1/ Trump said “no,” he does not believe Russia is still targeting the U.S. with efforts to undermine American democracy, contradicting his director of national intelligence. Last week, Dan Coats said that “the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.” And, in particular, Russia is the “most aggressive foreign actor, no question. And they continue their efforts to undermine our democracy.” Coats described Russia as one of the “worst offenders.” Sarah Sanders said the Russian “threat still exists” and that Trump was saying “no” to answering more questions. Intelligence officials in the U.S. and U.K. also believe Russia is planning to ramp up digital operations targeting western countries now that the World Cup and the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit have ended. (Reuters / CNN / New York Times / Los Angeles Times)

  • Trump claimed he told Putin “we can’t have meddling” when they met and that he believes it’s “true” that Russia tampered with the 2016 presidential election and that he “would” hold Putin personally responsible for future interference. [Editor’s note: I bet.] (CBS News)

2/ Trump defended his summit with Putin, tweeting that “people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki.” The claim comes less than 24 hours after Trump attempted to backtrack and spin his statements that he mispoke and meant to say “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia” that interfered in the election. Trump promised “big results” and “many positive things.” (Washington Post / New York Times)

  • Trump crossed out a line about bringing those responsible for election hacking to justice in his statement correcting his remarks during his press conference with Putin. Trump prepared four pages of handwritten notes for his meeting with congressional leaders yesterday, part of which read “I have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections. A̶n̶y̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶v̶o̶l̶v̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶m̶e̶d̶d̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶i̶c̶e̶.” Trump used a black marker to cross out the part about bringing the hackers to justice. (Washington Post)

  • European newspapers described Trump as “weak,” a “poodle,” and a “stooge” following his summit with Putin. (ABC News)

  • Putin also claimed he misspoke about his claim that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had received $400 million in donations from investors accused of tax evasion in Russia. According to the Russian government, Putin “meant” to say that U.S.-born investor William Browder had donated $400,000 to Clinton’s campaign, which also appears to be inflated. (The Intercept)

3/ The woman charged with secretly acting as a Russian intelligence official offered “sex in exchange” for influence at “a special interest organization” the FBI referred to as a “gun rights organization.” Prosecutors argue that Butina “engaged in a yearslong conspiracy to work covertly in the U.S. as an undeclared agent of the Russian federation to advance the interests of her home country.” Her actions are believed to have been directed by Alexander Torshin, one of Putin’s closest allies, who the U.S. sanctioned in April. Butina and Torshin were also frequent attendees at NRA conventions. Butina is believed to have “cohabited and been involved in a personal relationship” with an unnamed U.S. person for the purpose of developing an influence operation. Her partner is believed to be Paul Erickson, a conservative activist and NRA member from South Dakota. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / ABC News / Washington Post)

  • A federal magistrate judge ordered that Maria Butina must be jailed ahead of her trial after prosecutors argued she was “an extreme risk of flight” and should be held without bond during her appearance in federal court. Prosecutors said she was ready to move out out of the country, had her boxes packed, terminated her lease, and wired money from her bank account back to Russia. (NPR / New York Times)

  • The Justice Department added a second charge against Russian national Maria Butina of acting as an unregistered foreign agent of the Kremlin since at least 2015. Butina was charged on Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government. Butina was arrested on Sunday because she appeared to have plans to flee the U.S. (Politico / Washington Post)

4/ Democrats want the interpreter from Trump’s private meeting with Putin to testify before Congress. “I’m calling for a hearing with the U.S. interpreter who was present during President Trump’s meeting with Putin to uncover what they discussed privately,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen tweeted. Rep. Joe Kennedy echoed Shaheen’s calls: “And that was only what we saw on live TV. @realDonaldTrump’s translator should come before Congress and testify as to what was said privately immediately.” (CNN / HuffPost)

5/ Trump questioned why NATO should come to the defense of smaller alliance members like Montenegro if it came under attack. “Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people,” Trump said when asked whether the U.S. would come to the country’s defense. “They’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations you’re in World War III.” The only time NATO invoked Article Five – an “armed attack” on one member “shall be considered an attack against them all” – was after the U.S. was attacked on 9/11. (NBC News / CNN / Washington Post)

poll/ 71% of Republicans approve of Trump’s handling of Russia following his Helsinki summit with Putin, compared to 14% of Democrats. Overall, 55% of voters disapproved of Trump’s handling of relations with Russia while 37% approved. (Reuters)

poll/ 68% of Americans consider Russia either unfriendly or an enemy of the U.S., a 9% increase from last year (59%). (NBC News / SurveyMonkey)

poll/ 54% of voters from 48 Republican-held congressional districts said Republicans are “more corrupt” than Democrats, compared with 46% who said Democrats are “more corrupt.” (Politico)

poll/ 41% of adults overall think the Senate should confirm Trump’s Supreme Court pick while 36% opposed it. 71% of Republicans, meanwhile, support the confirmation compared to 17% of Democrats. (Politico)

poll/ 28% of young adults ages 18 to 34 say they are “absolutely certain” that they’ll vote in midterms, compared to 74% of seniors. (Vox)


  1. The Democratic National Committee has been trying and failing for months to notify Jared Kushner that it is suing him and others for allegedly colluding with the Russians to meddle in the 2016 election. The Secret Service has turned away DNC lawyers. (Bloomberg / Talking Points Memo)

  2. A federal judge denied Paul Manafort’s request to suppress evidence seized by the FBI from his home as part of Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe. Manafort’s lawyers claimed the search warrant was overly broad and unconstitutional. (Reuters)

  3. Lawyers for a former Roger Stone associate and at least five prosecutors from Mueller’s office spent almost 90 minutes in a sealed court proceeding. It is not clear what Wednesday’s closed-door proceeding were about, but Andrew Miller’s attorneys have been fighting a grand jury subpoena. (Talking Points Memo / CNN)

  4. Trump loyalists at the Department of Veterans Affairs are trying to purge or reassign staff perceived to be disloyal to Trump ahead of the confirmation of Robert Wilkie. More than a dozen career civil servants have been moved from the leadership group at VA headquarters and reassigned to lower-visibility roles. (Washington Post)

  5. Two American conservatives helped launch the Macedonia pro-Trump “fake news” websites sites in 2016 that used spammy misinformation techniques go viral on social media. (BuzzFeed News)

  6. Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data set was accessed from Russia. Cambridge Analytica had gathered data on tens of millions of Americans. (CNN Money)

  7. Eric and Trump Jr. cost taxpayers nearly $250,000 in Secret Service protection for two business trips. In February 2017, the two traveled together to Dubai to open a golf club under the Trump brand. Eric also traveled to the Dominican Republic in February 2017 to potentially relaunch a Trump resort. (Politico)

  8. Trump’s military parade will cost nearly as much as the “tremendously expensive” canceled military exercises with South Korea that Trump once said cost “a fortune.” The parade is expected to cost approximately $12 million. (CNN)

  9. Until today, the “daily” White House press briefing has been held only three times in the past 30 days: on June 18, June 25, and July 2. (CNN Money)