Alexander Zalben calls your attention to last night’s breaking news from Ellen Nakashima, Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous at the Washington Post: Last summer the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page. “It's baaaaaackkkkk. Those tomahawk missiles could only delay things for so long,” says Rex W. Huppke. Scott Bixby thinks it “Might've been nice to know this before everyone voted.” And Hayes Brown says, “Carter Page is the Carter Page that keeps on Carter Paging,” referring to the much-tweeted final paragraph of the piece, in which Page compares surveillance of him to eavesdropping the FBI and Justice Department conducted against Martin Luther King Jr.
And then there’s this: Jack Gillum, Chad Day and Jeff Horwitz of AP News report that Records match some Ukraine ledger payments to ex-Trump aide, Paul Manafort. As Gillum tweets, “Records: Manafort got $1.2M in payments detailed in once-secret Ukrainian ledger.” Notes Amy Fiscus, “Manafort insisted a payment ledger tying him to a pro-Russian party was fabricated. AP just found proof it's real.” Ted Bridis describes the investigative journalism at work here: “AP traces mystery overseas payments to Trump former campaign chairman Manafort all the way into his US bank account.” And Eric Lipton tweets, “More trouble for Manafort, this time via AP story based on some really enterprising reporting. Good work AP.”
“Meanwhile, CNN reports both Democrats and Republicans saw Nunes documents and concluded his claims are meritless,” Dustin Volz says, referring to the exclusive by CNN’s Jim Sciutto, Manu Raju and Eric Bradner: Classified docs contradict Nunes surveillance claims, GOP and Dem sources say. “The fact that some sources appear to be Nunes' Hill GOP colleagues is especially interesting,” says Ben Pershing. Says John Verive, “Maybe bigger than the FISA story, and certainly less surprising.”
Julia Ioffe is referring to this, reported by Nick Wadhams and John Follain for Bloomberg: “With one offhand remark, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left European diplomats befuddled at a gathering in Italy. ‘Why should U.S. taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?’” “Classic swamp drainer dialogue right here,” says Joshua Topolsky. Or is it “Ol' Rexy just layin on some Socratic method,” as Andrew Ragsly puts it? Either way, Jason Zweig offers an answer: “Because global thermonuclear war might require a rise in marginal tax rates?”
Back at the White House, Trump won’t definitively say he still backs Bannon, the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin reports. “This is an odd story,” says Jay Yarow. “But, Trump not exactly backing Bannon.” Says Evan Perez, “Trump confirms infighting (and his order to cut it out) that @PressSec says totally isn't happening.” But Maggie Haberman advises, “Don't misread this - Ivanka Trump angrier than anyone over current events, per multiple sources.”
At CNBC John Harwood writes that Trump's budget director is at home in the eye of the storm. David Wright calls it a “Fascinating interview,” and Stan Collender says, “Excellent interview by @JohnJHarwood. My title: The total irrationality of Trump's OMB director.” Oh, and “remember Trump's promise that he'll erase America's debt?” asks Heather Long. “Trump's own budget direct just called that ‘hyperbole.’”
At the Washington Post, Aaron Blake presents President Trump’s thoroughly confusing Fox Business interview, annotated. That’s the interview that included this nugget, as tweeted by Fox Business: .@POTUS tells @MariaBartiromo he told President Xi about the Missile strikes over “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake.” Blake clarifies, “Trump mentioned dessert/cake five times in his story about informing Xi of Syria strikes.” “lol what,” says David A. Graham. Daniel Dale's assessment: “Trump's Fox Business interview is highly dishonest and frequently bonkers.”
Paul DeBenedetto tweets, “Extremely proud of my former coworkers at DNAinfo, and their colleagues at Gothamist.” As Scott Heins explains, “The editorial staffers of Gothamist and DNAinfo are unionizing! We're hoping for your support!! #DNAistUnion.” Rosa Goldensohn reports in Crain’s New York Business that Reporters at the newly-merged DNAinfo New York and Gothamist news sites will join the growing Writers Guild of America-East union.
And now for something completely different...Zachary Tracer tells us, “some of my colleagues watched all of the Fast and Furious movies to bring you this masterpiece.” In Bloomberg’s The Stats of the Furious, we learn about “races, explosions and biceps” from the team’s deep data dive into the Fast and the Furious franchise. Joshua Topolsky calls it the “Best thing on the internet today,” Stacey Shick says, “This is a tour de force of data journalism,” and Elliot Bentley says it’s “Ridiculous, yet sublime.” Aaron Rutkoff sums it up: “Big data meets the biggest, dumbest blockbuster franchise in one of the nerdiest @business projects ever.”
That’s what we’re all wondering, Ryan Glasspiegel. At New York Magazine, Gabriel Sherman writes, Bill O’Reilly Is Going on Vacation. Will His Show Return? “James Murdoch wants O'Reilly taken off the air for good, 2 sources say,” tweets Sherman. Gideon Resnick highlights this from the piece, “There’s talk inside Fox News that tonight’s show could be his last.” We’ll give Tracey McManus the last word on the subject: “Boy bye.”