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July 13, 2018

On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian intelligence agents in relation to the 2016 hacking and unlawful release of emails from the Democratic National Committee. The White House responded with a statement that was more Rosenstein's words than its own.

In its release, the White House simply picked out the Department of Justice's reminders that no Americans or Trump campaign officials were involved in this round of charges.

The statement, as Washington Post data reporter Chris Ingraham pointed out on Twitter, additionally does not condemn Russia in any way. It does suggest that the hacking of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's emails was "alleged," however, even though countless sources and even President Trump have acknowledged its factual existence many, many times.

And though the statement says there are no allegations against Americans or Trump campaign personnel "in this indictment," that doesn't mean none were involved in the DNC hack. They may — or may not — come up in a future round of charges. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicted several Americans and Trump affiliates as a result of his ongoing probe. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:46 a.m.

The first trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is here, and it looks like the movie Quentin Tarantino has been preparing to make all his life.

The ninth film from the acclaimed director, who is known for his obsession with movie history and tropes, takes place in 1969 Hollywood and follows Rick Dalton, a washed-up actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and his stunt double, played by Brad Pitt. The new footage shows that Tarantino went all out in faithfully recreating the era, complete with the director's beloved Cinerama theater on Sunset Boulevard. Even the title pays tribute to Sergio Leone, an influence on Tarantino.

Margot Robbie also stars in the film as actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered by followers of Charles Manson the year the movie takes place. But although that real-life tragedy hangs over the film, the trailer's got an upbeat tone, complete with DiCaprio dancing on a variety show and Pitt fighting "Bruce Lee" after informing him that accidentally killing a person will, in fact, land you in jail. The footage teases a killer soundtrack, laugh-out-loud dialogue, a celebration of the art of filmmaking, and, more than likely, horrifying violence. In other words, it's definitely a Tarantino movie.

The trailer doesn't highlight the film's full, ridiculously impressive cast, but it also consists of Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, James Mardsen, Tim Roth, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Damian Lewis, Bruce Dern, and Luke Perry.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hits theaters on July 26. Watch the trailer below. Brendan Morrow

8:57 a.m.

The world of Hawkins, Indiana is about to turn upside down — again.

Netflix on Wednesday debuted the first trailer for the third season of Stranger Things, which teases a summer theme, trouble for one particular character, and a downright horrifying new creature.

After an extended opening sequence in which the gang uses Eleven's powers to play a prank on Dustin, we see footage of the kids living it up over the summer after two seasons set during the fall. But they're getting older, as the trailer makes abundantly clear when Mike defensively declares, "we're not kids anymore." It seems something will threaten to tear the group apart during the season, with Will looking wistfully at a photo of a more innocent time — that time being season 2.

The trailer also teases the introduction of a new mall in Hawkins, which promises to be a central location, as well as a new character in Mayor Kline, played by Cary Elwes. But what's the season's central conflict? Well, the trailer features a brief shot of Billy Hargrove in the shower with some sort of infection on his arm, and it concludes with Steve being confronted by a horrifying new creature, which looks like the Demogorgon mixed with the Blob. Could that infection have actually transformed Billy into this monster? Or might Billy become possessed much like Will was last season?

We'll find out when the third season of Stranger Things premieres on July 4. Watch the trailer below. Brendan Morrow

8:18 a.m.

President Trump has angrily tweeted about the husband of one of his advisers for two days in a row.

Trump on Wednesday tweeted that George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, is "very jealous of his wife's success" and "angry" he wasn't given a job "he so desperately wanted." Trump also called Conway a "stone cold loser" and a "husband from hell!"

George Conway is a vocal Trump critic and has recently been suggesting the president's mental state is a serious cause for concern and likely indicative of a personality disorder. Trump had been advised to ignore Conway's tweeting, reports AP's Jonathan Lemire, but the president ignored that advice on Tuesday, lashing out at Conway by calling him a "total loser!"

This prompted Conway to speak with The Washington Post later in the day, detailing a number of interactions he's had with the president and saying Trump offered him a job at the Justice Department which he turned down. The Post also reported that Kellyanne Conway "went on a lengthy rant about her husband" at an event last month, saying "she and the president think her husband is jealous of her."

Conway responded to Trump's latest tweet on Wednesday morning by writing, "You seem determined to prove my point. Good for you! #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder." Brendan Morrow

7:48 a.m.

After President Trump went after late Senator John McCain once again, some Republicans in the Senate are speaking out.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) is the latest to do so, telling The Bulwark that Trump's comments about McCain "drive me crazy" and that "America deserves better." This comes after Trump in the Oval Office on Tuesday criticized McCain, who died of brain cancer in 2018, saying his vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act was "disgraceful" and that "I was never a fan of John McCain, and I never will be." Trump's also went after McCain three different times on Twitter over the weekend, including retweeting a follower who wrote, "We hated McCain."

