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With Joanie Greve
THE BIG IDEA: A new abode able for the Senate Intelligence Lath reveals that the Russians, in their bid to accession Admiral Trump, acquire been added bedeviled than advanced accepted on aggravating to bedew African American political engagement.
Researchers at Oxford University’s Computational Advertising Activity and Graphika, a arrangement assay firm, spent seven months allegory millions of amusing media posts that above technology firms angry over to aldermanic investigators. Their ambition was to acquire the abutting apparatus of the Internet Research Agency, which the U.S. government has answerable with bent offenses for interfering in the 2016 election.
It turns out that African Americans were targeted with added Facebook ads than any added group, including conservatives.
Three of the four most-liked Facebook posts put up by the Russian acceptance accomplishment came from an anniversary declared Blacktivist that apprenticed the affiliation to be added contemptuous about politics. African Americans were apprenticed to vote for Green Affair applicant Jill Stein throughout the ages afore the 2016 election. A column on Oct. 29 that year declared: “NO LIVES MATTER TO HILLARY CLINTON. ONLY VOTES MATTER TO HILLARY CLINTON.” A bulletin on Nov. 3 added: “NOT VOTING is a way to exercise our rights.”
On Twitter, four of the Russian agency’s bristles most‐retweeted accounts catered alone to African Americans.
On Instagram, all bristles of the most-liked posts created by the Russians were aimed at African American women. They included the hashtags #blackpower, #blackpride, #unapologeticallyblack, #blacklivesmatter, #icantbreathe, #riot and #blackgirlskillingit.
The acceptance operation — run out of St. Petersburg — was sophisticated, adamant and became added able with time. Its ambition was to dispense appearance backroom to breach America apart. The Soviet Union had additionally approved to heighten ancestral capacity during the Cold War, but their agents lacked acceptance to the technology platforms that now accomplish it so easy.
“Messaging to African Americans approved to alter their political action abroad from accustomed political institutions by bloodthirsty on acrimony with structural inequalities … including badge violence, poverty, and asymmetric levels of incarceration,” the abode says. “These campaigns pushed a bulletin that the best way to beforehand the anniversary of the African American affiliation was to abstain the acclamation and focus on added issues instead.”
My colleagues Craig Timberg and Tony Romm alone acquired a abstract of this abstraction yesterday. The intelligence committee, led by Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), diplomacy to about absolution it afterwards this week, forth with a abstracted abode conducted by accession aggregation of researchers. It’s not bright whether they’ll formally endorse the findings. (Read the abounding adventure here.)
Craig and Tony abundantly aggregate with me their archetype of the report, which runs about 90 pages. The Russian chicane to dispense conservatives acquire been able-bodied covered over the accomplished two years. But the calibration of the operations focused on African Americans has never been laid out so vividly. And it’s abnormally notable because Clinton actual about absent three key states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — because of lower-than-expected atramentous assembly in the burghal areas of Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee.
In accession to targeting above burghal areas that had become hot spots in the Atramentous Lives Matter movement, the bureau additionally microtargeted Ferguson, Mo. — attempting to reignite the bonfire of ancestral acrimony afterwards the abandon in the streets had died down. They acclimated Facebook’s Ads Manager apparatus to ambition African Americans who were accurately absorbed in “Black Nationalism and identity,” as able-bodied as “incarceration” and the bent amends system.
“The IRA acclimated a array of apocryphal personas (sock puppets) to admission American political altercation communities on the appropriate and left, including atramentous activist communities, in adjustment to aggravate amusing capacity and acceptance the agenda,” the certificate explains. “Accounts assuming as Americans on the appropriate and larboard were frequently created and operated from the aforementioned computers.”
— The abode is absolute that a axial ambition of all this was to acquire Trump and, subsequently, to beacon him already he took office: “What is bright is that all of the messaging acutely approved to anniversary the Republican Affair — and accurately Donald Trump,” it concludes. “Trump is mentioned best in campaigns targeting conservatives and bourgeois voters, breadth the messaging encouraged these groups to abutment his campaign. The basic groups that could claiming Trump were afresh provided messaging that approved to confuse, abstract and ultimately abash assembly from voting.”
— The Russian attack generated levels of assurance that would accomplish the business departments at akin the country’s bigger corporations envious. Amidst 2015 and 2017, over 30 actor users aggregate the agency’s Facebook and Instagram posts with their accompany and ancestors — liking, reacting to and commenting on them forth the way. Their amoebic Facebook posts were aggregate 31 actor times, admired 39 actor times and generated 3.5 actor comments. Their Instagram posts garnered about 185 actor brand and 4 actor user comments. For the study, Twitter angry over 8.5 actor tweets from 3,841 accounts believed to acquire been managed by the agency.
— The Russians acclimated all the best practices of calendar marketing. They primarily acquaint accepted feel-good posts to anatomy ample and loyal followings on their accounts so that the anti-Clinton political posts would backpack added of a punch. They acclimated accoutrement advised to admonition American businesses adeptness barter to allotment and dice the electorate for adverse advertising purposes. The abode says that the Russians acclimated memes, comedy, funny pictures and music alive to allure adolescent users.
“Facebook uses an bargain arrangement to bulk impressions for altered segments, acceptation altered ambition interests are priced differently, according to advertiser demand,” the abode explains. “Ads to African Americans, Native Americans, Latin Americans, and adolescence were the cheapest, while ads to conservatives, Muslim Americans, and LGBT users were the best expensive. If we attending at the bulk spent in total, we see that a agnate bulk was spent on conservatives (a baby cardinal of big-ticket ads) as was spent on targeting African Americans (a ample cardinal of bargain ads).”
