Stakeout at Comey’s


Friday, May 12, 2017
The scoreboard at Nationals Park Thursday after the game was postponed for inclement weather. Credit:Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Melania For Moms: FLOTUS to attend event for military moms

Spicey Returns: Both the real version, at today’s briefing, and the Melissa McCarthy version, on SNL Saturday

Stakeout at Comey’s: The scene outside his McLean, Virginia, home

Kate Bennett

What the White House is Talking About:
I mean, do we really need to write this today? 

What the White House Press Corps is Talking About:
Hair’s on fire, guys. 

Trump Tweets and It’s Banana Pants:
President Trump this morning went on a bit of a Twitter tirade, and no matter your politics, the whole thing is sort of whack. If you’re pro-Trump, the feels are the President is on the defense, talking about tapes of James Comey conversations and stopping press briefings. If you’re anti-Trump, the tweets are further confirmation that this is a man in meltdown mode. A sampling, for your viewing pleasure: 

Credit: @RealDonaldTrump/Twitter

Seriously, though, there are far-reaching questions and issues here. The ones that come top of mind for me are: 
1. What is GOP leadership thinking about up on the Hill? Are they OK with this? 
2. Um, the President basically threatened Comey. 
3. Paging Rod Rosenstein, paging Rod Rosenstein, please call your office. Rosenstein could hold the key to possibly stopping a lot of the rhetoric coming out of the White House, but he’ll have to stand up and talk to do so. 
4. Where in the world are Javanka? Why is it that every time the White House is under fire, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are nowhere to be found? Health care crumbles; they’re skiing in Aspen. West Wing in-fighting; they’re vacationing in Canada. Trump fires the FBI director; they’re laying almost impossibly low. Ivanka had two events posted on her social media this week, a noticeably smaller-than-average amount of sharing. Jared was rumored to be on the Hill yesterday, but he’s still nowhere near the stench rising off the administration’s messaging disaster. Does Trump sanction this move by his family to head to the foxhole when things get tough? Protect the brand? Stay out of it? Would love to know your thoughts: coverlinekate@cnn.com.

Even Arsenio Hall is confused. PS: “Buy him mittens” is an amaze suggestion. 

Image credit: @ArsenioHall/Twitter

The New New Yorker Cover is Cringe:
Sessions dragging Comey off a plane with Trump looking on is the Barry Blitt  illustrated cover of next week’s New Yorker magazine. 

Image credit: @newyorker/twitter

Our Daily Melania:
The first lady returns to DC today (or yesterday; I don’t know, they never tell us, she just slips in like a superhero) for a Mother’s Day event at the White House with military moms. She’s expected to give remarks. 

Let’s hope she does so not wearing one of her favorite designers, Gabriella Hearst. FLOTUS has worn Hearst a few times since becoming first lady, most recently at the First Lady’s Luncheon last week at the Washington Hilton—a lovely, tailored, powder blue-gray, windowpane pantsuit.

Image credit: Courtesy of Jerry Hagstrom/The Hagstrom Report

I asked Hearst how she felt about Melania’s affinity for her designs, since the designer has been openly critical of the President on her twitter feed for several months. Here’s what Hearst, who is originally from Uruguay, said:  “[Melania Trump] looks great in the clothes, which were purchased directly from a retail partner. Unfortunately, her husband’s political stands do not align with our core values and belief. I am a woman and I am an immigrant.” 

The jacket Melania wore is $1,895, and the pants are $1,195.  I Can Haz Laughter?:
So, this week was long. And kind of serious and weird. This is why I’m thankful for Melissa McCarthy and her hosting of tomorrow night’s “Saturday Night Live.” Several people caught her filming a Spicey segment this morning, motoring her podium down a busy Manhattan street. It looks funny—this makes me glad. 

Image credit: @elanazak/twitter

And Donald Trump Bobble Head Knows All:
If you have a question, just ask the newly revamped BobbleDonald. He’ll shake his head yes or no. Happy Friday!

Hunter Schwarz

What Washington is Talking About:
Spicey is back today! White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer returns to give the briefing, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET, after his brief hiatus this week when deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders took over.

What America is Talking About:
Kelly Clarkson announced in a Facebook video with Blake Shelton that she’s joining “The Voice” as a coach, after rumors she’d judge for the ABC reboot of “American Idol.” Awkward.

