Donald Trump’s legal team has come out ready to hit hard

President Donald Trump, whose combative instincts are to lash out and never retreat, appears to be shaping a legal team in his own image.

In aggressively worded statements and confrontational TV appearances, Trump’s personal lawyers and newly hired proxies have shown themselves more than ready to defend him in the manner to which he is accustomed – with arguments seemingly aimed at public opinion as much as at warding off any actual legal threat from prosecutors.

39 Other Related Articles

Washington Post -
Jay Sekulow, Trump’s unlikely lawyer

Jay Sekulow had a hectic day Sunday, bouncing from one news show to another to beat back reports that President Trump was under investigation for obstruction of justice.

In media blitz through four networks, Sekulow, a new member of Trump’s legal team, repeatedly insisted that there was no such probe — an assertion at odds with stories published last week in The Washington Post and elsewhere — only to concede later that he could not know for sure.

NBC News -
Meet the Press - June 18, 2017

From NBC News in Washington, the longest-running show in television history, celebrating its 70th year, this is Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

He's responding to what he's seeing in the media in a way in which he thinks is appropriate to talk to those people t

NBC News -
Trump lawyer says President is not under investigation, despite tweets

An attorney for President Trump was adamant on Sunday that the president is not under investigation, despite the president’s tweets this week referring to one as a "witch hunt." “Let me be clear here,” said Jay Sekulow, a member of the president’s legal team, on NBC's “Meet The Press.” “The president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction."

On Friday morning, President Trump sent a tweet that seemed to confirm that he was under scrutiny, writing, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”

The Guardian -
Victories against Trump are mounting. Here's how we deal the final blow

People who don’t like democracy and civil rights don’t think what the public thinks matters; that includes the Trump administration which seems to have thought that power would be inherent in the presidency, rather than dependent on honoring relationships with institutions, allies, with rules and laws.

I believe we have the capacity to limit the damage or even bring down the Trump administration through nonviolent resistance and good organizing, and I see extraordinary things happening in this moment.

LA Times -
Carrie Fisher died of sleep apnea and 'drug use' was also a factor, L.A. County coroner says

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Friday listed the cause of death for “Star Wars” star Carrie Fisher as sleep apnea and other factors, including drug use.

Drug use can exacerbate sleep apnea with potentially fatal results, but the report does not make clear whether Fisher took any drugs on the day in December when she suffered a cardiac incident on a international flight. “I honestly hoped we would grow old together, but after her death, nobody was shocked.”

NBC News -
The Obama administration is ending the 'wet, dry' foot policy for Cuban arrivals to U.S.

The Obama administration is ending a policy, dubbed "wet foot, dry foot," which gave Cuban arrivals to the U.S. residency even if they didn't have visas, the White House announced Thursday. "Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities," Obama said in a statement.

LA Times -
As temperatures heat up, some plan to chill out at mass meditation in L.A. park

It could get a little toasty for a couple of thousand people expected to turn out Saturday at the recently dedicated Los Angeles State Historic Park for a mass meditation.

Just wait: Southern California's heat wave is just getting started. From 122 degrees in Death Valley to 100 in Sacramento, heat wave to plague California this week

LA Times -
TSA and American Airlines test a new screening device for carry-on bags

For more than a decade, the Transportation Security Administration has used CT scanners to screen checked bags but the machines have been too big and loud to use in the terminal screening areas where carry-on bags are examined.

The TSA and American Airlines began testing the use of smaller, more advanced CT scanners for carry-on luggage at one lane of Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

LA Times -
San Diego woman sentenced to prison for lying in husband's Mexico murder cover-up

A San Diego woman was sentenced Friday to a year and nine months in prison for lying to the FBI about her and her husband’s whereabouts the day his secret gay lover was murdered on the side of a Baja California highway.

She pleaded guilty to an obstruction of justice charge, while her husband, David Enrique Meza, went to trial and was convicted last month of murder. Investigators say evidence points to Langston’s presence in Mexico in the early morning of May 2, 2015, when Merendino was killed.

Global News -
Vladimir Putin discourages new U.S. sanctions on Russia, still too early to retaliate

Russian President Vladimir Putin said new sanctions under consideration by the United States would damage relations between the two countries, but it was too early to talk about retaliation, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday.

