- Trump’s claims that the FBI, under Obama’s orders, surveiled his 2016 campaign with a “spy” got some pushback from retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Gowdy has repeatedly gone on TV as a “voice of reason” ever since announcing he would not be seeking reelection. He said the FBI was investigating Russia, not Trump specifically, and they were justified in using an “informant.” But as David French at NR noted, Gowdy also poured cold water on the #Resistance’s dreams of obstruction charges for Trump’s very public mistreating of Jeff Sessions (including yet another Twitter tirade this morning triggered by the Gowdy interview). Gowdy said that Sessions is to blame for not telling his future boss about the recusal until after he was confirmed as AG.
- The fallout from Roseanne’s firing from ABC the day before continued. Roseanne blamed her racist tweet on Ambien, causing Ambien maker Sanofi to tweet (and then delete) “…racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.” Most conservative figures, remarkably including even Tomi Lahren, continued to keep their distance from the disgraced, racist actress, although some on the #MAGA right continued to harp about “double standards.” And, as expected, the president tweeted about the debacle: “Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?”
- It’s been 20 days since First Lady Melania Trump has been sighted by anyone in the public. A tweet appeared today on the @FLOTUS feed: “I see the media is working overtime speculating where I am & what I’m doing. Rest assured, I’m here at the @WhiteHouse w my family, feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!” This did little to ease concerns, coming from the White House-run account instead of her own @MELANIATRUMP one, and written in WH social media director Dan Scavino’s unmistakable style. The White House’s stated reason for Melania’s disappearance was medical, citing “an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition,” although this is hardly the kind of major operation that would require extensive recuperation — more like an overnight thing. Conspiracy theories still rage, ranging from Melania actually getting a cosmetic procedure, to she’s simply psychologically overwhelmed and hiding in the East Wing, to she’s left the White House and his hiding incognito somewhere in New York, to whispers of something far more grim. Whatever the case, the White House’s handling of it has been very strange.
- In a plot twist straight out of a best-selling thriller novel, “murdered” anti-Putin journalist Arkady Babchenko turned up alive and unharmed one day after his supposed grisly demise. He says this was all a ploy to draw out the real hit-men, who are presumably working on contract for Putin. It appears that he played dead even for his wife, who had discovered his “corpse.” No word yet on how his stunt may affect marital relations.
- For the second time this decade, the EU exercised its influence to overturn an Italian election result, as the Italian president (and not the prime minister, the latter of whom supposedly, in theory, wields the real power in Rome) instead chose to install a Brussels-loyal technocrat as finance minister. Today, the backlash grew, markets are in turmoil, and the Euroskeptic parties, thwarted thus far from forming a government, are expected to make even greater gains at the next elections. Then the ball will be back in the EU’s court: do they commit to even greater violations of Italy’s sovereignty and democracy to keep that country in line? A lot of things have brought Italian voters to this point, but the two greatest have been the euro and the recent migration waves from Africa that Brussels is unable, or unwilling, to staunch. As with America, Italy may turn to anti-establishment firebrands to punish an establishment that it feels has failed it.
- The big Trump/Kim Jong Un summit still lingers in the preliminary stage, as neither side has fully re-committed to meetings in Singapore after Trump cancelled them last week. Lower-level officials, however, continue to meet. The original summit was scheduled for June 12.
- Speaking of summits with Kim, Mrs. Kardashian West appeared at the White House today, ostensibly to push for prison reform. Her husband, of course, notoriously took a pro-MAGA turn in recent weeks, perhaps partly in a marketing push for his new album. No photos of her with the president have yet emerged, although it would be uncharacteristic of Trump not to indulge. (Update: yep, right after this post went up, this happened:)
- The epic beef between Drake and Pusha T escalated to Defcon 1 today. Pusha fired back with another diss track, which, all at once, and let me see if I have this straight, a) used a picture of Drake in blackface (?), b) questioned his ability as a father, c) spoiled the name of Drake’s upcoming shoe line with Adidas called Adidon and d) generally knocked out power to the eastern seaboard for most of the day. Whatever the case, it’s clear Pusha’s no Meek Mill. Aubrey’s not known for backing down either, so this feud will be measured in megatons before this is all over.
- Bethesda teased the latest Fallout title today, and despite the trailer, it’s rumored not to be a classic Fallout RPG but instead a multiplayer survival/PvP game like Rust or Ark. It’s not yet known if there will be a persistent world with saved progress, or if it will be a brand new game each match, although the latter seems more likely if it’s being compared to DayZ. Perhaps Bethesda felt stung by criticism of Fallout 4’s writing and story and was like, “Then screw you all! Next game, no story at all!”
- And finally, here’s Twitter summed up. Have a good evening.