Ex-intelligence chief James Clapper says Russia won the election for Trump. This study backs him up.
President Trump and his allies have been attacking former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper over the past few days, part of his attempt to make "Spygate" happen. Clapper is on a media tour to promote his new book, Facts and Fears, and along with explaining how Trump is distorting his words and the FBI's attempt to investigate Russia, Clapper has been explaining his contention in the book that the Russians, to their surprise, "swung the election to a Trump win."
"Since I left the government," Clapper told PBS NewsHour on Wednesday, "it's what I call my informed opinion that given the massive effort the Russians made, the number of citizens that they touched, and the variety and the multidimensional aspects of what they did to influence opinion and affect the election, and given the fact that it turned on less than 80,000 votes in three states, to me it just exceeds logic and credulity that they didn't affect the election, and it's my belief they actually turned it."
On CNN Thursday night, Clapper swatted down more Trump team attacks and reiterated his "informed opinion" about Russia handing the election to Trump, though, he told Jake Tapper, "I don't have the empirical evidence to go with it."
But there is some empirical evidence, if not conclusive, in a new working paper at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Automated Twitter bots — a key tool that Russians used in the election — may have added 3.23 percentage points to Trump's vote in 2016, as well as 1.76 percentage points to the "leave" vote in Britain's Brexit campaign, the researchers found. "Our results suggest that, given narrow margins of victories in each vote, bots' effect was likely marginal but possibly large enough to affect the outcomes," write authors Yuriy Gorodnichenko from U.C. Berkeley and Tho Pham and Oleksandr Talavera from Britain's Swansea University. You can read more about the study at Bloomberg News. Peter Weber
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is sorry about her error on Trump and black employment
When reporters asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday about allegations that President Trump used the N-word and it was captured on tape, Sanders said she "can't guarantee" such a tape doesn't exist, and then she pivoted to jobs. "When President Obama left after eight years in office — eight years in office — he had only created 195,000 jobs for African Americans," Sanders claimed, incorrectly. "President Trump in his first year and a half has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years."
On Tuesday night, Sanders acknowledged her mistake on Twitter: "Correction from today's briefing: Jobs numbers for Pres. Trump and Pres. Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres. Obama wasn't. I'm sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump." The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) took responsibility for her error. According to government statistics, The Washington Post reports, nearly 3 million jobs were created during former President Barack Obama's two terms in office. Politico's Ben White has the graph:
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) August 15, 2018
The CEA explained that it looked at jobs numbers from Obama's election in 2008, during the peak of the Great Recession, and Trump's election in 2016. "The selection of dates is somewhat unusual because it takes into account job gains or losses before Trump and Obama took office," the Post notes. "In any event, economists generally regard a president's ability to shape employment trends as limited." Peter Weber
On Tuesday, Jahana Hayes, the 2016 national Teacher of the Year and a first-time candidate, beat longtime regional politician and presumptive frontrunner Mary Glassman in the Democratic primary for Connecticut's 5th congressional district. Hayes will face former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos (R) in the general election; Cook Political Report rates the district solidly Democratic. If Hayes wins, she will be the first African-American Democrat from Connecticut in Congress and the first black congresswoman from New England.
Being the first nonwhite Democrat elected to Congress in Connecticut "absolutely plays into everything," Hayes, 46, tells The New York Times. "Because while I see myself as someone who can be a representative of all people, I'd be lying if I didn't say that it would be important to so many people in my community. So many people in this state, and not just blacks, but for all people who want to show that we are a community that welcomes everyone." Peter Weber
July 16 was a big day for Jeremiah Dickerson.
Not only was the 4-year-old adopted by his foster parents, Jordan and Cole Dickerson, but he also got to announce to the world that he's going to be a big brother, with his sister due in January. "It was an emotional day," his mom, Jordan, told Good Morning America. "In the end, Jeremiah has blessed our family more than we could ever imagine."
Jordan Dickerson is a pediatric nurse at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, and that's where she met Jeremiah in January 2017. She "fell in love with his smile and joy," she said. He needed to go to a foster home where the parents knew how to take care of his tracheal tube, and Jordan said she couldn't shake the feeling that he was supposed to be with her family. Jeremiah was placed with another foster family, but he soon returned to the hospital, and Jordan and Cole knew they couldn't let him go this time.
