More Perjury, More Treason: Recapping Sessions Testimony, Trump’s Bad Day

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we hope Donald Trump is indeed “tired of winning” (as he predicted we would all be once he was President), because he’s on a truly impressive losing streak.

Tuesday was another unmitigated disaster for this administration and in case you’re inclined to disagree with that assessment, you’re encouraged to simply refer to the President’s morning tweets to get an idea of how he’s feeling about things (full story here):

Tweet

The Sessions testimony was just as asinine as most of us expected it would be and it kind of felt like old Jeff went into it thinking something along the lines of “well, I’ve already perjured myself, so I might as well go all-in.”

Specifically, some lawmakers were not pleased that the AG refused to answer questions about his conversations with Trump.

Things got off on the wrong foot after Sessions called suggestions that he was himself involved in the effort to collude with the Kremlin “an appalling and detestable lie.”

He then proceeded to regale us with a whole bunch of his own “appalling and detestable lies.” Here’s Bloomberg’s summary of one notable exchange:

  • Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich tells Attorney General Jeff Sessions he is “obstructing” a congressional investigation by declining to answer certain questions about his communications with President Trump.
  • Sessions says he can’t answer question on whether Trump expressed frustration on his decision to recuse himself from DOJ investigation of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election; says can’t claim executive privilege because only president can do so; instead, Sessions cites longstanding DOJ rules in his refusal to answer
  • Sessions says he believes these rules are written; says he’s protecting Trump’s right to assert executive privilege on matter
  • Heinrich tells Sessions the correct course of action is to either answer the question, claim classified and answer in private, or invoke executive privilege
  • Sessions says he “absolutely” would have left Trump campaign if he knew of any illegal relationship to impede or influence results

And here’s the video:

So yeah, the Attorney General is himself obstructing an investigation into whether his boss obstructed justice. How fun is that, right?

Sessions went on to assert that he doesn’t know anything that he doesn’t read in the papers.

No, seriously. Here’s Bloomberg again:

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he knows nothing about Russia and the 2016 election except what he reads in the newspaper.
  • “It appears so,” Sessions tells Senate Intelligence Cmte when asked if he believes Russians interfered in the election; says that opinion isn’t based on briefings he’s received
  • Sessions doesn’t recall being part of any meeting to remove Russian sanctions imposed by Obama administration
  • On whether he had any not yet disclosed meetings with Russian officials, Sessions says he has “racked his brain” and doesn’t believe so; says can say for sure no meeting involved talking about manipulating a U.S. campaign or hacking
  • Says no recollection of Trump campaign aides meeting with Russian officials, including Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Steve Miller

All you can do is laugh.

“It’s funny because it’s treason.”

Anyway, for those interested, here is Bloomberg’s daily “Trump wrap” which chronicles the trials and tribulations of a man who, if things get any worse, will probably be back to doing reality TV shows in no time flat …

Via Bloomberg

President Trump sought to keep health care in the spotlight, as he met with senators and made a statement on the issue in Wisconsin after he met with what his press office called “Obamacare victims.” He told 13 Republican senators in a White House meeting that “maybe we’ll add some dollars” to the Obamacare repeal and that the legislation will be “generous, kind and with heart.” Meanwhile, every cable news network was carrying live the Senate Intelligence Cmte, keeping the focus on the Trump team’s dealings with Russia, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified that any thought he would participate in collusion with Russia is an “appalling and detestable lie.” Health Care President Trump said at his meeting with Senate Republicans that health care legislation will pass “as soon as we can get it done” and that the bill will be “shockingly” good

  • Says in Wisconsin that Obamacare is “one of the greatest catastrophes” and that no matter how good a replacement bill will be, “obstructionists the Democrats” won’t support it
    • Also in Wisconsin, Trump is touring a technical college, leading a workforce development roundtable and speaking at a Friends of Scott Walker reception
  • Senate language on bill replacing Obamacare will be out in “next several weeks,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., tells Bloomberg BNA
    • Related: Senate GOP Writing Obamacare Repeal Behind Closed Doors

Sessions Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Senate Intelligence Cmte that he has never had any conversations with Russians or other officials about interference in U.S. elections and has no knowledge of such conversations by anyone connected with President Trump’s campaign.

  • Sessions declined to discuss specific conversations with Trump, including any he had regarding the firing of then FBI Director James Comey, citing long-standing Justice Dept policy
  • Sessions also said he “did not violate my recusal” in Russia vote- meddling investigation with Comey’s firing; reacted angrily to suggestions that there were undisclosed issues that led to his recusal
    • “Why don’t you tell me” what the issues might be, Sessions told Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “There are none — I can tell you that for absolute certainty”
  • Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Sessions’ opening statement “crushed it”

Mueller President Trump declined to answer a reporter’s question on whether he intends to fire FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after his friend, Christopher Ruddy, said on PBS’ “News Hour” Monday evening that Trump was considering it; see New York Times story

  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told senators that only he, not the president, can fire Mueller, whom he said has done nothing to warrant dismissal
  • Daniel Richman, a friend of James Comey, turned over to the FBI a memo that detailed Comey’s meeting with Trump, CNN reported
  • Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, says he’ll testify before House Intelligence Cmte on Sept. 5
  • Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., was criticized by fellow Democratic Rep. Mike Capuano of Mass. for circulating a proposed article of impeachment, saying Sherman should have brought the issue to the full caucus and that he may be hurting House Democrats

Travel Ban Trump’s admin. said it wants Supreme Court to review this week’s appeals court ruling blocking the president’s travel ban

  • Admin. proposed briefing schedule that would let high court act on case before term ends this month
  • On Monday, a second federal appeals court blocked Trump’s revised travel ban
  • Polls Trump Approval Rating at 36%; Disapproval 60% in Gallup Poll; disapproval rating is an all-time high

Low

  • Trump Told Yellen She Was Doing a Good Job, Wall Street Journal Reports
  • Trump Tweets That Loretta Lynch Gave Hillary Clinton ‘Free Pass,’ ‘Protection’
  • South Korea President Moon Jae-in Will Visit White House June 29-30
  • Barron Trump’s ‘Expert’ T-Shirt Sells Out

********

On that final bullet…..

 

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