5 things for April 16: James Comey, Michael Cohen, Barbara Bush

James Comey

James Comey kicked off his tell-all book tour with a verbal kick in the teeth to President Trump. The former FBI director, in an interview with ABC News, said Trump is “morally unfit to be president,” felt there’s evidence he’s obstructed justice and believes the Russians might have compromising information on him. Comey also said if the President tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, it would be “his most serious attack yet on the rule of law.”

Curiously, Comey doesn’t want Trump — who fired him last year — impeached. Instead he wants Americans to voice their displeasure with the President by going “to the voting booth, and vote their values. Impeachment, in a way, would short-circuit that.” Ahead of Comey’s interview, Trump leveraged the full power of his Twitter feed to attack Comey, calling him a “slimeball” who was the “WORST FBI Director in history” and that he should be thrown in jail. (By the way, Merriam-Webster dictionary saw a 60,000% spike in searches for the definition of “slimeball” after the Trump tweet.)

Michael Cohen

President Trump’s lawyers, in a court filing last night, railed against the FBI search of personal Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s records. They described the searches of Cohen’s home, office and hotel room as “disquieting.” They also want the President’s attorneys to sift through the material seized in the raids, instead of government lawyers, so they can decide which items can be withheld to protect attorney-client privilege.

The Department of Justice announced Friday that Cohen had been “under criminal investigation” for months in New York relating to his business dealings. He’ll appear in court for a hearing today, and it might get just a tad bit awkward. Stormy Daniels, the porn star he paid $130,000 so she would keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump, plans on being there.


First came the strikes, now come the sanctions. UN ambassador Nikki Haley said the Treasury Department will announce new sanctions against Russia as soon as today, as the US seeks to continue to punish the Russians for their support of the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. Banks and equipment suppliers are under consideration for sanctions, a source told CNN.

The US, UK and France teamed up over the weekend to hit suspected chemical weapons sitesin Syria with missiles. UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron will face their respective legislatures today, where they’ll answer questions about the airstrikes. For the US, the strikes raise a number of questions. First, and most basic, what exactly is US policy in Syria?


An unfathomable crime has sparked widespread protests across India. An 8-year-old girl was kidnapped, drugged, gang raped and killed back in January. Eight men, including three police officers, were arrested. The suspects are Hindu, and the victim was Muslim, inflaming religious tensions in the area. Supporters of the suspects, which include religious nationalists, want the charges dropped and the case handed to federal investigators, because they don’t think the local police, who are Muslim, can be impartial. This case and other rapes in the country have spurred some of the largest protests since the 2012 rape and murder of a college student in Delhi. On average, more than 100 rape cases are reported every day, according to India’s National Crime Record Bureau.

Barbara Bush

The “rock” of the Bush clan is in failing health and won’t seek any more treatment. Former first lady Barbara Bush, who has been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, is being tended to at her Houston home, with a focus on keeping her comfortable. Her family — including her husband, former President George H.W. Bush — is with her. A family statement says Barbara Bush, 92, “appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”


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Powerful performance, part 1

Welcome back, Carrie Underwood. She wowed the Academy of Country Music Awards in her first performance since the accident that injured her face.

Powerful performance, part 2

Coachella became “Beychella” for a night as Beyonce grooved — and made a little history — with a pointedly political, fiercely empowering performance.

RIP, R. Lee

On screen or off, nobody was tougher than R. Lee Ermey, the harder-than-nails drill sergeant from “Full Metal Jacket.” The real-life Marine has died at age 74.

Boston strong

Runners commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing by running a course that spelled out — what else — Boston.


Teacher rally

Hundreds of Colorado teachers will rally at the state Capitol in Denver to push for more money for education in the latest wave of teacher protests sweeping the country. Want to know why teachers are so fed up? Check out these charts and then read four myths about teacher pay.


“The president is not above the law.”

1,366-word editorial in today’s New York Times urging lawmakers to act if President Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

“I hope to meet personally with the two men who were arrested to offer a face-to-face apology.”

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, doing damage control after the arrest of two black men at a Philly branch of the coffee chain sparked cries of racial profiling and discrimination.

The article originally appeared on edition.cnn.com.