Reminder:
Mother’s Day is Sunday.

Lock Him Up?:
CNN’s KFile is tracking Dems calling for President Trump’s impeachment. “Starting to become a question they get asked about regularly at both town halls and on radio,” our Andrew Kaczynski emails.

Right now, there are nine who’ve called for it: Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut; Reps. Maxine Waters, California; Keith Ellison, Minnesota; Joaquin Castro, Texas; Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii; Al Green, Texas; Jared Huffman, California; Mark Pocan, Wisconsin; and Hakeen Jeffries, New York.

Stakeout at Comey’s:
Media’s been camped outside former FBI Director James Comey’s home since he returned from Los Angeles. I talked with CNN White House producer Noah Gray, who’s there this morning with journalists from all the networks and even some local outlets.

Comey lives in McLean, Virginia, (the 23rd richest place in America, according to Bloomberg, with a 2015 average household income of $268,997), in a gated home on a winding road with heavy traffic (Benzes, Audis, school buses, and utility trucks).

Credit: Noah Gray

There have been no recent Comey sightings, but his son Brien left the house a few times and UPS came to deliver a package yesterday. Noah emails: “Neighbors drove by, stopping to inquire why we were there. At one point, an older woman rolled down her window to shout at us, ‘Go home! Why don’t you just go home and give him some privacy!’ On the other hand, another neighbor asked if we needed snacks and brought us Hawaiian chocolates.”

We haven’t heard from Comey since his firing.

My Fav Ever Correction:
After launching a thousand memes, the Washington Post has updated its story that originally described Spicer as “in the bushes” outside the White House the night Comey was fired to more accurately describe him as among the bushes. Dying at this.

Credit: The Washington Post

Trollolol:
Guys, I’m beginning to think Donald Trump loves drama. His RT yesterday of a December 2016 tweet from Rosie O’Donnell calling for Comey to be fired had me screaming.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump/Twitter

Rosie responded, telling NBC’s Nicole Wallace, “It’s a clear indication of his seriously declining mental health. This is no joke.”

Ready For Hillary (To Say Something):
We still haven’t heard from Hillary Clinton yet on Comey’s firing. A spokesman told CNN Tuesday she had no comment, and she hasn’t tweeted since. I’ve been doing some internet sleuthing and I found this video of her leaving a Santa Monica spa.

Credit: @thankyouhillary/Instagram

Variety’s Ted Johnson reports Clinton was in Los Angeles Thursday for dinner at Democratic mega-donors Haim and Cheryl Saban with about 40 to 50 people “that sources described as a thank you to 2016 campaign donors and an introduction to her plans to launch a political group, Onward Together.”

The Clintons are also in town to attend their nephew Zach Rodham’s USC graduation (his major is screen writing, a source tells me). The ceremony began this morning at 11:30 ET, and Will Ferrell is the university’s commencement speaker.

Bill Makes a Crossword Puzzle:
Speaking of the Clintons, Bill co-authored today’s New York Times’ crossword puzzle with Arkansas District Court Judge Victor Fleming of Little Rock, a regular NYT crossword contributor. I haven’t done it yet, but there’s apparently an “Easter egg” in it. Email me at coverlinehunter@cnn.com if you find it. Clinton is believed to be the first US president to have a crossword puzzle published, per the Times.

Welcome To The Future:
Elon Musk has been ‘gramming videos of The Boring Company’s first tunnel all morning. It looks seriously so dope. “This is a test run of our electric sled that would transport cars at 125 mph (200 km/h) through the tunnels, automatically switching from one tunnel to the next,” he wrote in the caption for one video. “Would mean Westwood to LAX in 5 mins.”

Caitlyn Isn’t a Popular Baby Name:
Its popularity, and the popularity of variations like Caitlin, Katelynn and Kaitlynn, as a baby name dropped more than any other name, according to the Social Security Administration, and it’s basically Caitlyn Jenner’s fault. Emma and Noah were the No. 1 names, btw.

Bryce Harper Loves His Mom:
ESPN filmed the Nats star reading a letter he wrote to his mom and then had her surprise him. It’s heartwarming (except for the part where they bizarrely use Comic Sans), and fun fact: his mom calls him “Mondo.”

Image credit: ESPN
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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN’s Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.
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