Seriously though, is everyone OK? 

Muck Rack Daily

Seriously though, is everyone OK? 
August 24th, 2018 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

It’s astounding

Let's start today with Eric Marrapodi tweeting that the “Trump admin is creating obstacles to block refugees.” He’s referring to the story from Dan De Luce and Julia Edwards Ainsley at NBC News where ex-officials say the Trump admin is intentionally slowing FBI vetting of refugees.

Critics fear that Trump’s attacks are doing lasting damage to the justice system, Felicia Sonmez writes at the Washington Post. “Trump’s sustained attacks on the justice system - elevated today - have national security officials of all stripes worried,” Josh Dawsey wrote.

Critics also blasted Trump for endorsing a white nationalist conspiracy theory on South Africa. For more on the “dangerous and poisoned” scandal, turn to David Nakamura, John Hudson, and Isaac Stanley-Becker at the Washington Post. Brian Levin shared his own quote from the article: “Now we have an American leader parroting these talking points.. through cable news. It’s astounding, Levin said,...these messages — are taken like rocket fuel within this... white nationalist community.” John Hudson made a very interesting point: “Despite white nationalist rumor mongering, local police data show the number of people murdered on South African farms has dropped by half over the past two decades — from 140 in 2001-2002 to 74 in 2016-2017.”

And Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow broke the news at the New Yorker about The Conspiracy Memo Aimed at Obama Aides that Circulated in the Trump White House. Farrow tweeted: “The ‘echo chamber’ conspiracy theory about a war room of former Obama aides circulated at top levels of the Trump White House—and made its way into a covert campaign to undermine those aides by the Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube.” David Rohde pointed out the “2017 document that circulated in the Trump White House accused former Obama officials of undermining the incoming administration.”

More bad news for Trump 

Speaking of justice, Rudi Giuliani says Trump sought his lawyers’ advice weeks ago about possibly pardoning Paul “$15,000 ostrich jacket” Manafort. They counseled against it, the Washington Post reports.

Giuliani also implied that impeaching Trump would mean a “people's revolt,” according to Sky News.  

Manafort might not be pardoned, but David Pecker, the American Media Chief, Is Said to Have Immunity in the Trump Inquiry, based on what Jim Rutenberg and Rebecca R. Ruiz wrote at the New York Times. Frida Ghitis called it, “More bad news for Trump. Mr. National Enquirer got immunity because he has a tale to tell.” While Lauren Young looked at the bigger picture: “Seriously though, is everyone OK? Are you eating? Sleeping? Taking a quick walk around the block?”

If you’re wondering Why Michael Cohen Agreed to Plead Guilty—And Implicate the President, Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Nicole Hong, and Joe Palazzolo have an explanation at the Wall Street Journal. Amol Sharma put it another way, “Under pressure: The inside story of how Michael Cohen turned on his former boss.”

He certainly sounds like a mafia boss

For more on Trump, or “why The Donald sounds just like The Dapper Don (as in, Gotti, the mobster.)”–per Sheryl Gay Stolberg–we turn to Mark Landler at the New York Times. Lander writes With a Vocabulary From ‘Goodfellas,’ Trump Evokes His Native New York. Joe Mandese explains, “How The Donald became the Don. He certainly sounds like a mafia boss, acts like one too.”

Glenn Kessler filed Not just misleading. Not merely false. A lie at the Washington Post where he analyses the Michael Cohen revelation about Stormy Daniels and the money he says he paid the porn star. The “lie” in question is the “denial that Donald Trump knew about hush-money payments to silence women came four days before he was elected president” and all the others that came after it.

While all of this is going on, William K. Rashbaum at the New York Times reports that the Manhattan D.A. is Eyeing Criminal Charges Against the Trump Organization.

Exercise your rights

In Georgia, an elections consultant was fired after proposing to close “most voting locations in a majority African-American rural Georgia county,” according to Mark Niesse at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Greg Bluestein shared some good news: “The proposal to close 7 of 9 precincts in a majority-black rural county appears doomed. Says the Randolph County attorney: ‘I would be the most surprised person in Georgia if this passed.’ The vote is tomorrow…” While Susan Potter kept it real with this quote from the story: “The county is distressed because of the position they’ve found themselves in.”

If you’re going to go vote in south Florida, you must already know about U.S. House candidate Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera. For everyone else, she’s the Florida candidate who says an early childhood alien abduction doesn't define her, Curt Anderson writes at the AP.

At Reuters, Letitia Stein, Susan Cornwell, and Joseph Tanfani write how the progressive movement stirs Democrats. “Frustrated by a string of defeats at the polls, a progressive wing of the Democratic Party pushes a populist platform across the country. Amid wins and losses, the movement aims to reshape a party in flux,” Collin Eaton wrote.

And Lyft’s new Ride to Vote campaign wants to help voters “Exercise Your Rights.” The ride-share company points out that “over 15 million people cited transportation as their primary barrier to voting in the 2016 election.” So for 2018, they’re giving away 50% off promo codes to partners that encourage voter turnout and providing rides free of cost through nonpartisan, nonprofit partners like Voto Latino, local Urban League affiliates, and the National Federation of the Blind.

Trying really really hard

Lyft isn’t the only one preparing for the election in November. BuzzFeed News’ Kevin Collier reports that Tech Companies Are Gathering For A Secret Meeting To Prepare A 2018 Election Strategy.

You can also go Inside Facebook's Struggle to Moderate Two Billion People with the piece from Joseph Cox at Motherboard. “New: our extensive piece on how exactly Facebook designs, implements, and enforces the content moderation of its 2 billion users - ~two dozen interviews - Leaked docs - 7 execs - 5 sources who had off the record dinner with Zuck - sat in on policy meetings,” Cox tweeted. “Bad news everyone: Facebook is trying really really hard but it's still not working,”  Emanuel Maiberg added.

Then read about how Russian trolls are “spreading discord” on Twitter from Jessica Glenza at the Guardian. Specifically, this is about the recent news that the trolls are fueling the antivaccine #antivax lobby, Peter Hotez explains.



Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: Only two mammals are known to like spicy foods. Humans are one. What’s the other?

Answer: It’s the tree shrew, who’s been known to eat chili peppers. (Ed. note: We sincerely loved reading about all your dogs' spicy food diets.)

Congrats to Deirdre Blake‏ for being the first person to tweet the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is...While writing her first Bridget Jones book, author Helen Fielding admitted she mimicked and nicked stuff from which classic novel–one she’s said has “a very good plot.”

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack. We’ll announce the winners Monday!

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!

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