McCain’s greatest battle

Yesterday we learned that Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer, specifically, glioblastoma, the same kind of cancer that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Beau Biden died of. In their piece for The Washington Post, Sean Sullivan, Karoun Demirjian and Paul Kane write, “McCain’s significance inside Congress is hard to overstate — and his absence, however long, will reverberate across the Capitol.” At CNN, Stephen Collinson notes McCain faces his greatest battle. And the Arizona Republic’s editorial board writes, Our View: John McCain's legacy is in good hands, highlighting the statement released last night by his daughter Meghan. 

This is really something

Well, we haven’t done one of these in a while. How about a transcript of a Trump interview? The New York Times’ Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman sat down with the president for an exclusive interview in the Oval Office, and we have the Excerpts From The Times’s Interview With Trump—and “This is really something,” says Nicholas Riccardi. Bradd Jaffy agrees, tweeting, “Trump on Napoleon, Hitler and the Russians is … something to behold.” Tweets Jeanine Barone, “Read #Trump’s interview with @NYTimes and you wonder if he’s sane.” And Jon Passantino says, “Trump's rambling interview with the NYT might be his most astonishing yet. This transcript is just bonkers.” Continuing the theme, Scott Bixby shares the link, tweeting, “Since everyone's passing around screen grabs without the URL, re-upping this bananas transcript.” 

And now for the story. In Interview, Trump Expresses Anger at Sessions and Comey, and Warns Mueller, report Baker, Schmidt and Haberman. Julie Davis tweets, “Trump tells @peterbakernyt @nytmike @maggieNYT he wouldn't have made Sessions AG if he knew he'd recuse on Russia.” Says John Ibbitson, “In a normal political universe, the AG would immediately tender his resignation. Which may be what Trump wants.” (This morning, Sessions Vows to Stay on as Attorney General ‘as Long as That Is Appropriate’, report The New York Times’ Eileen Sullivan and Rebecca R. Ruiz.) Kara Yorio tweets, “A lot to take in here but don't ignore him ‘musing about having a military parade down a main avenue in Washington.’” And, Jasper Moiseiwitsch points out, “‘Talking about adoption’ is the new euphemism for collusion.”

It’s always about the money

Also of note, Baker, Schmidt and Haberman write, “Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, ‘I would say yes.’” Meanwhile, their colleagues at the Times, Ben Protess, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Jesse Drucker, are reporting, about Deutsche Bank, Big German Bank, Key to Trump’s Finances, Faces New Scrutiny. Silver-Greenberg tweets, “BREAKING: Banking regulators are reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Trump.” As Jonathan M. Gitlin says, “It’s always about the money.” “Jay Sekulow, call your office,” tweets James Downie. “So are you dizzy yet?” asks Patrick LaForge.

Well hang on then, because in another New York Times piece, Mike McIntire provides “A detailed look into the murky financial world inhabited by Trump's campaign chief,” as Dan Beucke puts it. In Cyprus Records Show Manafort Debts to Pro-Russia Interests (39,000+ shares), McIntire writes that, according to financial records filed last year, Paul Manafort “had been in debt to pro-Russia interests by as much as $17 million before he joined Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016.” “Who among us …” asks Ben Pershing. “Jaysis,” says Chemi Shalev.

And then we got the breaking news this morning from Bloomberg’s Greg Farrell and Christian Berthelsen, Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions. In other words, “Mueller's response to Trump's threat: GFY,” as Mark Gongloff tweets.

In Putin’s pocket

So, “Here's why folks believe Trump is in Putin's pocket. This move makes absolutely no strategic sense otherwise,” says Jamil Smith. He’s referring to Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow (34,000+ shares), by The Washington Post’s Greg Jaffe. Tweets Liz Sly, “The CIA stops arming Syria's rebels. Won't make a big impact on the ground but will further diminish US influence.” David Axelrod observes, “Who says nothing came of private chat w/Putin? By ‘adoption,’ maybe @POTUS meant he adopted Russia's position.”

They’re pivoting

Back to money. Sam Stein of The Daily Beast brings us this scoop: Team Trump Used Obamacare Money to Run PR Effort Against It. Tweets ProPublica, “HHS has been using its ‘consumer information and outreach’ budget to make a PR push against ACA.” Benjamin Hart tweets, “Cartoonishly awful people.” Even worse, “they're pivoting from healthcare to video,” tweets Rodger Sherman.

Six-month review

Well, it’s been six months since Trump was inaugurated, and Carrier is laying off first 300 employees on six-month anniversary of Trump's presidency, report IndyStar’s Tony Cook and James Briggs. At The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler and Meg Kelly give us President Trump’s first six months: The fact-check tally. And The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale writes, Donald Trump said 397 false things in six months. Here’s what we’ve learned. Tweets Colin Campbell, “the media can't even agree how many false things Trump has said in his first 6 months. Sad.”

I’m a scientist. The Trump administration reassigned me for speaking up about climate change, writes Joel Clement in an opinion piece for The Washington Post. So maybe it’s not surprising that Trump just nominated a climate skeptic to USDA’s top science post, as The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney reports.

And here’s another poll to ponder this week: According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, Do-over: 1 in 8 people who voted for Trump want to change their vote, reports Reuters’ Chris Kahn. Meanwhile, POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Rachael Bade find Republicans lament an agenda in 'quicksand.'

Making the rounds:

Learn how to get more press, set up alerts that are "better than Google Alerts" and make reports on the impact of articles.

Request a Muck Rack Demo