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court intrigue
December 22, 2018

President Trump has at least twice vented his frustrations about the prosecution of his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, at his acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, CNN reported Friday.

The president is angry Cohen's case and revelations have shown him in poor light, CNN's sources said, and he asked Whitaker why he has not reined in prosecutors under his purview at the Department of Justice. "None of the sources suggested that the president directed Whitaker to stop the investigation," per CNN; the conversations were instead focused on Trump's perception that he has been treated unfairly.

Cohen has pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. Federal prosecutors said this month he has committed "serious crimes worthy of meaningful punishment." Bonnie Kristian

July 21, 2018

Is a laugh enough to get you fired in Trump's White House? President Trump is "exasperated" with his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, Politico reported Friday night, after the intelligence chief publicly chuckled Thursday at the idea of another Trump summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"That's going to be special," Coats said of Trump's invitation to Putin to visit Washington this fall, indicating he did not know of the meeting plan in advance. A former Trump administration official described the administration as in "meltdown" over Coats' comments, and Reuters reports White House staff are alarmed Coats was kept in the dark about the forthcoming Putin visit.

Some sources suggested to Politico the DNI, who is 75, may soon wish to retire — or that he may become Trump's newest target for firing. "He was not particularly eager to take the job to begin with and was sort of talked into it on the theory of when the president asks, you should serve," explained one of Politico's sources. Should Coats leave or be forced out, Politico notes, Trump may have a difficult time replacing him, especially given Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russian election interference. Bonnie Kristian

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