In Midweek News: Trump-Putin Summit, Mueller Probe, Russia-NRA Arrest

Jul 18, 2018

With Anthony Brooks

We just can’t wait until Friday. Trump and Putin, the latest on the special counsel’s investigation, Maria Butina charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation. Join us for a special midweek edition of the news roundtable.


Paula Reid, justice and legal affairs correspondent for CBS News. (@PaulaReidCBS)

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, White House correspondent for The New York Times. (@juliehdavis)

From The Reading List

NPR: “Trump’s Helsinki Bow To Putin Leaves World Wondering: Why?” — “The president on Monday had evinced little if any concern about the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference — even after having acknowledged moments earlier the consensus reports from U.S. intelligence regarding that interference. Yet it was striking to see him nod as Putin denied any involvement, and when Putin owned up to wanting Trump to win the election ‘because he [Trump] talked about bringing the U.S. Russia relationship back to normal.’ ”

Washington Post: “Maria Butina, Russian gun-rights advocate who sought to build ties with NRA, charged with acting as a covert Russian agent” — “A Russian woman with ties to a senior Russian government official was charged in Washington on Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation, including by building ties to the leadership of the National Rifle Association and other conservative political organizations. Maria Butina, 29, who recently received a graduate degree from American University, was arrested Sunday in the District and made her first appearance in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson, where she was ordered held without bond.”

Wired: “What Robert Mueller Knows—and 9 Areas He’ll Pursue Next” — “The sheer volume of what Robert Mueller knows is staggering. Perusing his various court filings since last September makes clear he knew the individual changes Paul Manafort made in a specific Microsoft Word document; he knew that Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan was lying about what he did on behalf of Manafort and Gates; he knew the specific times Russia military intelligence officers were searching specific words way back in 2016; he knew the specific cryptocurrency transactions used to register the Russian intelligence agency accounts; he knows what the hired trolls at the Internet Research Agency were writing in emails to their family members in 2017; he knew the messages Manafort was sending on encrypted messaging services.”

A cyclone of international diplomacy, Trump-style, battered the world this week. On the heels of a NATO summit where the President insulted close allies, he buddied up to Putin in Helsinki, sparking outrage from Democrats and many Republicans. Then he doubled down and called Helsinki an even bigger success than the NATO meeting, and dismissed the criticism as “fake news.” Now, damage control. He misspoke.

This hour, On Point: And the week is only half over.

— Anthony Brooks

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