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Recode Daily: Congress back-pats Facebook and Twitter for fighting foreign influence

Plus, The New York Times published a shocking op-ed by an anonymous senior White House official; Mr. and Mrs. Bezos make their first ($10 million) political donation; Silicon Valley goes to charm school.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hold up their right hands to be sworn in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are sworn in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 5, 2018.
Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg survived their grueling grilling on Capitol Hill. Google’s empty chair took a beating. And internet trolls showed up in real life to show what internet trolling looks like in real life. After the morning hearing, Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee credited the social media giants for their efforts to recognize and respond to foreign influence campaigns on their platforms, agreeing with Twitter’s CEO and Facebook’s COO that the responsibility for ridding their platforms of foreign meddling would require government help. In her New York Times op-ed, Kara Swisher weighed in on this week’s political theater starring Silicon Valley. And here’s a comparison of Dorsey and Sandberg’s personal styles. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to meet with state attorneys general later this month to discuss a “growing concern” that social media giants are “hurting competition” and “intentionally stifling” certain viewpoints. The Department of Justice’s move comes after President Trump accused social media firms of interfering in the 2016 presidential election. [Deepa Seetharaman, Dustin Volz and John D. McKinnon / The Wall Street Journal]

The New York Times published a shocking op-ed essay by an anonymous senior official in the Trump administration. The essay — which reads like a missing chapter from Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” claims that there is a “quiet resistance” within the White House, and that many of Trump’s own team are “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations” in the best interests of the American people. Trump called Woodward’s book “a con of the people,” and dissed the editorial as “gutless.” Some online sleuths are pointing to Mike Pence as the author, zeroing in on one unusual word. [Anonymous / The New York Times]

Add another name to the paywall list: The Wrap, journalist Sharon Waxman’s nine-year-old Hollywood publication, is building a subscription product by buying a subscription site. The Wrap has acquired VideoInk, a niche publication covering the ins and outs of digital media and the digital video business in particular. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos donated $10 million to a nonpartisan political super PAC called With Honor, which aims to get 20 veterans from both parties elected into the U.S. House of Representatives during the midterms. The donation is the couple’s first major political contribution. [Rachel Siegel, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and John Wagner / The Washington Post]

Blood-testing startup Theranos said in an email to shareholders that the company will formally dissolve, a move that comes after prosecutors filed criminal charges against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and another executive earlier this year over allegations that they defrauded investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars. [John Carreyrou / The Wall Street Journal]

Ten years after the crash, George Packer takes stock of the financial crisis of 2008, which was years in the making and has had a lasting impact on American political life. [George Packer / The New Yorker]

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