Good morning, and welcome back from the long weekend. Here’s what our writers and editors have their eyes on today.
I flagged this on Twitter before President Trump started flogging it. But I’m not at all surprised that he did. Because, somewhat to my surprise, it revealed that Facebook seems still to be committed to lying, albeit now more artfully, about its role in the 2016 election and more broadly as a channel of choice for propaganda and misinformation.
This is quite the photo. (Click the headline of this post to see full sized image.)
With a bit of time to think over yesterday’s revelations, here are some follow up thoughts, interpretations and brainstorms about what the information contained in the indictments means.
When I first heard the alert that Mueller had indicted a group of Russian nationals for crimes tied to interference in the 2016 US election, it to me seemed relatively unremarkable. We know, or think we know, this happened. We know there are potential crimes connected to the interference. So my first thought was that Mueller was simply checking this box as part of the process of building out his case. Of course, the indictments contained a great deal of information than I suspected, much of which you can see discussed in our team’s coverage over the course of the afternoon.
I annotate these documents when I read them, to try to make sense of them. So I wanted to share with you passages that struck me as particularly notable or ones that suggested more was afoot than was included in the indictment itself.
The other indictment from Special Counsel Robert Mueller today was also a surprise. A plea agreement had already been reached, and a plea entered in federal court in DC. That all happened earlier this week. Not a peep.
You remember how in the last few months of the 2016 election campaign, we heard constant warnings from Trump supporters — encouraged by the candidate himself — about Democratic voter fraud?
It’s worth noting the remarkable stagecraft involved in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, acting attorney general for the Russia probe, deciding to announce today’s indictments (watch the whole thing here).