Monday, July 17

á       The U.S. Secret Service denied a suggestion from President Donald Trump's personal lawyer that it had vetted a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer in June 2016.

á       Thousands of Colorado residents canceled their voter registrations, afraid that TrumpŐs voter fraud commission would publicly release private information.

á       BuzzFlash reported that right wing paramilitary groups are being encouraged by Republican Party officials to stand armed, ready to defend Trumpism. In what appears to be an escalation of an ominous trend, Multnomah County Republican Party of Portland, Oregon, voted to approve a proposal to allow armed members of Oregon Three Percenters, and the Oath Keepers, to provide security for future pro-Trump, alt-right, and anti-Sharia rallies.

á       According to the Commitment to Reducing Inequality index, TrumpŐs tax reform plans would, if enacted, increase the gap between rich and poor Americans and see the U.S. slip below Greece on a new global index of inequality.

Tuesday, July 18

á       According to New Republic, over the past three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties and were beginning to invest in high-end real estate as a vehicle to launder money from their criminal enterprises.

á       An eighth person present at a 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer was identified as an American-based representative of a Russian real estate firm.

á       According to Rolling Stone, Secretary of State Tillerson has decimated the State DepartmentŐs ability to bring experience to bear on international problems and to reconcile conflicts from the Middle East to Asia.

á       A federal court rejected the Trump administrationŐs effort to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the approval of fracking in federal waters off California.

á       Trump, angered over failure of the new healthcare bill, suggested the GOP simply repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

á       It was revealed that Trump and Putin had a previously undisclosed hour-long meeting at the G20 summit in Germany.

á       Secretary of State Tillerson closed the office that works to hold war criminals accountable.

á       ThinkProgress reported that preparations have begun in the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in South Texas to construct the first leg of TrumpŐs border wall. The refuge protects 400 species of birds, 450 types of plants, half of the butterfly species found in North America, and is home to the highly-endangered ocelot.

Wednesday, July 19

á       The Wall Street Journal reported that House GOP members are seeking to defund the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the sole federal agency that exclusively works to ensure the voting process is secure, as part of proposed federal budget cuts.

á       According to the Washington Post, Trump decided to close a covert CIA program to arm and train Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime.

á       Greg Palast reported that 28 states, almost all GOP-controlled, turned over a total of over 98 million voter files, including social security numbers, directly to voter fraud commission chief Kris KobachŐs Kansas office, rather than to the commissionŐs DC office.

á       Rep. Barbara Lee accused House Speaker Paul Ryan of underhandedly stripping her amendment that removes the authority of the president to wage war from a Defense Department spending bill.

á       Trump said he wants to gut ACA markets by ending subsidy payments to defray the cost of healthcare plans for individuals with low incomes.

á       Democracy Now! reported that tens of thousands of people may have their student debt erased as private creditors are realizing they don't actually have the paperwork required to prove they own the loans.

á       The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the Environmental Protection Agency up to five years to decide whether or not to ban the pesticide chlorpyrofis and allowed chlorpyrofis to remain in use during that time.

á       The Justice Department announced reinstatement of a previous federal policy to help state and local police take cash and property from people suspected of a crime even without a criminal charge.

á       After the House certified IranŐs compliance with the multilateral nuclear deal, the Trump administration imposed more restrictions on Iranian non-nuclear activities.

á       According to Esquire, the reason we never saw TrumpŐs tax returns was because of what they might reveal about the flow of Russian money to TrumpŐs companies and how money had been allegedly laundered.

á       The EPA considered gutting its lead contamination rules.

Thursday, July 20

á       In an interview with the New York Times, Trump said that if heŐd known that Attorney General (AG) Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia probe, ŇI would have picked somebody else.Ó.

á       The Congressional Budget Office said that repealing the ACA would leave 32 million people uninsured.

á       The Supreme Court upheld a Hawaii judges travel ban decision to allow grandparents and other relatives of Muslims in the US to visit them.

