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June 19, 2017

On Sunday, President Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow, argued Trump's "I am being investigated" tweet does not, in fact, mean the president is being investigated. "There is not an investigation of the president of the United States, period," Sekulow insisted on NBC News.

On Monday, White House counselor and chief spinmeister Kellyanne Conway doubled down on that claim:

"That's the president's personal lawyer. He's saying that nobody has ever notified the president that he's under investigation," Conway said of Sekulow's comments in an appearance on Fox News. The tweet, meanwhile, was "the president responding to a Washington Post report that included five anonymous sources. And that's the president, in his 140 characters, through his significant social media platform, Ainsley, telling everybody, 'Wow, look at the irony here.'"

Conway and Sekulow appear to be referring to this Wednesday Post piece citing five unnamed sources reporting Trump is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice, a story with which Trump's tweet apparently agreed. If Conway is correct, however, the real story may be that our president is a subtle and accomplished ironist of the highest caliber. Bonnie Kristian

11:05 p.m. ET
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, has been recalled back to Moscow, three people with information on the situation told BuzzFeed News.

Kislyak has been embroiled in the FBI and congressional investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during and after the 2016 presidential election; President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have all failed to reveal meetings they had with Kislyak, and The Washington Post reported that Western spies intercepted Kislyak telling someone that Kushner wanted to open a backchannel with the Kremlin using Russian diplmatic equipment.

It's unclear when Kislyak, a former nuclear physicist, will head back to Russia, but BuzzFeed News found that the U.S.-Russia Business Council is hosting a bon voyage party July 11 at the St. Regis in Washington, D.C. It had been reported that Kislyak was going to run a new counterterrorism office at the Unitd Nations, but a veteran Russian diplomat is taking the spot instead. Catherine Garcia

9:58 p.m. ET

Anyone who checked the website of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Sunday morning would have been surprised to find a pro–Islamic State message.

The Ohio Department of Administrative Services said 10 state websites and two servers were affected, and law enforcement is investigating how they were hacked. Kasich's website contained a message that read: "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries. I love Islamic State." It also said the site had been "hacked by Team System Dz."

A spokeswoman for Kasich told Bloomberg that as soon as they heard about what happened, "we immediately began to correct it, and will continue to monitor until fully resolved." The New York Post reports that the same message, along with music, appeared on the website for the town of Brookhaven, New York, on Long Island. Catherine Garcia

9:21 p.m. ET
Juan Quiroz/AFP/Getty Images

A tourist boat carrying around 150 people sank near Medellin, Colombia, on Sunday, killing at least nine people and leaving dozens more missing.

The accident took place at the Guatapé-El Peñol reservoir, a popular spot for vacations. Witnesses told El Tiempo newspaper that the boat, named the El Almirante, broke apart, and the captain ordered the passenger to all go on one side. Rescued passengers also said they were not provided with life vests, and the boat was loaded to its maximum capacity. Two Guatapé residents told Blu Radio that about three months ago, the boat sunk while it was tied to a dock, with one saying "they fixed it and it kept working normally." Catherine Garcia

8:52 p.m. ET
Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

Takata, the Japanese air bag maker whose defective air bag inflators were responsible for at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Japan.

The company said most of its assets will be purchased by a Michigan-based rival, Key Safety Systems. Numerous lawsuits were filed over Takata's faulty inflators, which would explode with too much force and send shrapnel flying, spurring the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. Catherine Garcia

12:44 p.m. ET

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has announced that he'll vote "no" on the Republican health-care bill in its current form — but he doesn't want to cast that vote this coming week. "We don't have enough information," he said Sunday in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press. "I don't have the feedback from constituencies who will not have had enough time to review the Senate bill."

Johnson said he would like to delay the vote if possible. "I have been encouraging leadership, the White House, anybody I can talk to for quite some time, [saying] let's not rush this process," he continued. "Let's have the integrity to show the American people what it is."

The bill cannot pass the Senate if more than two GOP senators vote against it; at present, five Republicans say they will vote "no." Watch a clip of the interview below. Bonnie Kristian

12:17 p.m. ET

Republican supporters of the GOP legislation to replace ObamaCare are making promises they can't deliver on, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday on ABC's This Week.

"The fundamental flaw of ObamaCare," Paul argued, "was that it added regulations to insurance, mandates which made insurance more expensive, but then it also told individuals, 'You know what, if you don't want to buy now, you can wait and buy [insurance] after you're sick.'"

The problem with the GOP health-care bill currently under development in the Senate, Paul continued, is that it doesn't significantly change those flaws. "Ten of 12 regulations that add cost to insurance remain under the Republican bill," he said, "and we still say you can still by insurance after you're sick. If you add those two together, you still get the death spiral," which is a cycle of rising premiums and healthier people dropping insurance coverage until they get sick.

Too little change from current legislation is why GOP leadership has "promised too much," Paul argued. "They say they're going to fix health care and premiums are going to down. There's no way the Republican bill brings down premiums. ... It's a foolish notion to promise something you can't provide."

Of course, the libertarian-leaning senator's objections to ObamaCare and the GOP plan alike go beyond pragmatic considerations. "Shouldn't the individual in a free country be able to decide what they want for insurance?" he asked ABC host George Stephanopoulos. "The government shouldn't tell you what you have to buy for insurance." Watch an excerpt of Paul's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

11:46 a.m. ET

President Trump advocated bipartisanship while attacking his partisan opponents in a Fox & Friends interview Sunday. "One of the things that should be solved — but it probably won't be — is that Republicans and Democrats don't get together," Trump said. "And I'm open arms [to Democrats], but I don't see that happening."

Trump turned to the subject of the embattled GOP health-care bill currently under consideration in the Senate to expand on his point. "It would be so great if Democrats and Republicans could get together, wrap their arms around it, and come up with something that everybody's happy with. It's so easy," he continued. "But we won't get one Democrat vote, not one. And if it were the greatest bill ever proposed in mankind, we wouldn't get a vote."

From there Trump moved on to "the resistance," a name for the popular protest against his presidency. "That's a terrible word. Think of it: Their theme is 'resist.' Their theme should be, 'Let's get together. Envelop,'" Trump said. Apparently remembering the belligerent tone of his own campaign, he conceded "resist" is a good theme for winning an election, but maintained it is "terrible" for right now.

Trump also addressed The Washington Post's Friday article detailing former President Obama's inaction in response to Russian election interference in 2016. "The question is, if [Obama] had the information, why didn't he do something about it?" Trump asked. He suggested the media is suppressing the story while actively referencing the Post report, a widely publicized story in a major media outlet.

Watch Trump's comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian

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