Tuesday June 13, 2017 5 Top Stories To Start Your Day

Tuesday June 13, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

1. The big news on Capitol Hill for Tuesday is that the United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee at 2 p.m. EST in a publicly televised hearing. Sessions

Sessions is testifying in regards to the testimony that former FBI Director James Comey gave last Thursday. Comey testified that the FBI was concerned that Sessions may have other communications that he did not report on his security clearance and that with Sessions’ recusal there were difficulties within the Justice Department. Sessions will be asked about Comey’s testimony that the FBI director asked Sessions not to leave him alone with the president again. Comey described a meeting in the Oval Office where the president excused his inner circle to speak to Comey alone to ask him to “let go” of the investigation into former National Security adviser Michael Flynn.

2. Monday, a close friend of Donald Trump, Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of the conservative news website Newsmax, stated in an interview with PBS News, that the president is” considering perhaps terminating the special counsel,” Ruddy said. “I think he’s weighing that option… I personally think it would be a significant mistake, even though I don’t think there is a justification [for a special counsel. The White House pushed back immediately saying that Ruddy was not speaking for President Trump. Press secretary Sean Spicer stated, “Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue. With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”

3. Monday, Judge Randolph Moss, a United States District Judge, approved an order for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ security clearance form to be release to the public. The form should disclose any contacts with Russian officials. The judge’s decision issued Monday afternoon also gave the Justice Department and the FBI one month to produce the document. The decision by the court was due to the request by American Oversight, who seeks information via the Freedom of Information Act to investigate the Trump administration. The Judge ordered the government until July 12 to produce any other documents that are not subjected to a freedom of information exemption from the request for the page of Sessions’ SF-86 form, a security clearance questionnaire.

4. The public has been told repeatedly that the Russians did not achieve their end goal of hacking voting machines to change the actual vote count but new revelations show how close the Russians came to achieving that goal. Per Bloomberg, the Russians did get into twice as many state databases and software voting systems in the U.S. For example, the newly released information show that in Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. Also Bloomberg reported that Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states. The Intercept reports that the investigation by the National Security Agency is considering whether anyone with the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians’ plan but the most important factor to come out of the investigation is that Russia only hit the tip of the iceberg and could interfere again with US elections by undermining confidence in the election process.

5. It was the tweet heard around the world, President Trump’s use of the non-word, “covfefe, is being turned into a positive with the introduction of a bill which would add the term “social media” to the Presidential Records Act. The Covfefe bill, “Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement,” introduced by Representative Mike Quigley, D-Illinois., would include that the president’s tweet become a part of the legal record of the presidency. Quigley stated, “President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented.” Sean Spicer concurred last week that the president’s tweets are official policy which would make the tweets a part of the official transcript of the presidency.

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