Monday’s Mini-Report, 8.20.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Flint water crisis: “Michigan health and welfare chief Nick Lyon will stand trial on felony charges including involuntary manslaughter related to the Flint water crisis, a judge ruled Monday.”

* That’s a lot of people: “With a third star-studded letter, more than 175 additional alumni of top national security jobs are joining the bipartisan outcry against President Trump’s stripping of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance.”

* Cohen appears to be in trouble: “Federal authorities investigating whether President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, committed bank and tax fraud have zeroed in on well over $20 million in loans obtained by taxi businesses that he and his family own, according to people familiar with the matter.”

* In a rhetorical escalation, Donald Trump described Special Counsel Robert Mueller this morning as “discredited” and a “national disgrace.” He also referred to Mueller’s legal team as “thugs.” This struck me as the language of someone panicking, but your mileage may vary.

* The problem with Trump’s rhetoric on ISIS: “While President Donald Trump claims he has ‘eradicated,’ ‘wiped out’ and even ‘absolutely obliterated’ ISIS, there is one group that has ignored the president’s words: the terrorists themselves. According to recent estimates by the United Nations and the U.S. Defense Department’s inspector general, the self-described Islamic State has between 20,000 and 31,100 fighters – figures nearly identical to CIA estimates of the terror group’s strength in 2014 when it was near its zenith.”

* The latest on Broidy: “The Justice Department is investigating whether longtime Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy sought to sell his influence with the Trump administration by offering to deliver U.S. government actions for foreign officials in exchange for tens of millions of dollars, according to three people familiar with the probe.”

* More news the White House won’t like: “It’s not just audiotapes. Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and other documentation supporting the claims in her tell-all book about her time in the Trump White House, a person with direct knowledge of the records told The Associated Press Friday.”

* Something to bookmark: “An analysis by The New York Times found more than 250 examples of exaggerated, misleading or flat-out false claims by Mr. Trump about the Russia investigation.”

* Good to know: “The $43,000 phone booth that then-EPA administrator Scott Pruitt installed in his office may not have been worth all the headaches it caused him. He placed only one phone call to the White House, newly released records from the agency show. It lasted five minutes.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Monday's Mini-Report, 8.20.18