In response, Isakson said "nobody — regardless of their position — is above common decency and respect for people that risk their life for your life." He argued that when Trump makes comments like these, "all these kids are out there listening to the president of the United States talk that way about the most decorated senator in history who is dead, [and it] just sets the worst tone possible."

This isn't Isakson's last word on the subject, as he told The Bulwark he will speak against these attacks on McCain on Wednesday and will "lay it on the line."

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) previously pushed back on Trump's attacks on McCain on Tuesday, tweeting that he "can't understand" why Trump would "disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain." Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also praised McCain amid the president's criticism, saying "nothing about his service will ever be changed or diminished," although unlike Romney's post, Graham's tweets didn't mention Trump. Brendan Morrow

7:27 a.m.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was sworn in Wednesday as Kazakhstan's interim president after longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev's surprise resignation on Tuesday. Nazarbayev, 78, has led Kazakhstan since 1989, two years before it became an independent nation after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Tokayev, a 65-year-old former diplomat who was previously the speaker of the Kazakh Senate, will serve out the rest of Nazarbayev's term until 2020.

After being sworn in, Tokayev immediately proposed changing the name of the capital, Astana, to Nursultan in honor of Nazarbayev, and he appointed Nazarbayev's oldest daughter, Dariga, as Senate speaker, putting her first in line for the presidency. It is unclear if either Tokayev or Dariga Nazarbayeva will run for president in the next election, but there has been speculation for years that Nazarbayev was grooming his daughter to take his place.

The younger "Nazarbayeva, a 55-year-old mother of three, has in the past led Kazakhstan's main television station and served as a deputy prime minister, while also devoting time to her passion for opera — which she has performed publicly," Reuters notes.

Her father, meanwhile, isn't giving up power. Last year, with assent from Parliament and the constitutional court, Nazarbayev became leader-for-life of the powerful Security Council, and he will also remain head of the ruling party. "Nazarbayev is not stepping down; he is stepping up," said Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Center in Moscow.

Nazarbayev "has been widely praised for maintaining stability and ethnic peace in Kazakhstan, a large, oil-rich nation south of Russia and west of China," The Associated Press reports. "Even though he has faced criticism for marginalizing the political opposition and creating what is effectively a one-party state, the political regime that Nazarbayev has built is more liberal than those in the de-facto dictatorships in the neighboring Central Asian countries." Peter Weber

6:12 a.m.

Mozambique began three days of mourning on Wednesday for the hundreds killed by Cyclone Idai, which caused what emergency workers are calling the most destructive flooding in southern Africa in 20 years. The death toll stands at more than 200 in Mozambique, 98 in Zimbabwe, and 56 in Malawi, but the final number of dead is expected to top 1,000. "The full horror, the full impact is only going to emerge over coming days," Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane said in Geneva.

The Red Cross says at least 400,000 people have likely lost their homes in central Mozambique, where flooding has covered an area of more than 150 square miles. The cyclone destroyed up to 90 percent of Mozambique's second-largest port, Beira, a city of 500,000 that also provides access to landlocked countries in the region.

The European Union and Britain have pledged financial and other aid, and the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe said America was "mobilizing to provide support" to partners in the three affected nations, but provided no details. You can learn more and see images of the flooding in the CBS News report below. Peter Weber

5:07 a.m.

President Trump and George Conway are now in open warfare on Twitter, and Stephen Colbert not unhappily listed some of Conway's critiques of Trump that led to this point, including that Trump "administration is like a like a s--tshow in a dumpster fire." That's especially "awkward," Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show, because Conway's wife, Kellyanne Conway, "is one of the flaming trash pile's star turd jugglers."

"But not everyone loves Twitter as much as the president," Colbert said, pointing at the $250 million lawsuit Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) filed against Twitter for allowing accounts to insult him. Nunes specifically complained about two parody accounts, @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow, and he included some of the offending tweets. "The only time you can see jokes that crushing is every time you finish a popsicle," Colbert said. And trying to get in on that sweet parody-account action — @ColbertCow went from 1,200 followers to 154,000 and counting after the lawsuit — Colbert unveiled his own, @DevinNunesSkin. "Still thin," he said. "Devin, we look forward to your lawsuit."

Jimmy Kimmel called Nunes "captain of the Donald Trump Fan Club" and "that one zit on the end of your nose that keeps coming back," and he was similarly baffled at the lawsuit. "He is literally suing an imaginary cow," he said on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "And maybe the craziest part of all ... last Congress, Devin Nunes cosponsored a bill called the 'Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act.' And now he's suing a cow. It's almost like he's a hypocrite." Kimmel insincerely begged people not to follow @DevinCow on Twitter.

The Daily Show's Trevor Noah made a show of following @NunesCow. "What a snowflake," he said. "Look, man, I think it's terrible when kids are bullied online, but as a grown man, this should not be a problem for you." He helpfully explained to Nunes how to block trolls and avoid clicking on his mentions. Watch that, and some jokes about Patriots owner Robert Kraft and pigeons, below. Peter Weber

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