Daybreaker

February 15, 2017

Top Stories



Corker: We Must Address WH Russia Ties So It Doesn't 'Destabilize' Country

The Gist: Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) called for Congressional investigations into Michael Flynn and the Trump administration's ties to Russia, warning that failure to address the issue could "destabilize" the federal government's ability to enact policy.

Conway: Trump Administration Is ‘Very Concerned’ About Leaks

The Gist: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday night that the White House was “very concerned” about leaks coming from government officials about members of President Donald Trump’s administration.

McConnell: 'There's No Evidence' That Voter Fraud Changed Election Outcome

The Gist: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday shot down President Donald Trump's repeated claims that millions of "illegal" votes cost him the popular vote in the 2016 election.


From The Reporter's Notebook


Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday morning that former National Security adviser Michael Flynn had voluntarily tendered his resignation to the Trump administration on Monday night. Shortly afterwards, TPM’s Matt Shuham reported, House Speaker Paul Ryan contradicted Conway, saying President Trump had made the right decision “to ask for his resignation,” referring to Flynn. A White House Official confirmed to TPM that Flynn was asked to resign. In a press conference Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Flynn’s tenure was subject to the Trump’s trust in him, “and that was ultimately what led to the President asking for and accepting the resignation of Gen. Flynn.”



Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: "For all we've learned over recent days about retired General Michael Flynn and his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, it's overshadowed by much more that we do not know. Indeed, based on the current evidence we don't know whether Flynn's actions were just wildly inappropriate (undermining the current president's actions with a foreign adversary weeks before taking office) or part of a larger, darker design. Whether Flynn lied to the FBI (we don't know) or lied to his colleagues is an interesting legal and possibly political question. But again, they are relatively straightforward matters which only become truly significant in terms of the bigger picture, if there is one. The truth is Michael Flynn does not matter. We have before us a question that has stood before us, centerstage, for something like a year, brazen and shameless and yet too baffling and incredible to believe: Donald Trump's bizarre and unexplained relationship with Russia and its strongman Vladimir Putin."


Say What?!



"I just don't think it's useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We'll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we're spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense."

- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday that he didn't think it would be "useful" to investigate conversations between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and a Russian ambassador that led to Flynn's resignation.


BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: "Yeah, Dems have to be realistic. They need investigations first. Don't talk about impeachment, talk about TAX RETURNS. Republican office holders depend on ~50% of their voters. They can lose some on the fringes, but they can't get too far out ahead. Talking trash about Trump during primaries backfired. They learned their lesson. But the longer they hold out, the more culpable they are. That may drive them back toward Trump or may get them to get ahead of their voters. The Democratic play though, is push for policies that appeal to Trump's base, or his voters. Then they don't look obstructionist. Push for Merrick Garland, why not? They should push for repairs to ACA that Republicans denied them on before. 'Yes, we want to keep it, but make it better' Or infrastructure programs, or ending of tax loopholes. I think Republicans are in a lot more disarray than it looks. Find the right spot, and tap lightly, that rock will break."

Related: Key House Chairman Says He Won't Order Treasury To Release Trump's Taxes

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What We're Reading


Why Obamacare enrollees are already getting ready for repeal (Vox)

Rich People literally see the world differently (New York Magazine)