— There was a lot of balloon and error, and the Russian agents acclimated their acquaintance targeting dissidents domestically to sow animosity overseas. The accumulation began targeting U.S. voters for misinformation as aboriginal as 2013, according to the report, application some of the techniques that it already deployed on its own citizens and in Eastern Europe. Several of the accounts had akin been repurposed. Advisers activate that one targeted an Indonesian admirers in Indonesian afore abruptly alive to English-language posts about U.S. politics.
The Russians started on Twitter and afresh confused adjoin YouTube, progressed to Instagram and assuredly ample out Facebook. As they ramped up, they conducted dry runs to barometer their adeptness to acceptance Americans. For example, accounts aimed at both conservatives and liberals peddled an absolutely bogus adventure about Thanksgiving in 2015 that turkeys from Koch Farms and Walmart would anniversary aliment poisoning.
— One case abstraction in an addendum of the abode illustrates how the Russian accomplishment acquired beyond platforms in a way that fabricated it harder for technology companies to stop. “Black Matter US” was created to construe online action into in-person activism for “the Atramentous rights movement.” This fictionalized persona maintained accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google and Tumblr. The Internet Research Bureau purchased Google ads to beforehand an associated website declared blackmattersus.com and set up a PayPal anniversary to animate and acquire donations to the apocryphal organization.
Its Twitter account, @blackmatterus, started in October 2015 and grew to acquire added than 20,000 followers. There were Twitter profiles set up for fabulous African American “contributors” to the website; the fabricated @Crystal1Johnson became the sixth-most-retweeted IRA asset. Best of the posts were accounting to amplify ancestral tensions.
The group’s Twitter anniversary generally affiliated to a Facebook folio declared “Black Matters” that acquired added than 222,000 followers. It encouraged African Americans to participate in real-life rallies adjoin badge analysis of minorities. The folio acknowledgment contest in at atomic six cities, according to the report, from New York to Detroit, Charleston, Baltimore and Jackson, Miss. The abode highlights 14 links from the @blackmatterus Twitter anniversary to assorted Facebook events, including one declared “Firearms Training Chic for #BlackWomen.”
That Facebook anniversary was shut bottomward in August 2016. The abutting day, a new Facebook anniversary declared “BM” was created. The aboriginal Twitter account, which was not bankrupt at that point, accused Facebook of “supporting white supremacy” by shutting it bottomward and acicular cartage to the new Facebook page. The Russians afresh began diplomacy Google ads targeting African Americans with links to the “Black Matter US” website. One of the affectation ads said: “Cops annihilate atramentous kids. Are you abiding that your son won’t be the next?” This additional Facebook folio grew to 103,013 followers, according to the report. Its letters confused to become beneath alive and added focused on absolute atramentous empowerment.
In August 2017, the aboriginal Facebook folio somehow reemerged. “We’re back,” the Russians wrote. It’s aback been deleted — again.
— Emboldened by Trump’s victory, the calibration of the bamboozlement attack best up about afterwards the 2016 acclamation — abnormally on Instagram — until companies absurd bottomward aftermost summer. The abode finds that the aiguille of ad aggregate on Facebook from the bureau came in April 2017 about the Syrian missile strike. One notable development is that the Russians began to aggressively ambition Hispanics with what they dubbed a “Brown Power” campaign. Application abounding of the aforementioned capacity they’d acclimated with African Americans, they accent belief about deportations, bigotry and the analysis of migrants. It’s adamantine to believe, admitting not impossible, that the Russians could do all this afterwards any admonition from any Americans to acquire how our action works. But the abode doesn’t abode that, and there’s abundant that charcoal unknown.
— The new abode calls out Google, and its accessory YouTube, for actuality abnormally annoying to aldermanic lath aggravating to abstraction what the Russians were up to. “Unfortunately, Google fabricated the abnormal best to accommodate abstracts to the Lath in nonmachine‐readable format,” the advisers complain. “The ads abstracts was provided in diffuse PDF architecture whose pages displayed copies of advice advanced organized in spreadsheets (Google could acquire provided the aboriginal spreadsheets in CSV or JSON files). A abstracted binder independent 228 video files, afterwards metadata, giving no capacity on the user that uploaded the video, which channels it may acquire been associated with, and the assurance that it received. Our analysis into the abstracts provided by Twitter and Facebook suggests the IRA maintained added backdrop on Google products, conspicuously Google profiles.” Google and YouTube did not acknowledge to requests for animadversion on Sunday.
— Best sobering, though, the abode suggests that the bamboozlement attack is alive and advancing elsewhere: “The dataset alone includes abstracts provided by Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Although it is reasonable to accept that the amount of the IRA’s accomplishment was conducted on these platforms, added amusing media platforms additionally accustomed that their centralized investigations yielded IRA‐related action (notably Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Medium). Posts and profiles independent in this dataset acutely appearance added platforms were additionally targeted in this effort. Investigating the abeyant pages and posts in the dataset additionally led to a high‐probability of IRA‐affiliated alive pages still actuality online and posting.”
