Trump Calls Mueller Probe an ‘Illegal Investigation’


This post is by Tamar Auber from Mediaite


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On Thursday, President Donald Trump called the Mueller probe an “illegal investigation.” Trump’s remarks were made during an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News. “I view it differently. I view it as an illegal investigation” Trump said,  referring to the probe before adding that unnamed  “great scholars” have claimed “there never should have been a special counsel,” in the first place. According to Yahoo,  Trump was likely referring to talk — discounted by his own lawyers — that Mueller was illegally appointed. Yahoo reports:

Some legal experts have questioned the Justice Department’s naming of Mueller, a former FBI director, to handle the probe in the absence of a specific law governing special prosecutors.

But Trump’s own Justice Department says it is legal.

Earlier this month Andrew Miller, a one-time aide to former Trump political consultant Roger Stone, challenged the legality of Mueller’s appointment in appeals court.

During the Continue reading "Trump Calls Mueller Probe an ‘Illegal Investigation’"

Special Counsel Seeking Immunity for Five Unnamed Persons in Case Against Paul Manafort


This post is by Caleb Howe from Mediaite


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Former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort is in jail, awaiting trial on a series of charges, including conspiracy against the United States, as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Ahead of that trial, the Special Counsel’s office notified the court today that they are seeking immunity for five persons, unnamed, and who NBC investigative reporter Tom Winter says have not previously been named in connection with the case.

Russian Dressing On Everything


This post is by WNYC Studios from On the Media


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Reporting on the Russia investigation is not for the faint of heart. This week, a look at how a journalist became entangled in the investigation when she turned her source over to the FBI. Plus, how another reporter avoided common journalistic mistakes during the Iraq War and a conversation with the director of the new documentary The Other Side of Everything about the end of Yugoslavia.
  1. Tom Nichols [@RadioFreeTom], professor of national security at the Naval War College, on separating the signal from the noise in stories about Trump's relations with RussiaListen.

  2. Marcy Wheeler [@emptywheel], national security blogger, on her decision to out a source to the FBIListen.

  3. Jonathan Landay [@JonathanLanday], national security correspondent at Reuters, on his reporting at the outset of the Iraq WarListen.

4. Mila Turajlić, director of "The Other Side of Everything," on her mother's dissent against the former Yugoslavian governmentListen.

Trump Says ‘Mueller Probe Should Never Have Been Started’ in Scathing Tweets After McCabe Firing


This post is by Chris Riotta from Mediaite


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President Donald Trump unleashed a series of scathing tweets on Saturday, blasting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation and Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI. The president’s tweets were unusual — even for him — in that they arrived the same day his personal lawyer said the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election should come to an end, before walking that statement back shortly after. “The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” the president tweeted Saturday night. “It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!”

WATCH: James Corden and Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ Remake Features Trump, Mueller and the Pee Tape


This post is by Chris Riotta from Mediaite


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President Donald Trump now has a new theme song he can play on repeat while eating McDonald’s in bed and furiously watching multiple news networks at once — all thanks to Shaggy. The Jamaican singer (and former Marine) most known for his hit single “It Wasn’t Me” joined forces with CBS’ The Late, Late Show with James Corden on Wednesday night to revive the iconic 2000 bop. This time around, the song features a politically-charged narrative with Corden playing Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Shaggy playing the embattled president of the United States. A music video the pair created for the remix depicts a scenario some may predict could happen any day now: Mueller showing up to the White House surrounded by FBI agents, demanding to interrogate the commander in chief. “Special Counsel got you sweating like crazy, tweeting that it’s a witch hunt,” Corden sings. “All this time my investigation Continue reading "WATCH: James Corden and Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ Remake Features Trump, Mueller and the Pee Tape"

Like We Used To Do


This post is by WNYC Studios from On the Media


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In an age of constant breaking news, it can be hard to tell what matters and what’s just noise. This week, a look at what we’ve learned from recent coverage of the Russia investigation, and what we’ve missed everywhere else — particularly in West Virginia, where a recent teachers' strike made history. Plus, a dive into the complicated history of country music and why we so often get it wrong.
  1. Marcy Wheeler [@emptywheel], independent investigative reporter, on decontextualized Mueller scooplets. Listen.

  2. Farhad Manjoo [@fmanjoo], columnist at the New York Times, on his month of print-only newsListen.

  3. Sarah Jaffe [@sarahljaffe], journalist and co-host of the podcast Belabored, on the teachers' strike in West Virginia, and Elizabeth Catte [@elizabethcatte], historian and writer, on the news media's narratives regarding Appalachia. Listen.

  4. J. Lester Feder [@jlfeder], Continue reading "Like We Used To Do"

Fire With Fire


This post is by WNYC Studios from On the Media


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When it comes to fighting fire with fire, common knowledge would have us leave the pyrotechnics to the trained professionals. This week, though, we take a look at those taking matters into their own hands, no matter the heat. With far-right internet trolls publishing the phone numbers and addresses of their "antifa" enemies, leftists are weighing the merits of returning the favor. CNN gets caught up in the frenetic energy of the Twitter presidency and the Russia investigations — and completely misfires. Plus, how Detroit's "chief storyteller" plans to counter incomplete narratives with more genuine — and government-funded — stories of his own. 
  1. Brooke on Fox News's and congressional Republicans' recent attacks on the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller. 

  2. Glenn Greenwald [@ggreenwald], editor at The Intercept, on CNN's mistaken reporting on Wikileaks and Donald Trump, Jr. last week, and the media's seeming frenzy to Continue reading "Fire With Fire"

Off the Radar


This post is by WNYC Studios from On the Media


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Following the announcement of the first indictments in Robert Mueller's special investigation, the media were scrambling to put together the pieces...or else ignoring the news completely. How to make sense of the details, and the silences, in Mueller's first public release and in some of the media's apparent apathy. Also, how the NPR newsroom responded when one of its own was brought down for sexual harassment. And a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner talks about unredacting the bestseller he wrote behind bars and what he's learned about America's opaque military and justice systems.
  1. Bob looks at how Rupert Murdoch's media empire spins all things Trump. And Sarah Ellison [@sarahlellison], special correspondent for Vanity Fair, helps to explain the mogul's long game.
  2. Marcy Wheeler [@emptywheel], independent investigative journalist, breaks down what we know from the first Mueller indictments, what we can surmise and what the media need to be Continue reading "Off the Radar"

Huckabee Doesn’t Know Why Mueller Called Him, But Expects it to be Leaked In ‘NY Slimes Or Wash Compost’


This post is by Joe Bilello from Mediaite


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43 Former Arkansas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee sent a tweet Thursday night saying that Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to investigate the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russian officials, called him to talk, but he isn’t sure why. The former Fox News host also took the opportunity to take a shot at the Trump administration’s apparent problem with leaking among their own ranks as well as hurling a few insults at the New York Times and Washington Post. “Yikes! Robert Mueller called me; wants to talk; Don’t know what it’s about, but it will be leaked in NY Slimes or Wash Compost tomorrow,” Huckabee tweeted. Earlier Thursday morning via Continue reading "Huckabee Doesn’t Know Why Mueller Called Him, But Expects it to be Leaked In ‘NY Slimes Or Wash Compost’"