Paul Carsten reacts to the exclusive news reported by Ned Parker, Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott of Reuters yesterday: Three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters that a Putin-linked think tank drew up a plan to sway 2016 U.S. election, according to confidential documents from the think tank (23,300+ shares). Of the plan, Jina Moore says, “Um yes that sort of sounds like, well, exactly what it felt like happened?” Greg Mitchell points out the piece is “From 2 reporters famous for doubting Iraq WMDs,” referring to Landay and Walcott, and Dana Hull says, ”Holy Cow. Former Knight Ridder natsec reporters strike again.” “Some great reporting here,” says David Ljunggren. “The amount of Russian disinfo bought hook, line and sinker by American social media users is staggering,” says Ben Collins, who notes, “Concurrently, Russia planted a narrative that American news is REALLY the untrustworthy stuff. Strategic projection.” Dick Polman calls it “The puppet's marionette in action.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that
Meanwhile, as Anthony De Rosa tweets, “Carter Page's trip last July was a catalyst for the F.B.I. investigation into Russia and President Trump’s campaign.” In The New York Times, Scott Shane, Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman report that the Trump Adviser’s Visit to Moscow Got the F.B.I.’s Attention. Yochi Dreazen and many others highlight this “Quote of the day, from Roger Stone. Carter Page is ‘a self-promoter — not that there’s anything wrong with that.’”
In other intelligence news, CBS News’ Jeff Pegues breaks this story: CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks. The lead: “CBS News has learned that a manhunt is underway for a traitor inside the Central Intelligence Agency.” And “*click*” tweets Kathryn Watson.
It seems unlikely, but ICYMI, as Anahad O’Connor tweets, “Two and a half weeks after major @nytimes investigation, Bill O’Reilly is forced out at Fox News.” “Swift action after strong scoops by @emilysteel @nytmike,” tweets Cecilia Kang. In their New York Times piece Bill O’Reilly Is Forced Out at Fox News (65,000+ shares), Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt write, “His ouster brings an abrupt and embarrassing end to his two-decade reign as one of the most popular and influential commentators in television.” Mike Isaac calls it “amazing reporting from @emilysteel and @nytmike on @FoxNews and the decline and fall of Bill O'Reilly.” Jonathan Martin tweets, “The reporting of @emilysteel & @nytmike has exposed O'Reilly as an allegedly serial sexual harasser & ended his show.” And Ron Lieber says, “This is reporting, ladies and gentlemen. Subscribe to a newspaper.” Last word: “O'Reilly out,” tweets Michael Schmidt.
A heck of a vacation
But don’t cry for Bill O’Reilly. For starters, “Bill O'Reilly is having a heck of a vacation,” as Michael Roston tweets. Also in The New York Times, Jason Horowitz reports, Bill O’Reilly Meets Pope Francis in Vatican V.I.P. Line. Yes, as Rick Gladstone notes, “Fox's O'Reilly, under cloud for sex harassment allegations, shakes hands w/ @pontifex in Rome.” And Catherine Thompson says, “Bill O'Reilly's career is disintegrating rapidly but hey, he met the Pope! As a VIP no less!” Of course, as Kenneth Vogel tweets, “If Bill O'Reilly wanted to ask forgiveness for something, he's in the right place.”
Also? Brian Stelter reports in CNNMoney that, according to “a source personally involved in the exit maneuverings,” the Fox News payout to Bill O'Reilly will be tens of millions of dollars. As the source says, "It is a staggering amount.” “There it is,” says Bryce Covert.
Well, that didn't even take three months
Julia Ioffe also says “There it is,” this time in response to the scoop from Jay Solomon and Bradley Olson at The Wall Street Journal that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s former company Exxon is seeking a U.S. waiver to work in Russia despite sanctions (45,000+ shares). Or “Hey Rex help us out would ya?” as Zachary Davies Boren puts it. “Well, that didn't even take three months,” tweets Helaine Olen. Maud Newton’s assessment: “Appalling but unsurprising. Practically inevitable.”
Where’s the plan?
It’s day 90, so where’s that cyber plan? POLITICO’S Edward-Isaac Dovere, Eric Geller and Matthew Nussbaum report on Trump’s missing 90-day cyber plan, writing “There is no team, there is no plan, and there is no clear answer from the White House on who would even be working on what.” One possible explanation: “Maybe Trump is just an evil Time Lord like the Master and we're living in an era of Alternative ⌛️TIME⏳,” tweets Thom Dunn.
The new plan, worse than the old plan
Meanwhile, Some Republicans Think They May Have A Health Care Deal, report Matt Fuller and Jonathan Cohn for The Huffington Post. Tweets Fuller, “Republicans do, indeed, seem ready to advance a health care bill that blows up pre-existing conditions protections,” who adds, “Just to be clear: I remain skeptical that Republicans could get 216 votes in the House with this health care deal.” Says Dylan Scott, “This bill would, objectively: - Reinstate medical underwriting - Rely on fallback plan experts say is underfunded.” Or as Michelangelo Signorile puts it, “The new plan, worse than the old plan.” And Mark Gongloff advises, “Get ready for Zombie Trumpcare III: Dumb and Dumberer.”
They meet again
Bradd Jaffy explains that “The case of the first DREAMer deported under Trump is being heard by … Judge Curiel.” As Alan Gomez writes in USA Today, Trump to face 'Mexican heritage' judge in deported DREAMer case. “Small judicial world…” says Shannon Pettypiece.
A happy 4/20 indeed! Support for marijuana legalization at all-time high, report Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto for CBS News. “Slow clap for the folks over at CBS who released this poll on April 20 -- of all days....” says Mark Murray. As Stephanie Ruhle tweets, “On this #weedday, poll shows there is a lot of love in the air…”
This story is a metaphor for our times
Dana Hull is referring to the Bloomberg piece by Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski, Silicon Valley’s $400 Juicer May Be Feeling the Squeeze (14,000+ shares). As Anne Riley notes, “Two investors in Juicero were surprised to learn the startup’s juice packs could be squeezed by hand. #whoops.” Says Alana Horowitz Satlin, “tfw you invest $120 million in a product that does something your hands could do for free.” “So much for Juice-as-a-Service,” says Dylan Martin. But listen, “Juicero is a ‘new platform,’ says Nick Wingfield, “in the same sense that my hand is a new platform for smacking my head.” Tom Gara calls it “THE THERANOS OF JUICE! Wondrous story by Bloomberg.” And Max Nisen headlines it, “Today in Silicon Valley episodes but in the real world.” Tweets Spencer Ackerman, “This is the best-written dek in journalistic history. I laughed so hard I had to call @dominicru over to my desk.” Says Willa Paskin, “Life really keeps stealing sitcom writers' best material for itself.” We could keep sharing tweets about it, but really, just go read the story. You can use a good laugh today.
And finally today, See who is on @TIME's list of the world’s most influential people #TIME100.