MARK MEADOWS THREATENS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN OVER BORDER WALL FUNDING: “Without a doubt there is enough conservative members who will not support any funding mechanism that does not include border wall funding,” Meadows told Breitbart News in a phone interview Monday. Meadows, a Republican who represents North Carolina’s 11th District in the far western part of the state, leads the House Freedom Caucus. He also told Breitbart that “my conversations with the president have led me to believe that there is nothing less than a full and total commitment on his part to only sign into law a funding bill that actually allows for us to start construction of a border wall on our southern border.” Congress is expected to begin budget talks later this summer. Without an agreement, the government could shut down on Oct. 1.
IN THE WAKE OF REVELATIONS ABOUT SON MEETING WITH RUSSIAN LAWYER, TRUMP RAGES AT STAFF: Trump Jr. released four pages of emails Tuesday in which he communicates with an associate trying to arrange a meeting with a Russian lawyer. In the emails, the intermediary says the attorney has negative information about Democrat Hillary Clinton that is part of the Russian government's efforts to help Trump in the campaign. The then-candidate's son responds: "I love it." This new setback raises new questions about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow during the election, a charge the president has denied for months. And it points those questions more directly at the inner circle of Trump's own family. As has been the pattern for Trump's White House, the controversy has sparked a new round of recriminations among the president's team. Nearly a dozen White House officials and outside advisers spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the mood in the West Wing.
LAWYER'S TIES TO RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT CONFIRMED BY HER OTHER WORK: The Russian lawyer at the center of Donald Trump Jr.’s scandal over possible collusion with Kremlin election meddlers has denied she has ties to the Russian government. But she threatened action by the Russian security service, the FSB, against a rights group working to expose corruption by Russian government officials, according to information in the possession of U.S. prosecutors who had been investigating a large and complex money laundering case involving Russian funds. It was in that context that Veselnitskaya allegedly warned attorney Andrey Stolbunov, the leader of Spravedlinost, that the FSB would punish the rights group for its investigation — implying that he should work with the government.
SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE BACKED THEMSELVES INTO A HEALTH CARE CORNER: Republicans find themselves in a no-win situation as they struggle to pass health care legislation in the Senate: Success could alienate a majority of the population, but failure could anger the crucial group of GOP base voters the party relies on to build election victories. Congressional Republicans are also under intense pressure from President Donald Trump to help him fulfill his campaign promises. Some GOP strategists are concerned that the greatest risk to Republican lawmakers in upcoming election cycles would be for Trump to turn against Congress and start complaining about its failures. The fear is that Trump's core group of supporters — some 25 or 30 percent of voters — would stick with the president and vote out their own GOP lawmakers.
MASSIVE ICEBERG BREAKS OFF OF ANTARCTIC ICE SHELF: Scientists say a vast iceberg has broken off from a key floating ice shelf in Antarctica. Scientists at the University of Swansea in Britain said Wednesday the iceberg broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf. The iceberg, which is likely to be named A68, is described weighing 1 trillion tonnes (1.12 trillion U.S. tons) ” or having twice the volume of Lake Erie. The process, known as calving, occurred in the last few days. Researchers are watching closely to see whether climate change is affecting the phenomenon. Adrian Luckman of Swansea University says the event has been anticipated for months and that researchers will continue to monitor “the fate of this huge iceberg.”