NEWS     FRIDAY,  AUGUST  3, 2018    NEWS

Self-Described Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Coming To LA
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is scheduled to host a fundraising luncheon in downtown Los Angeles Thursday, Aug. 2, for her New York congressional campaign. Tickets for the event at the Los Angeles Theatre Center are priced from $25 to $1,000, according to an online invitation. Ocasio-Cortez was in Northern California Tuesday as part of her third trip outside of New York in three weeks. She began her day in Stockton, meeting with Mayor Michael Tubbs.  Daily News
VOA VIEW: CA is a state full of liberals and socialists.

Suspected Russian Spy Found Working At US Embassy In Moscow
US counter-intelligence investigators discovered a suspected Russian spy had been working undetected in the heart of the American embassy in Moscow for more than a decade, the Guardian has learned. The Russian national had been hired by the US Secret Service and is understood to have had access to the agency’s intranet and email systems, which gave her a potential window into highly confidential material including the schedules of the president and vice-president. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Crazy!

Bookkeeper Testifies In Manafort Trial
Paul Manafort’s longtime bookkeeper testified Thursday that she processed all of Mr. Manafort’s personal expenses, tracked his income and generated his annual financial statements, but didn’t know about more than a dozen accounts Mr. Manafort allegedly controlled in Cyprus. She made her comments as the criminal trial of President Trump’s former campaign chief, who faces tax and bank fraud charges, entered its third day. WSJ

How Trump's Witch Hunt Tweets Create An 'Illusory Truth'
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has heated up, so too have President Trump’s Twitter fingers. The president is fond of repeating certain disparaging phrases about Mueller’s investigation on the social media platform, repeatedly referring to it as a “hoax” and a “scam.” But his favorite moniker by far is “Witch Hunt”—embellished, in recent weeks, to “Rigged Witch Hunt”—which Trump has used a whopping 84 times this year alone in reference to Mueller’s investigation. Atlantic
VOA VIEW: Mueller is a joke.

Dem Midterm Wave Is Possible, Not Guaranteed
As anticipation builds for Democrats aiming to flip the House, and possibly the Senate, in the 2018 midterm elections this November, pollsters predict that the so-called "Blue Wave" is possible, but not a guarantee. "I see the House as a toss-up at this point," CBS News Director of Elections and Surveys Anthony Salvanto said on "The Takeout" podcast. CBS
VOA VIEW: Irresponsible liberal rhetoric.

Schwarzenegger Rips Trump
Arnold Schwarzenegger says President Donald Trump is ‘out of his mind’ for terminating Obama-era fuel emission standards while denying his home state of California the legal right to impose its own regulations. ‘For 48 years - since one of my heroes, then-governor Ronald Reagan, requested it - California has had a waiver from the federal government to clean our own air,’ the former governor tweeted on Thursday. Daily Mail
VOA VIEW: Schwarzengger would be smarter by staying out of politics.

US Stocks Rise As Apple Hits $1Trillion Mark
Technology stocks pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher on Thursday, driven by Apple shares as the iPhone maker became the first publicly traded U.S. company worth a trillion dollars. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) extended its post-earnings rally, gaining 2.9 percent and pushing its market value across the trillion-dollar threshold. Reuters


Sarah Sanders Refuses To Say Press Isn't 'The Enemy Of The People'
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday refused to say the press isn’t “the enemy of the people,” a phrase President Donald Trump has repeatedly used to attack the media. CNN’s Jim Acosta told Sanders during a press briefing that it would be a “good thing if you were to state” that the press is not “the enemy of the people.” But Sanders didn’t acknowledge his request. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: What happened and the by-line are different.

Intelligence Heads Convene At WH Briefing To Warn Of Election Interference
A number of top intelligence community officials gathered at Thursday's White House briefing to discuss U.S. efforts going forward to combat election interference attempts. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was joined by FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone. CBS

CBS Reports Quarterly Earnings
CBS CEO Les Moonves did not address allegations of sexual misconduct on a highly anticipated conference call to discuss the company's quarterly results. At the beginning of the Thursday afternoon call, a CBS executive said they would only take questions related to the company's most recent results, citing legal advice and pending litigation. CBS

US Intelligence Officials Warn Of 'Pervasive' Russian Efforts To Disrupt 2018
Senior intelligence officials described Russian efforts to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections as deep, real and ongoing, showcasing their efforts to combat a threat President Trump has repeatedly dismissed and downplayed. “We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States,” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told reporters at a briefing Thursday. WSJ


Top Trump Donor Agreed To Pay Michael Cohen $10 Million For Nuclear Project Push
A major donor to President Trump agreed to pay $10 million to the president’s then-personal attorney if he successfully helped obtain funding for a nuclear-power project, including a $5 billion loan from the U.S. government, according to people familiar with the matter. The donor, Franklin L. Haney, gave the contract to Trump attorney Michael Cohen in early April to assist his efforts to complete a pair of unfinished nuclear reactors in Alabama, known as the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, these people said. WSJ
VOA VIEW: The truth is ..

