Let’s get you caught up on everything that happened over the Memorial Day weekend. 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 is taking his anti-Robert Mueller conspiracy theories to new heights (or lows, really). As CNN explains:
President Donald Trump alleged Tuesday — without providing any evidence — that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will meddle in the midterm elections to benefit Democrats…
Trump’s claim is his latest attack on the credibility of the Russia investigation as being politically motivated, though it’s a significant new step in his attacks on what is intended to be an independent probe working to get to the bottom of Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.
“The 13 Angry Democrats (plus people who worked 8 years for Obama) working on the rigged Russia Witch Hunt, will be MEDDLING with the mid-term elections, especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) are taking the lead in Polls,” Trump tweeted. “There was no Collusion, except by the Democrats!”…
…Tuesday’s conspiracy theory was accompanied by a barrage of Trump tweets on the Russia probe, which repeated his previous requests for investigations into his political enemies.
As Z. Byron Wolf writes in a separate story for CNN, Trump’s demonization of Mueller and the special investigation might be working as intended.
► As the Washington Post reports, Trump is pushing ahead with his plan to institute massive tariffs on goods from China:
President Trump said Tuesday that he would proceed with tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports and introduce new limits on Chinese investment in U.S. high-tech industries as part of a broad campaign to crack down on Chinese acquisition of U.S. technology.
“The United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese people and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology,” the White House said in a brief statement.
Specifics of the new limits will be announced by June 30 and will take effect “shortly thereafter,” the White House said. In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 400 points, or 1.7 percent, on renewed concerns over the unsettled Italian political situation and U.S.-China tensions.
The moves come less than 10 days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the trade war with China was “on hold” and appear designed to create bargaining leverage for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is due to arrive in Beijing on Saturday for talks aimed at cooling trade tensions between the two countries.
The stock market was down for most of the day on Tuesday in part because of economic fears over Trump’s proposed tariffs.
► The U.S. Supreme Court issued an important ruling on Tuesday that could allow an Arkansas law to take effect that essentially seeks to block medication-induced abortions. Meanwhile, the Associated Press takes a look at some big LGBTQ-rights cases in the Supreme Court pipeline — including the Masterpiece Cakeshop case that originated in Colorado:
A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision in the case of a Lakewood baker who would not create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
Courts are engaged in two broad types of cases on this issue, weighing whether sex discrimination laws apply to LGBT people and also whether businesses can assert religious objections to avoid complying with anti-discrimination measures in serving customers, hiring and firing employees, providing health care and placing children with foster or adoptive parents.
The outcome of baker Jack Phillips’ fight at the Supreme Court could indicate how willing the justices are to carve out exceptions to anti-discrimination laws; that’s something the court has refused to do in the areas of race and sex.
Colorado Public Radio has more on potential outcomes in the Masterpiece Bakeshop case. The Supreme Court could announce its decision on “Masterpiece” as soon as this week.
Get even more smarter after the jump…