73ºF

LIVE STREAM: White House press briefing with Sean Spicer (6/12/17)

Sean Spicer delivers daily press briefing at 1:30 p.m.

photo
(Copyright 2017 CNN)

WASHINGTON – The daily White House press briefing on Monday is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. with press secretary Sean Spicer.

You can watch it live here on ClickOnDetroit.com at 1:30 p.m. - you may see related coverage until then.

Here's what's going on in Washington today:

9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds "in large part" Hawaii judge's halt of Trump travel ban - @PeteWilliamsNBC

Maryland, DC attorneys general suing Trump

The attorneys generals of Maryland and the District of Columbia have announced they've filed suit against President Donald Trump, alleging he violated the Constitution by retaining ties to a sprawling global business empire.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh made the announcement at a jointly held news conference in Washington, confirming the suit has been filed in a court in Maryland. Frosh and Racine cited Trump's leases, properties and other business "entanglements" around the world as the reason for the suit, saying those posed a conflict of interest under a clause of the Constitution.

"The presidents' conflicts of interest threaten our democracy," Frosh told journalists. "We cannot treat the president's ongoing violations of the Constitution and his disregard of the rights of the American people as the new acceptable status quo."

Racine says the president has spoken about drawing a line between the presidency and his many businesses and properties but that he "has walked his promise back."

"We have a duty to enforce the law and that's why we are taking action today," Racine added.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. The president called an earlier, similar lawsuit about the so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution an issue "without merit, totally without merit."

Ivanka Trump says her father is optimistic

President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, says her father felt "vindicated" and "incredibly optimistic" following fired FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony last week.

In an interview Monday on Fox News' "Fox & Friends," Ivanka Trump says political life still surprises her and that "there is a level of viciousness I was not expecting."

When asked what she thought of Comey's testimony, in which he said Trump suggested he drop a probe into former National Security adviser Michael Flynn's Russia contacts, Ivanka Trump said her father felt "very vindicated...and feels incredibly optimistic."

She added: "With all the noise, with all the intensity of the media coverage and obviously what makes headlines, ultimately we're really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president." She said she's trying to keep her focus on helping her father change the status quo.

Sessions to testify as Republicans prod Trump on tapes

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing to face former Senate colleagues over his role in the controversy around ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, part of an escalating investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.

Sessions is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence committee and was due for sharp questioning. It is not yet known whether the hearing will be public or closed.

"I urge that the committee hold a hearing with the attorney general in the open," Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the committee, said on Sunday.

Fellow Republicans, meanwhile, pressed President Donald Trump to come clean about whether he has tapes of private conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey and provide them to Congress if he does -- or possibly face a subpoena. It was the latest fallout from riveting testimony from Comey last week of undue pressure from Trump, which drew an angry response from the president on Friday that Comey was lying.

"I don't understand why the president just doesn't clear this matter up once and for all," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the intelligence committee, referring to the existence of any recordings.

She described Comey's testimony as "candid" and "thorough" and said she would support a subpoena of any tapes if needed.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., also a member of that committee, agreed the panel needed to hear any tapes, if they exist. "We've obviously pressed the White House," he said.

Trump's aides have dodged questions about whether conversations relevant to the Russia investigation have been recorded, and so has the president. Pressed on the issue Friday, Trump said "I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future."

Lankford said Sessions' testimony Tuesday will help flesh out the truth of Comey's allegations, including Sessions' presence at the White House in February when Trump asked to speak to Comey alone. Comey alleges that Trump then privately asked him to drop a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia.

Comey also has said Sessions did not respond when he complained he didn't "want to get time alone with the president again." The Justice Department has denied that, saying Sessions stressed to Comey the need to be careful about following appropriate policies.

"We want to be able to get his side of it," Lankford said.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said "there's a real question of the propriety" of Sessions' involvement in Comey's dismissal, because Sessions had stepped aside from the federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign. Comey was leading that probe.

