More fallout from Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian attorney: Shane Harris of The Wall Street Journal breaks the news, Russian Officials Overheard Discussing Trump Associates Before Campaign Began (34,800+ shares), in what Catherine Traywick calls “Another astounding scoop by @shaneharris.” He writes, “Investigators are re-examining conversations detected by U.S. intelligence agencies in spring 2015 that captured Russian government officials discussing associates of Donald Trump,” noting that the move was “prompted by revelations that the president’s eldest son met with a Russian lawyer last year.”
In an interview with Reuters’ Steve Holland, Trump says that he was unaware of son's meeting with Russian lawyer until “a couple of days ago,” and, as Stephen Coates tweets, “Trump tells Reuters all ‘political pros’ would have met a Russian lawyer to receive dirt on an opponent.” Also? “Trump says he pressed Putin on election meddling for 20-25 mins. ‘I said, did you do it? And he said no, I did not,’” notes Jordan Fabian. So there you have it.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Diamond of CNN has the Exclusive: Video shows Trump with associates tied to email controversy. The Associated Press is reporting, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman says he is asking Donald Trump Jr. to testify; will subpoena if necessary. And “In case you lose track of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails, they're on the new cover” of TIME, tweets Andrew Katz, of David Von Drehle’s feature, How Donald Trump Jr.’s Emails Have Cranked Up the Heat on His Family. He writes, “The most pressing question of our time might be: How bad is it?”
In other Russia news, NPR’s James Doubek reports, Justice Department Defies Court Deadline To Release Sessions' Contacts With Russians (19,800+ shares). And House Democrats want to know why a major Russian money laundering case was abruptly ‘dismissed,’ reports Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand.
The biggest controversy of all
Before we move on, let’s spend some time obsessing about The Correct Punctuation of Donald Trump, Jr.,’s Name, as Andrew Boynton writes for the New Yorker and which looks really odd. “We live in a golden age of aggro copy editing,” tweets Kyle Chayka, and Kevin O'Keeffe says, “oh my god I have a headache.”
This close...or not...
“We regret to inform you the Milkshake Duck overstated his credentials,” tweets Charlie Lindlar. So apparently, Twitter Guy Wants You To Think He Was This Close To Bringing Down The Trump Regime, writes Tom Ley for Deadspin; however: “The only problem is that this dude is full of shit!” Says William Turton, “it is always crazy to me how much obviously bullshit stuff goes viral and is promoted by journalists.” And Nora Biette-Timmons offers “alt title: People Who Tweet Good Are Probably Full of Shit.” But Nick Statt says, “Calling a writing professor who does freelance journalism a ‘viral grifter’ bc he tweets better than you is shitty.”
International man of mystery
“Ou est Jim?” asks Edward-Isaac Dovere, tweeting, “Good piece keeping track of whether Trump made up a friend on the campaign trail.” He links to the piece by Vivian Salama of The Associated Press, Trump in Paris: The curious case of his friend Jim. While it’s not clear whether or not Jim actually exists, Emily Katz notes, “this anecdote routinely KILLED me on the campaign trail.”
And now for some “FOIA scoop courtesy of the great @AmyJBrittain.” Ashley Parker links to State Department spent more than $15,000 for rooms at new Trump hotel in Vancouver (27,600+ shares), by Amy Brittain of The Washington Post. As Brittain tweets, “NEW: State Dept. spent $15K at Trump hotel in Vancouver when Don Jr., Eric and Tiffany visited for grand opening.” In other words, “As Trump children travel the globe promoting their brand, US gov't foots the bill for security at Trump properties,” tweets Jessica Lussenhop.
Brian Slodysko has the AP Exclusive: Senator profits from outsourcing he slams. “Dem @SenDonnelly hypocritically slammed Carrier Corp. for moving jobs to Mexico while his family business did same,” tweets John Cardillo. And Steven Shepard says, “Tough @AP story about Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection next year.”
In other breaking news this morning, as reported by Benjamin Weiser of The New York Times, Sheldon Silver’s Conviction Is Overturned. Tweets Erica Orden, “Wow. One of @PreetBharara's biggest cases, the conviction of Shelly Silver, has been overturned by 2nd circuit.” But Jimmy Vielkind notes that the once-powerful New York State Assembly speaker isn’t necessarily out of the woods, tweeting, “Prosecutors could bring new charges against Silver, who won an appeal because of faulty jury instructions.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Josh Chin reports, Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, Who Fought for Democracy in China, Dies at 61, writing that “Liu Xiaobo, who embodied the hopes of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement long after the protests were crushed, died in detention on Thursday after a battle with liver cancer.”
So how about “Some good news: Trump intervenes personally to get those Afghan robot-content girls visas,” tweets Blake Hounshell, referring to Trump intervenes to grant rejected Afghan girls entry to U.S. for robot contest, the scoop by POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi. In the meantime, though, POLITICO’s Eliana Johnson and Josh Dawsey report, Trump crafting plan to slash legal immigration.
“NPR management is in the midst of contract negotiations with NPR journalists and morale is in the dumps. #wemakenpr.” That’s Tamara Keith, linking to We Make NPR, a site supporting NPR’s SAG-AFTRA members. Poynter’s Al Tompkins has more on the NPR-SAG/AFTRA contract talks, in his piece, NPR-SAG/AFTRA contact talks are either ‘productive’ or ‘frustrating’ depending on who you talk with.
CBS News and BBC News join forces around the globe, as CBS News President David Rhodes and BBC Director of News and Current Affairs James Harding announce a new editorial and newsgathering relationship between the two networks.
Union group led by Eisendrath acquires Chicago Sun-Times, reports the Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout. Tweets David Montgomery, “A former alderman and a coalition of labor unions are about to buy the Chicago Sun-Times, beating out Tronc.”
“Mark Zuckerberg brings Fight Club rules to real America,” tweets Michael Bender, and Clare Foran explains, “The first rule of Mark Zuckerberg's cross-country tour to understand America is don't talk about it.” OK, one more: “The first rule of Facebook Club is you do not talk about Facebook Club,” tweets Harry Siegel. They’re referring to Mark Zuckerberg Hits the Road to Meet Regular Folks—With a Few Conditions, the story from Reid Epstein and Deepa Seetharaman for The Wall Street Journal. Tweets Epstein, “Facebook encourages people to share intimate details of their lives, but Mark Zuckerberg whereabouts are kept secret.” “boy howdy, it sure looks like zuck is running even if he insists he isn't,” says Casey Morell.
And finally today, the nominations for the 69th Annual Emmy Awards were unveiled this morning, and Maane Khatchatourian of Variety has all the details, Emmys 2017: Full List of Nominations. Spoiler alert: Variety tweets, “@HBO earns the most nominations for a network with 110 total nominations.”