One of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's more memorable lines in his interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity is that "a 14-year-old" could have hacked the gmail account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta — it was the phrase Donald Trump used when he cited the Assange interview Wednesday morning to cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence community's consensus that Russia hacked Podesta's emails. Trump fans in the conservative media have latched on to Assange's evidence to back up the claim: "We published several Podesta emails which shows Podesta responding to a phishing email. Now, how did they respond? Podesta gave out that his password was the word 'password.'" It's a good anecdote — Trump boosters ran with it:
John Podesta's password was "password." So it was either a very sophisticated state-sponsored hack by the Russians OR the morning bagel boy.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 5, 2017
But Podesta's password was not "password," according to the emails published by WikiLeaks. One stolen 2015 email from Podesta's assistant did list "p@ssw0rd" as the login for his Windows 8 computer, but the only password tied to his gmail account was a more-respectable combination of the word "runner" and four digits. The actual way hackers broke into Podesta's email account is bad enough — an unfortunate typo by Clinton's tech adviser and Podesta's decision to use the corrupt link in the phishing email instead of the legitimate one sent by Clinton tech support. There's no need to make stuff up. Or as Sen. Lindsey Graham puts it:
I don't believe any American should give a whole lot of credibility to anything Julian Assange says. No American should be duped by him.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 4, 2017
Assange's steady release of Podesta's emails in the campaign's final months kept "Clinton" and "email" in the news, and while there were no bombshells, the emails did lead to a gunman shooting up a D.C. pizza restaurant. WikiLeaks did not publish any emails from Trump's campaign or the Republican Party. Peter Weber
First lady Melania Trump is getting a lot of flack for a Zara jacket she wore going to and from a center holding detained immigrant children that read "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?"
Trump's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, took umbrage at the idea that anyone would find the message inappropriate. "It's a jacket," she said. "There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe." Well, everyone is focusing on it, including President Trump.
On Thursday evening, Trump tweeted: "'I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?' written on the back of Melania's jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!" As anyone who was ever a teenager knows, when you go around saying you don't really care about something, it means you actually do, and that goes double when you have it emblazoned on the back of your jacket.
So, what is it? Was there "no hidden message," as Grisham claims, or was this a blatant commentary on the "Fake News Media?" I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U? Catherine Garcia
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Thursday evening that House Republicans are postponing until next week a vote on a compromise immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young immigrants and fund President Trump's border wall.
This was the second time GOP leadership decided to delay the vote; they were supposed to vote on the proposal Thursday, then it was moved to Friday. Leaders felt they did not have the 218 votes needed to pass the measure, and were pressured to postpone the vote by conservatives already opposed to the legislation, Politico reports. Catherine Garcia
Conservative columnist and political commentator Charles Krauthammer died Thursday, just weeks after he revealed that he had an aggressive form of cancer. He was 68.
Krauthammer wrote a syndicated weekly column for The Washington Post, which garnered him a Pulitzer Prize in 1987, and earlier this month he announced in a letter published in the Post that doctors told him his cancer had returned and he only had a few weeks left to live. "This is the final verdict," he wrote. "My fight is over." Krauthammer regularly appeared on Fox News, and over his career wrote for outlets across the political spectrum, including Time, The New Republic, and the Weekly Standard.
He was born in New York in 1950, and grew up in Montreal. During his first year studying at Harvard Medical School, Krauthammer had a diving accident that severed his spinal cord. He is survived by his wife, Robyn, and son, Daniel. Catherine Garcia
Sessions denies that immigration policies 'intended' to separate families even though he said the Bible justified it
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday said that President Trump's administration "never really intended" to separate migrant families who cross the border without documentation.
Sessions told CBN News that he didn't feel he took "an extreme position," and defended his use of the Bible to justify detaining children away from their parents for an indefinite period of time. Sessions was criticized after he quoted scripture to explain why the family separations were absolutely necessary, saying the separations were simply a matter of enforcing the law, which the Bible condones.
"It hasn't been good and the American people don't like the idea that we are separating families,” Sessions said on CBN. "We never really intended to do that. What we intended to do, was to make sure that adults who bring children into the country are charged with the crime they have committed."
When Sessions first announced the zero-tolerance policy last month that would prosecute every adult who crossed the border illegally, he previewed the family separations. "If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law," he said in May. He later stood by his statements, saying that "it is very biblical to enforce the law."
He additionally defended the administration's current hard-line immigration policies, which will continue to detain families together rather than separate children. "It's not indefinite really," Sessions said of the detentions, "because we can't hold and we will not be holding people for extended periods of time awaiting a hearing on asylum." Read more from the interview at CBN News. Summer Meza
The Trump administration has been given approval to house unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. military bases, an anonymous defense official told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The Department of Health and Human Services requested permission from the Pentagon to place up to 20,000 minors on military bases starting early next month, The Washington Post reported, an idea that officials have apparently been toying with for months. Officials requested "temporary beds" to be filled through the end of the year.
Unaccompanied minors have been housed in military bases before, the Post reports, like in 2014 when the Obama administration set up temporary centers on three military bases for about 7,000 children. This recent proposal left unclear why HHS is requesting so many beds, which could be located on bases in Texas and Arkansas where agency staffers visited last week. Defense Secretary James Mattis expressed support for the idea, defending it based on the military's past efforts to house refugees and victims of natural disasters.
Croatia locked up its spot in the World Cup Round of 16 on Thursday, thanks in part to a stunning mistake by Argentine goalkeeper Willy Caballero in the 53rd minute. In an attempt to pass the ball to his own defender, Caballero gave it straight to Croatia's Ante Rebić, who put the ball right back into the net.
"It's a howler, an absolute howler, on the biggest stage," the Fox Sports announcer groaned.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 21, 2018
Croatia's Luka Modrić scored his team's second goal in the 81st minute, with Ivan Rakitić contributing his own in the 92nd, ending the game with a score of 3-0. FiveThirtyEight gives Argentina a 33 percent chance of making the Round of 16 at this point, with Iceland the more likely team to advance from Group D with a 46 percent chance. Jeva Lange
The White House wants to push the Departments of Education and Labor together.
The Office of Management and Budget on Thursday proposed a merger of the two departments into one Department of Education and the Workforce, its first step under President Trump's plan to shrink the federal government. Federal food stamps would be relocated to the Department of Health and Human Services, which would be given a new name, among other proposed moves, ABC News reports.
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney cited redundancy in government agencies for this and future mergers. "If it's cheese pizza, it's [under the Food and Drug Administration], but you put pepperoni on it and it becomes a USDA product," he told The Associated Press. That's why the OMB suggested a single food safety agency within the Agriculture Department.
Most changes, including the Education-Labor union, would require congressional approval, per AP. Former President Ronald Reagan similarly thought to eliminate the Education Department but couldn't get Congress on board.
The merger was reported Wednesday in the trade publication Education Week. It's the first official move in Trump's executive order mandating the reorganization of the executive branch announced in March 2017. Kathryn Krawczyk