By any measure, it’s been a long week or so for President Donald Trump. Today, facing the press, prepping for his first foreign swing as president and, more quietly, floating a new director for the FBI, he tried to put it all past him.
Of course, that might not be possible now.
Trump cut a more subdued but still defensive presence, POLITICO’s Matthew Nussbaum reports, setting the scene: “The strain of the week was apparent on the president.”
“He was more reserved than usual and gave short, if still winding, answers to questions. At one point, he called on a New York Times reporter who was not at the press conference, and his staff handed the microphone to a local Washington television reporter.”
Trump batted back questions about Russia, Michael Flynn, his firing of FBI Director James Comey and other pieces of the recent scandal-tarred days. What he didn’t talk much about were his favored topics: Winning, jobs, the economy.
Meanwhile, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, a one-time Democratic nominee for vice president, emerged as Trump’s preferred choice to take over the FBI. Just one problem — Lieberman’s former Democratic colleagues are decidedly non-plussed by his potential selection. “Trump may be dramatically miscalculating how much support Sen. Joe Lieberman has among his former Democratic colleagues to become FBI director,” POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim report.
Elsewhere in Trump’s orbit:
DO OVER: House Republicans may have to have a re-vote on their repeal of the Affordable Care Act because of a procedural issue.
WITCH ONE: President Trump called the appointment of a special prosecutor the single biggest witch hunt in political history.
COMEY CHAMELEON: James Comey was so uncomfortable with his relationship with President Trump that he tried to blend in to the blue curtains at the White House. (The New York Times)
ROSE TO THE OCCASION: Senators said deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told them he knew President Trump intended to fire James Comey before he wrote a memo about it.
FLYNN TROUBLE: McClatchy reports that Michael Flynn pushed to delay a military plan to attack ISIS that originated in the Obama administration, and which Turkey opposed, while he was being paid more than $500,000 by Turkish interests.
ROSTOV CALLS: Michael Flynn and other Trump presidential campaign advisers had at least 18 contacts with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties during 2016. (Reuters)
LESS SPICEY?: President Trump is looking at a shakeup that will see a reduced public role for White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
CHAFING TO GO: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who leads the House Oversight Committee, will leave Congress by the end of June.
And there you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. TGIT.