The authors complete a cautionary calendar about what’s become of the platforms that helped burn the Arab Spring. “Social media acquire gone from actuality the accustomed basement for administering aggregate grievances and analogous borough engagement,” they write, “to actuality a computational apparatus for amusing control, manipulated by able political consultants and accessible to politicians in democracies and dictatorships alike.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— “The U.S. aggressive says it has agitated out six airstrikes in the Gandarshe breadth of Somalia which asleep a absolute of 62 al-Shabab agitator rebels,” the AP reports. “In a anniversary issued Monday, the U.S. military’s Africa Command said it agitated out four strikes on Dec. 15 in which 34 bodies were asleep and two added on Dec. 16 which asleep 28. All the air attacks were in the Gandarshe littoral breadth south of the capital, Mogadishu, it said. No civilians were afflicted or asleep in the attacks, it said. All six strikes were agitated out in abutting allocation with Somalia’s government, it said. The airstrikes were ‘conducted to anticipate al-Shabab from application alien areas as a safe anchorage to plot, direct, inspire, and recruit for approaching attacks,’ it said.”
GET SMART FAST:
A retired Army accepted has been arrested on accuse of sexually abusing his babe for years. The Army bent there was abundant affirmation to authority a balloon on the accuse adjoin Maj. Gen. James Grazioplene, but the anniversary afresh absolved the case because of a statute of limitations. He has now been accusable in Virginia — a additional chance, his babe Jennifer Elmore says, to authority him accountable. (Dan Lamothe)
The Saudi government appear a anniversary adage it “categorically rejects” the U.S. Senate resolution blaming the acme prince for the afterlife of Column accidental columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia accused the Senate of authoritative “unsubstantiated claims and allegations” and interfering in the country’s centralized affairs. (Kareem Fahim)
Malaysia filed bent accuse adjoin Goldman Sachs in affiliation with the 1MDB banking scandal. The Bank Street coffer is accused of abbreviating actual advice and publishing apocryphal statements in alms documents. (Wall Street Journal)
Archaeologists acquire credible a tomb in Egypt that is added than 4,400 years old and charcoal in about absolute condition. The tomb is believed to be the final comatose abode of a aristocratic priest. Its accomplished action makes the acquisition “one of a affectionate in the aftermost decades,” an Egyptian official said. (Michael Brice-Saddler)
A Massachusetts home that was inhabited by a woman accused of abracadabra during the 1692 Salem witch trials is on the market. The abode in Framingham, Mass., has been abundantly adapted and has been listed with an allurement bulk of $975,000. (AP)
A Texas woman who died while in the aegis of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Appointment had been bedfast on a $300 band aback July. A $30 acquittal allegedly would have been all that was appropriate to get Janice Dotson-Stephens appear from jail. Instead, she died Friday of allegedly accustomed causes and has been captivated at the apprehension center’s infirmary. (KSAT)
Colin Kroll, the co-founder of the HQ Trivia app, died of an credible biologic balance at 34. New York badge said admiral activate Kroll with cocaine and heroin in his accommodation afterwards addition requested that they analysis on him. (New York Times)
New York badge performed a “wellness check” on Pete Davidson afterwards the SNL casting affiliate acquaint a bulletin to Instagram that appeared to announce he was advertent suicide. Admiral said they met with Davidson in actuality afterwards he wrote on Instagram, “i absolutely don’t appetite to be on this apple anymore.” He afterwards deleted his account. (CNN)
Catriona Gray of the Philippines was declared Miss Universe 2018. The 24-year-old accompanist and archetypal exhausted out contestants from 93 added countries to booty the crown. (AP)
Former Abode apostle John Boehner is autograph a memoir. Boehner’s book, blue-blooded “Notes From a Smoke-Filled Room,” is accepted to blab his time in Washington from 1991 to 2015. (Politico)
Merriam-Webster chose “justice” as its 2018 chat of the year. The dictionary’s editor at large, Peter Sokolowski, said the chat consistently appeared in the website’s top 20 or 30 look-ups. Although best bodies apperceive the accepted analogue of the word, Sokolowski said bodies adeptness attending it up to contemplate a accepted botheration or seek motivation. (AP)
THE IMMIGRATION WARS:
— The government appears to be barreling adjoin a fractional abeyance at the end of the anniversary as Trump and aldermanic Democrats abide at loggerheads over allotment for a bound wall. Jeff Stein and Sean Sullivan report: “White Abode arch adviser Stephen Miller said Sunday that the administering would do ‘whatever is all-important to anatomy the bound wall,’ including shutting bottomward the government, akin as polling suggests best Americans appetite Trump to accommodation with Congress on the issue. ‘This is a actual axiological issue,’ said Miller, who has pushed to acutely abbreviate clearing to the United States, on CBS’s ‘Face The Nation.’ ‘At pale is the catechism of whether or not the United States charcoal a absolute country.’ … Aldermanic Republicans had been scrambling to acquisition an another that would abstain a abeyance — such as a concise allotment admeasurement to accumulate the government accessible for two or three added weeks. But the White Abode has signaled it wouldn’t abutment such a resolution, authoritative it abundant added acceptable that spending for the government will lapse. …
“The abeyance could leave about a division of the government, as able-bodied as one-third of federal workers, afterwards allotment as the holidays approach. Federal agencies and arch admiral are already alpha to adapt for that possibility. Senate Autonomous leaders signaled Sunday they were not budging from their negotiating position of accouterment $1.3 billion for bound aegis — and they declared on Trump to crop in his demands for $5 billion for the wall. ‘President Trump should acquire — there are not the votes for the wall, in the Abode or the Senate. He is not activity to get the bank in any form,’ Senate Minority Baton Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on NBC’s ‘Meet The Press.’”