Reed said he also wants to know if Sessions had more meetings with Russian officials as a Trump campaign adviser than have been disclosed.

Trump on Sunday accused Comey of "cowardly" leaks and predicted many more from him. "Totally illegal?" he asked in a tweet. "Very `cowardly!"'

Several Republican lawmakers also criticized Comey for disclosing memos he had written in the aftermath of his private conversations with Trump, calling that action "inappropriate." But, added Lankford, "releasing his memos is not damaging to national security."

The New York City federal prosecutor who expected to remain on the job when Trump took office but ended up being fired said he was made uncomfortable by one-on-one interactions with the president -- just like Comey was. Preet Bharara told ABC's "This Week" that Trump was trying to "cultivate some kind of relationship" with him when he called him twice before the inauguration to "shoot the breeze."

He said Trump reached out to him again after the inauguration but he refused to call back, shortly before he was fired.

On Comey's accusations that Trump pressed him to drop the FBI investigation of Flynn, Bharara said "no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction" of justice. But: "I think there's absolutely evidence to begin a case."

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a member of the Intelligence committee, sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, urging him to investigate possible obstruction of justice by Trump in Grassley's position as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Feinstein is the top Democrat on that panel and a member of both.

She said Sessions should also testify before the Judiciary Committee, because it was better suited to explore legal questions of possible obstruction. Feinstein said she was especially concerned after National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers refused to answer questions from the intelligence committee about possible undue influence by Trump.

Sessions stepped aside in March from the federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice last year with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The former senator from Alabama told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

As for the timing of Sessions' recusal, Comey said the FBI expected the attorney general to take himself out of the matters under investigation weeks before he actually did. Comey declined to elaborate in an open setting.

Collins and Feinstein spoke on CNN's "State of the Union and Lankford appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation." Reed was on "Fox News Sunday."

Under Trump, US militias not ready to lay down arms

Members of militias like the Georgia Security Force say they are relieved that Donald Trump won the presidency, but believe it would be a mistake to lay down their arms just because he's in the White House.

So they continue to take to the woods to be ready for whatever may come, whether it's an economic crisis that spawns unrest or Islamic extremists carrying out attacks on American soil. Experts who track the militia movement warn that this could be a potential powder keg, if those feeling of having a kindred spirit in Trump erupt into a sense of betrayal.

Chris Hill is the leader of the Georgia Security Force. He says he's proud to be called the Trump militia, but worries the president will be undermined by Congress.

Melania Trump, son Barron move into the White House

The first family is together again under the same roof: the White House.

After nearly five months of living apart, President Donald Trump's wife, Melania, announced Sunday that she and the couple's young son have finally moved into the executive mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Mother and son broke with tradition by living at Trump Tower in New York since the inauguration so that Barron, now 11, could finish the school year uninterrupted; the president lived and worked at the White House.

Melania Trump stayed largely out of sight during her husband's presidential campaign and was an absent first lady at the outset of the administration, staying in New York and focusing on Barron. But she has slowly been raising her profile at the White House.

Trump proposal aims at another way of getting people to work

President Donald Trump is trying to change the subject from Russia and the election to his promise to create jobs for Americans.

Trump is promoting a proposal to bring more people into the economy by having them start working as apprentices.

The jobs training initiative is aimed at millions who could consider apprenticeships instead of four-year college degrees. Going to school for so long could leave them struggling to pay off student loans. The push so far lacks the details of a significant policy drive.

Trump is scheduled to visit a technical college in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, and then deliver a policy speech at the Labor Department on Wednesday. He also is set to meet with eight governors at the White House on Thursday.

Sessions wants his testimony open to public

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he wants his testimony before the Senate intelligence committee to be open to the public.

The Justice Department says Sessions has requested Tuesday's committee hearing be open because he "believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him."

The Justice Department says Sessions looks forward to answering the committee's questions.

Sessions faces questions about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential campaign. He recused himself in March from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and Donald

Trump's presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice last year with the ambassador. He had told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.


About the Authors: