Another day, another scoop. Today’s comes courtesy of Peter Stone and Greg Gordon at McClatchy’s Washington Bureau, FBI investigating whether Russia funneled cash to NRA to aid Trump’s campaign. Will Pollock sums it up: “a hostile foreign power wants anarchy in America. @NRA: ‘come sit by me.’” John McQuaid points out that “The growing opacity of political money is something foreign governments can exploit to undermine national security. Seems like a problem.”
“Here’s a headline that was totally predictable,” says David Larter. Following their Oval Office sit-down with the president, Steve Holland, Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason of Reuters report that Trump says Russia helping North Korea skirt sanctions; Pyongyang getting close on missile. Daniel Dale noticed this: “Oh wow. Trump, in new interview, says Obama, Bush and Clinton must have left him the North Korea problem because they knew he had the best brain, as evidenced by his score on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.” John Hendrickson’s prediction: “We're gonna be at war by the end of the year.”
By the way, Michael Shear of The New York Times has the second opinion on that health screening: Trump’s Physical Revealed Serious Heart Concerns, Outside Experts Say.
Ed O'Keefe of The Washington Post reports that John Kelly calls some of Trump’s campaign pledges on immigration, wall ‘uninformed,’ meeting attendees say, and later, Trump pushes back on his chief of staff’s claims. Tyler Cralle is confused: “I can't, for the life of me, figure out what John Kelly was thinking? Is he trying to get fired, because this is how you get fired.” Kai Olson-Sawyer says it’s “Further evidence that no one knows who speaks for the US.”
Thomas Kaplan of The New York Times reports that Trump Upsets Republican Strategy to Avoid Shutdown. “Ok, nudge the big hand on the Doomsday Clock forward,” tweets Joe Gould.
Michael Grunwald offers “A little scoop on Mulvaney's new funding request for the @CFPB: Zero.” He links to his piece in POLITICO, Mulvaney requests no funding for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Link now working
Did you catch The Highly Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards? Eric Deggans has the summary: “Link now working on Trump's #FakeNewsAwards. He lists 10 mistakes media outlets made in reporting, then his final ‘award’ is a denial that he colluded w/Russia to win presidency. He's grooming the audience for his message. Obvious and crafty at once.” For his part, Justin Sablich says, “I really thought this one was going to be top 3... Just another classic Fake News Awards upset! Highly anticipated indeed!”
For a sobering take, be sure to read In a time of ‘Fake News Awards,’ here are 11 real, imprisoned journalists, from Rick Noack of The Washington Post.
An absolute mess
Here’s a “Great inside story on an absolute mess of a founder (who's about to be a billionaire anyway),” says John Edwards, who links to the new Bloomberg Businessweek cover, The Fall of Travis Kalanick Was a Lot Weirder and Darker Than You Thought, by Eric Newcomer and Brad Stone. Stone calls it “The last chapter (for now) of the Travis Kalanick saga at Uber.” But it’s got everything, as Erin Griffith notes: “for fans of the uber ‘peace room,’ i give you meditating drivers and shady consulting deals!” Shira Ovide describes the piece as the “Definitive tale of Uber's year of hell, by @EricNewcomer & @BradStone. The revolt came from inside the house.” And Noah Davis directs you to the “A+++ kicker.”
Nick Wingfield of The New York Times reports, Amazon Chooses 20 Cities as Finalists for New Headquarters, while CNBC puts it this way: Amazon narrows list of candidates for new headquarters HQ2 to 20, prompting this reaction from Jake Novak: “NARROWS?!? 20 is almost as big as the number of cities I’ve lived in!”
Much, much worse
An investigation by Kim Kozlowski of The Detroit News finds 14 on Michigan State staff — including MSU’s president — got warnings about Larry Nassar over 2 decades. Tweets Dashiell Bennett, “A Michigan State spokesperson says it's not appropriate to compare the Nasser case to Sandusky and Penn State. It's actually much, much worse.”
Come @ me
Business Insider’s Maxwell Tani would like you to Read the email the writer behind the Aziz Ansari sexual misconduct story wrote slamming an HLN anchor who criticized her. So...yeah. Gillian Brockell captures it: “tfw when you launch and torpedo your career in the same week.”
But that’s not why Luke O’Neil is “Taking a Lyft to the trauma unit.” Feast your eyes on ‘Vision, Chutzpah and Some Testosterone,’ in which The New York Times Editorial Board is devoting the editorial page to letters from Trump supporters. Erin Gloria Ryan wants to know, “Why would I pay to read this when I could read the YouTube comment section for free.” But Stuart A. Thompson says, “For some reason I really crave hearing from Trump supporters. Love when The Daily does it.” Adds Byron Tau, “I found reading these letters from Trump supporters very interesting and I'm glad the New York Times published them. Come @ me.” And Tom Davidson gives us this thought to chew on: “Imagine Fox News going liberal for a day?!?”
HuffPost’s big change
Chloe Angyal is calling it “The end of an era, and the beginning of an adventure. Today, we launch @HuffPost Opinion and @HuffPostPersonal.” HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen makes it official: Introducing HuffPost Opinion And HuffPost Personal. “Big change for HuffPost in ending contributor platform that’s been around since the start,” tweets Michael Calderone.
That’s right, “After 13 years of not paying its 100,000 freelance contributors, HuffPost is finally moving towards paid contributions,” as Tara Deschamps explains. Sydney Ember writes about the change in The New York Times, HuffPost, Breaking From Its Roots, Ends Unpaid Contributions. Taylor Lorenz thinks it’s a “Good step, I hope Forbes is next.” “ABOUT DAMN TIME,” tweets Rachel Adler.
A lovely, joyous, bittersweet elegy
Yesterday we told you that The Awl is ending. At the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino writes of The End of the Awl and the Vanishing of Freedom and Fun from the Internet. As she tweets it, “Here is my tribute to the Awl, the Hairpin, and all the people who tried to and briefly did make the Internet very good.” “What a lovely, joyous, bittersweet elegy for the Awl by @jiatolentino,” says Michael Luo “.@jiatolentino is the goal. For wit, style, insight, concision... Just read everything she writes,” urges Simran Hans.