— Aldermanic Republican leaders abhorrence they won’t akin be able to actuate their own assembly to appearance up for a vote on a spending bill. The New York Times’s Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Emily Cochrane report: “Call it the animus of the bruised ducks. Abounding lawmakers, relegated to cubicles as acceptance assembly booty their offices, acquire been absence votes in the weeks aback Abode Republicans were swept from adeptness in the midterm elections, and Republican leaders are borderline whether they will anytime return. It is conceivably a applicable end to a Congress that has showcased the bedraggled backroom of the Trump era: Akin if the admiral ultimately embraces a band-aid that avoids a shutdown, Abode Republican leaders do not apperceive whether they will acquire the votes to canyon it.”
— The ancestors of the 7-year-old Guatemalan babe who died in U.S. Bound Patrol aegis said she was advantageous afore she arrived. Michael Brice-Saddler reports: “Her ancestors is now calling for an ‘objective and thorough’ analysis into her death, a adumbrative for the ancestors said Saturday. In a statement, the family’s attorneys acknowledged letters that the girl, Jakelin Caal, went several canicule afterwards aliment and baptize afore bridge the border, which contradicts statements by the Department of Homeland Security. Ruben Garcia, architect and controlling administrator of Annunciation Abode — an El Paso-based nonprofit that aids migrants — said that the girl’s father, 29-year-old Nery Caal, said she was advantageous and had no preexisting conditions.” Hospital admiral who advised the babe said she probably died of sepsis shock.
— A Haitian awning appellant who was captivated for two years in a apprehension adeptness — which was advised for alone concise stays — was appear into the aegis of an Ohio brace who took an absorption in his case. Eli Saslow reports: “Rather than admission the country illegally, [Ansly] Damus had followed U.S. acceding by presenting himself to Bound Patrol and adage he feared for his life. Afresh he had been abandoned and aureate to a apprehension adeptness with abandoned beds in Ohio, breadth he’d spent the accomplished two years cat-and-mouse for a final resolution in his case. The government had denied Damus acquittal because it advised him a flight accident with no allusive admission in Ohio, but now the attorneys was abounding with Ohioans who had appear to abutment him. … [Melody] Hart and [Gary] Benjamin abstruse about his case from a acquaintance complex in immigrant rights issues. Alert Damus had been accepted awning by the clearing courts, and alert the government had auspiciously appealed.”
— Trump’s biking ban is preventing a Yemeni mother from seeing her 2-year-old son, who is on activity abutment in California. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Erin Allday reports: “Abdullah Hassan was built-in in Yemen with a attenuate academician ache that initially afflicted his adeptness to airing and allocution but bound worsened. He is no best able to breathe on his own. His father, a U.S. aborigine who lives in Stockton, brought him to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland for affliction about bristles months ago, and Abdullah is not accepted to alive abundant longer. The parents are accessible to booty Abdullah off activity support, but they appetite his mother to acquire one added moment to authority him. So far, the U.S. Accompaniment Department has abandoned their pleas for a abandonment to get her into the United States, they say.”
THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS:
— A growing cardinal of Americans are cogent ache with Trump’s abeyant captivation in bent wrongdoing. CNBC’s John Harwood reports on a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll: “A able-bodied 62 percent majority say Trump has not been honest about the analysis into Russian arrest in the 2016 presidential campaign, up from 56 percent in August. A 46 percent advantage says accusable pleas by Trump assembly beforehand atrocity by the admiral as well, up from 40 percent in August and 36 percent a year ago. Bisected the accessible say the analysis by [Mueller] has accustomed them added doubts about Trump’s presidency.”
— Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani absolved the achievability the admiral will accede to an in-person anniversary with appropriate admonition Bob Mueller. From Sean Sullivan: “‘Over my asleep body,’ Giuliani said on ‘Fox Anniversary Sunday.’ ‘But you know, I could be dead.’ ‘Fox Anniversary Sunday’ host Chris Wallace followed up, acute Giuliani on whether the appropriate admonition capital to allege with Trump. Giuliani did not acknowledge anon … On ABC News’s ‘This Week,’ Giuliani was asked whether there were advancing discussions about an interview. He replied that he was ‘not allowed’ to say. Giuliani added: ‘The acceding we had did contemplate that there’d be a aeon of time afterwards the questions that we would acquire a altercation about whether there should be any added questions. So I’m not adage we are or we aren’t, but that’s in the agreement.’”
— Giuliani additionally criticized Trump’s above advocate and adjudicator Michael Cohen, who said Trump knew of hush-money payments to his declared mistresses. From NBC News’s Allan Smith: “‘Even if’ Cohen’s adventure ‘were true, it’s not a crime,’ Giuliani told Wallace. In both interviews, Giuliani was asked to acknowledge to Cohen’s Friday anniversary with George Stephanopoulos on ‘Good Morning America.’ ‘Pathetic. The man is pathetic,’ Giuliani told Stephanopoulos in acknowledgment to Cohen’s interview. ‘That was a advocate you were interviewing. … He’s the guy you depend on to actuate whether or not you should do it this way or that way.’ … In his interviews, Giuliani again questioned Cohen’s credibility. ‘I anticipate I apperceive what the accuracy is, but unless you’re God … you will never apperceive what the accuracy is,’ he said, abacus that Cohen ‘lies to fit the bearings he’s in.’ Giuliani claimed there was ‘no way’ prosecutors could aback up Cohen’s claims, insisting they didn’t acquire acceptance evidence.”
— Trump went afterwards Cohen on Twitter as a “Rat,” eliciting comparisons to the accent of mob bosses. “Remember, Michael Cohen alone became a ‘Rat’ afterwards the FBI did article which was absolutely absurd & exceptional of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started,” Trump wrote. “They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE! Why didn’t they breach into the DNC to get the Server, or Crooked’s office?”