They went through training for foster parents and background checks, and in June 2017, Jeremiah was living in their home. A year later, surrounded by friends and family, he was officially adopted, and outside of the Tennessee courthouse he posed for photos holding a picture of his sister's sonogram behind a sign reading, "Today I became a Dickerson. Up next ... big brother." He said he already plans on teaching his sister how to dance and play basketball and baseball. Catherine Garcia
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty lost the Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday night to underdog Jeff Johnson, the Hennepin County commissioner.
Pawlenty served two terms as governor, winning elections in 2002 and 2006, and after he left office he went to work as a lobbyist for banks. Pawlenty entered the race late and did not go to the state party convention in June, but he still raised a lot of money. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Johnson had 53 percent of the vote to Pawlenty's 44 percent.
On Tuesday night, Johnson said he believes his win is "just further indication that the rules have changed, not just in Minnesota, not just in our party. People are expecting something different from candidates." He will face the winner of the Democratic primary, Rep. Tim Walz, in November. Catherine Garcia
"America is still reeling from the troubling reminders that Omarosa is still out there," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. He compared Omarosa Manigualt Newman's brand-new book, Unhinged, to "day-old sushi," then turned to her most salacious claim, that she has heard President Trump say the N-word on Celebrity Apprentice outtakes. "If this shocking allegation is true, it would undeniably make some of his fans very happy," Colbert said. "Others would go, 'Eh, I don't like that he's a racist, but you know, taxes.'"
Trump is fighting back on Twitter, denying such a tape exists and calling Omarosa a "dog." "That is so weird that Trump uses 'dog' as an insult," Colbert said. "He should love dogs — you don't have to pay to watch them pee." Still, "that's it, the president categorically denies saying the N-word," he added, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ... was more equivocal.
"Omarosa continued her Trumpapalooza world tour this afternoon," Colbert said, and he wasn't super sympathetic about her whistle-blowing: "Be careful, Omarosa, you wouldn't want to damage your relationship with the president — he might not hire you four more times." But she did actually drop a bombshell, claiming Trump had advance notice about the leaked Hillary Clinton campaign emails. "That is a massive revelation!" he said. "The emails that Russia hacked, that WikiLeaks leaked, Donald Trump somehow knew before they were actually released. Somewhere in Washington, Robert Mueller is yelling, 'Uh, spoiler alert! Come on!' But Omarosa didn't just accuse the president of being a traitor to his country — she also accused him of being a bad friend," tarring allies with mean nicknames behind their backs. Colbert cut deep: "Yes, he had derogatory names for everybody. Some of them are really cruel. I hear he called this one guy 'Donald Trump Jr.'" Watch below. Peter Weber
Ironworker Randy Bryce won Wisconsin's 1st congressional district Democratic primary on Tuesday night, beating Janesville School Board member Cathy Myers.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) has represented the district since 1998, and Democrats are hoping that this is their year to flip the seat blue. Bryce will take on Bryan Steil, the winner of the Republican primary, in November. Steil is a lawyer and former Ryan staffer who comes from a prominent Janesville Republican family, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Ryan announced in April that he would not be seeking re-election, and four other Republicans ran against Steil in the primary, including Paul Nehlen, known for making racist and anti-Semitic statements. Catherine Garcia
"You are one of the few people who I would say has managed to out-Trump Trump," Trevor Noah told Omarosa Manigault Newman on Tuesday's Daily Show. She laughed. Noah asked why she wrote her White House tell-all, Unhinged, and why she stayed in the White House despite believing President Trump to be a lying racist. "I thought that he could actually rise to the occasion of being presidential, and boy was I wrong," Manigault Newman said.
Noah asked about the recordings. Manigault Newman said she secretly recorded her colleagues to "blow the whistle on a lot of the corruption going on in the White House," and she knew nobody would believe her without tapes. Noah agreed, telling her he wouldn't have believed her. "I've also noticed that you are not releasing all the recordings at once — like, you're releasing all the singles, and we're waiting for the album," Noah said. "Is there a strategy behind this?" She said not really. "I'm not trolling them," she said. "I just want them to know that everything you see in Unhinged that's quoted can be verified, is documented and corroborated."
Noah asked Manigault Newman if she was scared for her safety. "Trevor, I would say this," she said: "If you see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear." Finally, Noah asked her, as someone who has known Trump for 15 years, what would she suggest for anyone going up against Trump? "There's one way to shut Donald Trump down," she said, "and that is to just don't give him the oxygen — and the oxygen comes from the clicks, like 'likes,' the shock, the discussion. ... If you ignore him, then you starve him of the thing that he loves the most, and that is controversy and attention."
Before the interview, Noah told his audience why he thinks maybe Omarosa is a better Trump than Trump himself. Watch below. Peter Weber