Week in Review
- Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller 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. Trump called the probe a “witch hunt.”
- James Comey, who Trump fired as FBI director on May 9, was pressured by the president to abandon his investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, according to memos he kept.
- Trump’s approval has dropped sharply in recent weeks. A Morning Consult/POLITICO poll found 3 in 4 Americans call him “arrogant,” compared to just 32 percent who say he is either “trustworthy” or “steady.”
- It was revealed that Trump gave classified information to Russian officials when they visited the Oval Office earlier this month, a move that jeopardized an Israeli intelligence source on the Islamic State.
- Over the course of the campaign, Trump campaign officials, including Flynn, had 18 undisclosed calls and emails with Russian officials and people with ties to the Russian government.
- The explosive revelation that Comey took notes on his conversations drew scrutiny from Capitol Hill, where lawmakers vowed to continue their own investigations. Rosenstein briefed the Senate on Thursday and the House on Friday.
- A transcript of a conversation between House Republican leaders was revealed Wednesday in which House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told lawmakers Russian Putin pays “two people,” Trump and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), one of Russia’s biggest advocates in Congress. A spokesman downplayed the comment as a joke.
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will leave Congress on June 30. Some Republicans would like him to give up his chairmanship before then, a move that could clear the way for Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to take charge.
- Local officials in South Carolina are recounting a tight Republican runoff for the party’s nomination to replace former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who left Congress to serve as Trump’s budget director. On election night, Ralph Norman, a conservative favorite, led Tommy Pope, who was supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, by 200 votes.
- Speaker Paul Ryan has not sent the House GOP’s health care bill to the Senate as he awaits a Congressional Budget Office score of the legislation. Ryan said he will move it “in a couple weeks,” downplaying a suggestion that the House might have to vote again.
- Voters are for many of the pillars of tax reform being talked about by Republicans on Capitol Hill and President Donald Trump. But, they said any effort to repeal Obamacare should leave Medicaid expansion in place.
- Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said Monday he will challenge Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) for the party’s nomination in a special election process that begins in August. The two ran against each other once before for lieutenant governor in 2006. Brooks can keep his House seat if he loses the Senate primary campaign.
- Local officials in South Carolina are recounted a tight Republican runoff Friday for the party’s nomination to replace former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who left Congress to serve as Trump’s budget director. Ralph Norman, a conservative favorite, beat Tommy Pope, who was supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, by 221 votes. The special election is June 20.