A worldwide effort’s been set to keep Trump happy on his first trip abroad, according to Julie Pace at the AP. Philip Rucker points out the most disturbing tidbit of all: “Saudis will serve steak with ketchup to Trump, local cuisine to everyone else.”
As Trump embarks on his world tour, Peter Baker at the New York Times has Tips for Leaders Meeting Trump, like “Keep It Short and Give Him a Win.” John Gushue wrote, “Diplomacy in the Trump era: what foreign diplomats in D.C. now call best practices.” Annie Karni added, “Foreign leaders getting hang of Trump. ‘Do not assume he knows history of country or its major points of contention.’” Oy.
Back to Michael Flynn
The Daily Beast says Donald Trump Talked Michael Flynn Into The White House Job. That piece was the work of Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng, Kimberly Dozier, and Jana Winter there. Gideon Resnick tweeted: “President Donald Trump pressured a ‘reluctant’ Michael Flynn into accepting the job.”
Yahoo News has similar info. As investigators circled Flynn, he got a message from Trump: Stay strong, reads a headline from Michael Isikoff.
At the New York Times, we hear from Matthew Rosenberg and Mark Mazzetti that the Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came to the White House.
Which all makes sense when you read the exclusive in Reuters that the Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians, according to what sources told Ned Parker, Jonathan S. Landay, and Warren Strobel.
For news on another Trump crony, here’s this nugget from the New York Times: $110 Billion Weapons Sale to Saudis Has Jared Kushner’s Personal Touch. That piece was written by Mark Landler, Eric Schmitt, and Matt Apuzzo. Schmitt tweeted this particularly alarming bit from the story: "Marillynn? It's Jared. About your pricey anti-missile system…”
The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt politely writes that Comey Is Said to Have Become Unsettled by Interactions With Trump. Michael Tackett adds, “Comey told Trump to not contact him directly about the investigation.”
But if you want to know What James Comey Told Benjamin Wittes About Donald Trump, read Wittes' piece in Lawfare Blog.
Oh and here’s a Time Magazine explanation on How the Trump Presidency Is Creating a Loyalty Test for His Staffers.
Elsewhere in D.C.
The House May Be Forced to Vote Again on the GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bill. Billy House at Bloomberg explains: “House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t yet sent the bill to the Senate because there’s a chance that parts of it may need to be redone, depending on how the Congressional Budget Office estimates its effects.”
There are nearly 700 vacancies at the CDC because of the Trump administration’s hiring freeze, Lena Sun reports in the Washington Post.
But while all of this is going on, Trump loyalists pay little heed to the revelations rocking DC, the AP’s Bill Barrow and Thomas Beaumont report. Jonathan Lemire tweeted this alarming quote from the article: "I didn't want to be depressed. I don't want to feel he's not doing what he said, so I just choose to not listen."
The essentialness of a free press
Last night, FCC security guards manhandled a reporter, and ejected him from a meeting for asking questions, as reported by Derek Hawkins at the Washington Post.
The National Press Club also sent an email about the incident. To which David Folkenflik reacted with: “This is outrageous. Clearly identified reporter pinned to wall by FCC guards for asking Qs.”
While you're good and angry about that freedom of the press violation, read about how the Washington Post is breaking new ground with their breaking news coverage from James B. Stewart at the New York Times. Paul Brandus tweeted: “Unintentional part of @RealDonaldtrump's legacy: proving the essentialness of a free press. Thank you, Mr. President.”
Dudes being creepy
Sweden Dropped its Investigation of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange. Meanwhile, London police have reminded that they will still arrest him if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy. Samrat Chowdhery tweeted: “The Russia-Trump stoogery is paying off.”
Anthony Weiner Pleaded Guilty to That ‘Sexting’ Inquiry, Benjamin Weiser and William K. Rashbaum write at the New York Times. Honestly, let’s hope this is the last we ever have to hear of his extracurricular activities.
And Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever. Indeed, Matt Taibbi’s column in Rolling Stone is simple and to the point.
For a bit of fun, read Lindsay Dodgson’s latest for Business Insider: Journalists drink too much, are bad at managing emotions, and operate at a lower level than average, according to a new study. Ashley Lutz wrote: “Cool.” Kate Cox had more pronounced feelings: “YOU try doing this job and staying sane without coffee, judgy study!”
For a bit of brunch news to take you into the weekend, A Basquiat Painting Sold for $110.5 Million at Auction in NYC last night, making it the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. That news from Robin Pogrebin at the New York Times. Ryan McDermott reacted with “Mother of mercy.”
And for your daily dose of Instagram news, Chelsea Manning was released from prison, got on the gram, and introduced herself to the world.