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Roger Stone thinks Mueller is going to indict him; Nicolás Maduro wins in Venezuela.
Mueller could fire up the indictment machine soon
- This week began like many do these days: after a weekend full of Trump-Russia news. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
- Let’s start at the beginning. On Saturday, the New York Times broke a major story detailing another suspected Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., an adviser to the crowned prince of the United Arab Emirates, an Israeli social media specialist, and a big Trump donor in August 2016. [NYT / Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman, and David D. Kirkpatrick]
- What we know: There have been several meetings, Russia is somehow connected, there was an offer for social media help in the election, and the UAE princes didn’t want Hillary Clinton to win. And this UAE adviser is working with Mueller. What we don’t know: what actually happened in those meetings, and whether a foreign entity helped Trump’s campaign. [NYT / Mark Mazzetti, David D. Kirkpatrick, and Adam Goldman]
- But that’s not all that happened. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s somewhat newly appointed lawyer, who just keeps talking, keeps going back on forth on a possible interview between Trump and Mueller’s team. [CNBC / Javier David]
- On Friday, Giuliani said he’d negotiated to narrow the scope of a possible interview and seemed positive about it, only to go back Saturday and make more demands about an unnamed FBI source, who reportedly shared details about interactions with the Trump campaign in 2016. [WSJ / Peter Nicholas and Sadie Gurman]
- About that unnamed FBI source ...Trump is really mad about it. So much so that on Sunday, he escalated his feud with the Justice Department on Twitter, publicly calling for an investigation into whether the FBI “infiltrated” the Trump campaign during the 2016 election cycle to investigate possible ties to Russia. [Donald Trump via Twitter]
- This story about an unnamed FBI source, which conservatives are using as a counternarrative to flip the script on all the Russia scandal news, is about a professor doubling as a secret FBI informant who approached the Trump campaign and struck up a conversation with Carter Page. Trump’s circle is raising questions around this informant’s role, claiming that he illegally spied on the campaign. [Washington Post / Robert Costa, Carol Leonnig, and Tom Hamburger]
- Needless to say, the FBI’s investigation seems to be ramping up, and people are waiting for the indictments to keep rolling in. Roger Stone, specifically, think he’s going to get indicted — or so he told reporters on Sunday. [NBC News / Kailani Koenig]
- As we said, there’s a lot going on.
Nicolás Maduro gets six more years
- Nicolás Maduro won a second six-year term as Venezuelan president, in an outcome that surprised no one. [NYT / William Neuman and Nicholas Casey]
- The Venezuelan opposition and the international community determined Maduro’s victory a sham, as the popular opposition leaders who could challenge Maduro were barred from running. Pro-government parties also promised food and money to desperate citizens. [NPR / Scott Neuman]
- The US had threatened to levy more sanctions on Venezuela because of the election, and on Monday, the Trump administration followed through. [Reuters]
- But Maduro’s win is also his loss. He governs over a country in turmoil. The economy is in shambles, with rampant hyperinflation. Food shortages have left people starving. The government is failing to provide basic services. And a refugee crisis is brewing as more Venezuelans attempt to flee the growing chaos in their country. [Wall Street Journal / Kejal Vyas and Juan Forero]
- The outlook for Venezuela is bleak, and Maduro’s continued slide into authoritarianism is part of a troubling trend in Latin America. [Slate / Michael Albertus]
- On why preventing the next school shooting is so incredibly difficult. [Atlantic / Barbara Bradley Hagerty]
- Waves of school shootings are producing a new generations of student activists focused on gun prevention. Their activism is the latest chapter of a long history in the United States. [Teen Vogue / Dawson Barrett]
- Military veterans exposed to burn pits — and dealing with the resulting medical problems — are heading to court. [NYT / Seth Harp]
- There’s a U-Haul shortage in the Bay Area because so many people are moving out. [SFGate / Michelle Robertson]
“I came out of the Vietnam War convinced that frankly we could have won, and we had it won. Just as I believed we had the Iraq conflict won after the surge — and for which I sacrificed everything, including my presidential ambitions, that it would succeed.” [John McCain in 2014 to journalist Michael Hirsch, who wrote about McCain’s complex legacy / Politico]