The Note: Trump builds case against himself with tweets

PHOTO: President Donald Trump watches Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan depart following a visit to the White House in Washington, May 16, 2017.PlayPablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
WATCH The Note: Trump builds case against himself with tweets


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  • Team Trump vs. President Trump: A top member of President Trump’s legal team insisted that despite Trump’s tweet, the president is "not under investigation" for obstruction of justice, only to acknowledge no one on the Trump side knows for certain what special counsel Robert Mueller is doing.
  • Georgia is on everybody’s mind, as suburban Atlanta voters close out the most expensive House race in history Tuesday, a key barometer for Democratic enthusiasm.
  • All that and peace in the Middle East. Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Trump, will travel to the Middle East in pursuit of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
  • Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook are among the big-name tech CEOs expected to visit the White House today, for a series of working sessions that come as the White House announces the American Technology Council, a new leg of Jared Kushner’s Office of American Innovation.
  • The president tweeted that his agenda is doing “very well,” despite “distraction of the witch hunt,” as a key week for the Senate health care push begins.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein

    So now the president’s tweets don’t speak for themselves? Consequently, it appears no one actually speaks for the president, not even the president himself. Actually, it’s worse than that: President Trump is distracting from his own agenda, tying those representing him into verbal knots, and providing evidence that can be used against him in an obstruction of justice probe, all 140 characters at a time. The tweeting – bursts that come against the advice of advisers, lawyers and congressional allies – hurt the president’s own cause, in multiple directions, virtually every day. Take the simple declarative sentence offered by Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s attorneys, Sunday: “The president has not been and is not under investigation.” That ignores two critical facts; that the president himself tweeted that he was under investigation, and that there’s no way to know for certain what the special counsel is investigating. Add a third: Every time Sekulow’s client tweets, the special counsel has another bit of evidence. Newt Gingrich said on “This Week” that the president tweets as he does because he has a “compulsion to counterattack.” That’s why it’s hard to think of an easier problem to solve that’s less likely to ever get fixed.


    Despite the intensity of the national spotlight, Jon Ossoff appears calm and collected in the final stretch of his high-profile campaign, at ease doing interviews with local and national press, joking alongside his staff, and greeting hundreds of volunteers who are running a robust effort to get out the vote the last two days of the special election race. The Democratic candidate is looking to flip a traditionally Republican district where Hillary Clinton lost by a hair but former Rep. Tom Price, now secretary of health and human services, won in a landslide. Ossoff walks a delicate line that has served him well so far. The race is neck and neck by all accounts. Unlike his would-be-colleagues on Capitol Hill, he makes a point of not talking about the president, still he knows it is the man in the White House who has galvanized the activists here and helped bring in all the cash. Talking to his supporters Sunday, he referenced the stakes at hand without naming Trump. “The eyes of the whole country are on this race, the eyes of the whole world are on this race,” he said, ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks notes.


    The president and first lady welcome President Juan Carlos of Panama.

    NEED TO READ with ABC News’ Adam Kelsey

    Trump “wants to take down” Mueller: Top House Democrat. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said President Trump wants to "take down" special counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to Trump associates. “The president wants to take down Bob Mueller. His lawyer wants to take down Bob Mueller," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

    Trump has a “compulsion to counterattack,” says Newt Gingrich. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said President Trump's tweet asserting that he's under investigation for firing FBI Director James Comey wasn't helpful to the president. "Trump has a compulsion to counterattack, and is very pugnacious," Gingrich, a strong ally of Trump, told ABC News' "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz in an exclusive interview Sunday.

    Putin sees chance under Trump to “crack the NATO alliance”: Former U.S. envoy. The former U.S. ambassador to NATO said the unpredictability of the Trump administration may open opportunities for opponents. "This sort of unpredictability over the first five months of this administration possibly opens potential opportunities for opponents," Douglas Lute, former U.S. representative to NATO under President Obama, said Sunday.


    @metpoliceuk: Vehicle collided with pedestrians

    @MayorofLondon: Thoughts & prayers with all those affected by the horrific terrorist attack on innocent people in #FinsburyPark.

    @jaketapper: The Navy has released names of the 7 sailors who died in Fitzgerald collision; youngest was 19 years old. RIP

    @FoxNewsSunday: @JaySekulow on const'l threshold:@POTUS did what DOJ recommended,fired Comey & now is being investigated by agency that told him to do it.

    @ThisWeekABC: @rickklein: "Donald Trump is building an obstruction case against himself with every tweet."

    @ABCPolitics: U.S. Navy fighter jet shoots down Syrian jet that had dropped bombs on rebel forces fighting ISIS in Syria.