The Note: Sally Yates goes under oath on Russia

The former acting attorney general will testify in front of a Senate panel.

May 8, 2017, 8:14 AM


--ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL FIRED BY TRUMP SET TO TESTIFY ON RUSSIA. Sally Yates, the former acting United States attorney general who drew the ire of President Donald Trump for issuing instructions to the Department of Justice not to defend his first "travel ban" executive order, is scheduled to testify today before the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of its investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election, reports ABC's ADAM KELSEY. Yates, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, filled the top position at the Justice Department for less than two weeks prior to the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. During that time, her office was probing the relationship between Russian officials and then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. After Flynn's forced resignation in February, it emerged that Yates privately brought concerns about the retired lieutenant general to the White House, informing the administration that Flynn may have misled officials about conversations with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak prior to Trump's inauguration.

--WATCH: Everything you need to know about Sally Yates.

--ANALYSIS: ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Somewhere along the way, “repeal and replace” evolved into a “rescue mission” for Obamacare, to quote House Speaker Paul Ryan. Accordingly, the bill teed up in the Senate either needs drastic changes to have a shot at passing, or cannot change at all to keep the support of conservatives. In the meantime, are backers of the bill that’s being called “Trumpcare” making the same mistakes Obamacare’s boosters made when that bill was in its infancy? Obamacare was sold in large part on what it wouldn’t do – how it wouldn’t impact employer-based health care, as well as the infamous and unkeepable pledge that if you like your doctor and your plan, you can keep them. The GOP is playing a roughly similar brand of defense around its bill, emphasizing how people with preexisting conditions would be protected, and even arguing that Medicaid cuts won’t impact coverage levels. This sets up a dramatic few weeks – with town-hall meetings, ad wars, a Congressional Budget Office score, and outside events ready to crash the premature Republican Party. And when President Trump hits the road to drum up support for the bill, does anyone have confidence in what his messaging will be?

--TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: President Trump will spend Monday behind closed doors at the White House. He's slated to meet with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster this morning in the situation room and then eat lunch with Vice President Mike Pence. He will meet in the Oval Office with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this afternoon. And White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is back at the podium this afternoon for the daily briefing.

--FROM THE PRESIDENT'S TWITTER THIS MORNING: @realDonaldTrump: "Congratulations to @PGA_JohnDaly on his big win yesterday. John is a great guy who never gave up - and now a winner again!"@realDonaldTrump: "General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration - but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that."@realdonaldTrump: "Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council."

--WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MONDAY'S 4th CIRCUIT TRAVEL BAN HEARING. President Donald Trump's second executive order limiting travel from some Middle Eastern and African countries faces another legal challenge on Monday. The ban was already halted temporarily on two occasions by federal judges in March, but Monday will mark the first time an argument on the revised order reaches a court of appeals. Here's what you need to know ahead of Monday's arguments from ABC's LAUREN PEARLE.

--WHAT WE'RE READING: TRUMP TO ANNOUNCE SLATE OF CONSERVATIVE FEDERAL COURT NOMINEES. "Having filled a Supreme Court vacancy, President Trump is turning his attention to the more than 120 openings on the lower federal courts. On Monday, he will announce a slate of 10 nominees to those courts, a senior White House official said, the first in what could be near monthly waves of nominations," the New York Times reports. The administration continues to draw on lists of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees, put together with the help of the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, that Mr. Trump issued during the campaign. But it is looking at other sources, too, the White House official said. WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Judicial Crisis Network's Carrie Severino: "When it comes to fulfilling his campaign promise to appoint strong, principled judges, Trump is knocking it out of the park."

--OVER THE WEEKEND. As members of Congress returned home for the weekend, progressive activists lashed out at conservatives who supported the GOP health care plan last week, which squeaked through the U.S. House with just one vote to spare. Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador made headlines over the weekend for telling his constituents: "Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care." The crowd booed the member of the Freedom Caucus for the remark. Planned Parenthood planned several protests and demonstrations in response to the health care vote.

--FIRST ON ABC: GENDER EQUALITY HITS TIMES SQUARE. The advocacy organization NARAL Pro-Choice America will unveil a massive billboard in the bustling city center focused gender equality Monday. The animated sign talks about wage inequality, pricing discrimination and maternity care. “Women pay 60 percent more out of pocket for health care than men; 25 percent of women return to work 10 days after having a baby,” the 15 second-ad reads, reports ABC's MARYALICE PARKS. “Let’s turn the corner on gender equality.” The ad will run through the end of summer, but encourages onlookers to tune into one of the 10,000 movie screenings, events and conversations happening around at museums and on campuses around the world tomorrow. “We hope that everyone who walks by the billboard (and beyond) will be encouraged to use their voices and join the conversation about how a more gender-balanced world truly is a better world for all,” Tiffany Shlain, co-founder of the 50/50 Day project organizing the global conversations, told ABC News. “We have some distance to travel in this country before we can proudly say that women have equal opportunity to get ahead. But, there's a real passion right now to get there,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.