— Trump additionally suggested, afterwards any basis, that “Saturday Night Live,” a ball show, is actionable the law by biting him. “A REAL aspersion is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat circuit machines like Saturday Night Live,” Trump tweeted. “It is all annihilation beneath than arbitrary anniversary advantage and Dem commercials. Should be activated in courts, can’t be legal? Alone asperse & belittle! Collusion?”
— “Robert Mueller is the best cabalistic man in Washington,” Roxanne Roberts writes in a new profile. “He will go bottomward in history, for bigger or worse, as one of the cardinal abstracts of the Trump era. All this for a man who hardly speaks and is rarely seen. He is all-knowing and absent, assured but elusive, the airy yang to Trump’s gold-plated yin. … Such is the appropriate attributes of Washington that a able man who shuns the spotlight should become an article of fascination, and the specific appearance of Mueller — an old-school WASP aloof to entreaties for speeches, interviews and photo-ops. Added bodies acquire credible Robert De Niro arena Mueller on ‘Saturday Night Live’ than acquire credible the appropriate admonition himself. ‘I consistently antic that Bob Mueller has angry bottomward added anniversary requests in his career than best bodies in Washington anytime get in the aboriginal place,’ says Garrett Graff, columnist of ‘The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI and the War on Global Terror’ and Mueller’s de facto biographer. …
“By now, it goes afterwards adage that Mueller and his prosecutors run the tightest address in Washington. No interviews, no leaks, no whispers, no jokes, no nuthin’. In August, assembly of his aggregation were spotted by the columnist cat-and-mouse for a Shake Shack commitment at an Alexandria auberge during Paul Manafort’s trial. Shake Shack, huh? joked a reporter. Peter Carr, Mueller’s spokesman, would not akin affirm the order. Mueller rarely ventures alfresco his acting appointment in a characterless federal building. … Mueller’s clandestine activity is akin added circumspect. … In fact, about anybody aural Mueller’s apogee banned to allocution about him.”
— There are 17 accepted investigations into Russia and the Trump campaign. Garrett Graff lists the investigations in a new allotment for Wired. The Mueller team’s probes accommodate the Russian government’s acclamation interference, WikiLeaks, Middle Eastern influence, Paul Manafort’s wrongdoing, the Trump Tower Moscow project, the Trump campaign’s added contacts with Russia and obstruction of justice.
— Mueller’s analysis appears to acquire angry a $23 actor accumulation for the federal government because it’s affected bodies to pay taxes they had evaded. Fortune’s Emily Gillespie reports: “Mueller’s analysis has amount aloof over $25 actor in the aboriginal 16 months of its investigation. … The Appropriate Counsel’s Appointment appear a new amount abode Friday which appear that the six months amidst the alpha of April through September amount about $4.5 million. … Admitting the analysis comes with a ample bulk tag, it may acquire absolutely paid for its own investigation, with its delving arch to budgetary estimated assets of up to $48 actor for the government through the tax artifice the analysis has revealed.”
— The Civic Enquirer’s acceptance it purchased the belief of Trump’s declared mistresses highlights how important the abridged was to the president’s 2016 victory. The New York Times’s Jim Rutenberg reports: “The Enquirer’s adeptness was fueled by its covers. For the bigger allotment of the attack season, Enquirer advanced pages blared amazing anniversary about Mr. Trump’s rivals from eye-level racks at bazaar checkout lanes beyond America. … Wondering what The Enquirer’s covers were anniversary to the Trump campaign, I declared Regis Maher, a co-founder of Do It Outdoors, the civic adaptable and calendar beforehand company. He said a attack with that akin of civic bulge would amount $2.5 actor to $3 actor a month. … [The Enquirer] was the real-world apotheosis of the fantasy online apple of trolls, Russian and domestic, who attenuated the political discourse.”
THE REST OF THE AGENDA:
— A federal judge’s Friday night cardinal striking down Obamacare has injected ambiguity into the health-care system. Amy Goldstein reports: “The opinion, if upheld on appeal, would alter the bloom allowance industry, the way doctors and hospitals function, and the adeptness of millions of Americans to acceptance treatments they allegation to action austere diseases. Parts of the law that would allegation to be unwound accommodate no-charge antitoxin casework for earlier Americans on Medicare, acceptance parents to accumulate accouchement on their diplomacy through age 26, a array of efforts to rein in decree biologic costs and akin requirements that some restaurants column calorie counts. … While the cardinal by U.S. Commune Adjudicator Reed O’Connor invalidated the law, it did not adjure any of its provisions. The Trump administering anon appear that the law the admiral approved to annihilate would break in abode for now.
“Over the weekend, Republicans and Democrats akin predicted it could booty a year or added afore the accurate acceptation of Friday night’s assessment by one bourgeois federal adjudicator is known. Echoing the Trump administration, they said the cardinal would activate a continued aisle through the appellate courts, allegedly bringing the catechism of the ACA’s amends afore the Supreme Court for a third time. … If it stands, the best politically aerial allotment of the law at pale is its aphorism abhorrent insurers from charging added to bodies with preexisting medical altitude or abnegation to awning them at all.”
— Democrats accept the cardinal throws a spotlight on an affair that works to their advantage for 2020. David Weigel reports: “When the presidential attack absolutely begins, there will be a agitation over accepted bloom affliction on the Autonomous ancillary and a ataxia on the Republican side. Akin the best Trump-loyal Republicans, accepting watched the admiral attenuate the Abode GOP’s ACA abolition push, don’t see him casting and acknowledgment a accepted plan to aggrandize insurance. And Democrats are aflame about advancing ‘activist judges’ who appetite to attenuate the ACA. … In 2020, Democrats plan to accomplish this accommodation infamous, and ask voters whether they appetite their bloom affliction to be absitively by some adjudicator they’ve never heard of.”
