Each day provides us a brand new news cycle, and it’s hard to keep up. Here’s a short list of the news and notes to keep you informed.
Prepare for a constitutional crisis, any day now
From the Wall Street Journal:
The result: Two people who spoke to Mr. Trump during the week said they came away thinking both Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Mr. Mueller, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions would soon be gone, potentially sparking a political and constitutional crisis.
“It’s a matter of when, not if,” said one person who has discussed the matter with Mr. Trump.
What do the hosts of the president's favorite show think of their No. 1 fan?
President Donald Trump is often talking about — or to — "Fox & Friends," an important part of his media diet. What's it like having the leader of the free world watch you religiously?
Here's Brian Kilmeade, co-host of "Fox & Friends," to the Associated Press:
As much as he might like us, and I think he does, I think it's mostly he understands our audience. That's why he ran for president. He didn't run for president to be king of New York, or king of Washington. He knows we have a lot of viewers and he relates best to our viewers.
And here's host Ainsley Earhardt:
I guess in the back of my mind I occasionally think he could be watching. But it doesn't affect anything that I say, my opinions or how I report the news. . . We're the only channel doing what we're doing. There isn't anyone else. There is a need for that. There is a need to represent middle America, and I think we do that. With that, comes the support of the president.
John Boehner throws Paul Ryan under the bus
Boehner on CNBC: "I have to believe [the massive deficits] is Paul Ryan's biggest disappointment as speaker. Because, Paul Ryan used to be the chair of the Budget Committee. Well, Paul Ryan had a plan to balance the budget over 10 years. Unfortunately, Donald Trump took all of the entitlements off the table during the campaign."
To be fair, Ryan could have not cut taxes.
Libby gets pardoned
Scooter Libby got the pardon he was rumored to get, and it came with this presidential statement:
“I don’t know Mr. Libby,” said President Trump, “but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.”
Speaking of "Fox & Friends
Here's them strategizing about how to create a media distraction, and kill lots of people in the process.
Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt is just asking if bombing Syria "would be a bigger story that Comey's book that is released on Tuesday." pic.twitter.com/YKCMoWtTUZ
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) April 13, 2018
Here's the Trump Bump in action Presidential endorsements aren't what they used to be. Trump's preferred candidates haven't done well in recent elections, and it seems that his recommendation to watch his other favorite Fox News host — pal Sean Hannity — didn't affect much. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that his followers should watch "Hannity" at 9 p.m., promising "big news." https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/984231791103012864 And the Fox host responded with a rant that tied James Comey to a crime family. But the show, from a ratings standpoint, was a dud. According to Adweek, Hannity's broadcast trailed MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in both overall demographics and key demographics (25-54).
The Scott Pruitt situation keeps getting worse It's honestly worth wondering when he will be fired. Per Politico:
Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta played a key role in the investigation into mobster John "Junior" Gotti in the 1990s, and he’s boasted of his exploits with women, firearms and luxury watches in a self-published autobiography. Now he’s running security for the nation’s top environmental regulator like a lavishly funded SWAT team, according to interviews with seven people who have worked with him under both the Trump and Obama administrations. The current and former staffers say that rather than acting as a restraint on Pruitt, who came into the agency a year ago demanding round-the-clock bodyguards, Perrotta has instead egged him on — indulging his requests for a 19-person security detail, high-performance SUV, $43,000 soundproof booth and bug-sweep of his offices, as well as first-class flights to limit his exposure to potential threats from fellow passengers. Perrotta has even barred all but a select group of agency employees from entering rooms and corridors near Pruitt’s offices, according to Ron Slotkin, a career official who recently retired as director of the EPA's multimedia office.
And from the New York Times:
When Mr. Pruitt and his team became convinced that his office might have been bugged by environmentalists or disgruntled career employees, Mr. Perrotta recommended that a sweep for surveillance devices be conducted by a company owned by Edwin Steinmetz, who is listed as a vice president at a security firm Mr. Perrotta operates on the side, the senior officials said. Mr. Perrotta also used agency funds to hire Italy-based private security guards to protect Mr. Pruitt during a trip to Italy, they said.
The EPA brass also refused to fly airlines other than Delta, despite the fact that Delta was "not the federal government's contract carrier for the route" so that way Pruitt could "accrue more frequent flyer miles."
James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and..... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
....untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
Everything you know is a lie The things we thought were true and good in the world — like the guy who got the all-time high score on Donkey Kong — were just a mirage. Here's Variety:
Famed high-score gamer Billy Mitchell, best known for his role in “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” documentary, was officially stripped of his “Donkey Kong” and other video game high scores and banned from submitting scores to the world’s largest tracker of video game world records following a decision that he cheated, Twin Galaxies announced today. . . The group writes in an statement released today that Mitchell’s famous”Donkey Kong” score of 1,047,200 was not achieved on an arcade machine — a requirement for Twin Galaxies and Guinness — but rather through the use of emulation software. . . Using emulated software, and not the original circuit board version of the game, means a player could cheat in any number of potentially undetectable ways. That’s why all submitted high scores must be from playing on original, unmodified arcade machine.