Calling Scripts for March 3, 2017
- More reports came out yesterday of additional Trump advisers who had contact with Russian officials.
- Committee markups on the House Republicans' ACA repeal & replace bill are expected to start next week in the House Energy & Commerce Committee, but the bill itself hasn't been seen by anyone except a select few GOP lawmakers, and is reportedly being kept under tight security.
After the revelation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had, indeed, had contact with the Russian ambassador (despite his statement in his confirmation hearing that he hadn't), multiple outlets reported yesterday on even more Trump advisers who had had contact with Russian officials. The New York Times reported that Trump's son-in-law and campaign adviser Jared Kushner met with Sergey Kislyak in December, and USA Today reported that two other Trump campaign officials, J. D. Gordon and Carter Page, had also had contact with Kislyak during the campaign. For those keeping track, that means at least the following Trump advisers have been verified as having had contact with Russian officials before the inauguration:
- Jeff Sessions (current Attorney General)
- Michael Flynn (former Trump National Security Adviser)
- Jared Kushner (Trump's son-in-law and adviser)
- Carter Page (Trump campaign foreign policy adviser)
- J. D. Gordon (Trump campaign national security policy adviser)
Additionally, at least three other Trump associates are either definitely under investigation for Russian contacts or have had allegations made against them:
- Paul Manafort (former Trump campaign manager)
- Michael Cohen (Trump's personal lawyer)
- Roger Stone (Trump adviser)
- Kushner and Flynn Met With Russian Envoy in December, White House Says (NYT)
- Two other Trump advisers also spoke with Russian envoy during GOP convention (USA Today)
- Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contact With Russian Intelligence (NYT)
- All Donald Trump's team members who are alleged to have had undisclosed contact with Russia officials (The Independent)
Many Democratic lawmakers are calling for Jeff Sessions' resignation, but, notably, Senator Dianne Feinstein is still reluctant to do so. She appeared on CNN's The Situation Room yesterday, but when pressed on whether Sessions ought to resign, or whether his falsehoods under oath represented perjury, she deflected: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX7k78NAEVo
On the healthcare front, a number of lawmakers posted videos yesterday of themselves looking for the GOP's repeal & replace law, including House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and GOP Senator Rand Paul. That didn't make for terribly entertaining video but it is nevertheless striking that the House GOP is refusing to make their draft bill public, considering that the first markup sessions (similar to a hearing) in the House Energy & Commerce Committee are likely to start next week. A number of pundits are speculating that the GOP is facing the reality that ACA repeal is likely to be politically damaging, and this is why they are hiding the draft bill.
Today I will be calling both of my senators and asking them to push for both a full investigation of the entire Administration's connection with Russia as well as for Jeff Session's resignation. I'll also call my Congressman and repeat that request to him, and also ask him to stand up for the ACA.
If you're not from California, you can find contact information for all US senators here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
If you don't know who your representative is in the House, you can look it up here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Script for Calling Dianne Feinstein
"Hi, my name is _____ and I'm calling from _____ (zip code). I'm calling because I am deeply concerned about all of the additional reports that came out yesterday, revealing even more connections between Russia and the Trump Administration. I do thank Senator Feinstein for stating that Attorney General Sessions should recuse himself, but I don't think that goes far enough. I don't believe that a person who lies under oath in a Senate confirmation hearing can be trusted as our top law enforcement official, and he needs to resign. As the Ranking Member of the Judiciary committee, I want Senator Feinstein to ask for that resignation. I also want her to continue pushing as hard as possible, without compromise, for a full investigation into the Administration's connections with Russia. Thank you."
Script for Calling Kamala Harris
"Hi, my name is _____ and I'm calling from _____ (zip code). I'm calling because I am deeply concerned about all of the additional reports that came out yesterday, revealing even more connections between Russia and the Trump Administration. I want to thank Senator Harris for speaking out and calling for Attorney General Sessions' resignation, and to encourage her to continue pushing as hard as possible, without compromise, for a full investigation into the Administration's connections with Russia. Thank you."
Script for Calling Scott Peters
"Hi, my name is _____ and I'm calling from _____ (zip code). I'm calling to thank Congressman Peters for his strong statement yesterday calling for Attorney General Sessions to resign. I'm also concerned about reports that the GOP is hiding its ACA repeal bill, and as a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee I would like him to push to get that bill made public, and to make sure to defend our healthcare when the markup sessions begin in his Committee. Thank you."