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The [Thursday] Papers

"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation," the New York Times reports.

"Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed. The shifting narrative underscores the degree to which Mr. Trump regularly picks and chooses intelligence to suit his political purposes."


"It has been one of the lingering mysteries of the 2016 campaign: Why did the FBI wait until 11 days before the election to announce a new batch of Hillary Clinton's e-mails in an 'October surprise' that might have tilted the election to Donald Trump?" the Intercept reports.

"Top FBI officials had learned weeks earlier that the laptop of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner appeared to hold a huge cache of Clinton's e-mails, yet they didn't do anything about it until the eve of the election - a baffling delay that Clinton and her supporters, to this day, claim cost her the election.

"For the first time, a full accounting of the game-changing episode has emerged. Deep in the 568-page report released last month by the Justice Department Inspector General on the FBI and the 2016 campaign lies a series of explanations from senior FBI officials - excuses, in the view of the Inspector General - for the damaging delay and inaction.

"The most startling explanation from the FBI: It was all about Russia, or more precisely, the bureau's urgent and then-secret investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia that fall. At least three senior FBI officials suggested in interviews with the Inspector General that the bureau was so overwhelmed that fall with frantically investigating the suspected Trump-Russia ties that the new Clinton e-mails simply took a backseat. Ironically, the urgency of chasing Trump's possible ties to the Kremlin may have helped topple his opponent."


"The Obama administration had a great deal of internal debate in real time in 2016 about how to respond - whether they should do so publicly or privately. Ultimately, President Obama did so privately with the Russian president Vladimir Putin. He took him aside at an international summit and said, please stop interfering in our election - to no effect," NPR reports.

"And the Obama administration also tried to ask leaders in Congress of both parties to sign a statement condemning these foreign efforts. The Democratic leaders agreed to do so. The Republican speaker, Paul Ryan, apparently thought that he could get there, but the majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, did not agree to do that. And so, ultimately, there was no public statement until October of 2016, by which time, with the view of history, it may have been too late to do anything about it."


"After his much-publicized two-and-a-quarter-hour meeting early this month with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Germany, President Trump chatted informally with the Russian leader for up to an additional hour later the same day," the Washington Post reports.

"The second meeting, undisclosed at the time, took place at a dinner for G-20 leaders, a senior administration official said. At some point during the meal, Trump left his own seat to occupy a chair next to Putin. Trump approached alone, and Putin was attended only by his official interpreter."


"John Brennan, the former director of the CIA, on Monday asked what President Donald Trump was 'hiding' by meeting alone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland," Business Insider reports.

"Trump sat with Putin alone with only translators for roughly two hours on Monday."


"Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday defeated an attempt by panel Democrats to subpoena the interpreter who worked for President Donald Trump during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin," Politico reports.


"Nearly 80 percent of Republicans approve of President Trump's performance during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll found," the Hill reports.


Trump Derangement Syndrome certainly exists, but it's not what John Kass thinks it is.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Compare and contrast.

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#MommaSaidYouCantBoutHereGrabbingPussies @CardiB #Impeach

A post shared by Joël Maximé, Jr. (@cravechicago) on



The Private Life Of Chicago Artist Bryant Giles.


A sampling.

I never understood why Chance got such a free pass on this. Then again, I've always understood why Chance got a free pass on this.




The Beachwood Tronc Line: Interpretive.


Posted on July 19, 2018

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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