We Resist: Day 119

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One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

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Here are some things in the news today:

Some morning updates, in case you missed 'em: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Treason.

Lauren Gambino at the Guardian: 'Witch Hunt': Trump Appears at Odds with White House over Robert Mueller.
The morning after FBI director Robert Mueller accepted the appointment to lead the department's investigation into Russian intervention in the US election, Trump lashed out in a pair of tweets.

"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and Obama administration, there was never a special councel appointed!" he wrote in the first tweet. He later corrected the spelling of counsel. "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

The tweets struck a different tone from the White House statement released after the announcement, which welcomed Mueller's appointment as an opportunity to resolve the questions raised by his campaigns ties to Russia.

"As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity," the Wednesday night statement said.
The constant whiplash caused by the White House putting out statements only to be immediately undermined by Trump's morning tweetshitz would be hilarious if so much weren't at stake. It's evidence of an executive branch in utter disarray, and a president whose brittle ego and erratic temperament keep us teetering on the edge of a dangerous precipice, over which we'll tumble when he inevitably goes too far.

And there will not be any news in the immediate future that he likes. To wit:

Which is only the tip of an iceberg potentially large enough to sink even Trump's titanic ego.

Tom Winter and Ken Dilanian at NBC News: Flynn, Manafort Are Key Figures in Russia Probe Mueller Will Lead. "Former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort have emerged as key figures in the FBI's investigation into Russian campaign interference, which has just been taken over by a special counsel, four law enforcement officials told NBC News. Officials say multiple grand jury subpoenas and records requests have been issued in connection with the two men during the past six months in the ongoing probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian attempts to influence the election, an inquiry that will now be overseen by former FBI Director Robert Mueller."

Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News: As Investigators Circled Flynn, He Got a Message from Trump: Stay Strong.
Late last month, fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — under investigation by federal prosecutors, with his lawyer seeking immunity for him to testify to Congress — met with a small group of loyalists at a restaurant in the northern Virginia suburbs.

Saddled with steep legal bills, Flynn wanted to reconnect with old friends and talk about potential future business opportunities. But one overriding question among those present were his views on the president who had fired him from his national security advisor post.

Flynn left little doubt about the answer. Not only did he remain loyal to President Trump; he indicated that he and the president were still in communication. "I just got a message from the president to stay strong," Flynn said after the meal was over, according to two sources who are close to Flynn and are familiar with the conversation, which took place on April 25.

...The sources who spoke to Yahoo News say Flynn did not indicate how Trump had sent the message — whether it was a written note, a text message, a phone call or some other method. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.) But the fact that the two men have stayed in contact could raise additional questions about the president's reported request to former FBI Director James Comey to shut down a federal investigation of the retired Army general.

Speaking of staying strong, or something, the AP reports: "Top Republican on Senate intelligence panel says Michael Flynn's lawyers say he won't honor subpoena." Um, okay. So I guess it's gonna be the hard way.

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In other news...

[Content Note: Violent homophobia] J. Lester Feder at BuzzFeed: Gay Russians Are Trying to Flee Kidnapping and Torture; the US Has Denied Them Visas. "The United States has declined visas to gay Chechens fleeing a wave of kidnappings, torture, and disappearances in the semi-autonomous Russian region, according to the organization Russia LGBT Network. A group of around 40 Chechens are now in hiding in other parts of Russia, a Russia LGBT Network spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, and are having difficulty securing visas that would allow them to flee the country." Again, this one very important reason why I will never get over this election. NEVER.

Emma Brown, Valerie Strauss, and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel at the Washington Post: Trump's First Full Education Budget: Deep Cuts to Public School Programs in Pursuit of School Choice. "Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end, and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework, and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. The administration would channel part of the savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to push public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies." This is such bad fucking news. JFC.

Esther Yu Hsi Lee at ThinkProgress: Why Sheriff Clarke Will Be a Disaster in His New Job, According to His Predecessor: "Just Plain Awful". "Sheriff David Clarke Jr.—a controversial law enforcement official known for his outlandish remarks and fatal detention practices—announced Wednesday that he would be appointed as an Assistant Secretary within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in June. ...The official DHS Twitter handle, however, tweeted out that no official decisions have been announced. After news broke of Clarke's new role, former DHS officials — who held the position he will soon take — strongly condemned the decision. Phil McNamara, who was appointed to the position between April 2013 until [Donald] Trump took office on January 20, 2017, called Clarke's potential appointment 'just plain awful.'"

Ashley Parker and Abby Phillip at the Washington Post: The Worst Job in Washington Right Now: Working for Trump. "For many White House staffers, impromptu support groups of friends, confidants, and acquaintances have materialized, calling and texting to check in, inquiring about their mental state, and urging them to take care of themselves. One Republican operative in frequent contact with White House officials described them as 'going through the stages of grief.' Another said some aides have 'moved to angry,' frustrated with a president who demands absolute loyalty but in recent days has publicly tarnished the credibility of his team by sending them out with one message—only to personally undercut it later with a contradicting tweet or public comment."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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