Some of President Trump’s confidants are assailing special counsel Robert Mueller, while Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions testifies before senators today. I'm Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss.
Mueller Under Fire, Sessions Under Oath
How’s this for a trial balloon? Christopher Ruddy, head of the conservative site Newsmax and a close Trump friend, said the president “is considering perhaps terminating” Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia investigation. “I personally think it would be a very significant mistake,” Ruddy added. Another high-profile ally, Newt Gingrich, seemed to encourage the move. Today we may find out what Sessions has to say about that, as he’ll give public testimony starting at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time before the Senate Intelligence Committee. It’s unclear whether the White House will invoke executive privilege to block Sessions from answering some questions, which will focus on Sessions’ Russian contacts and role in firing FBI Director James Comey. Watch it with us here.
A One-Two Punch Against Trump’s Travel Ban
You’ve heard this one before: Another federal appeals court has refused to lift a hold on President Trump’s travel ban. Coming on top of the 4th Circuit of Appeals’ ruling, the decision by a 9th Circuit panel of judges (all appointed by President Clinton) gives a second legal basis to block the ban. It’s one that could be more palatable to the Supreme Court, if the case gets that far. Once again, the president’s tweets were used against him in a court of law.
More From Washington
-- Watch: Trump’s first full Cabinet meeting featured praise from each person at the table, including Reince Priebus’ thanks for “the opportunity and the blessing you've given us to serve your agenda.” It also inspired a parody video.
-- It’s decision time at the Supreme Court as the justices prepare to hand down the final rulings in 21 cases, including disputes over religion, free speech and immigration. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote a concise, pointed essay for his first high court opinion.
-- Trump’s nominee to be a key banking regulator said through a spokesman that he did not misrepresent that he had a degree from Dartmouth College.
Beware the Ides of June
At the Public Theater’s staging of “Julius Caesar” in New York’s Central Park, the Roman tyrant has blond hair, a gold-plated bathtub and a “pouty Slavic wife,” as one critic wrote. Put that together with the fact that the senators in Shakespeare’s play conspire to assassinate Caesar, and you’ve got another firestorm over what crosses the line in the Trump era. The Public Theater’s defense? “Julius Caesar” is an indictment of political violence. It’s also hardly the first time the role has been used to allude to a U.S. president.
Uber Could Use a Good Road Map
Uber isn’t having a smooth ride. The company has faced complaints of harassment and mismanagement, executive firings and departures, a federal investigation into obstruction of justice and a lawsuit from Google’s self-driving vehicle spinoff. Today, the findings of an internal investigation into its corporate culture will be released. How can it steer its way out of this mess?
The Fall of the Mall
At shopping malls across the U.S., the hits just keep coming. Department stores, luxury brands, kids’ clothing retailers — they’re all suffering the consequences of the profound disruption caused by the continued rise of online shopping. That’s forcing malls to offer more restaurants and other experience-based offerings. Even so, one recent report estimated that 20% to 25% of the nation’s malls would close in the next five years.
-- The push to move the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach toward zero-emissions trucks and yard equipment.
-- Actor Gerald McRaney says “This Is Us” fans aren’t shy about getting personal with him.
-- Scenes from the LA Pride parade and #ResistMarch.
-- The Trump administration has canceled proposed limits on the number of endangered whales, dolphins and sea turtles that can be killed or injured by swordfishing nets on the West Coast.
-- State Senate Democrats introduced legislation to change the rules governing recall elections to remove a lawmaker from office, potentially helping one of their own survive.
-- Inside the ICBM launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, where a turn of two keys sends a Minuteman III missile flaming toward its target.
-- Five things to know about L.A. Unified’s school budget.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Oliver Stone discusses his new Showtime series with Vladimir Putin: “I’m not there to prove myself a tough guy.”
-- TV networks are planning specials around the Watergate scandal, thanks to you know what.
-- From Bette Midler to Stephen Colbert, watch the five most buzzed-about Tony Awards moments.
-- The fate of “The Bachelor in Paradise” is in limbo as details about alleged sexual misconduct emerge.
“I’ve done over 100 movies,” Malcolm McDowell told The Times in 2001. “I don’t even dare look at the list. I can’t remember all of them. I sometimes feel like a gunfighter. You know, I come into town, sort ’em out, and I’m gone in a cloud of dust.” But the role with which he’ll always be associated is Alex DeLarge in “A Clockwork Orange.” Today, McDowell turns 74.
-- Another wave of anti-corruption demonstrations in Russia ended in mass detentions by police, including the arrest of the movement’s organizer, opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
-- Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican who assaulted a newspaper reporter the day before being elected to Congress, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge but avoided jail time.
-- Bill Cosby waived his right to testify in his sexual assault trial, and the case headed to the jury.
-- Scientists have used meteorites to show that Jupiter is almost as old as the solar system.
-- A UCLA forecast says California will increase jobs and incomes more slowly than expected this year, mainly because President Trump’s big spending plans don’t seem to be coming to fruition yet.
-- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposed sweeping changes to the tough Dodd-Frank regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.
-- The Golden State Warriors are NBA champions for the second time in three years, capping a near-perfect postseason.
-- Royce Lewis of San Juan Capistrano JSerra was the surprise top pick in the Major League Baseball draft.
-- Trump’s severe lack of credibility doomed his travel ban with the courts.
-- Money for homeless services should go to the homeless, not sheriff’s deputies.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Chelsea Manning tells her story. (New York Times)
-- First-graders talk about being haunted by what happened during a school shooting in tiny Townville, S.C. (Washington Post)
-- “The wrong side of history: My uncle’s Supreme Court stand against interracial marriage.” (Salon)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
If you’ve ever wondered who lives in some of the more remote areas of the Mojave Desert, there’s nothing like a road trip to find out. Along the way, you may encounter “a tormented artist, an isolated man planning an epic party, a band of gentle monks and a woman selling the town she loves.” Asking price for the town: $5 million.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.
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