Happy Tuesday, everyone. There’s a lot going on and some great journalism happening—so I thought I would do a rundown of some of the stories I think are important to know about today. Hope you find it helpful!
Brookings exposes today that the Saudi Arms deal that Trump boasted landing isn’t real.
Both the The Washinton Post and The New York Times have explainers out today about the regional diplomatic crisis involving Qatar v. Saudi Arabia/UAE/Egypt/Bahrain. Raising further questions, Trump tweeted about it this morning and reports have surfaced that Saudi Arabia spent $250,000 at Trump’s hotel lobbying against the travel ban. (Reminder: We have a military base in Qatar.)
Bloomberg has a great piece about how everything Trump does will “happen in two weeks.”
“The most effective opponent of the Trump Presidency is Donald J. Trump.” This from The Wall Street Journal editorial board, hardly known as a liberal bastion.
Speaking of which, Yahoo is reporting that four of the top U.S. law firms declined the opportunity to represent Trump. “…a consistent theme, the sources said, was the concern about whether the president would accept the advice of his lawyers and refrain from public statements and tweets that have consistently undercut his position.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in New Zealand right now and reportedly not receiving a warm welcome.
From The New York Times —the “quiet revolt among diplomats.” Of note, the resignation of the chargé d’affaires at the American Embassy in Beijing over Trump’s Paris Agreement decision.
Some controversy over the VA’s announcement of modernization of veteran’s records. The contract reportedly awarded no-bid to Kansas City-based Cerner raising some ethics concerns.
By now you’ve probably heard about The Intercept’s reporting on NSA discovering Russian hacking attempts days before the election and the subsequent arrest of the woman alleged to have provided “a media outlet” with classified information. There’s a lot of discussion today in journalism communities about whether The Intercept did enough to protect their source.
James Comey testifies Thursday at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Looks like most of the networks are carrying it live. At least one bar here in D.C. is opening early for a watch party and will be serving Russian vodka.
Finally, here is an op-ed from one of the New Jersey students on the trip to Washington who declined to participate in a picture with Speaker Paul Ryan.