Friday, March 31, 2017, 8:00am

The Trumpster Fire (3-31-17)

The Trumpster Fire: Gallup Daily, 3-31-17

GALLUP DAILY: Real Unemployment 9.2% (-0.2) | Gallup Good Jobs 45.1% (+0.1) | Engaged at Work 31.8% (-0.9) | Economic Confidence 4 (-5) | Consumer Spending $104 (+15) | Trump Approval 38% (-)

Liveblogging the Trump presidency, one catastrophe at a time.

We seem to be starting out fairly quiet today. Let’s see if it holds.

SPECULATION: Barton Gellman of the Century Foundation goes over the “Devin Nunes/White House sources” situation and asks, “Were the president’s men using the surveillance assets of the U.S. government to track the FBI investigation from the outside?” I don’t know this reporter or foundation, but his logic chain appears to track, so far as I can tell, and the article was shared by Brad Jaffy on Twitter, whom I generally wouldn’t expect to catch sharing complete BS. It’s worth reading and keeping in mind.

NEWS: Michael Flynn is talking to Congress about testifying, but he wants an immunity deal. He’s worried about “unfair prosecution.” (AP, TPM)

  • TWITTER-HISSY: Trump tweets: “Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”
  • NEWS: “The Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee [Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)] said Friday that ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should not receive immunity from prosecution.” (TPM)
  • UPDATE: Flynn’s been shot down for immunity. “A senior congressional official with direct knowledge said Flynn’s lawyer was told it was ‘wildly preliminary’ and that immunity was ‘not on the table’ at the moment.” (NBC News, Also: Bloomberg)

NEWS: The White House has shared financial information about some of its top aides – standard disclosure information about upper staff like Jared and Ivanka. (AP)

TRUMPBEAT: This week FiveThirtyEight talks about executive actions, coal and climate change, healthcare and Republicare and tax reform. Read it here.

ANALYSIS: FiveThirtyEight digs into voting stats and tries to figure out exactly how worried the Freedom Caucus should be about Trump and his threats. Read it here.

NEWS: “Two U.S. Democratic senators [Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Brian Schatz] on Friday voiced their opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, ahead of an expected contentious confirmation fight next week on the U.S. Senate floor.” (Reuters)

NEWS: “A U.S. judge on Friday approved a $25 million settlement to resolve a class action lawsuit that claimed fraud against President Donald Trump and his Trump University real estate seminars.” (Reuters)

NEWS: “U.S. President Donald Trump will sign executive orders on Friday aimed at identifying abuses that are causing massive U.S. trade deficits and clamping down on non-payment of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports, his top trade officials said.” (Reuters)

NEWS: “North Korea must be stopped on its path toward being able to threaten the United States with nuclear attack, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday in a stark expression of America’s top national security concern at the moment. He emphasized diplomatic means of changing Pyongyang’s ‘reckless’ agenda.” (AP)

NEWS: Obama officials put together a list of documents concerning the Trump-Russia mess that they figured would be needed during Congressional investigations, even going to far as giving them serial numbers and such, to make sure the documents didn’t get… “lost.” (NBC News, TPM)

EXPLAINER: Trump is up to his eyeballs in Russia drama. Not only is he getting investigated for Russia drama at home, but his top advisors all disagree with him on how to handle Russia. Vox explains; read it here.

EXPLAINER: “One of Trump’s central problems? He doesn’t get policy. The president’s lack of policy knowledge is hampering his administration in several different ways.” (Vox)

NEWS: Trump’s been snarking at the House Freedom Caucus on Twitter. Their conservative allies started firing back today. (Washington Post)

NEWS: So, apparently Trump had an executive order signing ceremony thing, and forgot to sign the executive order he was there to sign. Which, granted, is not exactly “news,” but when somewhat more than half of the country thinks you’re an illegitimate president who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s/dementia/general insanity, maybe you should put a little more effort into keeping your ducks in a row. I’m still hunting for actual sources for this, but here’s a Twitter video.

  • UPDATED: Now, with sources! (AP)

NEWS: The White House says they are not trying to push Syrian President Bashar Assad out of Syria. (AP)

NEWS: Trump has declared April “National Sexual Assault and Prevention Month.” (Mother Jones) Reminder: Trump sexually assaulted like 15 different women.

NEWS: The House is running out of time to pass a budget, and everyone is working hard to sound and look calm while they sweat bullets over Trump’s budget wants. (Politico)

GOOD READ: “Big broadband companies that chafed for years under the Obama administration’s Silicon Valley-friendly tech agenda have scored their first massive win in Donald Trump’s Washington.” (Politico)

NEWS: “Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, went to the White House Friday to review classified intelligence that President Donald Trump’s spokesman describes as evidence of possible surveillance abuses by the Obama administration. It is unclear if the documents are the same ones House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) viewed during a secret White House visit last week.” (Politico)

NEWS: “While in Congress, HHS Secretary Tom Price acted to help kill a rule that would hurt drug company profits shortly after his broker bought him up to $90,000 worth of pharmaceutical stock.” (ProPublica)

NEWS: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific integrity watchdog is reviewing whether EPA chief Scott Pruitt violated the agency’s policies when he said in a television interview he does not believe carbon dioxide is driving global climate change, according to an email seen by Reuters on Friday.” (Reuters)

NEWS: “President Donald Trump has neither a clear White House tax plan nor adequate staff yet to see through a planned tax reform, according to interviews with people in the administration, in Congress and among U.S. tax experts.” (Reuters)

SEAN SPICER SHOW: Spicer said today that Trump supports Mike Flynn and think Flynn should do whatever his lawyer thinks is best (TPM). He also defended Nunes’ actions again (TPM), and pointed to ex-Obama official Evelyn Farkas’ month-old interview as evidence of leaks and surveillance by Obama against Trump (TPM). That’s a straight-up bullshit conspiracy theory, by the way (Snopes). Just to round things off, Spicer said that the Miss Universe Pageant Trump did in Moscow was the only Trump-Russia connection, that Republicare wasn’t Trump’s failure because it was someone else’s plan, and that most crime in sanctuary cities is caused by illegal immigrants, another big, steaming pile of BS (Axios).

Looking for old Trumpster Fires? Look here.

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