Deep State Daily: Cohen admits to poll rigging, Putin gets a puppy

January 17, 2019

Stories We’re Watching

Have you tried turning it off and on again? May Revises Her Brexit Deal As No-deal Exit Looms

Prime Minister Theresa May has delayed the House of Commons vote on Brexit Plan B to January 29th. PM May has until Monday to deliver a revised version of her Brexit Deal. Any revisions will have to be approved by the European Union, which has already begun preparations for a no-deal exit. PM May has rejected demands to extend the March 29th deadline and to hold a second referendum. Reactions in Europe have been mixed. While airlines and businesses have already begun preparations for a no-deal exit, Germany has pledged to help the UK exit in an orderly manner. Though, Germany too is already preparing for a no-deal scenario.

Putin Gets a Puppy! (and also visits Serbia, trashes NATO, & accuses the US of destabilizing the Balkans)

Earlier today, President Putin accused the US of destabilizing the Balkans—shortly after arriving in Belgrade, Serbia (the former capital of Yugoslavia) and making provocative statements about Kosovo (a key issue in Balkan instability). President Putin also received a puppy as part of his red carpet welcome. Insiders expect Presidents Putin and Vucic to discuss Serbia’s bid to join the EU, which would require Serbia to officially recognize Kosovo—an autonomous territory split linguistically, culturally, and geographically between Serbs and Albanians. Regional experts have repeatedly called attention to an uptick in Russian interference in the region following Montenegro’s NATO ascension in 2017. Meanwhile, in the US, Republican Senators have voted to lift Russian sanctions.

Facebook Identifies & Removes 350+ Russian State-run Fake News Profiles

Facebook has identified and removed 364 pages and accounts that were owned and operated by Russia’s state-owned media outlet Sputnik. Facebook’s Head of Cybersecurity Policy announced the discovery of two separate Russian disinformation operations–one targeting Ukraine and the other targeting various states in Central Asia and Europe. The Kremlin has denied any wrongdoing and has accused the platform of censorship. Facebook faces growing global scrutiny over its role in the spread of misinformation.

Mueller Updates: Cohen Hired IT Firm to Rig Polls, Giuliani Walks Back Collusion Denials

Earlier today, Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, tweeted that he paid an IT firm to manipulate polling data “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” then-candidate Trump. Mr. Cohen is set to voluntarily testify before House oversight on February 7. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s replacement lawyer, continues to refine the scope of collusion in the Trump campaign. Critics and analysts point to President Trump’s many denials of his team’s collusion with Russia. Legal analysts are still interpreting the redacted memo that Mueller’s team released earlier this week.

Salt Bey Erdogan Granted Emergency Powers over Turkish Economy

President Erdogan has assumed broad emergency powers over the Turkish economy. The new powers would vest him with nearly unchecked authority to intervene when he feels that Turkey’s financial stability is threatened. Economists and human rights groups caution that Erdogan often feels this way and has often blames foreign conspiracies on domestic economic woes. Erdogan faces municipal elections in March, and earlier this week, President Trump threatened to devastate Turkey economically should they attack the US-allied Kurdish militia. Regional experts caution that Erdogan’s move is likely to harm the already-fragile economy. Meanwhile, Turks around the world have faced extradition over charges ranging from coup plotting to attacking turkishness.

PODCAST: Roomba for President 2020

Trump may be a disaster as a person and as a president.  But he may also be triggering a rebirth in American political thought and a flowering of new policy ideas.  The progressive branch of the Democratic Party is in the lead at the moment, but with so many areas demanding rethinking, the ferment may spread and we may all be the beneficiaries.  How?  Tune in to our discussion among Georgetown’s Rosa Brooks, the Financial Times’ Ed Luce, IISS’s Kori Schake and the New York Times’ David Sanger to discuss new ideas, why they’re happening and why their may be a silver lining to the shit storm we are dealing with every day. Listen here!

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