Jun 11, 2017

Who still believes Trump over Comey?

Andrew Harnik / AP

The President has said unequivocally that he never told James Comey he hoped he could drop the FBI investigation of Mike Flynn. Trump even told ABC's Jon Karl that he'd be prepared to say so under oath.

But high-profile Republicans are lending credence to Comey's version of events, (even though some, like Ronna McDaniel, are nonetheless aggressively defending Trump):

  • RNC chair Ronna McDaniel told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that even if Comey's testimony is true — that Trump told the former FBI director he "hopes" he let the Flynn investigation go — her personal experience as a mother tells her "there's a difference between saying 'I hope you do your homework' and 'Go do your homework.'"
  • Donald Trump Jr.: "When he tells you to do something, guess what? There's no ambiguity in it, there's no, 'Hey, I'm hoping' ... You and I are friends: 'Hey, I hope this happens, but you've got to do your job.' That's what he told Comey. And for this guy as a politician to then go back and write a memo: 'Oh, I felt threatened.' He felt so threatened — but he didn't do anything."
  • Paul Ryan: "He's new at government and so therefore I think that he's learning as he goes."
  • Sen. Susan Collins on CNN's State of the Union: "I found...former Director Comey's testimony to be candid, to be thorough, and he testified under oath."
  • Sen. Marco Rubio: "No one has either informed him, or he's been unwilling to be informed, about why the sort of requests like the one he made would be inappropriate."
  • Gov. Chris Christie also put Trump's comments to Comey down to inexperience in government. Christie said Trump would've considered his comments to Comey to be "normal New York City conversation."
  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, lavishly praised Comey at his hearing, making clear he considered him an honorable and truthful man.
  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), told CBS' "Face the Nation": "for the issue to come up about the Michael Flynn investigations, inappropriate ... [but] this looks more like an inappropriate conversation than obstruction."

Go deeper

Warren sees bump in national poll following Nevada debate

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren surged to 19% and second place in a CBS News/YouGov national poll released Sunday, trailing front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (28%) but edging out Joe Biden (17%) and Michael Bloomberg (13%).

Why it matters: The poll notes that only 42% of Democratic primary voters have made up their minds. While Warren underperformed in the first three states, her strong debate performance in Nevada last week may have given her campaign new life.

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.