Articles chosen with care. Comments welcomed. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Reports that Trump is considering firing Mueller as Special Counsel (New York Times)
The comments came from a Trump friend, Christopher Ruddy, but the White House would not confirm them.
His comments appeared to take the White House by surprise.
“Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in a statement hours later. “With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”
Allies of the president cast doubt on the idea that Mr. Trump would take such a drastic step, and White House officials said Mr. Ruddy had not met directly with the president while he was there.
Comment: Firing Mueller is within the President’s authority, but it would set off fireworks since they would appear that Trump could not withstand an investigation.
Mueller, however, has done himself no favors by hiring major Democratic donors for his staff. His friendship with Comey is also a problem and should be reason enough for him to recuse himself from that portion of the investigation.
Ex-FBI Director James Comey has privately told members of Congress that he had a frosty exchange with Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch last year when he confronted her about possible political interference in the Hillary Clinton email investigation after showing Lynch a sensitive document she was unaware the FBI possessed, according to sources who were directly briefed on the matter. –Circa
Comment: Sure looks like Lynch was in the tank for Clinton.
◆ AG Jeff Sessions will testify publicly before the Senate Intel Committee Tuesday (Washington Post)
The Democrats are in attack mode.
Democrats plan to ask about his contacts during the 2016 campaign with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, which the attorney general failed to disclose fully during his confirmation hearing.
They also want him to explain his role in the firing of Comey, despite the attorney general’s recusal in March from the Russia investigation after revelations about his meetings with Kislyak. –Washington Post
Comment: The Democrats have made incendiary assertions about Sessions having improper meetings with the Russians and lying about them.
But so far, there is simply no evidence of anything wrong. That’s what the hearings will be about.
The drone crashed on its way home.
Comment: All this effort to spy, so little effort to feed and clothe the tyrannized population.
Comment: Parties of the right and left have collapsed. Now, Macron is in a position to move a major reform agenda.
Israel has approved a request by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to cut by roughly a third the electricity it provides to the Gaza Strip.
The move is aimed at undermining the Islamic militant group Hamas, which has controlled Gaza for the last decade.
But the decision reached Sunday by Israel’s security Cabinet is stoking concern that it could trigger a humanitarian crisis among Gaza’s 2 million Palestinians and a new round of fighting between Hamas and Israel.
In a statement on Monday afternoon responding to news of the Israeli decision, Hamas said that power cuts are “dangerous” and would lead to an “explosion.” –Los Angles Times
Comment: Hamas is under considerable pressure, given the Muslim Brotherhood loss of power in Egypt, the sanctions on Qatar, and increasing resistance from international donors, who are themselves under pressure for funding terrorism indirectly.
Although Israel is no friend of the Palestinian Authority, they know Hamas is much worse.