“God Save the Queen” — and the rest of us — from President Trump. 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’s upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin takes on a new wrinkle after a dozen indictments of Russian military leaders by special prosecutor Robert Mueller today. From CNN:
The Justice Department announced indictments in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election against 12 Russian nationals, accusing them of engaging in a “sustained effort” to hack Democrats’ emails and computer networks.
All 12 defendants are members of the GRU, a Russian federation intelligence agency within the main intelligence directorate of the Russian military, who were acting in “their official capacities.”
DOJ says the hacking targeted Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with the intention to “release that information on the internet under the names DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 and through another entity.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the indictment does not name any American citizen.
A 2016 Republican congressional candidate also appears to be caught up in asking for information from the stolen documents.
President Trump said U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is “doing a fantastic job” as British prime minister, and even said he apologized to her Friday morning before their meeting, after an interview published Thursday highlighted his criticism of her handling of Brexit.
“I think she’s a terrific woman,” he told reporters at a joint press conference Friday at the country estate of the prime minister, Chequers. The president also called the relationship between the U.S. and U.K. the “highest level of special.” But Mr. Trump still thinks, as he told The Sun tabloid, that May’s Conservative Party rival Boris Johnson would be a great prime minister.
According to Mr. Trump, he also did not criticize May and that reports to the contrary were “fake news.”…
…On the day before the news conference, the British tabloid The Sun published an interview with Mr. Trump in he said Johnson would make a great prime minister, and Britain’s trade relationship with the U.S. could face turbulence if May follows through with what’s known as the so-called “soft” Brexit blueprint. The president made the comments ahead of meetings with May and Queen Elizabeth.
As Aaron Blake writes for the Washington Post, Trump is denying comments that anyone can hear for themselves:
At a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Britain on Friday, Trump claimed that a newspaper interview that quoted him criticizing May’s Brexit and trade strategies was “fake news.” “I didn’t criticize the prime minister,” he said. He went on to suggest a recording would vindicate him.
The recording exists. And it completely and utterly contradicts Trump’s claim.
► A total of 35 “Unaffiliated” candidates filed signatures to make the November ballot in Colorado.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► As Joey Bunch writes for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton indeed screwed up on yet another simple task:
When left is right, they’re right.
Case in point: Jason Salzman of the left-leaning Colorado Times Recorder, who checked the records and caught a mistake missed by Republican gubernatorial nominee Walker Stapleton.
Salzman parsed Stapleton’s financial disclosure paperwork required to be a candidate. Salzman then compared that with the tax report of the Harmes C. Fishback Foundation Trust, the Stapleton family’s $1.4 million charitable foundation, where Walker’s wife, Jenna, is the executive director.
She’s earned $30,000 a year since 2011, Salzman reported on June 6.
► The Colorado Independent reports on efforts by a state legislative committee to address sexual harassment problems at the State Capitol.
► Josh Campbell of CNN writes that Congress embarrassed itself on Thursday in its grilling of FBI agent Peter Strzok:
Congress has done it again. It has wasted our time and proven it cannot seriously exercise its critical role of holding the executive branch accountable.
In an important hearing Thursday, ostensibly scheduled to allow embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok to face the American people and answer important questions about his conduct during the 2016 election season, House Republicans could not help but stray from oversight into embarrassing overreach.
The committee hearing should have been an opportunity to ask Strzok about his now-famous text messages with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, a fellow employee with whom he had engaged in an extramarital affair and exchanged communications disparaging then-candidate Trump. Congress should have taken this chance to grill him about both the Hillary Clinton and Russia investigations to evaluate whether his personal political beliefs impacted his work.
Instead, the spectacle devolved into a chaotic scene more reminiscent of a bar fight than a congressional hearing, with members of Congress yelling over each other and displaying their complete lack of respect for decorum. In one exchange impugning Strzok’s integrity, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, offered the following disgusting remark, “When I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?”
► As Politico reports, former HHS Secretary Tom Price owes taxpayers a sizable amount of money for his overspending while in office:
Former HHS Secretary Tom Price took 20 trips that violated federal requirements, according to a federal auditor that urged the department in a Friday report to recover at least $341,000 from him.
Price, who was forced out last year following a POLITICO investigation into his extravagant use of private and military aircraft, has already voluntarily repaid the government around $60,000. It was not immediately clear how or if he might be forced to repay the rest. A department spokesman said HHS will seek guidance from the Justice Department “whether there is legal basis for recoupment.”
Price could not be immediately reached for comment.
The audit from the HHS inspector general, which came about 10 months after Price’s resignation, found he spent more than $1.2 million on travel during his tenure at HHS. The report identified roughly $480,000 in costs from chartered planes and another $700,000 in flights on military aircraft.
Maybe the Trump administration wants to fill up the “swamp” as much as possible before pretending to “drain it.”
► President Trump says that he is a “very stable genius.” European leaders are not so sure about that.
► As Jennifer Kovaleski reports for Denver7, a new political movement is emerging in Northern Colorado in the fight over oil and gas drilling near residential areas.
► An invitation-only “meet and greet” today in Colorado Springs, featuring Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton, is also drawing lots of protestors.
► Police sources say that a CNN story prompted a crackdown of a “cannibus bus tour” operation in Colorado.
► The South Platte River is flowing 20 times weaker than normal, prompting local officials to enact a prohibition on river recreation this weekend.
► 9News reports on successful efforts from firefighters to map the locations of all 200,000 acres of wildfires in Colorado.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Deep in that Sun interview, Trump brags that his poll numbers with Republicans are even better than Lincoln’s were. Lincoln died a decade before the telephone was invented and about eight decades before presidential approval polling began. https://t.co/9I5BOotua4
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 12, 2018
► Law enforcement officers in Ohio are apologizing for arresting adult film actress Stormy Daniels following a performance at an area strip club.