Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
President Donald Trump faces his worst crisis in office yet after the New York Times reported that he asked FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey, according to a memo that the now-former FBI director reportedly wrote. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
The Times reported that Comey wrote memos after every phone call and meeting he had with the president, an effort to create an extensive paper trail about his interactions with Trump.
The White House denied the story, saying in a statement: “While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn.”
Republicans, who have been willing to let just about any Trump misdeed slide for the better part of a year, were noticably more perturbed by this latest mess.
After the Times report was published, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican and chair of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter demanding the FBI turn over all records of Trump’s meetings with Comey–a move which already has the president’s greatest opponents salivating and rushing to the closest cable news camera to stir up the possibility of impeachment.
Chaffetz was less delicate on Twitter about his intention to get his hands on the Comey memo:
This latest sky-is-falling scenario comes just days after the revelation that Trump shared highly classified intelligence with Russian officials in a White House meeting, and one week and one day after Comey’s firing.
At a dinner in his honor Tuesday night, Sen. John McCain said the controversy surrounding Trump has officially hit “Watergate size and scale.”
North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, who’s one of few Republicans to go on the record so far, told reporters members of his party are “waiting and watching.”
“There are two schools of thoughts on this: One, was this just Trump being Trump, saying, ‘Hey, you know, better take care of my guy Flynn’? Or was this something legitimately — was there some kind of undue influence?” Walker said.
The mood among the back-biting ghouls of Trump’s White House staff is apparently worse than usual. One official told Politico that aides essentially feel “helpless” before the wrecking ball that is the president.
“Nobody knows where this really goes from here,” another White House official said. “Everyone is walking around saying, ‘What is next?’”
You and me both, pal.
- Trump’s haphazardly sharing sensitive information about the fight against ISIS with the Russian foreign minister endangered the life of a spy inside Israel, ABC News reported.
- Georgia executed J.W. Ledford Jr., who was convicted of killing a 73-year-old neighbor in 1992 in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the first inmate the state has executed this year. Ledford had asked to die by firing squad rather than lethal injection, which isn’t allowed under Georgia law.
- The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website, is making a play for Spanish-speaking readers.