It’s still early, but President Trump hasn’t fired anybody today. 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 on Tuesday fired the man in charge of the investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. If you’ve watched, read, or heard any news since last evening, you are probably aware that FBI Director James Comey is out of a job. As the Washington Post reports, Trump’s decision to fire Comey is backfiring bigly:
To put it mildly, the optics of firing Comey are terrible. Trump looks like he does not actually want to get to the bottom of Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and the potential wrongdoing of his own staffers.
In one of the hastily-arranged damage-control interviews, deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made an especially revealing statement that underscored why so many people are worried. Asked by Tucker Carlson on Fox News how Comey’s termination will impact the Russia investigation, she replied: “I think the bigger point on that is, ‘My gosh, Tucker, when are they gonna let that go?’ It’s been going on for nearly a year. Frankly, it’s kinda getting absurd. There’s nothing there.” “It’s time to move on,” she added. “Frankly, it’s time to focus on the things the American people care about.”
As Sanders pretended on Fox that the Russian probes have found nothing, CNN reported that federal prosecutors – as part of the ongoing Russia probe – have now issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
President Trump is apparently steaming mad about all of this. Trump supporters have been busy trying to spin Comey’s firing as totally-not-a-scandal, though nobody is really buying what they’re selling (see: Anderson Cooper with Kellyanne Conway on CNN Tuesday night):
► Colorado Democrats, including Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver), are calling for a special prosecutor to take over Comey’s Russia investigation. Colorado Republicans, meanwhile, have been relatively quiet about Comey’s firing. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) finally issued a statement Wednesday morning that was almost entirely focused on finding the next FBI Director. From the Denver Post:
Gardner, a Republican, thanked Comey for his service and said there were thousands of immensely qualified FBI agents.
Uh, okay…but how about the fact that Trump just fired the man in charge of investigating him? Anything on that, Senator?
Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) also declined to call for a special prosecutor/investigator, but did manage to admit that the timing of Comey’s ouster is a little weird while pointing out that the sky is blue and the grass is green:
“I think it may create the appearance that Comey was fired due to his role in the investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
“I think it may create the appearance…” You figured this one out all by yourself, eh?
► The Colorado legislature has reached the end of the 2017 session. We’ll have plenty of wrap-up coverage on the legislative session here at Colorado Pols, including rundowns on charter school funding, the Hospital Provider Fee, and who is pointing fingers at whom.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► The Colorado Independent has more on how House Republicans in the state legislature were able to kill off a pipeline-safety bill crafted in the wake of a deadly explosion in Firestone last month.
► John Tomasic of the Colorado Statesman reports on the silly chest-pounding taking place among supporters of Propositions 107 and 108 regarding Unaffiliated voters participating in partisan primaries.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) voted in favor of scrapping an Obama-era rule regulating the release of methane gases on public lands. Fortunately for those of us who like to breathe relatively-clean air, Gardner’s Senate colleagues did not agree with him.
► Speaking, er, writing of Gardner, the Colorado Senator is one of 13 Republicans who are charged with crafting some sort of Trumpcare-like legislation now that the House has approved its disaster of a bill. The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, will apparently release its score of the GOP healthcare legislation sometime during the week of May 22.
► New poll results show that American voters are absolutely not pleased with Trumpcare 2.0. As Politico reports:
Only 38 percent of voters approve of the GOP-drafted health care bill, the new poll shows — down from 42 percent last week, prior to the House’s party-line vote to advance the measure. Forty-four percent of voters disapprove of the bill, up significantly from 37 percent last month.
In fact, voters have a more positive opinion of the law the new legislation seeks to supplant: Half of voters now approve of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, while 42 percent disapprove.
Opposition to the Republican bill is more forceful than support for the measure — a gap driven by greater relative intensity among Democrats than Republicans.
► You won’t be surprised to hear that the oil and gas industry spends heavily in favor of Republicans in Colorado elections — but you might be taken aback by the amount of money being funneled into GOP political operations.
► Arizona Sen. John McCain expects more shoes to be dropped in the wake of President Trump’s decision to fire James Comey.
► State Sen. Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins) is facing ethics charges after it was revealed that she hosted a “town-hall” forum that was paid for by the oil and gas industry. Marble’s Senate district includes the town of Firestone, by the way.
► There was another massive explosion on Tuesday related to oil and gas drilling near Greeley. Fortunately, it appears that there were only minor injuries as a result.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► A journalist was arrested in West Virginia for yelling questions at Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
► FBI agents around the country are quite upset at the firing of Director James Comey.
► President Trump might try to take your weed after all.