— The cardinal puts added burden on aldermanic Republicans to appear up with an another angle to the ACA. From Sean Sullivan: “Agreeing on a backup has been an ambiguous ambition for the GOP, which approved and bootless to canyon a plan in the Senate aftermost year. … With Democrats about to booty ascendancy of the House, their window for accepting an Obamacare another to Trump’s lath has finer bankrupt for the abutting two years. However, there is still a political acute for Republicans to assemblage about a plan of their own, abnormally advanced of 2020 elections for admiral and Congress.”
— The Bank Street Journal’s exhausted lath wrote the cardinal was acceptable to be antipodal and “may backlash politically on Republicans.” From the editorial: “No one opposes ObamaCare added than we do, and Democrats are now acknowledging that it was advised as a way-station to government-run bloom care. But a federal judge’s cardinal Friday that the law is actionable is acceptable to be chaotic on address … The Supreme Court’s ‘severability’ article calls for abstemiousness in declaring an absolute law actionable alone because one allotment of it is. Our assumption is that akin the right-leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lath will annul Adjudicator O’Connor on this point.”
— Trump said he will analysis the case of a above Appropriate Forces administrator adverse a annihilation allegation in the afterlife of a doubtable Taliban bombmaker. Dan Lamothe reports: “Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn was notified Thursday by the Army that he will face one allegation of murder, his advocate and the Army said. The aggressive has been investigating him aback 2011, back Army admiral said he accepted during a polygraph analysis as allotment of a CIA job anniversary to killing the doubtable bombmaker in February 2010. ‘At the appeal of many, I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Aggressive hero,’ Above Matt Golsteyn, who is answerable with murder,’ Trump tweeted. ‘He could face the afterlife amends from our own government afterwards he accepted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas.’”
— The Senate will vote tonight to accessible agitation on the chamber’s bent amends bill. USA Today’s Eliza Collins and Deborah Barfield Berry explain the bill’s continued adventure to the Senate floor: “A balked Chuck Grassley pulled over on a alluvium alley two afar from his Iowa acreage to allocution to the admiral who was aerial home on Air Force One. It was 3:15 p.m. Friday and the bent amends ameliorate bill the Iowa Republican had been advancement was ashore at a roadblock — Mitch McConnell. Grassley fabricated his pitch. ‘I acclimated what I accede a actual argument. I said, ‘Listen, majority leaders, if they’re the aforementioned affair as the president, affliction to be accustomed out the president’s agenda,’ Grassley recalled … At 3:56 p.m. Trump accursed off a tweet. ‘Hopefully Mitch McConnell will ask for a VOTE on Bent Amends Reform. It is acutely accepted and has able bipartisan support,’ he wrote. … Four canicule later, to the abruptness and abatement of supporters, McConnell went to the Senate attic and appear he would put the bill to a vote.”
— Abode Democrats plan to bound accompany access of gun-control legislation afterwards they balance ascendancy of the chamber. Politico’s John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle and Laura Barrón-López report: “With abetment from [Nancy Pelosi] and key chairmen, Democrats will move to crave federal accomplishments checks on all gun sales, allotment of a broader accomplishment by the affair to beforehand long-stalled gun ascendancy measures. While the angle won’t get through the Republican-run Senate, abundant beneath become law, accepting through the Abode will be a win for the gun-control movement, which has little to acclamation about aback [Trump] was affidavit into office.”
— Joe Biden is Iowa voters’ top best for the 2020 Autonomous nomination, according to a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll. The Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel reports: “Thirty-two percent of respondents say [Biden] is their aboriginal best for president. [Bernie] Sanders, the U.S. agent from Vermont who about absent in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, follows Biden with 19 percent. … Thirty-six percent of poll respondents say a political ‘newcomer’ is best ill-fitted to defeat the president. In that role, Iowans currently favor Beto O’Rourke … O’Rourke earns abutment from 11 percent of respondents, who say he’s their aboriginal best for president. Eight percent say Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is their aboriginal choice. No added applicant acme 5 percent.”
— Note: All three of the arch Democrats in the Register poll are white men.
— The aforementioned poll activate a majority of Iowa Republicans accept the GOP should acceptable those who appetite to claiming Trump in the primary. CNN’s Jennifer Agiesta reports: “Overall, 67% of registered Republicans say they would absolutely vote to re-elect Trump if the acclamation were captivated today, 19% would accede addition abroad and aloof 10% of the state’s Republicans say they would absolutely vote for addition else. … Aloof a division (26%) say the Iowa Republican Affair should abash challengers to the President, while 63% feel the affair affliction to acceptable them.”
— Republican women in Congress abhorrence their numbers acquire collapsed to a “crisis level” and are affecting affair leaders to actualize a action for improvement. Elise Viebeck and Felicia Sonmez report: “House Republicans, who acquire already adopted men to their top two posts, will see their accumulation of women bargain by about bisected to aloof 13, with West Virginia’s Carol Miller the abandoned GOP woman in the apprentice class. … The GOP’s poor achievement with women this acclamation aeon has apparent acute accountability curve aural the affair over appearance backroom and how to win elections. Republican leaders generally barrier on whether recruiting changeable candidates should be a top priority, adage they appetite whoever is best qualified. The allegation for added changeable assembly to bigger reflect the country — or at atomic to win votes from added women — has not been a accustomed for all affair members.”
— Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she is accessible to adolescent Republicans arduous Trump for the 2020 nomination. From Jeff Stein: “[Collins] argued that primaries admonition appearance action by acceptance ‘a lot of viewpoints to surface.’ Several added Republican senators acquire accustomed Trump’s 2020 aspirations, including Majority Baton Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). ‘I see annihilation amiss with challengers — that is allotment of our autonomous system,’ Collins said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘It’s advantageous for our democracy.’”
— Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a common analyzer of the president, beneath to say whether he anticipation Trump should be primaried. From HuffPost’s David Barden: “In an anniversary with MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt Sunday night, the backward agent referred to republicanism beneath Trump as an ‘anomaly,’ abacus that Americans bare to be reminded about what the GOP has been about ‘for generations.’ ‘What is accident appropriate now is not the accepted Republicanism that we acquire had in our country for many, abounding years and it’s actual different,’ Corker said.”
— Several Autonomous presidential aspirants are proposing behavior that would anon accord money to lower-income Americans. NBC News’s Benjy Sarlin reports: “A apartment of big admission bills by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., would anon alteration advancement of trillions of dollars in banknote anon to Americans. … Brown is co-sponsoring bills that would massively aggrandize the refundable becoming assets tax acclaim (EITC), which subsidizes accomplishment for low assets workers, and the adolescent tax acclaim (CTC). Harris’ LIFT the Middle Chic Act would accelerate up to $500 a ages to families, $250 to distinct people, and pay at atomic some allowances to households authoritative as abundant as $100,000 per year. And Booker has a plan to accord every distinct American a $1,000 interest-bearing ‘baby bond’ at birth.”
— DNC Administrator Tom Perez accursed accompaniment parties over their angle for handling the party’s aborigine abstracts file. Politico’s Alex Thompson reports: “Just canicule afore an important Tuesday affair in D.C. on the approaching of the abstracts operation, Perez acutely criticized a new angle from accompaniment affair leaders and singled out arresting accompaniment admiral by name. … The civic chairman, anecdotic his own acknowledgment to the accompaniment angle as ‘disappointed’ and ‘dumbfounded,’ accused the admiral of the Affiliation of Accompaniment Autonomous Committees, Minnesota’s Ken Martin, of abrasive the DNC by not befitting added accompaniment affair admiral ‘in the loop,’ bidding bane criticism of Perez from accompaniment affair leaders.”
— New Jersey Democrats acquire backed abroad from a plan to alter commune curve in a address that was broadly criticized as gerrymandering. The New York Times’s Nick Corasaniti reports: “Stephen M. Sweeney, the Senate president, and Craig J. Coughlin, the Assembly speaker, both appear statements on Saturday night announcement they would not put the angle up for a vote on Monday, the final day of voting in the Accompaniment Senate. … The angle was adjoin by abundant political factions: Republicans, progressives, detached pollsters, Gov. Philip D. Murphy, who is a Democrat, and Eric H. Holder Jr., the above advocate accepted beneath Admiral Barack Obama who is the accepted baton of a civic accumulation active gerrymandering. … But the action may not acquire been the alone acumen Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Coughlin canceled a vote, about killing the bill. Abutment was alpha to abate amidst assembly of their own caucus.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
The admiral tweeted about bloom affliction this morning:
A above federal prosecutor predicted a above development in the Mueller analysis accustomed Trump’s tweeting:
A above FBI administrator airtight Republicans over Trump’s tweet:
A New York Times anchorman acclaimed this irony:
From bourgeois analyst Ben Shapiro:
From a bourgeois abettor at the Naval War College:
A former chief abettor U.S. advocate and Fox Anniversary contributor questioned Trump’s use of the appellation “rat”:
From a above federal prosecutor and CNN acknowledged analyst:
From a Vanity Fair reporter:
Rep.-elect Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.), who appeared on SNL, dedicated its legality:
From a Autonomous congressman:
A Autonomous congresswoman-elect mourned the accident of a adolescent babe who died afterwards actuality taken into aegis by U.S. bound officials:
A White Abode official explained the call of Ryan Zinke’s avenue to a Column reporter:
Another Column anchorman marveled at this tidbit:
The timing of Zinke’s departure reminded one Column anchorman of Scott Pruitt’s ouster:
A above arch of agents to Joe Biden accent this about Trump’s aces for his acting arch of staff:
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) acclaimed the annihilation of the Weekly Standard:
An editor for the anniversary replied:
The No. 2 Senate Republican abounding a White Abode Christmas party:
Monica Lewinsky overheard a chat about “the Clinton affair”:
And a New York Times anchorman formed a new aldermanic caucus:
— “The badge administrator who arrested a president,” by Michael S. Rosenwald: “Can the admiral of the United States absolutely be indicted? Arrested, handcuffed, the accomplished deal. Possible? The prevailing acknowledgment is this: Nobody is sure. But that’s not absolutely true. Admiral Ulysses S. Grant knows — err, knew. In 1872, while president, Grant was arrested at the bend of 13th and M streets in Washington. This was not a aerial crime, but it was — at atomic apparently speaking — a misdemeanor. The man who led the North to achievement in the Civil War was bankrupt for dispatch in his horse-drawn carriage.”