The U.S. Senate voted nearly unanimously earlier this week for legislation to impose new sanctions on Moscow and force President Donald Trump to get Congress’ approval before easing any existing sanctions.

The Guardian -
Tracking Trump: more Russia, more Comey, and more 'witch hunt' whines

Donald Trump spent the weekend complaining on Twitter about the “#fakenews MSM” failing to report what he called “great economic news”, and calling fired FBI director James Comey “very ‘cowardly’” as he speculated that Comey’s leak to the New York Times was “totally illegal”.

Despite this, a poll found a clear majority of Americans believe Trump tried to interfere with the Russia investigation, and that just one in five support his decision to oust Comey from the FBI.

LA Times -
It took The Times two years after Watergate to call for Nixon's impeachment. Here's how it happened

Fifty years ago, on June 17, 1972, five men wearing suits and surgical gloves were arrested on the sixth floor of the Watergate Hotel in Washington.

Those who see echoes of Nixon in Trump should remember that, if history is any guide, finding sufficient grounds to impeach a president doesn’t happen overnight.

NBC News -
Is new PAC Joe Biden's last act in politics or first step toward 2020?

Biden’s long history in politics has produced a number of vulnerabilities that have never been fully tested in today’s Democratic Party, which has adopted a much more progressive stance on race, criminal justice, gender issues, abortion, and trade policies.

Biden gave few details about his plans for the new PAC, called American Possibilities, in an email to be sent to supporters Thursday. But the former vice president, who has harbored presidential ambitions for decades, said he wants Americans to “dream big” again.

NBC News -
Anti-Trump protests to focus on alleged Russia links

After the Women’s March, the Tax March, and the March for Science, progressives will march again this weekend for "truth," calling for an independent commission to investigate alleged ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.

“Women’s March organizers in states across the nation are working alongside local chapters of the March For Truth to make sure that June 3rd is a call for all Americans to come together as one and march to protect the very foundation of our democracy,” said Bob Bland, one of the lead organizes of the Women’s March.

LA Times -
Trump's tweets over Russia investigation renew suspicion he might fire Mueller

President Trump attacked a top official in his own Justice Department on Friday, and in the process appeared to confirm reports that he is under investigation on suspicion of obstruction of justice.

On Monday, Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media and a Trump associate, told PBS' "NewsHour" that Trump was weighing whether to fire Mueller. It also comes amid speculation that Trump is considering firing Mueller — a course of action congressional Republicans are widely advising against, though some Trump allies, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, support.

LA Times -
Trump tweets over Russia investigation renew suspicion he might fire Mueller

President Trump attacked a top official in his own Justice Department on Friday, and in the process appeared to confirm reports that he is under investigation on suspicion of obstruction of justice.

On Monday, Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media and a Trump associate, told PBS' "NewsHour" that Trump was weighing whether to fire Mueller. It also comes amid speculation that Trump is considering firing Mueller — a course of action congressional Republicans are widely advising against, though some Trump allies, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, support.

LA Times -
Republican secrecy faces mounting criticism as GOP senators work behind closed doors to replace Obamacare

Sen. Kamala Harris on Republicans who voted to repeal Obamacare: 'You need to lose your job'. Column: Government actuaries say you'll pay a whole lot more for health insurance if the GOP repeals Obamacare. 1:25 p.m.: This article was updated with a comment from a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Even some GOP senators have voiced increasing frustration about the lack of public debate about the specifics of how Republicans plan to replace Obamacare, as the healthcare law is frequently called.

Cuba denounces Trump's policy rollback

Cuba's government has denounced US President Donald Trump's decision to roll back on policy changes towards the island nation.

Speaking earlier in Miami, Florida, Mr Trump said he was reimposing certain travel and trade restrictions eased by the Obama administration, condemning a "completely one-sided deal". Cuba's government has denounced US President Donald Trump's decision to roll back on policy changes towards the island nation.

Wall Street Jurnal -
Before Trump reversed Obama’s Havana policy, American tourists were already cooling on Cuba

“These expectations, along with the monetary support American travelers provide for Cuban entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, will help foster the kind of change that will not only further increase American interest in traveling to our island neighbor, but also benefit the Cuban people.”

(Airbnb, for its part, has said Cuba is its fastest growing market). The uncertainty about Cuba travel comes after a record year for tourism in the country: 4 million tourists visited in 2016, a 13% increase from 2015, and the Cuban ministry of tourism previously projected a further increase to 4.1 million visitors in 2017.

