A frightening scene this morning as a gunman opened fire at a park in Alexandria, Va., where a baseball practice involving Republican members of Congress was underway. Several people were injured, including Steve Scalise, the majority whip, and at least one Capitol Police officer. Peter Hermann, Paul Kane and Amber Phillips have the latest updates for the Washington Post, GOP baseball shooting: Lawmaker Scalise wounded, one person in custody. Scalise’s office has also issued a statement: Update on the Condition of Majority Whip Steve Scalise. We now know that the shooter has been identified by law enforcement officials as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., and an acquaintance describes campaigning for Bernie Sanders with him. CNN has live updates of this unfolding story here.
Grenfell Tower fire
Another frightening scene has been unfolding in London. Eyewitnesses describe ‘terrifying’ scenes as Grenfell Tower residents fight to escape deadly blaze, reports Alexander Britton for The Independent. According to the latest reports from BBC News, at least twelve people have died after a huge fire raged through the night at a west London 24-storey tower block, and police expect that number to rise. The Guardian is also reporting on the latest accounts from witnesses to the fire, including one who said, “The windows were slightly ajar, a woman was gesturing that she was about to throw her baby and if somebody could catch her baby. Somebody did, a gentleman ran forward and managed to grab the baby.”
“Worryingly prescient blog from tenants, warning that Grenfell Tower on Latimer Road was a huge fire risk,” tweets Dawn Foster, linking to KCTMO - Playing with fire!, a post on the Grenfell Action Group blog from November that begins, “It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO.”
An unusual gift
“Another storm is headed to Trumpland,” says Samrat Chowdhery. The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty reports on the breaking news that Congressional Democrats will file an emoluments lawsuit against Trump. As the Post tweets, “Nearly 200 congressional Democrats to sue Trump, alleging that he improperly took payments from foreign nations.” “Set your watch to Tweetstorm,” says Karen Beninato. As Robbin Simmons notes, “Today happens to be the President's birthday. Unusual gift from some Dems.” And Orli Matlow tweets, “B Emoluments N G H A Z I.”
Bamboozling, blustering and butt-covering
It seems so long ago, but in fact, it was only yesterday that Jeff Sessions “engaged in a highly contentious testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee,” as New York Times’ Charlie Savage, Emmarie Huetteman and Rebecca R. Ruiz write in their highlights from his Senate testimony. NPR’s Miles Parks provides his take in ‘An Appalling And Detestable Lie': 5 Highlights From Sessions' Senate Testimony, at the Los Angeles Times, Colleen Shalby shares 9 key moments from Jeff Sessions' testimony, and Niall Stanage of The Hill has Five takeaways from Jeff Sessions’s testimony. Meanwhile, in a column for The New York Times, Andrew Rosenthal says Jeff Sessions Gives a Master Class in Dissembling, writing that his testimony was “a master class in bamboozling, blustering and butt-covering.”
In her piece for The Atlantic, Julia Ioffe asks, Why Did Jeff Sessions Really Meet With Sergey Kislyak? She tweets, “In addition to not being totally honest about why he met w/Kislyak, Sessions may have violated Senate ethics rules.” Kirsten Powers calls it a “Damning piece re Sessions sudden flurry of ambassador mtgs after joining Trump campaign.”
You’re (not) fired (yet)!
At The New York Times, Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman and Julie Davis have the backstory on the news that Trump might fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller, reporting Trump Stews, Staff Steps In, and Mueller Is Safe for Now. Lauren Tara LaCapra sums it up: “Guy who got famous with the phrase ‘You're fired!’ Keeps wanting want to fire everyone.” As Chris Megerian notes, “Trump hopes the threat of firing Mueller will help get the result he wants, the NYT reports.” Benjy Sarlin says, “This truly rivals ‘Democrats will love us for firing Comey!’ in anti-logic.”
ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger and Justin Elliott have the exclusive that Trump’s Personal Lawyer Boasted That He Got Preet Bharara Fired. Tweets Elliott, “Marc Kasowitz has also been telling people privately Trump offered him the job of Attorney General but he said no.” Adds Maggie Haberman, “And a Kasowitz partner is said to be a potential pick to replace Bharara. Whatta town!”
Nick Penzenstadler tweets, “Just posted investigation→” linking to Trump property buyers make clear shift to secretive shell companies, his piece for USA Today with Steve Reilly and John Kelly. Tweets USA Today of the exclusive analysis: “Before Trump locked prez nomination only 4% of his real estate went to LLCs. After: About 70%.” Bottom line, says Matt Pearce, “Who is doing business with the Trumps? We don't know. Trump property buyers are hiding behind shell corporations.” Josh Nathan-Kazis calls the piece “Amazing brute-strength data journalism.”
That’s the whole point
Alan Fram of The Associated Press reports that, according to sources, Trump tells senators House health bill 'mean', to which Dylan Scott says, “what even.” But, as Jeffrey Young tweets, “Uh, yeah, dude. That's sort of the point of the AHCA.” For those trying to follow along at home, “Trump, May 4: ‘We've come up with a really incredible health care plan’ Trump, Today: House health bill is ‘mean,’” tweets Ethan Klapper. Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s Paul Kane says In GOP health care struggle, it’s senator vs. senator.
Bye bye Bonderman
But “this is truly marvelous,” says Matthew Braga. Mike Isaac of The New York Times broke the news, David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board After Sexist Remark. If you need more background, Charles Johnson offers this: “The guy who made a joke about women talking too much at Uber's meeting about sex harassment is resigning.”
300 positions to be eliminated at Time Inc.
Time Inc., the publisher of dozens of magazines, including Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune, has announced that it will be eliminating 300 positions, or a total of 4% of its workforce, through layoffs and buyouts, according to an internal memo from Time Inc Chief Executive Officer Rich Battista, as reported by Reuters. The company says it’s looking for ways to cut costs as print circulations shrink and advertisers shift to digital platforms. Keith Kelly of the New York Post “gets inside scoop on Time Inc. bloodbath,” as the Post puts it, in his piece, Time Inc. cutting 300 staffers from worldwide workforce.
How to interview a liar
And finally today, “How to interview a liar. Also (why journalists have to interview liars.),” tweets Kelly McBride, referring to the piece by Poynter’s Indira Lakshmanan, Megyn Kelly, Alex Jones and how to interrogate a liar without getting played. Lakshmanan tweets, “Hold Alex Jones accountable-& don't get played. My advice for facing liars-with tips from @Mantzarlis & @Fahrenthold.”