Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Yesterday in Afghanistan: “A bomb blast inside a mosque in eastern Afghanistan that was being used as a voter registration center killed at least 12 people and wounded 33, officials said…. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the Taliban and a local Islamic State affiliate reject democratic elections and have targeted them in the past.”
* Not a great start: “Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be CIA director, broached the idea of withdrawing her nomination on Friday over concerns that reopening the debate over brutal interrogations could damage the spy agency, two U.S. officials told NBC News.”
* Kansas: “The Trump administration is rejecting a proposal by Kansas to kick people off of Medicaid after three years, and also plans to allow states to exempt American Indian tribal members from Medicaid work requirement rules.”
* The latest Scott Pruitt revelations, Part I: “Top aides to Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency are screening public records requests related to the embattled administrator, slowing the flow of information released under the Freedom of Information Act – at times beyond what the law allows.”
* The latest Scott Pruitt revelations, Part II: “The more than 10,000 documents, made public as part of a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the Sierra Club, an environmental organization, … show an agency focused on dividing people into ‘friendly’ and ‘unfriendly’ camps and which, on one occasion – a secret visit to a Toyota plant – became so focused on not disclosing information that his hosts expressed confusion about the publicity value of the visit.”
* In case you missed this on Friday: “Two top F.B.I. aides who worked alongside the former director James B. Comey as he navigated one of the most politically tumultuous periods in the bureau’s history resigned on Friday. One of them, James A. Baker, was one of Mr. Comey’s closest confidants…. The other aide, Lisa Page, advised Mr. Comey while serving directly under his deputy, Andrew G. McCabe.”
* Typical: “In the last year, [Interior Secretary Ryan] Zinke has torn up Obama-era rules related to oil, gas and mineral extraction and overseen the largest reduction of federal land protection in the nation’s history, including an effort to slash the size of Bears Ears National Monument. But here in Montana, where support for drilling in certain beloved areas can be a career killer, Mr. Zinke has struck a different note.”
* This seems fairly easy to believe: “Last week, on his wife’s birthday, President Donald Trump appeared on Fox News’ ‘Fox and Friends’ for a freewheeling phone interview – his first TV interview in months – where he made news on a variety of topics. Two sources told CBS News that it was the president himself, who currently has no communications director, who booked his own appearance on the morning show.”
* Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page believes the Senate Intelligence Committee tortured him – in a rather literal sense.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.