May 20, 2017

All the bombshell Trump stories that broke this week

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Even for the biggest political junkies, this week's twice-daily, jaw-dropping news scoops were hard to keep up with. The New York Times and Washington Post took turns dropping bombshell report after bombshell report on the President.

Some perspective: It was only two weeks and two days ago that President Trump, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan were celebrating outside the White House after passing the GOP's health care bill. It feels like a distant dream.

Monday night: New York Times reports that Trump had disclosed confidential information to the Russian ambassador during their meeting the week before. It was legal, but brought Trump's judgement and understanding of how to handle sensitive information into question.

Tuesday morning: New York Times announces that it was Israel's confidential information that Trump disclosed to Russia, who is allied with Iran — Israel's adversary. It also came out that Israel had been warned about giving the Trump administration this kind of information.

Tuesday night: The Washington Post reports that according to a memo written by Comey, Trump had asked the then-FBI Director to let go of the investigation into Flynn, claiming Flynn was a good guy.

Wednesday night: New York Times reports that the Trump team knew that Flynn was under investigation for failing to disclose that he had lobbied for Turkey. McClatchy reported that Flynn had delayed a plan to retake the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa — an attack that Turkey opposed.

Thursday morning: Reuters reports that the Trump campaign had 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians during the campaign.

Friday afternoon: New York Times reports that Trump also told the Russians that James Comey was a "nut job" and he was relieved to have fired him at their meeting earlier this month. The Washington Post reported that the FBI had identified a White House official close to Trump who is "a significant person of interest" for the Russia probe.

Go deeper

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.

4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."