This seems...bad?

Jun 06, 2017

Luke O’Neil is referring to what Chelsea Matiash tweets is “The most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election yet”: Top Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election (27,000+ shares), the scoop from Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Matthew Cole and Ryan Grim at The Intercept. Says Becca Caddy, “The Russian hacking tactics detailed in this leaked NSA report are just mind-blowing.” On the other hand, “phew thank god putin already told megyn kelly not to worry about anything,” says Aminatou Sow.

And then...just after The Intercept posted the story, the Department of Justice announced Federal Government Contractor in Georgia Charged With Removing and Mailing Classified Materials to a News Outlet. Scott Shackford speaks for all of us when he says, “I can't get past this person being named “Reality Winner.’” Yes, Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old contractor with Pluribus International Corporation, was arrested by the FBI and admitted to “intentionally identifying and printing the classified intelligence reporting at issue...removing the classified intelligence reporting from her office space, retaining it, and mailing it from Augusta, Georgia, to the news outlet.” “Whoa. The movie just gets longer,” says Matthew Schwartz, who links to the piece by Charlie Savage in The New York Times, Intelligence Contractor Is Charged in First Leak Case Under Trump. Or is it the book? Tweets J.D. Biersdorfer, “If Reality Winner cracks open the election-hacking case, we're officially living in a Neal Stephenson novel.”

And that’s not all. As Michael Barbaro tweets, “Among many fascinating elements of this case, seems news org accidentally helped out its own source.” And Nathan VanderKlippe says, “Leak bust seems like it's on The Intercept, which scanned original document, sent to feds — should have retyped.” Blogger Rob Graham has posted a piece on How The Intercept Outed Reality Winner, which explains that “most new printers print nearly invisibly yellow dots that track down exactly when and where” a document is printed, enabling someone to identify specifically who printed the document.

Business Insider’s Sonam Sheth reports on some of the reactions to these new revelations in Politics: ‘This is huge’: National-security experts were floored by the leaked NSA document on Russia election hack,


With all eyes on Russian hacking and Reality Winner, you may have missed what Lionel Barber calls “BIG QATAR scoop.” In an exclusive for the Financial Times, Erika Soloman reports on The $1bn hostage deal that enraged Qatar’s Gulf rivals. Tweets Jim Pickard, “Staggering: Qatar paid $1bn to al-Qaeda & Iranians to release royals kidnapped during hunting trip to Iraq.”

The sword dance was for nothing

And this: According to Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution, The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news (19,000+ shares). Conor Powell explains: “Unlikely #Saudis could pay for a $110 billion deal any longer due to low oil prices & 2plus years old war in Yemen.” Says Richard Hall, “This is remarkable. Trump's Saudi arms deal was all hot air. The sword dance was for nothing.” Speaking of the Saudis, according to a report by Byron Tau and Rebecca Ballhaus in The Wall Street Journal, Trump Hotel Received $270,000 From Lobbying Campaign Tied to Saudis (19,000+ shares). Tweets Tau, “Trump hotel got $270,000 in business from the Saudi government as part of a lobbying campaign against 9/11 bill.”

Well, that backfired

According to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, Nearly 6 in 10 oppose Trump scrapping Paris agreement, as Brady Dennis reports for the Washington Post. “Well, that backfired,” says Emily Cahn. And, as Jane Mayer writes for The New Yorker, In the Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Koch Brothers’ Campaign Becomes Overt (13,000+ shares). That’s Mayer “who literally wrote the book on them,” as Michael Luo notes. Mayer writes, "It is, perhaps, the most astounding example of influence-buying in modern American political history." Tweets Leon Lazaroff, “@JaneMayerNYer nails backstory to Trump's gratuitous decision to withdraw from Paris Agreement, follow Kochs $$$”

On the heels of all this, we learn Acting US ambassador to China, David H. Rank, resigns (19,000+ shares), reportedly over Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, according to CNN’s Elise Labott, Zachary Cohen and Michelle Kosinski. Tweets Keith Boykin, “This is the second ambassador to defy Trump in 2 days. Trump is at war with his own administration.” Which is a nice segue to Mark Landler’s piece in The New York Times, Some U.S. Diplomats Stage Quiet Revolt Amid Tensions With Trump (13,000+ shares). Tweets Landler, “From Beijing to London, a quiet revolt by senior career diplomats against President Trump.” The New York Times tweets, “David Rank was told to present Trump’s rationale for withdrawing from the Paris accord. Instead, he resigned.”

That thing Donald Trump's doing will be ready in two weeks. (It never is.)

Alex Wayne links to Toluse Olorunnipa’s piece in Bloomberg, In Trump's White House, Everything's Coming in `Two Weeks'. Tweets Max Abelson, “Finally a story as beautiful as Grizzly Bear's Two Weeks, thank you @ToluseO.”

Meanwhile at The Wall Street JournalThe Buck Stops Everywhere Else is where those “Notorious lefties on WSJ edit board come down on Trump,” says Craig Newman. “Those raving pinkies at the WSJ have really torn into @realDonaldTrump,” tweets Nick O'Malley. And Chris Isidore calls it “Harsh criticism of Tweeter-in-chief by that bastion of liberal MSM - opinion page of Rupert Murdoch's WSJ.” As Rachel Stassen-Berger says, “When you've lost the WSJ editorial page....”

Zombie myths

“Once more, with feeling” tweets Maud Newton. With their new analysis in the Washington Post, Nicholas Carnes and Vanderbilt University Associate Professor Noam Lupu say It’s time to bust the myth: Most Trump voters were not working class (24,000+ shares). “Who ever would have thought?” asks Wesley Lowery. “One more time for the people in the back,” tweets Caitlin Gibson. Ah, never mind. “It's a zombie myth that will never die…” says Joshua Holland.

Thank you for this genius

Max Read says, “this is excellent life advice that i have never ever followed.” Of her piece for Jezebel, Just Give It 7 Seconds, Leah Beckmann tweets, “I wrote about a rule I live and die by. Do not think about anything you've ever said or done for more than 7 seconds.” Tweets Kristin Salaky, “Welcome to my brain. Thank you for this genius.” And Kathryn Jezer-Morton says, “This is a HIGHLY serviceable piece that I will probably never fully be able to apply, but I'll try.” Or as William Turton puts it, “life is a series of extremely embarrassing and painful events until you die but this might help.”

Bob’s gonna get paid…

Joe Sneve is referring to the fact that, as The Guardian puts it, Bob Dylan delivers 'extraordinary' Nobel lecture - in the nick of time. Says Joe Heim, “Bob Dylan's Nobel acceptance speech is transfixing/hypnotic. A weird work of art all on its own.” “What a marvellous, moving recitation. The lecture which concludes the Swedish Academy’s ‘Dylan adventure,’” tweets Ranjita Ganesan.

Making the rounds:

About the author

Nashville-based writer, marketing communications consultant, and all-around word nerd. Usually covered in dog and/or cat hair.

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