A million conspiracy theorists' heads exploding

As Nolan Hicks says, “From the ‘Oh boy, here goes the news cycle’ file comes =>.” He links to Investigation Turns to Kushner’s Motives in Meeting With a Putin Ally, new reporting from Matthew Rosenberg, Mark Mazzetti and Maggie Haberman at The New York Times. Tweets Rosenberg, “Kushner Was Seeking a Line to the Kremlin. Then He Met Russian Banker Tied to Putin. Investigators Want to Know Why.” Says Alexander Zalben, “That sound you just heard was a million conspiracy theorists' heads exploding.” In other coverage from The New York Times, this time from Haberman, Glenn Thrush and Sharon LaFraniere, we learn that Jared Kushner’s Relationship with Trump Is Tested as Russia Case Grows, in a piece that cites six West Wing aides. “Damn, this is a good story,” says Josh Dawsey, and Emily Katz tweets, “this is a pretty scathing piece on jared kushner.” Tweets Haberman, “There are few things Trump dislikes more than a sense someone is sponging off Mr. Trump.”

Meanwhile, at CNN, Pamela Brown, Jim Sciutto and Dana Bash are reporting that conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 election reveal Russians discussed potentially ‘derogatory’ information about Trump and associates during campaign. This according to two former intelligence officials and a congressional source. The piece notes, “One source described the information as financial in nature and said the discussion centered on whether the Russians had leverage over Trump's inner circle.”

Wasting no time

“While headlines focusing on 'Russia investigation' Trump admin wastes no time rolling back civil rights enforcement,” tweets Jamil Dakwar, linking to Darryl Fears’ piece for the Washington Post, Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies. Says Juliet Eilperin, “Many accused Obama of overreach when it came to civil rights laws; in big ways & small, Trump's chosen another path.” As ProPublica tweets, “Trump proposals for civil rights & anti-discrimination programs Labor Dept -kill it EPA -kill it Ed Dept -gut it.” “Goodbye to policing discrimination,” says Jake Bernstein.

She’s back

The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker has two new stories. The first explores how Snubs and slights are part of the job in Trump’s White House. Lisa Rein calls it an “Insightful piece from @AshleyRParker,” and Frank Bruni says it provides “Some terrific details and an important glimpse into President Trump's, um, character.” And “oh my god this hope hicks quote,” tweets Danielle Tcholakian, while Josh Jamerson shares, “Was reading this @AshleyRParker story and I had to pause to marvel at this Hope Hicks quote,” which begins, “President Trump has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him.” (There’s much more.) “She's back,” says Ashley Feinberg.

Parker’s second piece, written with Philip Rucker, reveals How President Trump consumes - or does not consume - top-secret intelligence. Tweets Rucker, “CIA Director Pompeo & DNI Coats go on the record with WaPo to describe how Trump consumes intel in daily briefings.” Andrew Freedman notes, “Fascinating nugget in this story on Trump & classified briefings: Kushner gets his own intel briefing every AM.”

Big shakeup imminent?

Meanwhile, Mike Allen at Axios broke the news that Mike Dubke, Trump's comms director, is leaving White House after just three months. CNN’s Jeff Zeleny and Jim Acosta also report on the developing news, in WH communications director stepping down, and Philip Rucker has the story for the Washington Post, Dubke resigns as White House communications director. Tweets Matt Wells, “White House comms director is out: 'It's been a privilege.' Big shakeup imminent?” Kate Bennett notes, “so in a White House plagued by leaks, Dubke resigns May 18th, and it doesn't get out until today. fascinating.” “Life comes at you fast,” says Madison Malone Kircher.

Not the enemy

“A small caliber weapon, in daylight hours, on a Sunday,” is how Tim Grieve sets the scene. Tweets Jim Galloway, “First a body slam, then shots fired at an ‘enemy of the people’ -- the Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader.” He’s referring to the news that Windows shattered at Lexington Herald-Leader; suspected bullet damage found. This also comes on the heels of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joking about shooting reporters, which Ken Herman wrote about for the Sacramento Bee and asked, “Why does he think that’s funny?” Tweets Teri Carter, “This is MY newspaper, where I write about politics. I am threatened weekly, sometimes daily. I am not the enemy.”

And the Texas Observer reports that Texas Republican Rep. Matt Rinaldi Called ICE on SB 4 Protesters, Threatened to Shoot Colleague. The piece notes, “The incident happened as more than 1,000 immigrant rights supporters flooded the Texas Capitol.” As Chris McDaniel tweets, “A Texas state rep threatened to ‘put a bullet in one of his colleague’s heads.’ He claims self-defense.”

Wow

That’s Quentin Sommerville’s reaction to France’s Special Forces Hunt French Militants Fighting for Islamic State, the piece by Tamer El-Ghobashy, Maria Abi-Habib and Benoit Faucon in The Wall Street Journal. “Heckuva counter-terror policy: France recruits Iraqis to hunt and kill French jihadis so they can never come home,” tweets Borzou Daragahi. “Well, that's one way to do it,” says Matthew Rose.

More Theranos revelations

“In other news... more Theranos revelations from @cdweaver,” tweets Charley Grant, linking to Christopher Weaver’s piece in The Wall Street Journal, Court Documents Shed Light on Theranos Board’s Response to Crisis. As Rob Barry notes, “Two ex-Theranos directors didn't pursue claims the firm was using basic blood testing tech.” Says John Carreyrou, “19 months after I exposed the shenanigans at @theranos, the board still hasn't commissioned an investigation.”

RIP Frank Deford, a titan and a gentleman

“Damn damn damn. RIP to one of my heroes,” says Mike Harris, reacting to the news that Frank Deford, longtime Sports Illustrated writer passes away, as reported by Chris Chavez for Sports Illustrated. “Loved to read him in SI, hear him on NPR,” tweets Kyle Peveto. And Sports Illustrated tweets, “RIP Frank Deford, a titan and a gentleman.” For more, read Colin Dwyer’s tribute to the NPR Morning Edition mainstay, Frank Deford, NPR's Longtime Philosopher Of Sports, Dies At 78, and Alexander Wolff's piece for SI, Frank Deford death: Remembering the Sports Illustrated legend. Tweets Wolff, “Show me a sportswriter and I'll show you someone he influenced.” For the best tribute, read Deford himself: Frank Deford: The best stories from his half-century at Sports Illustrated.

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