January 23, 2017

Top Stories

WSJ: US Intelligence Agents Have Probed Flynn Calls With Russia

The Gist: United States counterintelligence officials have investigated Donald Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn's communications with Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night, citing "people familiar with the matter."

Reports: Trump To Sign Order Withdrawing From TPP Monday

The Gist: President Donald Trump on Monday will sign an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, according to CNBC and CNN.

Watchdog Group To Sue Trump Over Business With Foreign Governments

The Gist: The liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) will on Monday morning file a lawsuit against President Trump, accusing him of violating the Constitution by accepting money from foreign governments.

From The Reporter's Notebook

TPM's Tierney Sneed captured this shot on Friday as former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama departed from the Capitol.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "We know the curse: may you live in interesting times. We are living in interesting times. Most of us would not have chosen it. But we have it. I think many of us look back at critical momentous moments in our history, the Civil War, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement and other comparable passages in the country's history and think, what would I have done? Where would I have been? Well, now's your moment to find out. We are living in interesting times. We should embrace it rather than feel afraid or powerless. We have a fabric of 240 years of republican government behind us. We have the tools we need."

Say What?!

"You're saying it's a falsehood, and they're giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that."

- Senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway said in an interview that White House press secretary Sean Spicer wasn't lying about crowd size at the President's inauguration—he was just giving "alternative facts."

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "There is a set of 'rational voters', including some conservatives and some who voted Trump - it sounds to me like those you speak with are mostly such people. They have some well-founded reasons to maintain that "the system is not working, and something needs to be done about it". Some of those ideas may be right, some wrong, but you can have a reasoned discussion and debate about situations, and possibly come to mutual understanding, perhaps compromise on a plan including some of their ideas, some of yours. There is another set, 'irrational voters', including some liberals, but I would argue many more conservatives and Trump voters. They would adhere to ideas based on religious beliefs and norms of their group, reject evolution, climate science, vaccination, water fluoridation, and readily accept all manner of 'conspiratorial thinking'. They don't have much of a sense of why or how things happen in the complex world around them, and so they resist efforts at 'rational persuasion' - it's been observed that such efforts have the opposite effect. I'm not sure there is ANY story which can reach both types with efficiency. The Trump/Bannon style seems to be to tell each sub-group what they want to hear, rather than employ any unifying vision of government. 'Here's a big list of stuff you might not like or be afraid of - I'll fix it all, believe me'."

Related: Chris Wallace Fires Back At Priebus' 'Ridiculous' Argument Over Crowd Size

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What We're Reading

How American healthcare kills people (The Week)

A List of Nice Things (Jezebel)