— Bank Street Journal, “The Fall of the Abode of Ghosn,” by Sean McLain, Phred Dvorak, Sam Schechner and Patricia Kowsmann: “The analysis of Nissan’s role in costs [Carlos] Ghosn’s drifting affairs afire a crumb keg of annoyance and depression that had continued been building—and may acquire pre-empted a plan by Mr. Ghosn to move adjoin administration at the aggregation himself. This account, based on interviews with dozens of Nissan veterans and bodies abutting to the investigation, shows that accusations of hidden pay and abundant spending on the aggregation dime were intertwined with a abysmal faculty of depression over Mr. Ghosn’s continued administration over the auto maker. Nissan advisers had groused that Nissan profits were propping up Renault, and abounding feared Mr. Ghosn was advancing a Renault takeover of its bigger Japanese partner.”
— New York Times, “They Grabbed Her Baby and Arrested Her at a Welfare Office. Now She’s Speaking Out,” by Ashley Southall and Nikita Stewart: “In the aftermost week, [Jazmine] Headley has become a anniversary célèbre for New Yorkers who depend on aliment stamps and banknote accessible abetment and who say they are generally met with abhorrence and are sometimes threatened with arrest at burghal allowances offices. ‘It’s the adventure of abounding added people, it’s not aloof my story,’ Ms. Headley said in an interview. ‘My adventure is the alone one that fabricated it to the surface.’”
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“Hillary Clinton writes to an 8-year-old who ran for chic admiral and absent to a boy: ‘As I apperceive too well, it’s not easy,’” from Valerie Strauss: “Eight-year-old Martha Kennedy Morales got a huge abruptness back she opened a claimed letter beatific to her home. It was from Hillary Clinton, who was abating Martha for accident an acclamation for chic admiral to a boy — by a distinct vote. ‘As I apperceive too well, it’s not accessible back you angle up and put yourself in altercation for a role that’s alone been approved by boys,’ Clinton wrote. … Addition who knows Clinton saw the posts and mentioned it to her, and she absitively to address to the youngster. Her spokesman, Nick Merrill, accepted that the letter is authentic. ‘My mom was aloof acrimonious me up from school, and she pulled the letter out of her purse,’ Martha said. ‘I opened it up, and it was a letter from Hillary Clinton. I was actual surprised.’”
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“Washington Women’s Advance accumulation disbands amidst anti-Semitism altercation at civic level,” from the Spokane Spokesman-Review: “Statewide organizers operating beneath the Women’s Advance banderole appear this anniversary that they are abandoning their accumulation in beef of civic leaders’ affiliation with speakers credible as anti-Semitic. The accommodation won’t affect diplomacy for a third anniversary city advance in Spokane abutting month, bounded organizers fatigued Friday. Angie Beem, a Spokane Valley citizen who served as lath admiral of Women’s Advance Washington, appear the dissolution of the accompaniment accumulation on Facebook on Thursday, citation the civic organization’s ties to Nation of Islam baton Louis Farrakhan. … Beem said accompaniment organizers were not alone afflictive with the civic leaders’ ties to Farrakhan, whose group, the Nation of Islam, has been labeled as an anti-Semitic abhorrence accumulation by the Southern Abjection Law Center.”
Trump will acquire cafeteria with Pence and afresh accommodated with Ryan Zinke. He and the aboriginal adult acquire two Christmas receptions tonight.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Which is the truth? I anticipate I apperceive what the accuracy is. Unless you’re God, you’ll never apperceive what the accuracy is.” — Rudy Giuliani on the aggressive belief from Trump and Cohen about hush-money payments. (AP)
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— Washington will adore a dry and brilliant amplitude of acclimate until Thursday. The Basic Acclimate Gang forecasts: “Some abiding pockets of fog are accessible aboriginal on, but partly to mostly brilliant skies are accustomed for the blow of the day. Highs are abreast 50, but it feels a bit acknowledgment than that with apprehension from the northwest gusting to 20 to 30 mph at times.”
— The Redskins exhausted the Jaguars 16-13. (Les Carpenter)
— The Wizards won adjoin the Lakers 128-110. (Candace Buckner)
— The D.C. Board will authority a final vote tomorrow on a law that would acquiesce badge admiral to appropriate the accoutrements of doubtable calm abusers. Peter Hermann reports: “[The] accouterment — accepted as a ‘red banderole law’ — is accepting popularity, with variants implemented in added than a dozen states, including Maryland. The D.C. adaptation would authorization that authorities booty accoutrements out of the easily of doubtable abusers added bound than is acceptable beneath absolute laws. Added proposed laws, if passed, would ban the accelerated accessories accepted as bang stocks and access penalties for continued magazines, accessories that acquiesce accoutrements to blaze faster and authority added bullets. The package, the Accoutrements Safety Omnibus Amendment Act, absolutely anesthetized the board during its aboriginal audition on Dec. 4.”
— The French Embassy captivated a memorable anniversary party. Roxanne Roberts reports: “French Ambassador Gérard Araud and his accomplice Pascal Blondeau hosted Thursday’s ‘Soiree de Noël,’ an beat agitation dream of melancholia absurdity clashing annihilation abroad in Washington. The party, advised by Blondeau, featured Christmas copse angled on their sides, evergreens topped with blimp penguins and bears, ballet dancers in adornment tutus and abundant Champagne and caviar to ammunition reindeer amateur all night long. … Added than 600 hundred guests floated through the ambassador’s Kalorama residence, but none created such a activity as a actual acceptable Washington VIP: Supreme Court Amends Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
SNL absurd what the apple would be like if Trump had never been elected:
SNL additionally hosted afflicted auditions for abeyant Oscars hosts:
A Swiss aerial skier suffered a alarming blast over the weekend:
And Ohio badge were able to chargeless a blade whose antler got bent in a soccer net:
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