Apologies for the second copy of the Top 10 this morning. We had some technical difficulties. Happy 🇺🇸 Day!
Dems smell blood, but it's not necessarily Jeff Sessions'. The attorney general held his own at his high-stakes Senate hearing, at one point raising his voice to declare he was "not stonewalling," and resented the "secret innuendo being leaked out there about me."
But Democrats tell me that with his dodges, artful and otherwise (L.A. Times lead: "Sessions defends, demurs and deflects"), Sessions left a host of openings — about himself and President Trump — that congressional investigators will pursue. Bob Mueller's prosecutors can be expected to do the same.
The real audience: Jeremy Bash, a lawyer and former Obama national-security official, told Brian Williams on MSNBC: "I think Mueller could use a grand jury and overcome this [implied] claim of executive privilege."
"[W]hen he was asked, ... '[W]hat did [Trump] say about the rationale for firing Comey,' the attorney general refused to answer. That goes to the heart of the question of whether the president may have obstructed justice."
Between the lines: Matt Miller, an Obama Justice Department official who has become a go-to commentator on the investigation, emailed me: "[N]o immediate public revelation, but a red flag in front of the bull named Bob Mueller. ... If Sessions had a good answer about conversations with Trump about firing Comey, he would've just given it."
But, but, but: Jonathan Swan points out that the White House and the RNC war room got what they wanted, with more fodder for attacking Comey's credibility, and we should expect them to use it.
Over on Fox News, Tucker Carlson continued his nightly defense of Sessions with a sarcastic: "It's always possible that a high-level defector will appear ... with documents proving that Jeff Sessions is, in fact, a foreign agent, ... perhaps of a sleeper cell sent to Alabama during the Cold War and activated at Vladimir Putin's request during the last election."
Be smart: Sessions was never the "satellite" Trump insiders fret most.
A couple passages from yesterday's hearing that you may hear about again:
Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, top Dem on Senate Intel, lays out a marker on pardons: "[S]ince you've recused yourself from this investigation, ... if the president or others would pardon someone during the midst of ... our investigation or Director Mueller's investigation, that would be, I would think, problematic."
Sessions: "I appreciate the opportunity to respond to questions as fully as the Lord enables me to do so."
As Uber released results of an investigation of its corporate culture, CEO Travis Kalanick took a leave to further grieve for his mother, who recently died in a boating accident (his father also was seriously injured).
WashPost front page, "Comatose U-Va. student is released by N. Korea," by Susan Svrluga and Anna Fifield: "A plane carrying University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who had been detained in North Korea for 17 months and was in a coma for most of it, touched down in Cincinnati."
Virginia is Trump country ... Former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie "barely survived an anti-establishment scare to claim the Republican nomination for governor of Virginia," the NY. Times' Jonathan Martin writes with Arlington dateline (we know what's up with that).
BBC: "Six people have died and more than 50 are in hospital after a huge fire raged through the night at a west London tower block, police say."
"Advertisers are in the hot seat as activists both for and against Trump call for boycotts," by L.A. Times David Ng:
"In the days leading up to Megyn Kelly's interview [next Sunday, Father's Day] with Alex Jones, activists are demanding advertisers dump the NBC broadcast, claiming the show is giving a platform to the pro-Trump host of Infowars."
Forbes Celebrity 100: The World's Highest-Paid Celebrities Of 2017 ...
San Francisco is going all out for the 50th anniversary of the 1967 "Summer of Love," the cultural revolution that brought the hippie experience to the American mainstream:
Photo gallery: "Counterculture flourished ... [T]hrongs of young people gathered in San Francisco to resist the Vietnam War and 1960s American orthodoxy, to explore drugs and music, or simply to escape boredom." 11 black-and-white photos on 1 page
AP story published in 1967, by Harold V. Streeter in San Francisco: "Tribal groups clustered about small combo bands — the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Mad River, the Phoenix, Big Brother and the Holding Company."
"Nearby, a youth with hair hanging over his face ardently kissed a blonde.'"
Bob Weir interview: "Thinking back on 1967, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead recalls a creative explosion that sprouted from fissures in American society. That summer marked a pivot point in rock-and-roll history, he says, but it was about much more than the music."
Tourist trap: "San Francisco [is] now a hub of technology and unrecognizable from its grittier, more freewheeling former self ... Hoping for another invasion of visitors — this time with tourist dollars — the city is celebrating with museum exhibits, music and film festivals, Summer of Love-inspired dance parties."
"Hotels are offering discount packages that include 'psychedelic cocktails,' 'Love Bus' tours, tie-dyed tote bags and bubble wands. The city's travel bureau ... is coordinating the effort."