1/ Trump rejected the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying he doesn’t “see any reason why” Russia would have interfered, and that Putin “was extremely strong and powerful” in denying it during their summit in Helsinki. Trump’s refusal to condemn Moscow clashed with the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies, and comes days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents for hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in an attempt to help Trump. Putin confirmed the he wanted Trump to win the election. Prior to the summit, Trump blamed “U.S. foolishness and stupidity” for poor Russian relations. The Russian foreign ministry responded to Trump’s tweet with “We agree.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Reuters / Politico)

  • Trump said he never thought of asking Putin to extradite the 12 Russian intelligence agents charged with hacking Democratic emails. Instead, he blamed blaming Democrats for “bad defenses” and for getting hacked during the 2016 campaign. (Washington Post)

  • Shortly before the summit with Putin began, Trump removed a senior official who is hawkish on Russia and supportive of NATO from his National Security Council. The circumstances surrounding retired Army Col. Richard Hooker’s departure from the NSC on June 29 remain in dispute. It’s not clear whether he was fired or whether his term was simply over. (Daily Beast)

  • Hannity will interview Trump following his summit with Putin, and their discussion will air Monday night of Fox News. Trump will also sit down with Tucker Carlson, which will air on his show Tuesday night. (The Hill / Fox News)

  • WTF Rewind:

2/ Dan Coats: “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election,” saying the intelligence community “will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.” The comment from the director of national intelligence came following Trump’s refusal to back the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the U.S. 2016 election. Aboard Air Force One, Trump tweeted that he had confidence in his own intelligence officials, saying “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people,” but “the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!” (Axios / CNN)

3/ GOP senators called the Trump-Putin press conference “tragic,” “bizarre,” “flat-out wrong,” “shameful” and a “missed opportunity” to hold Russia accountable for 2016 election meddling. Jeff Flake tweeted: “I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression.” Lindsey Graham tweeted that Trump’s response “will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves.” Ben Sasse added that “the United States is not to blame […] When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs.” And, John McCain called Trump’s appearance “tragic” and “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” (CNN / ABC News / Politico)

  • Paul Ryan: “Russia is not our ally” and the U.S. must be “focused on holding Russia accountable.” (The Guardian)

  • Mitch McConnell: “The Russians are not our friends. And I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community.” (The Hill)

  • Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer called Trump’s comments “thoughtless, dangerous, and weak.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, called on Americans to “vote out the sell-outs” in the GOP and asserted that “the Russians have something on the president.” (Associated Press / Reuters / The Hill)

  • Former U.S. intelligence chiefs condemned Trump’s comments during his news conference with Putin. Former C.I.A. director John Brennan called Trump’s performance “nothing short of treasonous.” (CNN)

4/ Trump called Robert Mueller’s probe “ridiculous” and “a disaster for our country” during his press conference with Putin. “Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said. “I think the world wants to see us get along.” Prior to meeting with Putin, Trump called Mueller’s probe a “rigged witch hunt.” On Friday, Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said that “the warning lights are blinking red again” from cyberattacks by Russia and other nations” and that “the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.” White House National Security Adviser John Bolton added that he finds it “hard to believe” Putin didn’t know about top Russian intelligence officials’ efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. (NBC News / New York Times / ABC News)

  • Mueller has charged 32 people, including 26 Russians, since his May 2017 appointment. It’s unlikely that 25 of the Russians will be arrested anytime soon. (Washington Post)

  • Twitter suspended Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks – two accounts that Robert Mueller has linked to a Russian intelligence operation to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Washington Post)

  • Maryland’s voter registration system runs on software owned by a Russian-financed firm. There is no evidence there has been any breach or fraud in voter registration or voting, but state officials are concerned about the Russian connection to sensitive systems. (WBAL)

5/ The Justice Department charged a Russian national and accused her of acting as a Russian agent “for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian federation.” Maria Butina tried to infiltrate the NRA and “create a back-channel line of communication” back to the Kremlin. Charging documents say Butina was directed by a “high-level official in the Russian government,” who has been previously identified as Alexander Torshin, a senior official at the Russian central bank, who is also a longtime associate of the NRA. The charges were filed under seal the day after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted by the Justice Department for hacking Democratic computers. They were unsealed following Trump’s press conference with Putin where he said he saw no reason the Russian leader would try to influence the presidential election. (Bloomberg / The Guardian / New York Times)

  • Department of Justice: Russian National Charged in Conspiracy to Act as an Agent of the Russian Federation Within the United States. (Justice.gov)

6/ Trump: “I think the European Union is a foe.” Days before his meeting with Putin, Trump capped off a contentious NATO summit in the U.K. by naming the European Union when asked to identify his “biggest foe globally right now.” Speaking at his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, Trump added: “Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.” (CBS News / CNN)

  • Trump fist-bumped Recep Erdogan and said he “does things the right way.” The Turkish president is a strongman, purging his critics while consolidating power. (CBS News / Vice News)

7/ A federal judge temporarily halted deportations of families who were recently reunited after being separated by the Trump administration. The ACLU asked that deportations be stalled for at least a week after the families were reunified, to allow time to ensure no family was being improperly deported. (The Guardian / Washington Post)

poll/ 52% of Fox News viewers agree that immigrants are an important part of our American identity, compared to 78% of CNN viewers and 73% of ABC, CBS, and NBC viewers. Overall, 69% of Americans agree that immigrants are an important part of American identity. (NPR)


  1. Rep. Trey Gowdy ruled out the possibility of impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, citing a lack of support for his ouster. “Impeach him for what?” Gowdy said. “I’m not convinced there is a movement,” he added. (The Hill / Politico)

  2. China filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Trump’s plan for tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism. (USA Today / NPR)

  3. Trump told his top diplomats to initiate direct talks with the Taliban in the hope of jump-starting negotiations to end the ongoing 17-year war in Afghanistan. The Taliban has long said that they will only discuss peace with the U.S. government, but the U.S. has, until now, mostly insisted that the Afghan government take part in the negotiations. (New York Times)

  4. Jared Kushner’s family firm emptied or sold more than 250 rent-stabilized apartments over the last three years as the Kushner Companies converted one of its buildings into luxury condominiums. The sales from those apartments inside one of the Kushner Cos.’ largest residential buildings in New York totaled more than $55 million, an average of $1.2 million per apartment. (Associated Press)

  5. The FCC has “serious concerns” about Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the $3.9 billion deal, which would consolidate nearly three-quarters of U.S. households, will now go through a lengthy administrative process often viewed as a deal-killer. (Politico)

  6. In the six months following the passage of Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act, worker pay has fallen while businesses have spent roughly $700 billion to repurchase their own stock. When inflation is accounted for, the reduction in worker pay is even steeper. The drop has affected 80 percent of industries and two-thirds of metro areas. (CBS Money Watch)

  7. Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign has spent nearly $1.2 million on legal fees this year, including $340,000 in the last three months. (BuzzFeed News)

  8. Trump has already raised more than $88 million for his reelection campaign over the last year and a half. The sum gives him a substantial head start when compared to prospective Democratic challengers in the 2020 election. (New York Times)