A terrorist attack hit an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last night, and as Kevin Rawlinson and Alice Ross of The Guardian report in What we know so far, the explosion killed at least 22 people and left 59 injured. It was the deadliest terror attack to hit the UK since the 7/7 London bombings in July 2005. In her piece, From a balloon pop to a suicide bomb: witnesses in Manchester recount a night of horror, The Guardian’s Elle Hunt writes, “For the first milliseconds minds did not immediately connect the sound with an explosion or a bomb...Then confusion gave way to bewilderment, which in turn gave way to chaos.” ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, and The Associated Press is reporting that police say apparent suicide bomber set off blast. Jim Waterson of BuzzFeed shares, This Is Some Of The Fake News Circulating About The Manchester Arena Blast. Meanwhile, BuzzFeed’s Fiona Rutherford writes that The People Of Manchester Are Responding To The Concert Attack With Acts Of Kindness.
“If it's 6:26 p.m., it's time for breaking White House scoops,” as Katie Sanders points out, and yesterday’s came courtesy of Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post, who broke the story, Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence (23,000+ shares). Mustafa Tameez tweets, “Plot thickens. Not only did #Trump ask #Comey, also made same hustle w/ DNI & NSA Directors.”
But of course, there's more. We are, after all, in the midst of “SCOOP WARS!” as Steve Mullis puts it. At The New York Times, Mark Mazzetti and Matthew Rosenberg broke the news, Michael Flynn Misled the Pentagon About Russia Ties, Letter Says. They write, “The House letter, written by Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, was made public hours after Mr. Flynn formally rejected a subpoena from senators investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and chose to instead invoke his right against self-incrimination, a person familiar with his decision said.”
Yes, about that. Earlier in the day, as Emmarie Huetteman reported in The New York Times, Michael Flynn Rejected Order to Hand Over Documents (21,000+ shares). AP’s Ted Bridis shares Michael Flynn counsel's letter to Senate intelligence committee. Says Arik Hesseldahl, “Time to call this Flynngate.” Tweets Dan Pfeiffer, “This probably totally unrelated to Trump, who has the power of the pardon, telling Flynn to ‘Stay Strong.’”
Slumlord of Kushnerville
“Good morning to everyone except Jared Kushner,” tweets Noah Kulwin. In a new piece, co-published by The New York Times Magazine and ProPublica (Jared Kushner’s Other Real Estate Empire and The Beleaguered Tenants of ‘Kushnerville,’ respectively), Alec MacGillis reports on, as he tweets, “My dive into vast, overlooked Kushnerville, where tenants are pursued in court for yrs, even when they're in right.” “Journalism is better together. This time, from @nytimes and @ProPublica,” tweets Alexandra Mondalek. The piece reveals that “Jared Kushner turns out to be a lawbreaking slumlord,” as Matthew Yglesias puts it. Maggie Haberman tweets, “Staggering details of a Kushner subsidiary chasing wages from a single mom getting Section 8 housing.” And Erin Keane muses, “I wonder what advice @IvankaTrump has for these #WomenWhoWork.”
Julie Davis reports in The New York Times that Trump’s Budget Cuts Deeply Into Medicaid and Anti-Poverty Efforts (14,000+ shares). Daniel Dale says, “Trump's budget proposal is an assault on the safety net - deep cuts to food stamps, Medicaid, SSDisability.”
Also, “Before you believe the ‘Trump budget balances in 10 years’ claim, read this super clear @NickTimiraos piece,” tweets Richard Rubin, referring to Nick Timiraos’s reporting in The Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump’s Balanced Budget Goal Rests on Questionable Math. “Ah, here's very good story by @NickTimiraos on the double counting in Trump's budget,” says Binyamin Appelbaum. Fittingly, there’s an ice cream metaphor involved. “Are we talking 1 or 2 scoops though, we know this matters,” says David Wright.
New this morning, POLITICO’s Kenneth Vogel tweets that the “@FEC is investigating alleged Russian spending, & coordination with Trump team, in 2016 election.” He links to his piece, FEC member urges escalated Trump-Russia inquiry, which quotes Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People, one of the watchdog groups that filed the complaint that the FEC is investigating against Trump and Russia, who says, “this is possibly the single most important campaign finance investigation in the agency’s entire history.”
Also developing this morning, Greg Miller reports in the Washington Post that last year, former CIA Director John Brennan warned Russian security service chief about interference in election.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post's Robert Costa and Ashley Parker report that Trump is close to choosing outside counsel for Russia investigation. Tweets Costa, “Trump has been personally meeting with candidates, wants a legal team, not just one lawyer, per multiple sources.”
“This is not another obituary for Roger Ailes.”
“Monica Lewinksy writes about Roger Ailes, in what she says she hopes is ‘an obituary for the culture he purveyed,’” tweets Emily Steel, linking to the opinion piece by Monica Lewinsky in The New York Times, Roger Ailes’s Dream Was My Nightmare (9,500+ shares). Charles Arthur calls it a “Powerful piece,” and Melissa Radzimski tweets, “wow, i am barely blinking reading this Monica Lewinsky NYT op-ed.”
I mean, it’s one banana, Michael. What could it cost? 10 dollars?
How did Amazon accidentally squish the Seattle market for bananas? As Laura Stevens’s piece for The Wall Street Journal reveals, Amazon’s Latest Market Disruption: 1.7 Million Free Bananas. Tweets Stevens, “There's always money in the banana stand ... except in Amazon's case.” Tim Fernholz calls it an “Instant classic on Amazon's anti-competitive banana dumping.” Sarah Halzack highlights this: “There is a role at Amazon called ‘bananager’ and that fellow is, indeed, in charge of bananas.” As Stevens’s piece notes, “The response has been split.” Says Alex Fitzpatrick, “Amazon's giving away free bananas — but not everyone finds that apeeling.” Can you stomach one more? “This is bananas (don't kick me off Twitter for that corny joke),” tweets Cecilia Kang.
Making the rounds:
In USA Today, Richard Wolf reports on the 5-3 Supreme Court ruling that strikes down North Carolina maps for Congress (36,000+ shares).
The commerce secretary praises the lack of protest in a country where it’s punishable by death (19,000+ shares), Philip Bump writes in the Washington Post. Tweets Bump, “Wilbur Ross thinks it's swell that no Saudis risked a death sentence to protest someone who isn't their president.”
At The Daily Beast, Andrew Kirell and Asawin Suebsaeng talked to “nearly a dozen reporters, pundits, and hosts inside Fox News” and discovered, Fox News Staffers ‘Embarrassed’ by Hannity's Conspiracy Theory Crusade.
Turkey condemns U.S. over ‘aggressive’ acts against its bodyguards in D.C. during President Erdogan’s visit in Washington (11,000+ shares), Kareem Fahim reports in the Washington Post. “And down, down, down that rabbit hole we go,” says Michelle Cottle.
Former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore has died following a short battle with cancer.
And...a 16 square-foot sinkhole has opened up directly outside President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. Eleanor Roy has the latest for the Palm Beach Post.