By Benjamin Purcell and Quibbl Staff
Daily explainer: summarize the news you need to know in 5 minutes or less plus trending quibbls
Recap: Sessions’ Turn To Testify
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions made an anticipated appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. After agreeing to make public what was initially slated as a closed-door session, Sessions faced questions from the panel focusing on aspects of the Russia investigation.
- The Attorney General essentially denied the existence of an undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador. With respect to the last week’s testimony from James Comey, Sessions corroborated being among the last to leave President Trump alone with the former FBI Director – but felt unable to confirm the language that he “lingered.”
- In a move that frustrated several committee members, Sessions’ frequently invoked the principle of executive privilege in refusing to talk about conversations he had with the President about the Comey firing. The Attorney General’s recommendation to fire the former FBI Director was made independently, according to the testimony, and based primarily on problems with the Clinton email investigation.
President Trump & Special Counsel Mueller
- A report that President Trump might fire (or ask Rod Rosenstein to fire) the special counsel appointed to investigate Russia’s influence on the presidential election was the first drop down a roller coaster of speculation. [CNN]
- First, Deputy Atty. Gen. Rosenstein, who picked Robert Mueller to lead the probe, had to answer a hypothetical question about what he would do if asked to fire the former FBI Director under both Presidents Bush & Obama. Rosenstein responded that he wouldn’t follow an order he considered unlawful.
- Over the course of the day, lawmakers scrambled to advise against the possibility that Mueller would be fired, and reporters worked to determine if President Trump even had the authority for such a firing. By Tuesday night, the White House said that “While the President has the right to, he has no intention to do so.” [ABC]
- The latest news on the American Health Care Act’s move through the Senate is a reported feeling from President Trump said the House-passed version of the bill was “mean,” possibly signalling some significant changes are in store for the bill that now needs only a majority to pass. [Business Insider]
Currently Trending Quibbls
- The Georgia 6th Congressional District – Ossoff vs. Handel – this district has been reliable Republican throughout modern political history. Right now, there is a nail-biter of a race for the open Congressional seat. Is the media hyping up democratic open challenges to generate headlines? Or is there a wave of red state reaction against the current political status quo in which Republicans control all levers of government?
- Editor’s note: as we cover this race, we will be running more detailed coverage as the race nears & soliciting a diversity of opinions from the quibbl community. Get in the mix!!
- Is Apple about to conquer Netflix? They just released their first major TV production starring Jessica Alba & Gwenyth Paltrow, as judges of emerging tech and business entrepreneurs… there is massive debate and speculation across the industry that this is a test run for a significantly broader set of summer releases.
- James Comey Explainer: Are you a job-attending adult who does not have 20 expendable hours to stay up to date on the dramatic, important and maddening set of developments pertaining to Donald Trump, fired FBI Director James Comey & connections between the President’s associates and Russian political players that many allege are inappropriate and others defend? Read Quibbl’s Comey Explainer published this week, with numerous open quibbls attached. Here’s a select few:
Lying Comey? Trump’s team is insinuating Comey’s testimony is false. If this is true, many legal scholars the Trump Justice department would investigate and / or charge Comey. Could we see a perjury charge in coming days? Quibbl Here
Dems to take on Loretta Lynch? Will Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton criticize former Obama AG Loretta Lynch, based on Comey’s testimony? Quibbl Here