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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Morning Roundup: Sessions and Trump Are Reportedly At Odds, Comey Set to Testify Tomorrow

Posted by on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 8:49 AM

First things first. Our annual "Best of the Triangle" edition is on the racks, so go grab one and congratulate the many winners you guys chose. Now let's check out Tuesday's headlines.

1) The Sessions/Trump bromance is reportedly over.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reportedly upset that the president isn't allowing him to do his job. How upset? He offered his resignation. From The New York Times:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered to resign in recent weeks as he told President Trump he needed the freedom to do his job, according to two people who were briefed on the discussion.

The president turned down the offer, but on Tuesday, the White House declined to say whether Mr. Trump still had confidence in his attorney general. […]

Mr. Spicer’s remarks came after The New York Times reported that Mr. Trump had vented intermittently about Mr. Sessions since the attorney general recused himself from any Russia-related investigations conducted by the Justice Department. Mr. Trump has fumed to allies and advisers ever since, suggesting that Mr. Sessions’s decision was needless.
Speaking of Russia ...

2) Comey will testify before a Senate committee tomorrow.

According to people who know the former FBI director, he never told the president that he wasn't being investigated by the bureau. From CNN:
Trump has made a blanket claim that Comey told him multiple times that he was not under investigation.

But one source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation. Another source hinted that the President may have misunderstood the exact meaning of Comey's words, especially regarding the FBI's ongoing counterintelligence investigation.
3) Trump reportedly tried to squeeze the nation's top intelligence official.

According to The Washington Post's sources, Comey wasn't the only one Trump told to back off the Flynn investigation.
The nation’s top intelligence official told associates in March that President Trump asked him if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe, according to officials.

On March 22, less than a week after being confirmed by the Senate, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats attended a briefing at the White House together with officials from several government agencies. As the briefing was wrapping up, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The president then started complaining about the FBI investigation and Comey’s handling of it, said officials familiar with the account Coats gave to associates. 
Coats is testifying today before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

4) N.C. officials looking into potential Russian voting hack during election.

From the N&O:
A news report relying on a newly leaked National Security Agency document says Russian spies electronically infiltrated a company whose voting machine software is used in North Carolina and seven other states.

The Russian government then sent “phishing” emails to more than 100 elections officials around the United States just before the election, in an attempt to gain their login credentials, according to the news report Monday by The Intercept investigative reporting website.

VR Systems provides voting software used in 21 North Carolina counties, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, whose executive director said the agency is “actively investigating reported attempts to compromise” the software.
5) Orange County will invest in affordable housing.

From The Herald-Sun:
Orange County will use $2.5 million in bond money to help individuals and families move into 52 affordable homes in the next three years.

Four projects that the Orange County Board of Commissioners approved Tuesday comprise the first phase of a $5 million bond voters approved in November. The remaining $2.5 million could be allocated next year, County Manager Bonnie Hammersley said.

While it seems like a lot of money, Commissioner Mark Marcoplos said, the number of projects funded show how hard it is to meet the county’s need. The $5 million bond is just part of a $13 million plan to use local, state and federal money to provide 1,000 families and individuals with homes in the next five years.
That's all for now. Have a great day, everyone.

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