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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump, has been sent to jail by a federal judge over allegations of witness tampering. From the Washington Post:
“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,’’ U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort. “The government motion will be granted and the defendant will be detained.”
The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision,” but added his conduct left her little choice, because he had allegedly contacted witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators…
…Manafort had been confined to his home on electronic monitoring and other restrictions since he was first indicted Oct. 27 during Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Most of the criminal counts relate to activity that preceded Manafort’s time as Trump’s campaign manager, from March to August of 2016, when he resigned amid news reports that he had received secret cash payments for his Ukraine consulting.
On Friday President Trump said that Manafort “has nothing to do with our campaign.” CBS News quickly pointed out why this is nonsense; in May 2016, Trump promoted Manafort as CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN of his Presidential bid.
► Today’s news about Paul Manafort should be concerning enough to Team Trump, but it may not even be Trump’s biggest problem. As CNN reports, Trump attorney Michael Cohen appears to be willing to cooperate with federal investigators:
President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has indicated to family and friends he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators to alleviate the pressure on himself and his family, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Cohen has expressed anger with the treatment he has gotten from the President, who has minimized his relationship with Cohen, and comments from the President’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the source said. The treatment has left him feeling isolated and more open to cooperating, the source said.
Asked by reporters Friday if he was worried about Cohen cooperating, Trump said, “I did nothing wrong, nothing wrong.” He also said he hasn’t spoken with Cohen “in a long time,” adding, “I always liked Michael and he’s a good person.”
CBS News reported Thursday that Cohen believes Trump and his allies are turning against him.
► The Democratic Party is moving up the dates for its national convention. From CNN:
Democrats will hold their convention in 2020 earlier than they have in more than two decades, Democratic operatives tell CNN, partly out of anticipation of a crowded and contentious primary.
The Democratic National Convention is slated to take place from July 13 to July 16, 2020, almost two weeks earlier than the 2016 convention.
Denver is among eight cities still being considered to host the DNC.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► As Politico reports, President Trump has once again kicked the DACA ball over the fence:
President Donald Trump on Friday said he would not sign a carefully crafted GOP bill addressing the predicament of Dreamers, news that caught House Republicans by surprise and left the legislation on life support.
Ironically the proposal — the product of weeks of negotiations between centrist Republicans and conservatives — mirrored Trump’s own framework to increase security, curb legal immigration and shield Dreamers from deportation. Not only that, top White House officials, including immigration hawk Stephen Miller, were working behind the scenes to whip support for the document.
Trump heard conservative criticism of the proposal on TV, according to senior Republicans, and swatted the proposal down. [Pols emphasis]…
…Trump’s words dealt a potentially fatal blow to the bill and sent GOP leader and White House scrambling to get him back on message. An hour after his remarks, senior Republicans were predicting that Trump would not only walk back his comments but fully endorse the compromise bill. His comments on TV, they said, left him enough wiggle room to say he was dissing a Democratic proposal that did not include his wall or an immigration crackdown — not the GOP DACA bill.
Read that highlighted sentence again.
Click here for more on the latest immigration reform #FAIL.
► President Trump might need to call his new buddy Kim Jong Un about a new hacking threat. As CNN reports:
The US Department of Homeland Security said that it has identified malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government, according to a new report released on Thursday, just days after the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
DHS and FBI analysts working with US government partners highlighted the use of what are known as Trojan malware variants — software used by the North Korean government that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.
It’s probably difficult for North Korea to be too worried about a response from the United States when President Trump is saluting DPRK military leaders.
► Bruce Finley of the Denver Post reports on growing opposition to a Trump administration proposal to allow oil and gas drilling near the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Southern Colorado.
► Timothy Hogan, the son of late Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, is among four finalists to fill the remainder of Steve’s term.
► President Trump thinks the “deep state” is out to get him. A new report from the inspector general at the Justice Department doesn’t support those claims.
► Despite bellyaching from some, including Gov. John Hickenlooper, the Democratic race for Governor has been nothing close to a “negative campaign.”
► Westword reports on the very un-Colorado background of Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton:
Stapleton is a Greenwich native who went to the Brunswick School, an elite all-boys’ private school in town. From there, he went on to Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was supposedly roommates with now-Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Murphy’s made a big name for himself leading the gun debate in Congress, and he’s been floated as a possible 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.
Attempts to confirm this with Stapleton and Murphy were not successful. However, Stapleton and Murphy both graduated from Williams in 1996, making the rest of my new Russian best friends’ stories totally plausible.
And it reinforced something: The denim-wearing, Trump-loving Stapleton really isn’t a Colorado native. He’s from a wealthy Connecticut town.
► Speaking of Stapleton…Republican gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell continues to throw haymakers at the GOP frontrunner:
Mitchell is also running this radio ad with a similar message.
► Some of the staunchest critics of Obamacare are uniting in opposition to an attempt by the Trump administration to gut the healthcare law. From the Washington Post:
So exactly how have these five diverse thinkers managed to agree on anything around the ACA? They concur on this single but significant point: Congress has made clear that you can ditch the ACA’s penalty for being uninsured and yet retain its consumer protections. So it no longer makes sense to argue that the whole health-care law must necessarily be erased in the absence of that penalty…
…Last week, the Justice Department announced it mostly sides with the states and won’t defend the ACA from their efforts to dismantle it through the justice system. But here’s the states and the Trump administration’s growing problem: Some of the loudest ACA critics just don’t agree this time around.
► Loveland City Council Member Leah Johnson is not running for a State Senate seat.
► The Associated Press takes a deep dive into a marijuana banking law fix making its way through Congress.
► Three people were injured in an explosion at a natural gas drilling site in Windsor.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► The Washington Post details the strange journey of a 24-year-old White House employee who was promoted six times before being abruptly fired:
In just over a year, Taylor Weyeneth received six promotions in the campaign and administration. They culminated with his appointment as deputy chief of staff at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, where he oversaw veteran employees and helped steer an operation that was supposed to lead the fight against the opioid epidemic…
…Weyeneth’s story offers a fresh perspective on the chaos of Trump’s campaign and first year in office. He was among more than 250 political appointees to federal agencies and the White House who had left the administration as of mid-March, some of them after just weeks or months, according to a Post tally of White House departures and analysis of agency records released by the Office of Personnel Management under a Freedom of Information Act request.
It illustrates ongoing problems in Trump’s Presidential Personnel Office, a little-known but crucial operation that has filled fewer key government posts than the four prior administrations, according to the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan group that teamed up with The Post to track appointments.
The administration’s haphazard appointment process is unlike any in recent memory and has left the federal government unsteadied at the highest levels. Vacancies were one of the reasons Weyeneth was able to move up so frequently, the White House has acknowledged. For Weyeneth’s final promotion, though, Doocey reassigned an experienced “career incumbent” civil servant to create room for him to become deputy chief of staff at ONDCP, according to a memo independently obtained by The Post.
The White House is having such a hard time finding qualified candidates for important jobs that it is resorting to holding career fairs.
Yes, career fairs.
► Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is probably Illuminati, or something.
► Republicans should be pushing for President Trump to get rid of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.