1/ Trump’s national security team said Russia is behind “pervasive” and “ongoing” attempts to interfere in upcoming U.S. elections. “The threat is real. It is continuing,” said Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence. Hours later, Trump defended his “great meeting with Putin,” saying “the Russian hoax” is getting in the way of improved relations with the world’s second-ranked nuclear power. (Reuters / CNBC / CNN)

  • The Treasury Department sanctioned a Russian bank, two North Korean entities and one North Korean citizen for facilitating “illegal financial activity.” The Russian-registered AgrosoyuzCommercial Bank was sanctioned for doing business with a North Korean who was the “Moscow-based chief representative of Foreign Trade Bank, North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank.” (CNBC)

2/ The NRA is in financial jeopardy and may “be unable to exist … or pursue its advocacy mission.” Since May, the gun group has been suing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s financial regulators, claiming the state of New York subjected it to a “blacklisting campaign” that resulted in “tens of millions of dollars in damages” from the loss of insurance coverage it needs in order to “maintain its physical premises, convene off-site meetings and events, operate educational programs,” and “hold rallies, conventions, and assemblies.” The association overspent by almost $46 million in 2016. (Rolling Stone)

  • The “National March on the NRA” rally will begin at noon on Saturday in front of the association’s Virginia headquarters. It is expected to last three hours. (National March on NRA)

3/ China will impose retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports if Trump goes ahead with his latest threat to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The Trump administration imposed 25% duties on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6, which prompted Beijing to retaliate with similar charges on the same amount of U.S. products. A senior administration official said there was “zero” engagement between the Trump administration and China. Another official said there has been “one call in the past few days,” and that it resolved nothing. (Associated Press / Politico / Washington Post / CNBC)

4/ A Trump donor agreed to pay Michael Cohen $10 million if he could secure a $5 billion loan from the federal government for a nuclear power plant in Alabama. The loan application by Franklin Haney’s company is still pending at the Energy Department. The agreement, which is no longer in effect, was made shortly before Cohen’s home, office and hotel room were raided by federal agents on April 9. Haney donated $1 million to the Trump inaugural fund through a corporate entity. Nuclear Development LLC and Franklin L. Haney Co., have spent nearly $1.1 million since the end of 2016 lobbying the federal government and Congress on issues related to nuclear power. (Wall Street Journal / CNBC)

5/ The judge overseeing the reunification of the 2,551 migrant children separated from their parents called the Trump administration’s lack of a plan “unacceptable at this point.” 572 children remain in government custody and the parents of 410 children are currently outside the U.S. They’ve likely been deported. (NBC News)

6/ Revenue at the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan was up 13% in the first three months of 2018 thanks to “a last-minute visit” by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The Crown Prince, however, didn’t stay at the hotel, because the suites weren’t big enough to accommodate his family. However, “due to our close industry relationships,” the hotel’s general manager wrote, “we were able to accommodate many of the accompanying travelers.” (Washington Post)


  1. The National Archives won’t be able to provide all of the 900,000 documents on Brett Kavanaugh requested by the Senate until the end of October. Senate Republicans say they’re still on track to hold September confirmation hearings. (Washington Post)

  2. Robert Mueller’s team interviewed Kristin Davis, the woman famously known as the “Manhattan Madam,” about her ties to longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. (CNN)

  3. Mike Pompeo said North Korea’s continued production of fuel for nuclear weapons was “inconsistent” with its “commitment to denuclearize.” U.S. spy satellites had detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. (Reuters)

  4. Trump denied that he left Queen Elizabeth II waiting. Instead he blamed the Queen for being late, saying that he arrived “a little early” and was waiting because “Hey, it’s the queen, right?” The truth is, the 92-year-old monarch was waiting for about 15 minutes before Trump and Melania arrived. Trump called the reports “fake, fake disgusting news.” (Washington Post)

  5. A former contestant on “The Apprentice” claims Trump is in “mental decline” in her new tell-all book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.” Omarosa Manigault-Newman is not a doctor. (USA Today)

  6. Melania Trump’s top policy aide left the White House after six months on the job. Reagan Hedlund helped Melania launch the “Be Best” anti-bullying initiative. (Politico)

  7. Steve Bannon accused the Koch brothers of running “a conscious scam” and a “con job.” Trump’s former chief strategist went on to call Paul Ryan a “lame duck” who “should be removed” as Speaker. (The Hill)

  8. Trump Jr. falsely claimed that the Democratic Party looks “awfully similar” to the Nazi party in the 1930s, saying that “when you actually look at that platform versus the platform of the modern left, you say wait a minute, those two are really heavily aligned.” (CNN)

  9. The Newseum is selling “Fake News” t-shirts and “Make America Great Again” hats. The interactive museum in Washington, D.C. is dedicated to educating citizens about the free press and recording important moments in news history. (Poynter / CBS)

Dept. of Paul Manafort’s Trial.

Instead of writing summary recaps of the trial, I’m going to provide a few daily links to the live coverage.

Day Four.

  1. Prosecution dives into alleged tax, bank fraud. (CNN)

  2. Manafort Trial Turns to Tax Returns Mueller Says Are Phony. (Bloomberg)

  3. Judge Ellis Loses Patience with Mueller Prosecutors and Ends Court Early Over Screw-Up. (Law and Crime)

  4. Accountant concedes possible wrongdoing, Manafort’s double life. ‘They never told us about any income deposited in foreign accounts,’ Manafort’s accountant told jurors. (Politico)

Day Three.

  1. Prosecution has “every intention” of calling Richard Gates as witness. (Washington Post)

  2. Manafort’s trial turns to accountants and tax preparers. (CNN)

  3. Judge says showing jury flashy suits could “besmirch the defendant.” (NBC News)

Day Two.

  1. Prosecution Cites Lavish Spending by Paul Manafort in His Fraud Trial. (New York Times)

  2. A fake bill, a banned word, and a Rick Gates surprise. (Politico)

  3. Executive at ‘most expensive store’ testifies that Manafort paid for suits via wire transfers. (Washington Post)

Day One.

  1. Jury selection, first witness called and a $15,000 ostrich jacket. (Washington Post)

  2. Manafort’s defense team opened by blaming Rick Gates. (New York Times)

  3. Prosecutors accused Manafort of being a “shrewd” liar who lived an “extravagant lifestyle” fueled by “secret income” that he earned from lobbying work in Ukraine. (CNN)