* Carol Leonnig and Rosalind Helderman report that Robert Mueller is making life at the White House very uncomfortable:
The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering everything from the president’s private discussions about firing his FBI director to his White House’s handling of a warning that President Trump’s then-national security adviser was under investigation, according to two people briefed on the requests.
White House lawyers are now working to turn over internal documents that span 13 categories investigators for the special counsel have identified as critical to their probe, the people said. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, appointed in May in the wake of Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, took over the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians in that effort.
The list of requests was described in detail by two people briefed on them. Both insisted on anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation. Some details of the requests were first reported Wednesday afternoon by the New York Times.
The requests broadly ask for any document or email related to a series of highly publicized incidents since Trump became president, including the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn and Comey, the people said. The list demonstrates Mueller’s focus on key moments and actions by the president and close advisers that could shed light on whether Trump sought to block the FBI investigations of Flynn and of Russian interference. His team is also eyeing whether the president sought to obstruct the earlier Russia probe overseen by Comey.
This must be driving the president absolutely crazy.
Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said.
“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, portions of which were read to The Washington Post along with other Manafort correspondence from that time.
The emails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team as they probe whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.
This must be driving the president absolutely, totally, completely bonkers and nutso.
What’s new, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, is a discrepancy in state-by-state funding that would be flattened out by the block grants. Most states used the ACA’s funding to expand Medicaid; some Republican-run states, liberated by the Supreme Court’s decision to make the funding optional, did not. As a result, 14 of the 15 states that would stand to gain from block grants are run by Republicans; Democratic megastates including California, New York and Massachusetts would lose billions of dollars, a feature both Graham and Cassidy have talked up to conservatives.
Note that last sentence in particular: The fact that they’re taking away health insurance from people in states that vote for Democrats is a selling point. You’ll recall that Democrats, in contrast, wanted to help people in every state get insurance, no matter whom they vote for. This is truly contemptible.
A key nuance here: Some red states also lose out under Graham-Cassidy, and they happen to be the ones that are represented by some of the GOP senators who are still deciding whether they’ll support the bill.
* Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim report that the vote on Graham-Cassidy will probably take place next week, but nobody is sure yet whether it can pass.
* America’s Health Insurance Plans comes out hard against Graham-Cassidy, predicting that it will destabilize individual markets, slash Medicaid, and strip away protections for people with preexisting conditions.
* Sara Collins of the Commonwealth Fund looks at previous GOP bills and estimates that if the bill becomes law, 15-18 million people will lose coverage in the first year, and 32 million will lose coverage by the end of a decade.
* Aaron Blake notes some new polling that shows Trump supporters aren’t holding it against him that he’s willing to cooperate with Dems on the debt ceiling and protecting the “dreamers.” As we suspected.
* And Claire Atkinson reports that poor Sean Spicer is having a hard time turning his fame into a regular TV gig:
The big five news organizations have passed on offering former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer a job as an exclusive paid contributor, network sources confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday…
A number of network insiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their business relationships said none of the networks were interested in hiring Spicer because of a “lack of credibility.”
Who would have thought that spending months and months lying on behalf of Donald Trump would compromise your credibility?