The Note: Trump complicates wild week as showdown looms
It's a big week in Washington.
By VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
June 5, 2017, 11:57 AM
• 5 min read
-- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
It's a big week in Washington: President Trump is going to try to focus on infrastructure all this week before former FBI Director James Comey's highly anticipated testimony Thursday.
Congress is back after Memorial Day recess with a few notable votes on their plate, including a bill that would scale back Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations.
Trump is up early, arguing on Twitter that the Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing of the "watered down" travel ban before the Supreme Court.
Four days after Trump announced he's ditching the Paris Climate Agreement, EPA chief Scott Pruitt still doesn't have an answer on whether the president believes human activity contributes to climate change.
As the White House gears up for a showdown of a week, the wild card, as always, is at the top of the deck. President Trump wants to turn to infrastructure, to put his agenda on offense while James Comey gets his big revenge on Thursday. But before the president can even stand up a war room, news intervenes, and Trump responds...as Trump responds. Terror attacks in London prompted not just calls for world solidarity and support. They also drew a presidential Twitter call for "the courts to give us back our rights" – the travel ban, of course, is held up by courts that are saying it threatens rights with discrimination. And, just this morning, an attack on his own Justice Department for pursuing a "watered down" version. Then came an inexplicable attack on the mayor of London, based on a misinterpreted snippet where the mayor said there is "no reason to be alarmed" at the additional police presence in his city. The president's aim – again – is his base. The president is showing that, at moments that seem to call for going big and presidential, his inclination is to go small and campaign-minded. Comey, not to mention Trump's communications staff, should stand warned.
SLEEPER STORY with ABC News' MaryAlice Parks
The upcoming Comey hearing will likely obscure Trump's pivot to infrastructure. And don't lose sight of other action on the Hill, where a few key votes will mark progress on a number of fronts of the Trump agenda. On Wednesday, for example, the House is scheduled to vote on a bill to waive a polygraph requirement in order to expedite the hiring of new Customs and Border Protection agents. Thursday, the chamber will take up a 580-page bill to rewrite the Dodd-Frank Act, which regulates the financial industry. The bill passed out of committees on strict party lines and is expected to pass the House in the same way, though most think it is DOA in the Senate. The bill has received praise from banking groups as it seeks to change the federal government's ability to label "too big to fail" and end restrictions on speculative investments. The bill would also significantly shrink the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and gut its ability to write new regulations.
NEED TO READ with ABC News' Adam Kelsey
President Trump is not expected to try to block Comey testimony, aides say. President Trump has no plans to invoke executive privilege in an attempt to block fired FBI Director Jim Comey from discussing in his testimony before Congress this week any conversations he had with the president, two White House advisers told ABC News. http://abcn.ws/2sERmd5
Putin 'is lying' by denying Russian interference in U.S. election, Susan Rice says. In an exclusive interview on "This Week" Sunday, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice was asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent statement that his government didn't meddle in the U.S. election, although patriotic Russians might have done so. "I don't know what we'll hear from President Putin, George. But frankly, he's lying," Rice said. http://abcn.ws/2qQawjH
EPA chief still won't say whether President Trump believes climate change is a hoax. "I think the whole question is an effort to get it off the point, and the issue of whether Paris is good for this country or not," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said. "The president has indicated the climate changes." http://abcn.ws/2qPC3lf
Trump team is 'tongue-tied' on climate change: Al Gore. The Trump administration is coming off as "tongue-tied and confused" about climate change because "the truth is still inconvenient" for companies and industries that contribute to global warming, former Vice President Al Gore said. http://abcn.ws/2qUPoE9
London mayor's spokesperson slams Trump's tweet as "ill-informed." President Trump's tweets responding to an attack in London that left seven dead and dozens injured drew responses from the city's mayor and the ACLU. Trump appeared to criticize London Mayor Sadiq Khan for attempting to reassure his city's residents in the aftermath of the attack Saturday. A spokesperson for Khan, the city's first Muslim mayor, called Trump's remark "ill-informed" on Sunday and said it took the mayor's words out of context. http://abcn.ws/2rqwLLR
@realDonaldTrump: The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court - & seek much tougher version!