5-18-2017 Political Nuggets….
- Robert Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, was named special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee the FBI’s investigation into Russian connections to President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign (The New York Times). Trump responded on Twitter by saying the naming of a special counsel is “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” ( The Hill)
- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in June told fellow GOP leaders, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” according to a recording of the conversation that referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who has called for closer U.S. ties with Russia. A spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the comment was an “attempt at humor.” (The Washington Post)
- House Republicans blocked a Democratic-led attempt to force a floor vote on a measure that would establish a commission to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties to Trump. Democrats are maintaining their push for a commission even though a special counsel has been appointed. (USA Today)
- Trump’s campaign advisers, including now-former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, had at least 18 previously undisclosed calls and emails with Russian officials and people with ties to the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. (Reuters)
- For now, Trump is dropping his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The delay is meant to avoid driving Palestinians away from peace talks. (Bloomberg News)