Wall Street Jurnal -
Travel experts say Trump’s policy reversal will ‘devastate’ Cuba

President Donald Trump announced Friday he would reverse the policy changes made by the Obama administration to improve relations with Cuba, a move some say will devastate businesses on the Communist-ruled island.

“Additional prohibitions and oversight on travel will only confuse Americans and dissuade them from visiting Cuba, causing significant economic hardship to Cuban entrepreneurs and average Cuban families, as well as Americans working in the hospitality sector,” a spokesman from educational exchange program company Cuba Educational Travel said.

CBS News -
Could Trump's "witch hunt" tweet come back to haunt him?

The president's tweet appeared to confirm a Washington Post report that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating him for obstruction of justice.

"He made a recommendation -- but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it," Mr. Trump said in April. Rosenstein is a career federal prosecutor who took over the Russia investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

Washington Post -
Trump takes a Twitter swipe at deputy attorney general, a key figure in Russia probe

Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had written a memo castigating James B. Comey before Trump dismissed the FBI director — a memo that the White House at first said was critical to the decision, before Trump suggested it was irrelevant because his mind was already made up.

President Trump put fresh pressure on the second-highest-ranking official at the Justice Department on Friday, raising concerns among the president’s critics that Rod J. Rosenstein could be in danger of being fired, while others argued that if he stays he should recuse himself from his role overseeing the special-counsel probe that has engulfed the White House.

ABC News -
Trump's empty administration: Why so many government jobs sit unfilled

It's no secret that the Trump administration is way behind on filling key positions as hundreds of top jobs sit unfilled nearly 150 days into the president’s term.

One factor that may be further complicating the background check process, an administration official suggests, is that the president has selected a high number of people with backgrounds in business and other fields outside government, which may require more review than for someone with a more traditional government career.

ABC News -
Trump says he is under investigation for firing James Comey

President Trump this morning lashed out at reports that he is being investigated for firing former FBI Director James Comey last month.

The Washington Post reported that the obstruction of justice inquiry stems from Trump's firing of Comey, who was overseeing the FBI probe.

NBC News -
Trump's Cuba changes force some rethinking of travel plans

A two-time veteran of travel to Cuba, librarian AJ Johnson lamented Friday that his plan to return to the island next year with his wife and children is unlikely, now that President Donald Trump retightened restrictions on Americans’ visits there.

Hidalgo said Sen. Marco Rubio and the "powers that be have taken note that our community will not tolerate these guys trading things like health care and the Russia investigation for a hardline Cuba policy," he said.

Fox News -
Cuba deal rollback: Trump says he’s nixing Obama’s ‘one-sided’ pact

President Trump, speaking at a Miami theater associated with Cuban exiles, announced Friday he is nixing his predecessor’s “one-sided deal” with the Communist nation – moving to restrict individual travel to the island, crack down on the flow of U.S. cash to the Cuban military and demand key reforms in Havana.

Ron Wyden, D-Ore., top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said the actions “threaten to slam that door shut and revert to a failed policy of isolation that has done nothing to improve the lives of the Cuban people and has harmed the American economy.”

Global News -
Trump’s deputy attorney general Rosenstein issues cryptic statement about anonymous sources

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released a statement Thursday night warning Americans against believing news stories attributed to anonymous sources, hours before he appeared to be the target of a presidential tweetstorm.

“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country – let alone the branch or agency of government – with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated,” Rosenstein said in the statement, which was released by the Justice Department. “The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.”

New York Times -
Where They Stand: Inquiries Into Trump’s Team and Russian Meddling

The Senate Judiciary Committee this week expanded its investigation into Russian election meddling, announcing that it would look at whether President Trump obstructed justice by trying to quash the F.B.I. inquiry into his former national security adviser.

Last month the House investigation issued subpoenas to Mr. Flynn and Michael D. Cohen, one of Mr. Trump’s personal attorneys, as well as their businesses.

ABC News -
Trump's changes to Cuba policy could make travel more difficult

President Donald Trump’s changes to U.S. policy on Cuba could have a chilling effect on some travel to the Caribbean nation, some experts say.

James Williams, the president of Engage Cuba, a coalition of private sector companies advocating for engagement in Cuba, told ABC News that Trump’s changes are “going to make travel more expensive” and therefore lead to “a major decrease in the number of travelers.” Now, "you have to now go by a government approved certified large group tour,” Williams said.

