Monday’s Mini-Report, 5.20.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* I’ll have more on this in the morning: “President Donald Trump has directed former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena and not testify Tuesday, current White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Monday.”

* The latest in a series of tragedies: “A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died Monday in immigration custody in south Texas, the fifth migrant child to die since December, Customs and Border Protection said.”

* This probably isn’t what Trump had in mind: “Ford workers were informed by letter Monday that 500 salaried workers are getting laid off and will have to clean out their desks by the end of the week. And that’s just the first of a wave of layoffs in the U.S. that is expected to hit 800 by the end of June and 7,000 worldwide by the end of August, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a letter to all employees.”

* I’d bet against this working: “After more than two years of study and deliberation, President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have decided to take a businessman’s approach to Middle East peace: They will try to buy their way to a deal.”

* Remember when we were supposed to take this issue seriously? “An internal Education Department watchdog says Secretary Betsy DeVos has sometimes used personal email accounts for government business and did not always save the messages properly.”

* A fascinating example of real-world consequences for seeking Russian election assistance: “Turns out Russian collusion isn’t a ‘witch hunt hoax’ after all. At least not in Austria. The country’s government collapsed on Saturday after Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he was pulling the plug on his ruling coalition after just 17 months in office.”

* Hmm: “Just months into a cooperation agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller, former national security adviser Michael Flynn sent an unsolicited text message to one of President Donald Trump’s top allies in Congress, urging him to ‘keep the pressure on.’ ‘You stay on top of what you’re doing. Your leadership is so vital for our country now,’ Flynn wrote to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of Congress’ most vocal critics of the Mueller investigation.”

* Fine-tuned machine: “An attempt by President Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller to engineer a new shake-up at the Department of Homeland Security was blocked this week by Kevin McAleenan, the department’s acting secretary, who said he might leave his post unless the situation improved and he was given more control over his agency, administration officials said.”

* An update on a story from last week: “Pentagon leaders formally asked Congress in writing earlier this year for a $30 million fund to support peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban, even though, the Defense Department officials wrote, it was ‘likely’ some of the money would materially support terrorists.”

* I’d almost forgotten about this one: “Broadcast journalist Sharyl Attkisson was proven unsuccessful Friday in her latest bid to sue the Obama administration over alleged illegal surveillance. A panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to affirm the dismissal of a lawsuit initiated more than four years ago by Ms. Attkisson, a former investigative reporter for CBS News who currently hosts a program carried by the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Monday's Mini-Report, 5.20.19