The crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 proves that "Russia has lost control of the rebels," argues Julia Ioffe at the New Republic.
U.S. officials claim Russia is the only place from which rebels could have obtained machinery sophisticated enough to down a civilian jetliner. This idea prompted a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia on Thursday.
The rebels "have been complaining for some time of being abandoned by President Vladimir Putin," Ioffe writes. She speculates that the plane's crash isn't a coincidence:
There is no way that, a day after criticizing the recklessness of American foreign policy, his military shoots down a passenger plane. Rather, it seems that the rebels made a mistake that paints Putin into a corner. Putin hates corners, and when he's backed into one, he tends to lash out. He especially hates to do or say what is expected of him, and to give in to outside pressure. So though he has already expressed his condolences to the Malaysian government, don't expect him to do anything swift or decisive. He will likely do something to punish the rebels after the spotlight moves on to the next global crisis. [New Republic]
Even if the evidence does point to the rebels, it's unclear what the West could do to punish them, or to punish Russia for providing rebels with the capability for violence. "Putin has started something he can't finish, unleashing a dangerous force he no longer fully controls — nor does he seem to care to — and it's costing more and more lives," Ioffe says. Read the rest of her take over at the New Republic. Meghan DeMaria
President Trump is back to using his trusted personal cell phone to chat with outside advisers, and several White House officials told CNN it's either a sign that chief of staff John Kelly is losing his grip on Trump, or proof he's finally brought some semblance of organization to the chaotic administration.
One rose-colored glasses wearing senior official said Trump and Kelly have "grown into some level of comfort," and while there "used to be a level of babysitting," Kelly now no longer needs to know everyone Trump calls. Others say Trump is "talking to all sorts of people" on his cell, and he doesn't want Kelly to know who is on the other end of the line. Three people told CNN Trump is directly contacting Republican lawmakers, and Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has reportedly been bragging to his friends that thanks to Trump's phone, he has "unfettered" access to the president.
Kelly was able to keep tabs on the people Trump phoned via the White House switchboard because he received a printed list of the calls. One person told CNN "a lot of meetings, a lot of things have happened lately without Kelly being in the room," and two others said new National Security Adviser John Bolton and Larry Kudlow, Trump's fresh top economic adviser, have been told they directly report to Trump and not Kelly. For more on the current state of the Trump-Kelly relationship, visit CNN. Catherine Garcia
Statistically speaking, Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night, if you're someone close to President Trump, there's a "good chance" you're going to get raided by the FBI.
"At this point, even the kid who mowed the White House lawn is worried the FBI is going to kick in his door," Meyers said. First it was his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and this month, agents raided the home, office, and hotel room of Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is under investigation for potential bank and wire fraud. Everyone is talking about whether Cohen will flip on Trump, Meyers said, and Cohen "isn't saying Trump is innocent, he's saying, 'I would never rat him out.' It's just taken for granted that Trump did something illegal."
Trump's former attorney, Jay Goldberg, told The Wall Street Journal last week that he warned Trump about Cohen, noting, "The mob was broken by Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano caving in out of the prospect of a jail sentence." "If Sammy 'The Bull' flipped, you know Michael 'The Bulls—t' definitely will," Meyers joked.
As for Trump, he tweeted over the weekend that he's "always liked and respected" Cohen, and "most people will flip if the government lets them out of trouble, even if it means lying or making up stories." Meyers wasn't shocked by Trump's statement. "Of course Trump assumes most people would lie to get out of trouble because he's always lying to get out of trouble," he said. "If the feds put pressure on him there's a good chance he'll flip on himself." Watch the video below.Catherine Garcia
Both Democrats and Republicans have voiced their concerns over President Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, White House physician Ronny Jackson, and the Senate on Monday postponed his confirmation hearing, The Washington Post reports.
The White House and other administration officials were quickly notified of the postponement, the Post says. Jackson, a former combat surgeon, was set to testify in front of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs in two days.
Several lawmakers were concerned that Jackson does not have the experience to lead the VA, and took issue with how he managed the White House medical office, the Post reports. Two people told CBS News that the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs is looking into several allegations against Jackson, including that he drank excessively on the job, improperly dispensed medications, and created a hostile work environment. The last head of the VA, David Shulkin, was fired by President Trump in late March. Catherine Garcia
At least 20 people were killed when an airstrike hit a wedding party in northern Yemen, with the bride among the dead. The Monday airstrike in Hajja province was launched by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels.
Health officials told The Associated Press most of the dead were women and children who were standing under a tent. The groom and 44 others — including 33 kids — were wounded, with many suffering from shrapnel wounds or severed limbs.
This was the third airstrike to hit Yemeni civilians since Saturday, when a coalition airstrike killed 20 people on a bus in the western part of the country. Another airstrike that hit a house in Hajja on Sunday night left a family of five dead. The independent monitor Yemen Data Project estimates that of the 16,847 airstrikes to hit Yemen since the fighting started three years ago, a third of those strikes have hit civilian targets. Thousands of Yemenis have been killed in the war, which shows no sign of ending anytime soon. Catherine Garcia
On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn cannot appear on the June 26 primary ballot because the signatures his campaign gathered were invalid.
Five voters sued the Colorado secretary of state, saying that the 1,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot didn't count because they were gathered by petition circulators who did not live in the state. Lamborn hired a firm called Kentucky Enterprises to collect the signatures, CBS Denver reports, which were approved by the secretary of state on March 29.
Earlier this month, a lower court ruled against the plaintiffs, but they appealed, leading to the state Supreme Court decision. An attorney for Lamborn's campaign said he plans on appealing. A six-term congressman, Lamborn represents the conservative 5th congressional district. Catherine Garcia
Former President George H.W. Bush was admitted to a Texas hospital Sunday morning with an infection, his office announced Monday.
Bush, 93, is at Houston Methodist Hospital, and is responding to treatments for an infection that spread to his blood, his office said, adding that he "appears to be recovering." Bush, whose wife, Barbara, died last week at age 92, was at her funeral on Saturday. Catherine Garcia
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted on Monday 10-9 in favor of Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, becoming the next secretary of state.
After saying he would oppose Pompeo's nomination, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced right before the vote that he had changed his mind, following a conversation with President Trump. The full Senate will vote later this week. Catherine Garcia