Good Thursday morning. It's Day 315. Situational awareness: Jared Kushner met this month with Mueller investigators, and answered questions about interactions between Mike Flynn and Russians, per the N.Y. Times' Matt Apuzzo ... "Legendary Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has put a [$250 million] for-sale sign on his beloved Mesa Vista Ranch." (Dallas Morning News)
Exhausted by the Trump presidency? Brace yourself: White House officials expect Trump to be even more outrageous and cocksure in coming months.
We just witnessed the most unthinkable 96 hours of Trump's reign:
Be smart: Elected Republicans, at least in public, seem fine with it all. They chuckle and say it's simply Trump being Trump. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and his staff seem fine with, or at least resigned to, this reality. No one who matters is doing anything but egging him on.
Go deeper: Jonathan Swan's in-the-moment tour de force, "The darkest day of Trump's presidency."
Stephen Colbert began last night's monologue: "I am one of the few men still allowed on television."
How Matt Lauer's firing went down, per N.Y. Post (cover: "DIRTY ROCK"):
P.S. "Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper says the 2018 festival will take steps to address the sexual misconduct crisis and boost awareness for both staff and attendees."
"North Korea released dozens of photos ... of the Hwasong-15, a new intercontinental ballistic missile it claims can reach any target in the continental United States. The photo dump, published in the paper and online editions of the ruling party's official daily, is a goldmine for rocket experts," AP reports:
Pope Francis waves from popemobile as Myanmar Catholics wave flags ahead of the holy mass yesterday in Yangon, Myanmar.
For decades, the internet has been seen by most Americans as a democratizing force that makes life easier and more enjoyable. But increasing instances of abuse on the open web is challenging our conventional notion of the benefits of the internet, according to Axios' Sara Fischer and Kim Hart:
"The failed effort by conservative activists to plant a false story about Senate candidate Roy Moore in The Washington Post was part of a months-long campaign to infiltrate The Post and other media outlets in Washington and New York, according to interviews, text messages and social media posts that have since been deleted," the WashPost reports on A1:
P.S. Project Veritas president James O'Keefe mocks Washington Post handling of hoax, speaking yesterday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas:
The Senate voted 52-48 (along party lines) yesterday to begin debate on the tax bill, putting it "on track for a final vote later this week." Axios' Caitlin Owens takes us under the hood:
What the bill does:
What it doesn't do:
Go deeper: Caitlin's full list.
"The U.S. economy is running at its full potential for the first time in a decade, a new milestone for an expansion now in its ninth year," per the Wall Street Journal's Ben Leubsdorf:
"Europe's Muslim population will continue to grow over the next several decades even if all immigration to the continent should stop," according to Pew Research Center report out today, reported by AP/Berlin:
Anti-Muslim videos that were re-tweeted by President Trump include false descriptions, per an AP Fact Check by Cal Woodward:
Behind the curtain ... N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman, to Anderson Cooper on CNN, on how Trump found the videos:
In the forthcoming issue of TIME, national security correspondent W.J. Hennigan reports on the "new American way of war ... U.S. reliance on Special Operations grows:
N.Y. Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet interviewed Jay-Z at The New York Times Building in September, and the conversation will appear this weekend: Baquet: "Some people think that the election of Donald Trump has revived the debate about race in America. Some people think that, in fact, there's always been racism in America; that it hasn't changed and that the debate isn't any different. It's just people are paying attention to it. What do you think?"Jay-Z: 'Yeah, there was a great Kanye West line in one of [his] songs: 'Racism's still alive, they just be concealin' it.' ... The great thing about Donald Trump being president is now we're forced to have the dialogue. Now we're having the conversation on the large scale; he's provided the platform for us to have the conversation."Keep reading: O.J. and more. P.S. "Hip-hop's time to shine," as Grammys try to stay relevant: "On Tuesday, the Recording Academy revealed nominations heavily skewed to rap, hip-hop and R&B; top categories were filled by Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee and Bruno Mars." (L.A. Times)