sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which would have to start any impeachment proceedings against a sitting president.
Spokespeople for Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said the senator was on a plane and was not available for comment.
Democratic members of Colorado’s delegation had no compunction about speaking out on the topic.
► The Durango Herald reports on a debate between three Democratic candidates running for Congress in CD-3 for the right to take on incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez). Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush also unveiled her first television ad on Monday.
► Democratic candidates for Governor participated in a debate at 9News on Monday. Republican candidates are scheduled to appear in a 9News debate on Thursday. This breakdown of the Democratic debate includes an unintentionally-hilarious exchange with Lieutenant Governor candidate Donna Lynne:
Lynne said she was the only candidate not to take $1 million from anyone and Rittiman, a 9NEWS political reporter, interrupted her to ask if anyone had offered her that much money.
She countered that she had been in talks with some people but worried there was too much money in the race already.
For more on the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, check out our exhaustive “Debate Diary” from a Colorado Public Television debate last week (spoiler: Donna Lynne does not perform well here, either).
► Governor John Hickenlooper on Monday vetoed what he called a “redundant and overbroad” bill related to conflicts of interest on the sex offender management board. Hickenlooper also vetoed legislation that would have created the first “marijuana tasting rooms” in Colorado.
► Let’s all give a big round of applause to 9-year-old Quintin Lovato.
► When it really comes down to a choice, President Trump values winning over loyalty.
► Billionaire Republican donor David Koch is stepping away from his political involvement because of health troubles.
► Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission will not dismiss a complaint against State Sen. Vicki Marble.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Howard Schultz has stepped down from his role as executive chairman for Starbucks, flaming new rumors that he may run for public office.
► Anybody seen Wayne Stapleton?