Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 8.1.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* I’m pretty sure the president’s outside counsel said the opposite: “The White House said Tuesday that President Donald Trump ‘weighed in, as any father would’ on his son Donald Trump Jr’s statement regarding a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer last year.”

* I still think this was a mistake: “The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Christopher A. Wray as the next FBI director, filling a critical post that has remained vacant since President Trump fired James B. Comey in May. The vote was 92 to 5.”

* Nuclear test: “The U.S. military is poised to test launch an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from California early Wednesday morning – just days after North Korea’s second test of an ICBM. The 576th Flight Test Squadron will conduct the test between 12:01 a.m. and 6:01 a.m. PT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.”

* What an incredible story: “The Fox News Channel and a wealthy supporter of President Trump worked in concert under the watchful eye of the White House to concoct a story about the death of a young Democratic National Committee aide, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday. The explosive claim is part of a lawsuit filed against Fox News by Rod Wheeler, a longtime paid commentator for the news network.”

* Venezuela’s crisis: “Masked security forces carried out predawn raids Tuesday and hauled away two top Venezuelan opposition leaders, suggesting an expanded crackdown on dissent after widely denounced elections aimed at boosting the authoritarian government.”

* Provocative steps near Belarus: “Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War.”

* A story worth watching: “The American Civil Liberties Union, which has stepped up its political engagement as its Trump-era membership has swelled, is getting behind a campaign to end Florida’s felon disenfranchisement law by changing the state Constitution. The decision will put substantial financial and activist resources behind an ongoing campaign to put a ‘Voter Restoration Amendment’ on the November 2018 ballot.”

* Air Force One: “President Donald Trump said the projected cost of new Air Force One aircraft was too high, so the U.S. Air Force found a way to lower it: by buying a pair of Boeing 747 jetliners abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 8.1.17