What We’re Following
Confirm and Deny: During a congressional hearing today, James Comey publicly confirmed that the FBI since late July has been investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia’s election interference. Comey also said the bureau had “no information” to support Trump’s baseless claim that he was surveilled by Obama—but in a press briefing later today, Sean Spicer continued to defend his boss, who repeated yesterday that he’d been wiretapped.
Judge’s Testimony: Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch started his Senate confirmation hearings today—something his predecessor Merrick Garland never got the chance to do, since Republicans refused to consider him. Gorsuch is facing much less of a fight from Democrats, to the dismay of some advocacy groups—but the lawmakers’ lukewarm opposition might reflect that their voting base isn’t too worried about Gorsuch joining the court. So what are the views of the would-be justice? His record on antitrust law suggests he won’t favor big business as much as his critics fear, but when it comes to religious freedom, his interpretation might favor the powerful.
Meanwhile, Back in the Executive Branch: Trump’s approval ratings continue to slip: Only 37 percent of Americans say they like what he’s doing, while 57 percent say they don’t—and the numbers suggest some of his voters have lost faith. The president has tried to follow through with his campaign promise of making America stronger with a budget proposal that’s heavy on military spending—an investment that won’t necessarily translate into more “winning” overseas. But the message that arguably won him the election was his anti-immigration rhetoric—a platform that has a key architect in none other than Kellyanne Conway.