The Note: Jared Kushner gets some heat – ABC News
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
– Jared Kushner’s contacts with Russian officials are under the spotlight in the Russia investigation, sources tell ABC News.
– Montana special election candidate Greg Gianforte body-slammed a reporter on Wednesday and then won his U.S. House election on Thursday, 50-44 percent.
– White House economic adviser Gary Cohn says Trump meant Germany’s trade surplus with the U.S. was “very bad” — not the country itself, as had been reported throughout Europe.
-President Trump meets with America’s best friends at the G7 summit today: Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Jared Kushner examined as part of FBI Russia investigation. Contacts between Russian officials and Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump and one of his senior advisers, are a focus of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, sources tell ABC News. While Kushner is not a target of the FBI investigation and has not been accused of committing a crime, sources said he is among a number of White House staffers and former Trump campaign officials who are likely to be interviewed by the FBI. http://abcn.ws/2r3A1Nf
THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein
A partial scorecard from the week the president has spent on the road… Awkward handshakes and more awkward body language? Check. New hope in the Middle East? Check. Congressman-elect with a court date? Check. Son-in-law wrapped up in the Russia investigation? Check. Travel ban still on hold? Fuzzy-math budget dead on arrival? CBO confirming worst suspicions of health care bill? Check, check, check. Friend and allies confused, if not offended, by the conduct and words of the new U.S. president? Double check. President Trump has had obvious and undeniable successes in his first foreign trip, and the fact that he was greeted warmly by people and in places he’s insulted vindicates his vision, on one level. But the consistency of his inconsistency continues to define the president, and can still limit what he can accomplish. (If NATO is no longer obsolete, why not say what’s expected to be said about your friends and allies?) For all the great pictures, the week also revealed that other, coarser side of the president – the domestic-front chaos that’s continued in his absence, and the willingness to flout protocols (and even flub some friends’ names) while abroad. It’s possible that the White House got everything it wanted out of this trip. It’s also possible that none of it will matter when he touches back down in the United States this weekend.
TREASURE STATE TRIUMPH
Greg Gianforte will be the newest member of Congress despite facing assault charges for body-slamming a reporter less than 12 hours before polls opened in Montana. Seven in 10 Montana voters didn’t even have the chance to react to the alleged body-slamming: 276,203 ballots in Montana’s special election were in the mail before Election Day, according to the latest numbers released by the secretary of state. Body-slamming aside, special elections in the last six months have shown the pendulum swinging back toward the Democrats. Ultimately, national Republicans get to breathe another sigh of relief this morning: they’ve won three special elections since November. Meanwhile, Democrats are left without a clear victory, falling short in Kansas and Montana — but they’re still proving competitive in districts where President Trump won big — Gianforte won by 6 points in a state Trump won by 21. Now comes a more telling test: can Republicans fend off an all-out attack in a razor-close district during Georgia’s run-off election in June? Or will Democrats finally get a much-needed electoral victory? ABC’s Ryan Struyk reports.
DON’T MISS THIS
Talk about power politics. President Donald Trump isn’t afraid to mix it up in the boardroom, and today in Brussels he showed he could throw some proverbial elbows. One of the more surprising moments caught on camera on Thursday at the NATO summit in Belgium came when Trump pushed aside Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro to get to the front of the leaders’ pack. Markovic appeared to smile and turn toward Trump as if for a conversation, but none ensued. The moment may have been fleeting, but the internet seemed to enjoy it. WATCH: http://abcn.ws/2r231VB
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There is one unfortunate thing I have to confess: This time around we will not be able to play golf together.” — Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe to President Donald Trump in Sicily, Italy
NEED TO READ with ABC News’ Adam Kelsey
Block on Trump travel ban upheld by 4th Circuit, DOJ pledges to seek Supreme Court review. In the decision, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Roger Gregory writes that the executive order “in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination… It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation,” Gregory writes. http://abcn.ws/2rlXquq
Senate laying groundwork for own health care replacement bill. Senate Republicans left their last lunch meeting before a weeklong recess optimistic that they can at least start working on their own version of a health care bill, with something on paper to discuss when they return in June. “I think leadership is going to spend this recess trying to develop a product,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said. “Now we’ll have a base of a Senate bill based on all these discussions, based on what the House did, based on the CBO score.” http://abcn.ws/2rFrCR3
FBI deflects House Oversight Committee’s request for documents. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is renewing his request for documents pertaining to former FBI Director James Comey. The FBI responded to Chaffetz in a letter Thursday citing Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in the bureau’s investigation of Russia as justification to delay fulfilling the committee’s request. http://abcn.ws/2rEuSMx
@alexburnsNYT: Wonder how Gianforte’s aide, who put his name on a dishonest statement attacking @Bencjacobs, feels now that his boss fessed up & apologized
@jonkarl: “Rep-elect Gianforte…will be a valuable voice in the House Republican Conference” – @SpeakerRyan (no mention of @Bencjacobs body slam)
@JonLemire: Also: Trump and Abe exchanged a pair of standard, unremarkable handshakes.
@daveweigel: The crowd started laughing when Gianforte mentioned the assault — 60 seconds later, it’s applauding as he apologizes.
@AlbertoNardelli: First G7/8 Summit for Trump, May, Macron and Gentiloni. It’s Trudeau’s second, Abe’s fifth, and summit number 12 for Merkel