FROM "POWERHOUSE POLITICS:" SENATE WON'T 'START FROM SCRATCH' ON HEALTH CARE, WHITE HOUSE SAYS. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn said the Trump administration has its work cut out for it to push the GOP health care plan through the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim majority but several members are already wary of the House plan. "The Senate is a much different animal," Dearborn told ABC'S RICK KLEIN and JONATHAN KARL on the "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. "In the House, you can work with the leadership and with leaders of different factions to move lots of members."

FRANCE CHOOSES CENTRIST MACRON OVER FAR-RIGHT LE PEN AS NEXT PRESIDENT. Emmanuel Macron, a centrist former economy minister who emerged from a crowded field of seasoned politicians, has won the French presidential election, a race widely viewed as a referendum on the swell of nationalism imbuing the continent, reports ABC's ADAM KELSEY. After polling agencies initially projected Macron to receive 65 percent of the vote to far-right candidate Marine Le Pen's 35 percent, Le Pen conceded the race and French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve formally declared Macron the winner.

EUROPEAN LEADERS EXPRESS RELIEF FOLLOWING MACRON VICTORY. Facing the prospect of a French president who promised to hold a referendum on the country's exit from the European Union, leaders across the continent breathed a sigh of relief following Emmanuel Macron's victory Sunday over nationalist Marine Le Pen. After Macron's victory was confirmed, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy described the election as a defining moment for the EU and a spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "the decision of the French voters is a clear statement of support for Europe." ABC's ADAM KELSEY has more:

RYAN SAYS IT'S 'A BOGUS ATTACK FROM THE LEFT' TO CLAIM HEALTH CARE BILL WAS RUSHED. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, pushed back against criticism that Republican representatives rushed through their Obamacare replacement bill without adequate review or analysis of the legislation's impact, reports ABC's BENJAMIN SIEGEL. “This is kind of a bogus attack from the left,” Ryan said of such criticism in an exclusive interview Sunday with ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on "This Week." Democrats and some Republicans slammed the House GOP leadership’s decision to hold a vote on the AHCA on Thursday before its review by the CBO.

GOP SENATOR SAYS SENATE WILL TAKE 'NEW, FRESH APPROACH' TO HEALTH CARE. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the Senate will come up with a "new, fresh approach" to health care rather than rigidly follow the Obamacare replacement bill narrowly passed by the House on Thursday. “The Senate is starting from scratch," Collins told ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS in an exclusive interview Sunday on "This Week." "We're going to draft our own bill and I’m convinced that we're going to take the time to do it right,” she said. ABC's QUINN SCANLAN has more:

RYAN NOT WORRIED ABOUT VOTER BACKLASH: 'WE'RE KEEPING OUR WORD' ON HEALTH CARE. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he isn't worried about the possibility of Republicans losing congressional seats in the 2018 midterm elections in a voter backlash to the bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, notes ABC's NICKI ROSSOLL. "We're keeping our word" on repealing Obamacare, Ryan told ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS Sunday. "People expect their elected leaders, if they run and campaign on doing something, they expect them to do that. And that's what we're doing."

LEADER OF ISIS IN AFGHANISTAN KILLED IN APRIL RAID, PENTAGON SAYS. The top ISIS commander in Afghanistan was killed in an April raid, the U.S. military announced Sunday, confirming what American and Afghan military officials believed to be true at the time. Abdul Hasib was the target of an April 26 raid in Nangarhar Province, to the east of Kabul along the Pakistani border. Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said at the time that Hasib was believed to have been killed, confirmed Sunday by U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, writes ABC's LUCIEN BRUGGEMAN.


@IsraeliPM: PM Benjamin Netanyahu at weekly Cabinet meeting: In two weeks, Israel will host @POTUS Trump on his first trip as President outside the US.

@GlennKesslerWP: Analysis | 35 of 37 economists said Trump was wrong. The other two misread the question.

@rickklein: Trump will hit the road for hcare: "looking forward ... to getting out and getting his agenda outside the beltway."

@MayorBower: Going downtown? Starting today, Red Top Meters are reserved in the Central Business District exclusively for persons with disabilities.

@JenniferJJacobs: A federal appeals court hears arguments today on Trump’s temporary halt on travel from 6 mostly-Muslim countries.

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