From The Reporter's Notebook
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee will on Monday ask for more information about a report that the White House counsel asked the Justice Department for an order authorizing surveillance of the Trump campaign, although there's no evidence that such an order exists, TPM's Caitlin MacNeal reported. "In our experience, it is highly unusual for the White House to seek access to a government application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In almost any circumstance, it would be inappropriate to ask for that information if the President and his associates are related to the underlying investigation," the Democrats wrote in a letter to McGahn to be sent on Monday.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: "Trump did put Manafort in charge of his campaign and foreign policy operation as they started to congeal in the spring of 2016. Let's assume you're Donald Trump and your hands are clean, as far as it goes. Or let's assume you're someone with half a brain and you're charged with protecting Donald Trump. How confident are you that a thorough look at that skein of Putin-aligned oligarchs, deposed strongmen, billion dollar real estate deals, Russian organized crime and mysterious peace deals wouldn't turn up something at least awkward and possibly quite bad? Right, me neither."
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: "National debt is not automatically coupled to the gold standard, but I guess in the sense that it's easier to borrow money than to borrow gold, it is. At the time Nixon dropped it, we were in trouble with having had to pay money outside our country to OPEC for oil. The four-fold price rise made us literally poorer for a while. It took some years to percolate through the economy, and the way we financed the loss of money was debt, so eventually that strained credit supply. Thus, inflation, and the government had to borrow by selling treasuries. Paying off the debt is not inherently a Good Thing. It first reduces the budget available for spending on the country as a whole, and it mainly returns cash to the wealthy. It does not inject money into circulation. Andrew Jackson paid off the debt and we had a major recession. Of course we had a large debt after WWII, and we had high taxes to pay it down a lot, but along with that, we spent a lot on infrastructure and research/development. So the economy was not booming, but it was not in a recession. I consider the debt not as an outstanding loan, but as outstanding shares. There is no problem if the interest load (like paying dividends) fits comfortably into the budget."
Related: Lindsey Graham Says Trump's First Budget Is 'Dead On Arrival'
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What We're Reading
How Danny DeVito Accidentally Created the Defining Meme of the Trump Presidency (New York Magazine)
The Softening Of Kellyanne Conway (BuzzFeed)