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Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017 11:10 AM

By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Coats pressed on Trump pressure, terror threat

Get ready for your Tuesday power lunch with these talking points: A day after the Washington Post broke yet another sensational story that President Trump had approached him about pushing back on the FBI’s Russian collusion probe, and an ISIS sanctioned terror attack in Manchester, England, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee and was asked about the story. The Post reported: “Trump made separate appeals to … Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election. Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president. “The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official told the Post of the request to Coats.

Asked by Armed Services Chairman John McCain this morning if the Post report is accurate, Coats responded, “I need to spend a significant amount of time with the president discussing national security and intelligence. We discuss a number of topics on a regular basis. It’s not appropriate for me to comment publicly on any of that. I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize the discussions with the president.” Ranking Democrat U.S. Sen. Jack Reed asked Coats if he was aware of the investigations and if he supported them. Coats responded, “I think these investigations are in place to get us to the right conclusions so we can move on with a known result.” Former CIA Director John Brennan said possible coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign is "well founded."

McCain asked Coats about the gusher of leaks coming out of the White House. Coats responded, “Leaks have become a very significant, negative role relative to our national security. The release of information not only undermines confidence in our allies, but our ability to maintain secure information we share with them. It jeopardizes our sources. Lives are at stake.” Coats noted the U.S. faces a growing cyber threat, similar to the “Wanna Cry” malware that hit dozens of nations earlier this month. Coats said,  “ISIS is seeking to foster interconnectiveness, align their efforts to their strategy and withstand anti-ISIS actions.” He said that ISIS “continues to pose a significant terror threat overseas” and added “homegrown extremists will be the biggest threat in the U.S. They will persist with attacks occurring with little or no warning.”

2. DeVos comes to Indy to discuss vouchers

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos came to Indianapolis on Monday vowing that President Trump will offer “the most ambitious expansion of education choice in our nation’s history.” But there were almost no details. “We must acknowledge that the future is bleak for millions of students if we only continue to tinker around the edges with education reform,” she said. “We stand on the verge of the most significant opportunity we have ever had to drag American education out of the Stone Age and into the future.”
  • REP. YOUNG TO POST $1M FOR QUARTER: Just days before he makes a presumptive Republican U.S. Senate bid official, U.S. Rep. Todd Young scorched the fundraising circuit, preparing to post $1,024,908 for the second quarter (Howey, Howey Politics Indiana).

     

    HARRISON QUALIFIES FOR INDY MAYORAL BALLOT: Rev. Charles Harrison is now prepared to throw an interesting wrench into the Indianapolis mayoral race (Howey Politics Indiana). Allies of the United Methodist pastor filed more than 6,600 signatures to gain ballot access as an independent last week. Sources with the Marion County Voter Registration have confirmed 3,200 signatures, with another 150 pages yet to be counted, meaning Harrison qualifies for ballot access.

     

    DAILY WIRE RESENT DUE TO TECHNICAL GLITCH: We are resending today’s HPI Daily Wire due to technical glitches. We apologize for the inconvenience.

     

    SANDERS SURGE WORRIES CLINTON CAMPAIGN: The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing garnered by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there (New York Times).

     

    INDIANA TEACHER POOL DRYING UP; ‘POLITICIANS’ BLAMED: School leaders in south-central Indiana are reporting that the number of applicants they get for teaching positions has declined in recent years (Ladwig, Greensburg Daily News). They blame primarily state funding constraints, which depress teacher wages, and a blame-the-teachers mentality of politicians and the media, which is pushing teachers out of the profession and prompting fewer high school grads to consider teaching an attractive career. Budd said that the number of applicants has declined especially for math, sciences and foreign languages. “It has become a real struggle,” Budd said. “The pool of applicants is definitely dried up.”

     

    TEACHING LICENSES DOWN 88%: Annual state data reveal that the number of teaching licenses the state issues has fallen a whopping 88 percent in the last six years (Greensburg Daily News). According to the Indiana Department of Education, the state issued in the 2007/08 school year about 7,500 teaching licenses. In 2013/14, the most recent year for which data were available, the state issued just 934 licenses.

     

    GM REBUFFS FIAT/CHRYSLER MERGER: John Elkann, chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and scion of Italy’s Agnelli family, isn’t giving up on forging a partnership with General Motors Co. , despite being rebuffed by his Detroit rival twice in the past four years (Wall Street Journal).

     

    ZODY WANTS DETAILS ON CANCELED PORTER-NOVELLI CONTRACT: Indiana Democrats have sent the Republican Pence administration a formal request to release documents showing what the state got for its money when it hired a New York public relations firm to deal with the damage inflicted by a new religious objections law (Associated Press). Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said Monday that he wants Gov. Mike Pence's office to release contracts, messages and emails related to the agreement with Porter Novelli.

     

    HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: Hoosier taxpayers paid $365,000 to the New York PR firm Porter Novelli to repair the state’s post RFRA damage. We ought to be able to see what we paid for. Remember, Public Servants (this includes you, IEDC), you work for us, the taxpayers. - Brian A. Howey

     

    CLICK HERE TO READ TODAY'S FULL HPI DAILY WIRE.

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  • Speaker Ryan tabs Messer to head task force
    "Indiana has proven time and again that the best government is closest to the people it serves. Our states, cities and counties are the true engine for innovation in government. I'm excited to work on this Task Force to combat federal overreach and return power to states." - U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, who was appointed by House Speaker Paul Ryan to serve on the recently created bipartisan Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs, which is charged with working to restore the proper balance of power between federal, state and local governments. The Task Force will partner with state and local governments to determine where the federal government has overstepped, and come up with solutions to return control to states and local entities.
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  • The integrity of Director Coats
    That Dan Coats would spurn another attempt by President Trump to shut down the Russian collusion probe with his presidential campaign is not surprising. The Director of National Intelligence is known for his integrity. But Coats, along with other intelligence and White House officials, are now in untenable positions in this presidential viper’s nest. They are being asked to participate in what now appears to be an unprecedented conspiracy to thwart an investigation, with all the trappings of a developing obstruction of justice scenario. What is emerging are the markers of historic scandal that appears poised to bring down this populist presidency. And it is now ensnarling Hoosier public servants like Coats and Vice President Mike Pence. - Brian A. Howey, publisher
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Trump taxes

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