The TAKE with Rick Klein
As the possible targets of inquiries have broadened, so have the presidential attacks. The raids of Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s home and office cut close to the president’s business and personal interests, and Trump responded by saying he views the actions as “an attack on our country, in a true sense.”
As for potentially countering said “attack,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican, said it would be “suicide” for Trump to fire Mueller. Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Republican, again said it would mark “the beginning of the end of his presidency.” At the same time, Democrats are preparing ways to respond that ensure the investigation continues, with or without Mueller.
Few in Trump’s inner circle think ousting Mueller, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would advance the president’s agenda. Yet few in Trump’s orbit can rule out those possibilities.
Trump is angry, yes. He’s also increasingly lonely – going out on his own these days against Republicans in Congress, his own domestic and foreign policy advisers, and, of course, his own Justice Department.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
“Who’s your biggest competitor?” Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, asked.
“Why couldn’t it be removed within 24 hours?” Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont pressed, referencing an example of hate speech that called for violence in Myanmar.
Zuckerberg struggled to get answers out for each.
Basic questions suggested a knowledge gap between the senators and their constituents who use this tech every day. On the other hand, trying to put matters of modern computing, data, coding, and storage into policy-speak exposed how far behind current regulations may be.
“Everything we click on? Is that in storage somewhere?” Sen. Deb Fischer, R- Neb., continued. She did not seem to like Zuckerberg’s mealy-mouthed answer.
“Unless you opt in, you don’t collect call and text history?” Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., asked, adding, “Is this practice done at all with minors?”
“I do not know,” Zuckerberg replied.
“There have been reports that Facebook can track a user’s internet browsing activity even after that user has logged off of the Facebook platform,” Wicker went on.
Zuckerberg politely said he would have to check and get back to him, but in doing so illuminated the extent of the unknown.
Overall, the day reinforced how unfathomably large the company is today, and how few questions it has been compelled to answer previously.
The TIP with John Verhovek
While young Americans consistently turn out at lower levels than other age groups in American elections, the ever-elusive millennial vote may be a major factor in the coming 2018 midterm elections.
According to a new poll conducted by the Harvard University Institute of Politics, 37 percent of likely voters between the ages of 18 and 29 say they will “definitely be voting” in the midterm elections this year, a number that would significantly outpace millennial turnout in the last two midterm elections. Among those likely voters, 69 percent say they want to see Democrats in control of Congress, while 28 percent favor the GOP.
The same poll, which was in the field from early to late March, found that 72 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds disapprove of President Trump’s performance in office, another sign that Republicans may face significant headwinds in winning over a significant portion of the youth vote this cycle.
But while Democrats may be celebrating those numbers, historically millennial turnout has remained low, especially in midterm elections. Just 21 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds voted in the past two midterm elections, according to data from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
• President Trump signs the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017” in the Oval Office at 11 a.m.
• The president has dinner with the Republican congressional leadership at 6:30 p.m. in the Blue Room
• Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is back on the Hill to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at 10 a.m.
• Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in New Mexico to deliver remarks on immigration enforcement with the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“This is an arms race. They’re going to keep on getting better at this.” – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on countering Russian efforts to meddle in U.S. and other elections.
NEED TO READ
Trump’s legal team met with Mueller’s staff on day of FBI raids. The Trump legal team had previously scheduled the meeting, which was part of a series of ongoing negotiations between the Trump team and the Mueller team toward a potential interview with the president. (John Santucci and Katherine Faulders) https://abcn.ws/2Hv0QQV
President Trump ‘certainly believes’ he has power to fire Mueller: White House. After months of dismissing questions about whether the president is considering firing Mueller, Sanders told reporters that the White House has been advised by legal experts and the Department of Justice that it is in the president’s authority. (Meridith McGraw) https://abcn.ws/2JBM8b9
Zuckerberg faces congressional grilling over Facebook user privacy, 2016 election. Senators on the Commerce and Judiciary committees asked Zuckerberg about alleged user privacy breaches, fake news and the alleged manipulation of the platform by a foreign adversary to spread disinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign. (Lucien Bruggeman) https://abcn.ws/2v2Ma8T
President Trump ‘less inclined’ to sit down with special counsel for interview after raid on personal attorney: Sources. In the wake of an early morning FBI raid on his personal attorney, sources close to President Donald Trump and his legal team say the president is “less inclined” to sit down for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. (John Santucci and Katherine Faulders) https://abcn.ws/2HtOuZj
Trump’s homeland security adviser unexpectedly resigning. In an unexpected move, President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, is resigning, the White House announced Tuesday, and the reason was unclear. (Jordyn Phelps) https://abcn.ws/2v5scKI
Trump-appointed US attorney recused from Michael Cohen investigation. Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is recused from the Michael Cohen investigation, ABC News has learned. (Jonathan Karl and Josh Margolin) https://abcn.ws/2HcBBoE
Internal documents question EPA justification for Pruitt’s security spending. Top Democratic senators are calling for immediate hearings on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s expensive security bill, according to a letter sent to the chairman of the committee that has oversight of the agency. (Stephanie Ebbs) https://abcn.ws/2EA90Et
Trump cancels South America trip because of Syria, White House says. Press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Tuesday that “The President will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world.” (Allison Pecorin) https://abcn.ws/2qj6Btq
Zuckerberg’s notes show he was prepared for senators to ask about resigning. An Associated Press photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s notes reveal he was prepared for senators to ask him about resigning from his company at a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary committees Tuesday afternoon. (Matt Seyler) https://abcn.ws/2EBg43L
The New York Times‘ Vanessa Friedman interprets Zuckerberg’s uncharacteristic suited wardrobe choice for Congress as a symbol of penance from the embattled CEO. https://nyti.ms/2EArPr6
The Washington Post reports on Facebook’s most popular Black Lives Matter page, which appears to have been a scam run by an Australian man. https://wapo.st/2IJItqF
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Check back tomorrow for the latest.