Menendez and Rubio in 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham / CQ Roll Call

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise the issue of potential Russian interference in upcoming Latin American elections — including July's presidential election in Mexico — during a trip to the region this week, per CBS News. The bipartisan legislators want to encourage Western Hemisphere allies to count on funding assistance from the United States to bolster the security of their democratic processes.

Why it matters: The senators argue that electoral systems in developing countries are less advanced than those here in the U.S., leaving them more vulnerable to foreign hacking and manipulation by hostile actors.

Quotes from Rubio and Menendez's letter to Tillerson:

  • "We are increasingly concerned about growing efforts to undermine these hard-fought and widely supported advances, particularly those emanating from outside the region."
  • "Weak electoral systems can be easily exploited and manipulated by malicious actors like Russia. As such, we believe it is critical that USAID continue to play an active role in providing technical assistance, education and training to support countries' efforts to strengthen electoral systems."

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
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  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.