New York Times’ Fitzsimmons/Zeleny report that “a leader of the church” where Rep. Mark Kirk (R-10) “claims he worked as a nursery school teacher” said 6/18 “that he had overstated his role there.” Forest Home Chapel council member Sally Grubb said “Kirk had a limited role while working part-time in a work-study program while he was a student” at Cornell Univ. nearly three decades ago.
Grubb: “He was never, ever considered a teacher. He was just an additional pair of hands to help a primary teaching person.”
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“Eight longtime members of the church,” including two ex-pastors, said “that they did not recall having a male nursery school teacher” in ‘81. Ex-pastor Thomas Wolfe: “I don’t remember any men who worked there. It was a team of women. I used to go over every morning and have coffee with them.”
A review of public comments by Kirk “over the last decade shows that he has often referred to himself in speeches, campaign commercials and interviews as a former nursery, middle and high school teacher.” Kirk spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski: “Congressman Kirk believes his time working in a nursery school and middle school provided valuable life experience.”
“Grubb said that she had told a representative of the Kirk campaign of her concerns when the campaign contacted her” to try to verify Kirk’s time at the nursery. “She said she had spoken to the teacher who led what was then a play group that met in the church basement.” The teacher had a “vague recollection” of having him as a work-study student, “but she did not remember his name.” She added that Kirk “did not have major responsibilities at the play group, like creating lesson plans, and he was assistant who played with the children” (6/18).
MSNBC’s “First Read” asks “when is this going to end for Kirk?” Treas. Alexi Giannoulias (D) “may be a flawed candidate,” but his camp’s ability “to cut Kirk as many times as it has” shows the Dem “has a first-rate campaign” (6/21).
“Capitol Fax“‘s Miller reports that “a top labor official said he approached last week” for a 5K donation to help the Constitution Party pay petition gatherers to get on the ballot. “The advantages are many to getting that party on” the ticket, especially with Kirk’s “voting record and his veracity troubles” (6/21).
NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I) hosted a fundraiser for Kirk in NYC 6/19 (Haberman, Politico, 6/18). Giannoulias proposed “creating a huge construction fund to help modernize” the nation’s transportation systems 6/20. He said he would end “some tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies” to pay for the $45B fund (Wills, AP, 6/20).
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A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.