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AUGUST 22, 2018


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"I am stoked" – A California politician, reacting to news that surfing is now the official state sport. Jeah, dude.


The Story

Yesterday, two former Trump aides became felons.

One at a time, please.

Let's start with President Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen. For a long time, Cohen was Trump's go-to guy. Cohen even said he'd "take a bullet" for him. Then a few months ago, the FBI said 'don't mind us' and raided Cohen's apartment, hotel room, and office. After that, Cohen said 'did I say bullet?' And seems to have flipped.


Because yesterday, he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of violating campaign finance law, tax evasion, and bank fraud. The latter two are personal problems. But the campaign finance violation is where Trump comes in.


Remember Stormy Daniels? She's the porn star who claims to have had an affair with Trump. And who Cohen paid $130,000 to so she'd keep quiet about it. Yesterday, Cohen told the court 'Trump made me do it.' Something Trump has denied in the past. Cohen also admitted to paying to make a story about another alleged Trump affair go away. And said he did these things "for the principal purpose of influencing the election."

That doesn't sound great.

It's not. Cohen just implicated the president of the United States in a federal crime.

Yikes. So who's the other guy?

Paul Manafort. Yesterday, Trump's former campaign chairman was found guilty of eight counts of tax and bank fraud. But the jury couldn't decide on the 10 other charges. TBD what happens with those. Next month, he gets to face another trial. This time on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy related to his lobbying work in Ukraine. Fun.

What's Trump saying?

That he feels "very badly" for Manafort. But that this proves nothing related to him. He's said nothing on Cohen.


Neither of these cases are directly related to whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. But special counsel Robert Mueller now has leverage on people in Trump's inner circle as the list of criminal charges continues to grow.

PS: Michael Cohen isn't leaving your newsfeed anytime soon. Get our app to hear more about him.


What to say when you hear Facebook is reportedly rating users on trustworthiness

Not the only news for the co. Yesterday, Facebook revealed that it removed hundreds of shady accounts and pages from Iran – both on Facebook and Insta. The accounts were aimed at people in Latin America, the UK, the Middle East, and the US in a misinformation campaign it says dates back to 2011. The company says it's still investigating, and that it shared all the deets with the US and UK govs. Separately, it says it's found more shady Russia accounts focusing on politics in Syria and Ukraine. In other news about the Kremlin playing with toys, Microsoft said the group that hacked the DNC is back. And targeting conservative US think tanks ahead of the midterms. Speaking of midterms, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) might have just made things easier for his opponent. Yesterday, he and his wife were charged with using campaign funds for personal use (think: a flight for their rabbit). TBD how this plays out with voters.

PS: Midterms are 76 days away. Make sure you're ready.

Who's not welcome here...

This 95-year-old former Nazi guard who was living in the US. Yesterday, the White House announced that he had been deported to Germany. After the end of WWII, he left Europe for the US, where he became a citizen in the '50s by lying about his Nazi past to US immigration officials. In 2001, he 'fessed up. And in 2003, the US took away his citizenship. The gov's been trying to deport him ever since. Now, he finally got the boot. It's unclear if he'll face any criminal charges back in Germany.

What to say when you're hanging up a new frame…

A little bit higher. Yesterday, the S&P 500 hit an all-time high. And tied the record for the longest bull market ever. And it's all thanks to a strong economy and companies making bank.

What to say when your OOO gets approved…

I'm free. Just like animal crackers.