👓 Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say | Washington Post

Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say by Devlin Barrett, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Sari Horwitz (Washington Post)
Mueller is interviewing senior intelligence officials as the Russia probe widens.
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👓 Where Countries Stand With Donald Trump: A Crib Sheet | The Atlantic

Where Countries Stand With Donald Trump: A Crib Sheet by Uri Friedman (The Atlantic)
The American president tells the man behind a brutal anti-drug campaign that he is doing a “great job.”

 

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👓 White House Discloses Ethics Waivers For Presidential Aides | NPR

White House Discloses Ethics Waivers For Presidential Aides by Peter Overby (NPR)
The White House Wednesday night released 14 ethics waivers — documents that exempt some top presidential aides from important ethics rules. The disclosures came after a quiet but tough battle between Trump administration officials and the Office of Government Ethics. The waivers are considered public documents but for weeks after President Trump took office, they weren't made public.

Whatever happened to “Drain the swamp!”? Not only has it apparently disappeared, but now we’re going against basic ethics rules to boot?!
“So sad. Incompetent.”

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📺 Charlie Rose May 19, 2017

Charlie Rose: Trump's first foreign trip; John Carlin, Remembering Roger Ailes, Adam Lindemann by Charlie Rose from PBS
Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group, and Michael Hanna, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, on Donald Trump's first foreign trip of his presidency. A discussion of Robert Mueller's special counsel appointment with John Carlin, the former assistant Attorney General for national security and Chief of Staff to Robert Mueller. Gabe Sherman and Jim Rutenberg reflect on the legacy of the late media titan Roger Ailes, known for launching Fox News in 1996. Adam Lindemann, an art collector and gallery owner who held the previous auction record for a Jean Michel Basquiat painting with his sale of Untitled (Devil) for $57.3 million last year.

I haven’t been following the deeper analysis of Trump’s Middle East trip, but Ian Bremmer’s pre-analysis here which I’ll synopsize as Trump is taking a cheese-puff trip to areas where he’s likely to be loved, adored, and appreciated (surprise!!) and which the US won’t really benefit from in the coming decades seems sadly correct. I suppose it’s better for him to focus on his vanity rather than destroying value.

I could have appreciated another 20 minutes on Ailes and analysis on his ongoing influence, but then again, it’s just as well to relegate him to the dustbin of history.

📺 Ivanka & Jared: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) | YouTube

Ivanka & Jared: Last Week Tonight by John Oliver from HBO
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner hold an incredible amount of political power. That's troubling considering their incredibly small amount of political experience.
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👓 Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador | Washington Post

Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador by Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe (The Washington Post)
President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.

For someone who always insists he doesn’t want to tell the “bad guys” what he intends to do, this is just sounds painfully inept.

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👓 An Open Letter to the Deputy Attorney General | New York Times

An Open Letter to the Deputy Attorney General by The Editorial Board (The New York Times)
Rod Rosenstein has more authority than anyone else to restore Americans’ confidence in their government.
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I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations | The Guardian

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations by Victoria Herrmann (The Guardian)
These politically motivated data deletions come at a time when the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average

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Donald, This I Will Tell You | New York Times

Donald, This I Will Tell You by Maureen Dowd (New York Times)
Donald, you said you could shake up Washington and make it work again. Instead, you’re the one who got worked over. 

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A judge blocks Donald Trump’s revised travel ban | The Economist

A judge blocks Donald Trump’s revised travel ban by S.M. (The Economist)
If Mr Trump’s executive order reaches the Supreme Court, it may find a friendlier reception

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The State of Trump’s State Department | The Atlantic

'They Really Want to Blow This Place Up': Scenes From Trump's State Department by Julia Ioffe (The Atlantic)
Anxiety and listless days as a foreign-policy bureaucracy confronts the possibility of radical change

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Trump Is Headed for a Budget Battle | The Atlantic

Trump Is Headed for a Budget Battle by Michelle Cottle (The Atlantic)
The new president is about to learn how difficult it is to get Congress to approve his spending priorities.


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Kushner and Flynn Met With Russian Envoy in December, White House Says | New York Times

Kushner and Flynn Met With Russian Envoy in December, White House Says by Michael S. Schmidt, Matthew Rosenberg and Matt Apuzzo (nytimes.com)(8 hours 15 minutes 9 seconds)
The president’s son-in-law and incoming national security adviser met with the ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, for 20 minutes at Trump Tower in December.

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