Obviously

Paul Szoldra is not too shocked over the breaking news, as reported by Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, Justin Sink and Margaret Talev, Trump Said to Not Have Recordings of Conversations With Comey. Or as Kelly Cohen puts it, “welp. no comey tapes.” “well duh,” says David Mack. “Well, not anymore, obviously,” says Megan McCarthy. Steven Rich tweets, “Again, this was a simple question that could have been answered an eon ago,” but as Ian Swanson explains, “Trump was using strategery by talking about taping Comey.” As Maggie Haberman reports in The New York Times, Trump Indicates Tape Tweet Was Meant to Affect Comey Testimony.

The Preet memos…

Jacob Kornbluh refers you to new scoop from BuzzFeed’s Jason Leopold, which reveals that a Memo Shows Preet Bharara Was Concerned About Contact From White House. Tweets Leopold, “SCOOP: I obtained via #FOIA the email @PreetBharara wrote to DOJ about his phone call from Trump.”

A+ reporting

“You're going to want to read this…” says J duLac. At the Washington Post, Greg MillerEllen Nakashima and Adam Entous have the exclusive on Obama’s secret struggle to retaliate against Putin’s election interference, which reveals that the CIA captured Putin’s specific instructions – defeat Clinton and help elect Trump. Philip Bump says, “This is a remarkably interesting story,” and Amanda Katz tweets, “Man. Highest levels of gov were already seething about what to do re Russian elex interference last yr. A+ reporting.”

Meanwhile, Trump is struggling to stay calm on Russia, one morning call at a time, according to the latest from Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker at the Washington Post, who report that Trump takes a calming early morning call from his lawyers each day. Tweets Maggie Haberman, “Really nice @PhilipRucker @AshleyRParker piece on a legal issue that POTUS still treats as PR problem,” who points out, “Also, the WaPo duo note that Reince is likely to leave WH before Spicer does, even if he gets to say it was by choice.”

And, “Trump is now suggesting to Fox News that an effort to remove Mueller is a real possibility,” tweets Greg Sargent, of the Fox News story, Trump says Comey-Mueller friendship 'bothersome'.

About that Senate health bill...

In what Jim Sterngold calls a “Made for twitter headline,” Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times offers analysis of the Senate health care bill in her piece, Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill. Tweets Jordan Zakarin, “Dems need to be screaming this nonstop.”

The prognosis on that bill, from the Washington Post’s Paige Winfield Cunningham: McConnell will be a legislative wizard if health care passes.

And many have been sharing a president’s latest social media post, but this time, Facebook is the medium of choice. Here’s President Obama’s take on the Senate’s health care bill.

And speaking of social media...

‘How else can a Kenyan creampuff get ahead?’ is just one of the disturbing tweets sent by this Trump Energy Department agency head. That scoop is courtesy of Dino Grandoni at the Washington Post, who writes, “Before William C. Bradford was appointed by the Trump administration to run the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy, he tweeted a slew of disparaging remarks about the real and imagined ethnic, religious and gender identities of former President Obama, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, TV news host Megan Kelly and Japanese-Americans during World War II.” Tweets Paulina Firozi, “.@dino_grandoni with old tweets from a Trump Energy Dept. agency head that you should really take a moment to read.”

First Ford, now this

Carrier moving jobs Trump vowed to save to Mexico, reports Alayna Treene for Axios. In her piece, she notes that the heating and air-conditioning manufacturer “is laying off more than 600 employees from its Indianapolis plant next month, the same plant then President-Elect Trump vowed to keep on American soil, per CNBC. Those manufacturing jobs will go to Mexico, where labor is significantly cheaper.” Josh Greenman, for one, is “Tired of all the winning.”

And this is awkward: Trump visited this Boeing factory to celebrate jobs. It just announced layoffs, reports the Washington Post’s Danielle Paquette.

Also FYI, The Sun Won't Pay for Trump's Wall, Either, says Bloomberg’s Liam Denning, who tweets, “Trump's solar wall would pay for itself roughly by the time the sun dies.”

Wait can I also ask Qatar for money

Chris Taylor is asking in light of the new report from Josh Lederman of The Associated Press, Qatar's neighbors issue steep list of demands to end crisis. Those demands, issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, include shutting down Al-Jazeera and cutting diplomatic ties to Iran, according to a list obtained by AP from one of the countries involved in the dispute. The list also says Qatar must immediately close Turkey’s military base in Qatar and end military cooperation with the NATO member.

Infuriating, important, read it

New in BuzzFeed, Katie J.M. Baker reports on How Accusing A Powerful Man of Rape Drove A College Student To Suicide. As Baker tweets, “Alabama victims must prove they ‘earnestly’ resisted. I wrote about a woman who reported rape, but became a suspect.” Leon Lazaroff calls it a “Heartbreaking story of Tuscaloosa police resistance to investigate rape,” and Carla Astudillo says, “god this @katiejmbaker piece killed me this morning. That poor girl.” Says Ellen Cushing, “This story by @katiejmbaker is infuriating and so important and you should read it.”

Cheese stories

Erik Holm says, “Every detail of this cheese story from @aosipovich is awesome.” In A Better Cheddar Benchmark? A Daily Cheese Auction Is Going Electronic, by The Wall Street Journal’s Alexander Osipovich and Benjamin Parkin, we learn, as Craig Karmin tweets, “People wearing colored jackets in Chicago will be shouting at each other about cheese for the last time today.” Says Nikki Waller, “This country used to make things, and it used to set the price of cheese by screaming for ten minutes. No more.”

Newsroom news

This morning we learned that  New York Legend Gabe Pressman Has Died at 93. As NBC 4 New York, where Pressman worked for more than half a century, notes, the senior correspondent was “a New York icon and pioneering reporter whose local broadcast career spanned more than six decades.” He was credited with being the first television reporter in New York. “America loses a truth teller, I lose a friend,” says Brian Thompson, and Daniel Linden calls it the “End of an era.” For more, read Robert McFadden’s tribute in The New York Times, Gabe Pressman, a Dean of New York Journalism, Dies at 93.

Yesterday, we told you about the AP report, Wall Street Journal fires correspondent over ethics conflict. Today in his morning roundup, Poynter’s James Warren takes a closer look at How The Wall Street Journal fired Jay Solomon.

Ugh

And finally, in what some might say is the most important story of the day, Borys Kit has the exclusive for The Hollywood Reporter, 'Star Wars' Han Solo Movie: Ron Howard Steps In to Direct (30,000+ shares). Glen Oliver’s not feeling it: “Ugh. The movie many said should never have been made now proves unequivocally that it should never have made…” And Nathaniel Lash nails it: “Here's some money, go direct a Star War.”

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