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Vox Sentences: Trump is gonna build a wall and make, uh, somebody pay for it?

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US intelligence agencies release their report on Russian hacking; a plan for the wall (you'll never guess who's paying); an airport shooting in Fort Lauderdale.

Official government report: Russia haz 1337 h4xx0r5

A hacker Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • The US government's intelligence agencies have released their joint report on hacking during the US presidential campaign — reiterating the conclusion, arrived at by all three major agencies (the FBI, CIA, and NSA) that the Russians directed the hacks to destabilize the election (with the FBI and CIA also asserting they did it to help Donald Trump). [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • The report was short on new evidence — probably in part because it was written to be unclassified, probably in part because it had to reflect the consensus of all three agencies. [Susan Hennessey via Twitter]
  • As a result, it's more a profile of Russia's propagandistic media presence (which has been trying to sow panic and paranoia in the US for some time) than of the specific effort to hack the emails of Democratic National Committee staff and Hillary Clinton's campaign chair. [New Yorker / Adrian Chen]
  • Before releasing the report to the public, members of the intelligence community briefed President-elect Donald Trump. But while his statement about the briefing (issued only 10 minutes after it ended) praised US intelligence, he doesn't appear to have accepted the report's conclusions — like, any of them. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • It's unclear what comes next. A group of Democratic senators have called for an independent commission to review the hacks. [Sen. Dianne Feinstein]
  • Republicans aren't getting behind that idea yet. But they do appear to trust (and like) the intelligence community more than the president-elect does — which could create tension down the road. [Lawfare / Benjamin Wittes]

The president-elect himself, meanwhile, seems more concerned with who leaked some of the report's findings to NBC News beforehand. (Since the leak seems to have been deliberate and sanctioned, he might have a tough time taking action without impugning the intelligence community he claims to respect.) [Donald Trump via Twitter]

Who's gonna pay for the wall?

A border wall Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
  • President-elect Trump's transition team is moving ahead with plans to build some sort of "wall" on the US/Mexico border. They're working with House Republicans to include funding for a "physical barrier" in a spring appropriations bill — forcing Democrats to choose between funding the wall and shutting down the government. [Politico / Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan]
  • (They're planning to use a 2006 law called the Secure Fence Act, which called for 700 miles of double fencing along the border. Those 700 miles are mostly covered by now — but not by a full double fence, much less a wall wall.) [PolitiFact / Robert Farley]
  • Trump still maintains he can get the Mexican government to reimburse wall costs. But for the moment, it looks like Congress — which is to say, America — is paying for it. [NYT / Michael D. Shear and Emmarie Huetteman]
  • This isn't a setback for the Trump team. They see it as pressing an advantage — forcing not only Democrats but also moderate Republicans to get on board with Trump's agenda. [Robert Costa via Twitter]
  • The symbolic importance of "the wall" might make this an attractive fight for Democrats to pick — especially because if it fails, Trump might take it out on congressional Republicans. [Daily Kos / Kerry Eleveld]
  • That's especially true because despite (or perhaps because of) its association with the Trump campaign, building a wall is pretty much Americans' lowest priority when it comes to changing immigration law. [Pew Research Center / Rob Suls]
  • On the other hand, opposing a wall isn't necessarily the highest priority for Democrats either. Immigration advocates (and immigrants in the US) are much more concerned with what Trump plans to do on deportations than what he plans to do on construction. [Washington Post / Greg Sargent]
  • While the politics of the wall fight are based on symbolism, the policy consequences of any additional barrier — in the US and abroad — would be very real. And Trump's team is making it more likely that something will get built. [Vox / Dara Lind]

Gun, checked

Victim of Fort Lauderdale airport shooting being loaded into ambulance Taimy Alvarez/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images
  • Five people have been killed and more than a dozen injured in a mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airport Friday. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • The shooter has been identified as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, a National Guard and Army Reserves veteran with reported mental health issues. [AP]
  • The shooting is likely to reignite debates over airport security, just as a mass shooting at Los Angeles International Airport in 2013 did — but there's not a ton that can be done to prevent crowded airport spaces outside of the TSA security checkpoints from being attractive shooting targets. [The Verge / Amar Toor]
  • (Of course, the same features also make airports an attractive target for false alarms — something LAX also experienced last year.) [MultiBriefs / Ryan Clark]
  • The wrinkle in this case is that Santiago reportedly had checked the gun in luggage on his way into Fort Lauderdale — something that, as long as the gun is unloaded and other conditions are met, might have been totally legal. [TSA]
  • Speaking about the shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott tried to preempt any discussion of gun control by saying this was "not the time to be political." [AP]
  • That might create some awkwardness for state legislators, who, a few days before this supposedly apolitical moment, decided to start pushing for Florida to legalize open carry. [Vox / German Lopez]



  • "You are more likely to be punched to death in Texas than any other state." [Texas House Committee on Corrections / Jim Murphy and Laurie McAnally]
  • "It's now illegal to have full nudity at funerals." [CNN / Steve George and Jane Zhang]
  • "It's not a trend that we're too worried about because out of 13 [sex attacks], only two were true stranger rapes. They're not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets." [NYPD Captain Peter Rose to DNAinfo NY / Gwynne Hogan]
  • "What most Japanese police will do is get huge futons and essentially roll up a person who is being violent or drunk into a little burrito and carry them back to the station to calm them down." [Anthony Berteaux to BBC / Harry Low]
  • "I went on to sell my business for millions, and I’ve had people ask me how proud I must be of that success. I am certainly proud of the team I had the honor to work with and the things we were able to build. That said, I don’t feel like I deserve to have more success and privilege than others. There are plenty of people smarter than me who work harder than me their entire lives and have little to show for it." [Medium / Jason Ford]

Watch this: Vox interviews President Obama on the future of Obamacare

Vox’s Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff talk with the president about his landmark health care law as Republicans begin their effort to repeal it. [YouTube / Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Barack Obama]

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