ABC News -
Many Cuban exiles embrace Trump policy but want more

Many Cuban exiles in Miami are embracing the changes President Donald Trump announced Friday to his predecessor's policies of engagement with the communist island — but some want even more.

While Trump gave his speech, a hundred activists about evenly divided between supporters and opponents of the president chanted and held up signs outside the venue, the Manuel Artime Theater, named after a late political leader of Cuban exiles who launched the failed Bay of Pigs uprising in 1961.

LA Times -
Trump curtails historic opening with Cuba

President Trump on Friday rolled back some, but not all, of his predecessor’s historic opening to Cuba, making it more difficult to travel to and do business with the Communist-ruled island.

Trump rarely cites human rights in his foreign policy decisions, and doing so now seemed to be in part a rhetorical nod to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and others who lobbied the president to completely shut down the opening with Cuba.

The Guardian -
Trump keeps rolling back Obama legacy by tightening travel and trade with Cuba

Donald Trump has announced a partial rollback of his predecessor’s rapprochement with Cuba, tightening travel and trade rules on the grounds of what he said was a worsening human rights situation on the island.

The new rules will stop individual travel to Cuba and seek to restrict the flow of payments to the many Cuban companies owned by the regime’s security forces. It will not fully reverse the steps taken by Barack Obama in 2015 to ease the half-century policy of isolating Cuba.

New York Times -
Trump News of the Week: Mueller, Sessions and Rosenstein

• On Friday, President Trump announced that he was reversing crucial pieces of the Obama-era policy of engagement with Cuba, arguing that he was revoking elements of a “terrible and misguided deal” by reinstating travel and commercial restrictions in a bid to force concessions from the Castro government.

The speculation started on Monday when longtime friend of President Trump, Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media, said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering removing Mr. Mueller.

Global News -
Donald Trump’s personal lawyer hires a lawyer amid obstruction investigation

U.S. President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer has retained a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer to represent him in the various government probes connected to Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

Donald Trump appears to confirm he’s being investigated for obstruction of justice. Earlier on Friday, Trump confirmed he was being investigated for obstruction of justice while lashing out against the investigation on Twitter.

Washington Post -
Zinke moving dozens of senior Interior officials in shake-up

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is reassigning top career officials within his ranks, a shake-up that appears to be the start of a broad reorganization of a department that manages one-fifth of all land within the United States.

In phone calls to SES officials at the Bureau of Land Management on Thursday, according to an individual briefed on the matter, BLM acting director Mike Nedd informed them that Zinke liked the idea of moving officials between agencies.

LA Times -
Warring with the special counsel, Trump digs himself deeper

Tweet by tweet, President Trump has stoked his anger at special counsel Robert Mueller III, complaining of leaks, denouncing a “witch hunt,” saying he is being treated unfairly.

Until then, keep track of all the developments in national politics and the Trump administration with our Essential Washington blog, at our Politics page and on Twitter @latimespolitics.

Fox News -
Afghanistan: Pentagon says no decision yet on number of troops to fight Taliban

The Pentagon has not made a final decision about how many troops will be sent to Afghanistan to try and break the stalemate in that country's 16-year-long war, two senior defense officials told Fox News Thursday.

On Thursday, ISIS claimed to have captured Tora Bora, a mountain hideout in Afghanistan once used by Usama bin Laden, but the Taliban dismissed the claim, saying they were still in control of the cave complex.

NBC News -
OpEd: Black. Female. Silenced in the US Senate.

As a black female attorney who worked on the House Republican Congressional Committee staff in the late 1990s as the lone black female and interned in the U.S. Senate for former Sen. Pete Wilson (R-CA), I can tell you that both were then—and remain today—white male bastions of power and control.

Cantankerous and completely unable to handle a smart, savvy, attractive black woman being a peer in the good-old-boys club of the US Senate.

New York Times -
The Universal Phenomenon of Men Interrupting Women

Academic studies and countless anecdotes make it clear that being interrupted, talked over, shut down or penalized for speaking out is nearly a universal experience for women when they are outnumbered by men.

She and Christopher F. Karpowitz, associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, found that, at school board meetings, men and women did not speak as long until women made up 80 percent of the school board.

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte