Brier patch

“For people around the president and the legal teams, it's become a circular firing squad.”

That’s The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, who links to her piece with Peter Baker, Rancor at White House as Russia Story Refuses to Let the Page Turn (11,700+ shares). As she and Baker write, “The Russia story has become the brier patch from which the president seemingly cannot escape.” (“The Times with the Joel Chandler Harris-preferred ‘brier’ …” tweets Joe Kovac Jr.) “Advisers said the president was annoyed not so much by his son as by the headlines,” they report.

Josh Barro tweets, “nelson muntz laugh dot gif,” highlighting the fact that three people say Donald Jr. wanted to offer a full explanation as soon as he was contacted by The Times about the meeting, while three other people insisted he adamantly resisted disclosure. “Today POTUS praised son for “transparency.’ 3 days ago, he signed off on Jr's statement that was a model of opacity,” tweets Trip Gabriel. Also: “!!! Trump's personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz has privately said he may resign,” notes Eric Geller. “This piece by @maggieNYT and @peterbakernyt reads like the final scene of ‘Reservoir Dogs,’” says Mark Mazzetti.

And on the subject of Marc Kasowitz, ProPublica’s Justin Elliott and Jesse Eisinger report, Trump’s Russia Lawyer Isn’t Seeking Security Clearance, And May Have Trouble Getting One.

At The Washington Post, sources tell Ashley Parker it’s a ‘Category 5 hurricane’: White House under siege by Trump Jr.’s Russia revelations (26,000+ shares). Once again, we learn, as Gideon Resnick tweets, “Trump's ‘frustration is based on the media coverage of his son’s actions, as opposed to the actions themselves,’” and Rosalind Helderman highlights, “Plan underway to search key reporters’ work, going back years to look for errors." Ben White notes, “Don Jr., through a friend, uses a Nixon reference to defend himself. Remarkable.” But check your comparisons, says Abdul Hakim-Shabazz: “To call the @realDonaldTrump administration a @HouseofCards plot only applies to Season 3.”

And then at The Associated Press, Jonathan Lemire and Julie Pace report, As Russia scandal touches his son, Trump privately rages. They note, “The public has not laid eyes on the president since his return from Europe Saturday.” And despite Trump’s tweets to the contrary, Lemire says, “Our reporting suggests that the president is, in fact, watching plenty of TV.”

POLITICO’s Tara Palmeri and Josh Dawsey also weigh in, with White House aides feeling ‘helpless’ as Trump Jr. scandal blossoms, and Steven Russolillo credits them with the ‘Lede of the year,” which confirms the AP reporting about TV-watching.

But for the “hottest take,” as Farhad Manjoo tweets, head to the New York Post for Donald Trump Jr. is an idiot. Sounds harsh, but, says Daniel Dale, “Right-wing media scathingly calling Donald Jr. an idiot isn’t them turning on Trump, it’s them defending Trump.”

For more on that, CNNMoney’s Oliver Darcy takes a look at how the Pro-Trump media scrambles to react to bombshell emails. As Darcy tweets, “Got my hands on Breitbart's internal Slack convo after @DonaldJTrumpJr email news dropped,” which included this reaction from Raheem Kassam, editor-in-chief of Breitbart London: “So like, this is straight up collusion.” The take from Breitbart’s Washington editor, Matthew Boyle, was a bit different: “I mean I don't take this as a smoking gun at all. This is silly.”

Meanwhile, “Oppo, how DOES it work? Yes, I wrote an explainer,” tweets Jonathan Martin of his primer in The New York Times, Campaign Opposition Research Is Standard. But Not ‘Oppo’ From Hostile Nations.

So much for that ‘nyet’

Now, about that Russian lawyer. “Big story from @McClatchyDC 's @KevinGHall,” tweets Alex Halperin, who links to the piece from McClatchy’s Kevin Hall, Lawyer that met Don Jr. had ties to Russian government, spy agency. “So much for that ‘nyet’ …” says Kristin Roberts. “No question she's connected to Kremlin,” tweets Tara Setmayer, linking to Natalia Veselnitskaya, Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr., Seen as Fearsome Moscow Insider, by Neil MacFarquhar and Andrew Kramer of The New York Times. Garance Franke-Ruta sees “More dots, connecting.”

Next-level

In an exclusive for McClatchy, Peter Stone and Greg Gordon are reporting Trump-Russia investigators probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation. They write, “Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.” Tweets Matt DeRienzo, “Lots of crazy Trump revelations right now, but this would be next-level, go-to-prison, criminal election-stealing.” Says Siddhartha Mahanta, “Terrific piece. Helped me synthesize the scope and mechanics of the investigation. All hail Peter Stone.”

Juuuust fine

There are other huge stories happening right now. For example, Giant iceberg splits from Antarctic, reports BBC News’ Jonathan Amos, and also reported in USA Today by Doyle Rice, Massive iceberg breaks off Antarctica. “This is fine. Juuuust fine,” says Nancy Armour, but somehow we don’t feel better about “The 1 trillion ton iceberg, which is twice of the volume of Lake Erie” and “roughly the size of Delaware.”

And then The New York Times’ Tatiana Schlossberg reports, Era of ‘Biological Annihilation’ Is Underway, Scientists Warn. “Extinctions get all the attention, but the population decline of many species is even more alarming,” tweets Brad Plumer.

Also, Hackers have been stealing credit card numbers from Trump’s hotels for months, reports The Washington Post’s Abha Bhattarai.

Where’d I put my photon?

But here it is. The really big story. Or “Hole. Lee. Schnikes,” as Trace Dominguez puts it. “uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, guys, the Chinese TELEPORTED SOMETHING INTO SPACE,” tweets Dylan Scott. They’re referring to the BBC News report, First object teleported to Earth's orbit. “WHAT SORCERY IS THIS,” demands Chris Krewson. “Sure just a photon so far, but rumor has it next time they'll try sending mac&cheese,” says Tom Foreman. Kim Janssen notes, “Teleporting is real according to this story, which I don't pretend to understand.” John Templon explains, “‘Teleporting’ is used very loosely here. It's more changing a coupled state.” Whatever that means! Anyway, Linda Ge says, “Teleportation is my snake-evasion tactic of choice while hiking so I'm glad science is finally catching up.” “Wow. Scientists teleported something. On Prime Day. Imagine how quick packages will get to us in the future,” notes Josh Greenman. But Melissa Grey speaks for all of us when she tweets, “wtf my dudes.”

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