á       House bill called Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act was introduced to enact reforms in the treatment of women in federal prisons.

á       The U.S. Treasury Department fined Exxon Mobil $2 million for violating sanctions on Russia in May 2014 when Secretary of State Tillerson was its CEO.

á       Exxon sued the US government saying a $2 million fine levied against it is "unlawful" and "capricious."

á       The Daily Beast reported that the Trump administration has spent taxpayer money meant to encourage enrollment in the ACA on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it.

á       The Intercept reported legislation introduced in Congress that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel.

á       Trump nominated Sam Clovis, a conservative talk show host, as the US Department of AgricultureŐs top scientist.

á       The White House froze or withdrew hundreds of planned rules, a move aimed at bolstering the economy but that scraps proposed protections for workers and the environment.

á       Joel Clement, former director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Interior Department, was arbitrarily reassigned to an obscure accounting post by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to punish him for speaking up about protections for native Americans in Alaska.

á       According to a report released by Senator Elizabeth Warren, ŇTrump's army of [193 former] lobbyists [who have worked for Trump since the election ] are more interested in lining the pockets of their long-time employers and corporate buddies than in making life better for working families.Ó

á       The EPA said it plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan that limits carbon dioxide output from power plants.

Friday, July 21

á       The Washington Post reported that some of TrumpŐs lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert MuellerŐs Russia investigation by building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and by discussing the president's authority to grant pardons.

á       Earlier this month, the Trump administration granted Italian oil company Eni the right to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic. In response, the head of the US Coast Guard warned that there is no way to successfully clean up an oil spill in the Arctic.

á       The State Department said it will ban the use of U.S. passports for travel to North Korea.

á       Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director.

á       Sean Spicer resigned as TrumpŐs press secretary.

á       TrumpŐs lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, stepped away from representing Trump in the Russia case. John Dowd, a prominent Washington-based criminal defense lawyer will become TrumpŐs chief attorney in the case.

á       The Los Angeles Times reported that drone pilots have been quitting the U.S. Air Force in record numbers in recent years — faster than new recruits can be selected and trained. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma.

á       Jared Kushner failed to disclose $10 million of financial holdings that he was required to declare as an adviser to Trump, his father-in-law, according to a revised form released Friday.

á       Jeffrey Clark, former lawyer for British Petroleum, was nominated by Trump to lead the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.

Saturday, July 22

á       According to RussiaŐs ambassador Sergei Kislyak, AG Sessions discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with the ambassador during the 2016 presidential race.

á       The Russian Embassy in Washington announced that RussiaŐs ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak's, tenure ended.

á       Trump decried the Washington PostŐs report of previously undisclosed alleged contacts between AG Sessions and a Russian official.

á       The Washington Post reported that two former senior intelligence officials expressed anger at TrumpŐs statements disparaging the intelligence community and disbelief at his embrace of Russia.

á       A U.S. airstrike confirmed by the Pentagon killed 12 Afghan National Police officers and wounded two others.

á       As special counsel MuellerŐs investigation widened to include the presidentŐs finances, Trump said such inquiries were a ŇviolationÓ of the scope of the probe.

Sunday, July 23

á       The House prepared to vote next week on a bill that would prevent Trump from lifting sanctions against Moscow.

á       A federal sting operation where the Government Accountability Office created a fictitious law enforcement agency revealed lax oversight in the Defense DepartmentŐs gear giveaway program.

á       TrumpŐs newly appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci threatened to get rid of White House staff if leaks donŐt stop.

á       The Trump administration ended Obamacare computer and internet assistance in 18 cities, leaving health insurance shoppers with fewer places to turn for help signing up for coverage.

á       The DOJ announced a crackdown on marijuana users, raising fears of tougher sentences for those caught growing, selling and smoking the plant.

á       Trump's personal lawyer said that it would be up to the Supreme Court to rule on whether presidents could pardon themselves.