Trump Receives New Letter From Kim Jong Un
The White House said Thursday that President Donald Trump received a new letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and responded quickly with a letter of his own. The correspondence, following up on their Singapore summit, came amid fresh concerns over Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization. MSN

Trump Says Only "Fake News" Is The Enemy Of The People
President Trump on Thursday clarified that not all members of the media are the "enemy of the people," just the "FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media." Mr. Trump tweeted that in response to comments his daughter and top aide Ivanka Trump made earlier in the day, when she said she didn't believe the press is the enemy of the people, contradicting her father's past statements. CBS
VOA VIEW: Fake News is the number one enemy of the people.

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Trump's Team Says It Is Ready To Block Russian Election Meddling
U.S. intelligence officials are worried Russia and perhaps other foreign actors look to interfere in November's elections, just as Moscow did in 2016, members of President Donald Trump's national security team said Thursday. The government seeks to meet the threat by working with state and local election officials to protect voting systems from cyberattacks and to block Russia and others from engaging in them, the officials said. USA Today

Russia Trying To Divide US Ahead Of Midterms
Russia is trying to "weaken and divide" the United States ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, members of President Donald Trump's national security team said Thursday, pointing to efforts to combat election interference this fall. U.S. intelligence officials including Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, national security adviser John Bolton, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone appeared together during the White House press briefing where they said they were working with state and local election officials to protect voting systems from threats by Russia and other foreign actors. UPI

Manafort Trial Day 4: Bank Fraud And Bookkeepers
Paul Manafort's federal trial has now entered the alleged bank fraud section. The former Trump campaign chairman's trial is entering its fourth day Friday in Alexandria, Va., with the spotlight moving away from his lavish spending habits and onto how prosecutors say he concealed information from his financial record-keepers and lied about his income to acquire loans. NPR
VOA VIEW: The jury will say.

'We're About To Get Really Nasty Over The Wall': Trump Repeats Shutdown Threat Before Midterms
Despite assurances from a number of prominent Republicans on Capitol Hill that the country will avoid another government shutdown at the end of September, President Donald Trump Thursday repeated his much-publicized stance that a closure is in the cards — and that he would prefer for it to come before the midterm elections. ABC

Pompeo Presses Turkey On Release Of Pastor
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday pushed Turkey to release a detained American pastor whose case prompted the Trump administration to slap sanctions on senior Turkish officials, and said North Korea is still lagging behind on its promise to denuclearize. Fox

WH Asserts 'Vast' Effort To Protect Elections
Responding to wide-ranging criticism that it lacked a clear national strategy to protect U.S. elections, the Trump administration put on a show of force Thursday and said the president had directed a "vast, government-wide effort" to safeguard a cornerstone of American democracy. Yahoo


FAnnie-Freddie Watchdog Under Scrutiny
The top watchdog for a federal housing regulator is under investigation for misconduct after complaints that she bowed to pressure from the agency’s powerful director, Mel Watt, to weaken her office’s oversight. Laura Wertheimer, inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which supervises mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also allegedly disparaged employees and attempted to intimidate witnesses, according to letters and emails obtained by POLITICO. Politico

Republican Party Chair Bashes Koch Network
The head of the Republican National Committee criticized the conservative Koch network of donors on Thursday for threatening to back Democrats, escalating tensions between the party and its core business backers before November's congressional elections. Officials with the Koch network, which was founded by billionaires Charles and David Koch and has pumped millions of dollars into elections helping Republicans, warned last weekend the group would be willing to support Democrats because of concerns that Trump's escalating trade war with other countries could cause a recession. US News
VOA VIEW: The Koch Network better wake up.

Agency Warns Lawmakers That Kavanaugh Documents Not Ready
The National Archives and Records Administration warned lawmakers Thursday that it won't be able to fulfill a GOP request for documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until October, throwing a potential wrench into Republicans' confirmation timeline. Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee have requested documents relating to Kavanaugh's service from 2001 to 2003, when he was a White House lawyer under former President George W. Bush. Bing

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Urban Meyer And The God Complex In College Sports
Urban Meyer is suspended from Ohio State. Yes: the university says it has placed its head football coach on “paid administrative leave,” and surely there are crucial bureaucratic differences between we’re putting you on leave and we’re suspending you from work, but let’s not argue the impact. Meyer—one of the most celebrated coaches in college sports—is officially, stunningly, on ice. WSJ
VOA VIEW: Madness!

