TRUMP AGENDA: Full coverage of Lester Holt’s interview with Trump
You can read our full coverage of Lester Holt’s interview with President Donald Trump here and here.
Jane Timm fact-checks the president’s claims.
Current and former FBI officials are dubious of Trump’s claims of his dinner with Comey. “Despite what President Donald Trump said earlier in the day, James Comey did not seek a dinner with the president to retain his job, one current and one former FBI official close to Comey told NBC News Thursday evening,” report Pete Williams and Ken Dilanian. “The January dinner meeting between the two men, the sources said, was requested by the White House. And the former senior FBI official said Comey would never have told the president he was not under investigation — also contradicting what Trump said.”
If those conversations did take place, experts say they would have been unethical, Alex Seitz-Wald notes.
POLITICO sums it up: “Trump’s attempt to fix the Comey crisis made it worse”
Trump’s not going to the FBI after all after being told that he would not be “greeted warmly,” NBC’s Kalhan Rosenblatt and Ken Dilanian write.
Then there’s this, from the New York Times: “Only seven days after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president, James B. Comey has told associates, the F.B.I. director was summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief…. As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him. Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.”
And meanwhile, on the Hill: “The deputy attorney general at the center of former FBI director James B. Comey’s firing made a surprise appearance on Capitol Hill on Thursday, arriving as Senate Democrats were demanding a reckoning over his role in the ouster but leaving more questions than answers in his wake.”
Who will replace Comey? POLITICO looks at 11 possible contenders.
The New York Times checks in with Trump supporters who are outraged about all the outrage.
The Washington Post profiles the bodyguard who delivered Comey’s termination letter.
Jeff Sessions wants tougher sentences for drug offenders. From the Wall Street Journal: “In a move expected to swell federal prisons, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scuttling an Obama administration policy to avoid charging nonviolent, less-serious drug offenders with long, mandatory-minimum sentences. Mr. Sessions’ new guidelines revive a policy created under President George W. Bush that tasked federal prosecutors with charging “the most serious readily provable offense.” It is the latest and most significant step by the new administration toward dismantling President Barack Obama’s criminal justice legacy. And it defies a trend in state capitals—including several led by conservative Republicans—toward recalibrating or abandoning the mandatory-minimum sentences popularized during the “war on drugs” of the 1980s and 1990s.”
OFF TO THE RACES: Trips under scrutiny
GA-6: “As Republican Karen Handel comes under fire for her taxpayer-funded overseas trip, federal documents show that Democrat Jon Ossoff took a trio of trips abroad paid for by outside groups while he was a congressional aide,” writes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The trips took place while he was a staffer to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson and cost at least $14,000. They include a 2011 venture to Turkey sponsored by the Turkish Coalition of America, a 2011 trip to Taiwan paid for by the Taiwanese government and a 2012 journey to Liberia and Ghana funded by the Atlanta-based CARE charity. The travel for Ossoff and Handel has come under scrutiny in the June 20 runoff for Georgia’s 6th District, as every part of both candidates’ records are in the spotlight in a must-win race for Republicans.”
More early voting sites are opening up in the Atlanta area — and they’re mostly in Dem-leaning areas.
SC-5: Jim DeMint endorsed Ralph Norman in the GOP runoff election.
MT-AL: The Billings Gazette on Donald Trump Jr.’s trip to Montana: “The Republican candidate for Montana’s empty U.S. House seat worked to align himself with President Donald Trump on Thursday while standing next to Trump’s son, who played up protecting the Second Amendment to a crowd of about 300 during his second trip to the state in less than a month.”
NJ-GOV: NJ.com sums up a fairly contentious debate between the contenders in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
VA-GOV: In the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello has sold his financial holdings in a construction company interested in building President Donald Trump’s wall along the Mexican border and that has worked with Dominion Energy, a Perriello punching bag, on energy projects in Virginia.”