Fired FBI Director James Comey to Testify in Public

Aides to President Donald Trump brace for new environment after the appointment of a special counsel

 .. some of the president’s senior advisers have recently begun a study of the Democratic administration of former President Bill Clinton, examining how it managed to push through major, bipartisan budgets and reform bills, despite being the subject of an independent counsel’s probe for five of its eight years.
.. Mr. Trump’s aides have also been pressing for more restraint by the president on Twitter ,and some weeks ago they organized what one official called an “intervention.”
.. In that meeting, aides warned Mr. Trump that certain kinds of comments made on Twitter would “paint him into a corner,” both in terms of political messaging and legally
.. A coterie of former campaign associates, including David Bossie, Anthony Scaramucci, Jason Miller and Corey Lewandowski, were spotted
.. described the White House currently as a “toxic work environment.”
.. “The president goes through moods where sometimes he wants to blow everything up,”
.. the administration hasn’t lined up successors for the people Mr. Trump has considered firing
.. The aides’ recommendation to Mr. Trump: cite the continuing investigation, then pivot to the economy, health care and taxes.
.. Ken Duberstein, a former chief of staff to former President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview that he used to urge the GOP president not to respond to questions that reporters might throw his way involving the Iran-Contra scandal.
“You can’t go off on a tangent. You can’t answer the sound bite gotcha questions,” Mr. Duberstein said.

He said Mr. Trump should not “take the bait of a shouted question or the shiny silver dollar of being able to tweet. Because then the rest of the agenda gets left on the cutting room floor.”

Is Tillerson Being Sidelined by Jared Kushner?

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, made a splash with a highly visible trip to Iraq on behalf of the White House, and is handling portfolios involving parts of U.S. policy toward China, the Middle East, and Mexico. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson looks increasingly marginalized.

.. he certainly appears not to have a front-row seat on many foreign-policy issues. He was absent at President Trump’s meetings with the leaders of Israel, Canada, and Japan, and he wasn’t consulted on Trump’s botched executive order restricting non-citizen entry to the U.S.

.. The White House overruled his pick of Elliott Abrams as the No. 2 man

.. When the conservative group Judicial Watch went into federal district court this month to seek the release of State Department documents relating to Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server, it was opposed by Richard Visek, an Obama holdover who is still the acting legal adviser at Foggy Bottom. “The State Department’s position is that we won’t get all the documents until 2020.

.. It’s also all too easy to concentrate foreign-policy decision making in the White House, the way Nixon did. “They really want to blow this place up,” one State Department official told the Atlantic in March. “I don’t think this administration thinks the State Department needs to exist. They think Jared [Kushner] can do everything.”

.. While Trump believes he can close deals with foreign leaders like no one else can, someone has to pave the way for those deals, and a State Department led by Trump appointees is the best bet to fill the role.

.. Blowing up bureaucratic agencies can be a good thing at times, but simply ignoring the fact that they exist is likely to be shortsighted and lead to unwanted surprises.

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