NFL Players PAC Targets Two Texas Congressional Races
A group of NFL players looking to take a more aggressive role in American politics are helping a pair of Texans in two of the nation’s hottest congressional races. After raising more than $700,000 for a new political action committee fighting for their interests in Washington, the NFL players have begun cutting their first checks to key political campaigns, specifically targeting two races in Texas. Houston Chronicle

Campaigns On Their Own, As Cyber Threats Roil Midterms
Kamala Harris has been the target of social media misinformation campaigns since she became a U.S. senator. Every month for the last 18 months, her office has discovered on average between three and five fake Facebook profiles pretending to be hers, according to a Harris aide. It's unclear who creates the pages, which are often designed to mislead American voters about the ambitious Democratic senator's policies and positions. ABC

Anit Trump Fervor Runs Hot At Liberal Summit
Centrist Democrats for months have nudged the party’s left flank to avoid the kind of strident partisanship and outright provocations that Donald Trump could seize on to whip up Republicans voters in the midterms. The response from the progressive base this week? Shove off. Politico
VOA VIEW: Progressive is another word for socialist.

Trump Adminstration And California Are On Collision Course
The Trump administration on Aug. 2 formally announced a proposal to freeze fuel economy standards and tailpipe emission standards for new cars. In addition, it is proposing to revoke California’s authority to set more stringent rules. This move by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while expected for months, is the most significant action yet in rolling back efforts by the Obama administration and California to cut greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The Conversation
VOA VIEW: Good for CA and the US.

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Media Firestorm As Trump Sides With Putin Over US Intelligence
At yesterday's Helsinki press conference, Trump refused to side with the findings of his own intelligence community that Putin's government used illegal hacking to influence the election. Instead, he said, "I don’t see why it would be" Russia, and contrasted that with Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial. He then pivoted to "Hillary Clinton's emails," the server and the fact that he beat her in the election. Fox

Trump Takes 'Us Vs. Them' Media War To New Heights
When CNN’s Jim Acosta was booed and cursed at a campaign rally for President Trump this week, many political observers said it exemplified how much the media environment has changed under the current administration — and that is a sign of what’s to come. On Thursday, tensions reached new heights when Acosta walked out of the White House briefing room after press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to answer a pointed question about whether she agreed with Trump that the press was the “enemy of the people.” Hill
VOA VIEW: Acosta is an idiot.

Trump Boasts Sean Hannity's Approval Of Government Shutdown
President Donald Trump seemed to sway heavily from his prepared remarks at a rally Thursday evening in Pennsylvania in a speech where he cited Fox News host Sean Hannity on policy decision and drew comparisons to a mob boss in his negotiations with NATO. The president started off his speech railing against the news media, went into detail about his dismay in how specific events were covered, including his meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin. USA Today

Trump Trashes Media As 'Fake, Fake Disgusting News'
Thundering that the media is the “fake, fake disgusting news,” President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of grievances Thursday at a Pennsylvania campaign rally in which he cast journalists as his true political opponent. Trump barnstormed in a state that he swiped from the Democrats in 2016 and that is home to a Senate seat he is trying to place in the Republicans’ column this fall. But the race between GOP U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta and two-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey took a back seat to Trump’s invectives against the media, which came amid a backdrop of antagonism to journalists from the White House and hostility from the thousands packed into a loud, overheated Wilkes-Barre arena. Time

There's A Virus In Trumpland
It is a truism that the people who attend a rally for President Trump more than two years before he’s on the ballot again are generally strong supporters of President Trump. Especially when those supporters are willing to wait hours in thick humidity in a treeless parking lot here, as thousands did on Thursday night. Make America Great Again hats make a political message, sure, but no one is going to argue with the side benefit of keeping the sun out of one’s eyes. Washington Post

Alleged Russian Agent's Infiltration Of GOP Circles Anything But Subtle
As far as spy craft goes, Maria Butina's skills didn't seem particularly impressive. The alleged covert Russian agent liked to communicate via Twitter messages and WhatsApp. Her overly flirtatious approach left men wondering what she was truly after. She tended to brag about her ties to Russian intelligence when she was intoxicated, according to people familiar with the situation. St. Louis Post Dispatch

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