Today’s edition of quick hits:
* We’ll have more on today’s indictment on tonight’s show: “A Russian woman who works for an oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been charged with attempting to meddle in the 2018 midterm election.”
* This seems very important: “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter.”
* This treaty has been around for three decades: “The Trump administration is planning to tell Russian leaders next week that it is preparing to exit the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to American officials and foreign diplomats.”
* Saudi Arabia: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided to take part in an anti-terror finance meeting with Saudi security officials and their Middle Eastern counterparts in Riyadh later this month, opting to attend despite growing global outrage over the suspected murder of a U.S.-based journalist at the hands of Saudi operatives, according to three people familiar with his travel plans.”
* Is this really how the right operates now? “Hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a whispering campaign against Jamal Khashoggi that is designed to protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident journalist’s alleged murder by operatives of Saudi Arabia – and support Trump’s continued aversion to a forceful response to the oil-rich desert kingdom.”
* In reference to Khashoggi’s suspected murder, Trump told the New York Times, “This one has caught the imagination of the world, unfortunately.” Quick follow-up: exactly which part of the slaying does Trump consider “unfortunate”? The killing or international interest in the killing?
* Energy: “The Trump administration pointed to key offshore drilling safety regulations adopted in the wake of the catastrophic 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in its sweeping proposal to open up nearly all U.S. waters to oil and gas development, only to turn around in the months since and work to roll back those very safeguards.”
* This was a spectacularly bad idea: “The Heritage Foundation’s ‘training academy,’ set up to groom law clerks for prominent judicial posts, has been suspended after the New York Times published the questionable requirements of the program, including secrecy about the teaching participants received there in exchange for the financial backing of ‘generous donors’ who allowed them to complete the program.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.