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If you had asked us eight months ago what White House press briefings would be like in the Trump administration, “robust debates about poetry” would not have been high on our list of expected features. The Boy Scouts’ chief contested Donald Trump’s statements about his address to the outdoors group, so we’re surprised Trump hasn’t made any noise yet about being awarded badges in land-leasing condo developments. And we give it a week until Donald Trump announces that the Statue of Liberty called to say Stephen Miller did great. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017:
PRESIDENT SIGNS LAW THAT HE HATES AND THINKS IS ILLEGAL – And to think he’s getting angry at congressional Republicans for not pursuing Obamacare repeal further. Paige Lavender: “President Donald Trump has signed a bill that allows new sanctions against Russia, but not without expressing his concerns over what he considers ‘significantly flawed’ legislation. Congress ‘included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions’ in the bill, Trump argued Wednesday in a statement. He claimed in a separate statement that the bill ‘encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,’ and worked in a jab at Senate Republicans over their failure to pass legislation on health care. ‘Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking,’ Trump said. The president touted his business background while criticizing the bill, which puts limits on Trump’s ability to lift sanctions on Russia and Ukraine.” [HuffPost]
MUELLER NEEDS MORE HELP IN RUSSIA INVESTIGATION – To be fair there’s probably…a lot of stuff. Karen Freifeld: ”A former U.S. Justice Department official has become the latest lawyer to join special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, a spokesman for the team confirmed. Greg Andres started on Tuesday, becoming the 16th lawyer on the team, said Josh Stueve, a spokesman for the special counsel. Most recently a white-collar criminal defense lawyer with New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, Andres, 50, served at the Justice Department from 2010 to 2012. He was deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division, where he oversaw the fraud unit and managed the program that targeted illegal foreign bribery.” [Reuters]