Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Top West Wing aides acknowledge that the three consecutive days of baffling, brutal disclosures about Donald Trump Jr.'s Russia meeting during the campaign is a story that will stick, with potentially momentous political and legal consequences.

Thought for the day: If The New York Times knows all this, imagine what Bob Mueller knows.

The dang emails: Last night's detonation, leading the paper with a 2-column headline, "Trump's Son Heard of Link To Moscow Before Meeting":

  • "Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father's candidacy."
  • "The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting."
  • "Goldstone's message ... indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information."
  • The internal mood, per The Times: "News of the meeting involving the younger Mr. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Manafort blunted whatever good feeling the president's team had after his trip to Europe for the Group of 20 economic summit meeting."
  • "The president was frustrated by the news of the meeting ... — less over the fact that it had happened, and more because it was yet another story about Russia that had swamped the news cycle."

Be smart: A consequence of these stories is that no blanket denial of anything by this White House will be believable. So the President and his team can expect to be nibbled by ducks as long as they're in office.

P.S.

"

Kushner Cos. Sought Qatar Funds

as Jared Advised Trump," by Bloomberg's David Kocieniewski: "A few months before President Donald Trump encouraged Saudi Arabia and others to blockade Qatar, the real estate business owned by the family of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, sought a substantial investment from one of the Gulf State country's wealthiest and most politically influential figures."

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's crackdown on TikTok suggests that the U.S. government is starting to see the internet more like China does — as a network that countries can and should control within their borders.

The big picture: Today's global internet has split into three zones, according to many observers: The EU's privacy-focused network; China's government-dominated network; and the U.S.-led network dominated by a handful of American companies. TikTok's fate suggests China's model has U.S. fans as well.

GOP plans "nightly surprise" for revamped convention

President Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images

The reworked Republican National Convention will be a four-night spectacle including still-under-wraps venues, a 10 p.m. "nightly surprise" and guests and themes playing to "the forgotten men and women of America," two senior Trump campaign officials involved tell Axios.

Driving the news: The messaging will focus heavily on "very granular details" of what a second term for President Trump would look like — answering a question Trump left hanging in a Fox News event earlier this summer — and attack cancel culture, "radical elements" of society and threats to public safety.

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Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.