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The Left Column

TomCADem

Tillerson holds a press conference without U.S. media

(Politico) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a news conference with the Saudi foreign minister in Riyadh on Sunday, but he left the American media behind.

State Department spokesperson R.C. Hammond said Tillerson — who was traveling with Donald Trump on his first foreign trip as president — was invited at the last minute to participate in a news conference with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. Only foreign media were invited.

"Regrettably, there was not enough time to alert or make arrangements for U.S. media to participate. Under different circumstances, U.S. media would have been alerted,” Hammond said, in a rare admission of an error by the administration. “Steps were immediately taken to ensure a transcript could be produced and distributed to reporters. Ideally, members of the U.S. press corps should have had the option to attend the press conference and ask questions.”

DonViejo

McCain: I'm 'Almost Speechless' Over Report Of Trump's Remarks To Russians

(TPM) Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Sunday said he was “almost speechless” about a report that President Donald Trump disparaged former FBI Director James Comey during a meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office.

“I’m almost speechless because I don’t know why someone would say something like that,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The New York Times reported on Friday that Trump expressed relief about Comey’s termination to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. According to the report, Trump called Comey a “real nut job” and said he had “faced great pressure because of Russia” that was “taken off” by his decision to fire Comey.

deminks

Rep. Cummings notified Pence about Flynn in November, 2016 by letter.

(McClatchy) The top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform told then Vice President-elect Mike Pence in a November letter that the man Donald Trump had tapped to be his national security adviser was lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

The letter, a copy of which was shared with McClatchy, contradicts White House claims that neither Pence nor Trump knew of Michael Flynn’s lobbying until it was revealed in a Justice Department filing this week.

In the letter, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, asked Pence, then the leader of Trump’s transition team, for information regarding Flynn’s business interests and statements regarding potential conflicts of interests.

octoberlib

Senate Democrats reject Lieberman for FBI director

(Politico) President Donald Trump may be dramatically miscalculating how much support Sen. Joe Lieberman has among his former Democratic colleagues to become FBI director.

Some Senate Democrats hold a grudge against Lieberman for his rightward turn and opposition to some of President Barack Obama's agenda late in his Senate career. Others say even though they respect Lieberman, the FBI director should not be a former politician. And all Democratic senators interviewed for this story said the former Connecticut senator lacks the kind of experience needed for the post.

Republicans are lining up behind Lieberman, who left the Senate in 2013 after four terms. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called him a "person of unquestioned integrity and that's what we need." Added Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has spoken to Lieberman about the job: "If the president picked Joe Lieberman he’d be doing country a good service and I think the FBI a good service."But Republicans seem to be overstating Lieberman's Democratic support. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) predicted Lieberman would get 100 votes, a near impossibility.

DonViejo

Vice President Pence has a growing credibility problem

(Washington Post) There are more than a few people who look at Vice President Pence and see President Pence — possibly sooner than later. For wistful Democrats, it would be the end result of President Trump stepping aside or being impeached; for wistful Republicans, some dream of a more serious, less error-prone Republican president actually succeeding at passing a conservative agenda.

But as The Post's Abby Phillip began documenting last week, Pence has hardly been immune from Trump's foibles and from saying untrue things about them. And now twice in the past week, his defenses of the White House he serves in have been pretty directly contradicted in ways that seriously call into question his credibility.

Below are three big instances in which Pence said something that turned out to be highly misleading at best and clearly false at worst, starting with the newest one.

geek tragedy

Trump wants Mike Flynn back in the White House.

(Daily Beast) But Trump doesn’t just hope that Flynn will beat the rap. Several sources close to Flynn and to the administration tell The Daily Beast that Trump has expressed his hopes that a resolution of the FBI’s investigation in Flynn’s favor might allow Flynn to rejoin the White House in some capacity—a scenario some of Trump’s closest advisers in and outside the West Wing have assured him absolutely should not happen.

Those sources said Trump didn’t believe Flynn should be under investigation in the first place.

“Trump feels really, really, really, bad about firing him, and he genuinely thinks if the investigation is over Flynn can come back,” said one White House official.

TheFerret

Late cuz of the hack, but holy hell the world is insane

Well folks, not to repeat myself, but...shit be cray.

The news continues to roll out like it was being written by John le Carré, chained to radiator in David Cronenberg's basement, subsisting entirely on moonshine and Sour Patch Kids.

Reeling from yesterday's tropical grade shit show, we were grateful to wake up to relatively little new breaking nonsense. Oh sure, the security detail of a visiting autocrat beat the living snot out of some American citizens right in Washington, and the Shart House didn't seem to mind, but shit like that isn't even gonna land on page six when you're competing with Putin and leakers and piss hookers.

The day was actually mostly quiet. TOO QUIET, you thought to yourself, terrified to say it out loud lest you conjure a push notification alerting you that our President had ordered an invasion of Portugal, because he couldn't find old episodes of Harry and the Hendersons streaming anywhere and Steve Bannon told him there were bootleg DVDs for sale in Lisbon...

Skinner

Democratic Underground was vandalized by a script attack on Wednesday afternoon 5/17

Earlier this evening we suffered a script attack that vandalized some of our members' posts with a video message about a right-wing fringe conspiracy theory.

Our software detected the issue and automatically banned the accounts (and reset the passwords) of those members whose posts were vandalized. This is a safety precaution we built into our software to limit damage from attacks like this. We apologize for the inconvenience. Those accounts have all been reinstated.

The hacker did not gain access to any of your personal data. The hacker did not gain access to any of our website's administrative functions or data.

The vast majority of DU accounts were not affected. Most of you should be able to log back onto the site using the same password you had before. If our software does not accept your password then you will need to use our Lost Password function to get a temporary password assigned to you in order to log in.

We have temporarily turned off the ability to include HTML code in your posts. This is a short-term measure to make the site more secure while we work on a more permanent fix.

If you have any questions or comments about the hack, please post them in this thread.

As always, thank you for your patience and understanding. You all are the best.

Skinner, EarlG, Elad
DU Administrators

*** EDIT: It has come to our attention that some banned accounts have not been reinstated. We are trying to figure out which ones we missed. If you were revoked last evening and have not been reinstated send us an email so we can get you back: admin@democraticunderground.com

DonViejo

First Republican raises impeachment for Trump

(The Hill) Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Wednesday said reports that President Trump pressed ousted FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation would merit impeachment if true, becoming the first Republican lawmaker to broach the idea.

The New York Times on Tuesday reported that Trump tried to pressure Comey to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, citing a memo written by Comey.

Asked by The Hill if the details in the memo would merit impeachment if they're true, Amash replied: "Yes. But everybody gets a fair trial in this country," Amash added as he left a House GOP conference meeting.

Asked by another reporter whether he trusted Comey's word or Trump's, Amash said: "I think it's pretty clear I have more confidence in Director Comey."

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