In a remarkable gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One over Vietnam that's a guided tour of his mind and presidency, President Trump recounted a conversation about election meddling that he had with Russia President Vladimir Putin at an international summit today (via pooler Ashley Parker of WashPost):
Be smart: The comments put Trump in the position of siding with Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies — including the CIA, NSA, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — which are unified in their opinion that Russia actively worked to meddle in the election.
P.S. "Russia Warns of Crackdown on U.S. Media, Including CNN," per N.Y. Times' Michael Grynbaum: "[T]he authorities in Moscow warned on Friday of a coming crackdown on American media outlets that operate in Russia, including CNN. The move was ... retaliation for an apparent American censure of RT."
During the Air Force One exchange, POTUS said he has "a very good relationship" with China President Xi Jinping, who lavished pomp and flattery on Trump:
[I]t's the biggest state entrance at the biggest state dinner they've ever had. By far. In China. He called it, 'state plus.' In fact, he actually said, 'state plus plus,' which is very interesting. ... [H]e's a strong person, he's a very smart person. I like him a lot. He likes me. But we represent two very different countries but we get along very well. And that's a good thing that we get along. That's not a bad thing.
Trump added: "They had a story today in one of the papers about China. And China likes me. China likes me."
Trump, when asked aboard Air Force One if it's time to pitch Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore overboard, after the Republican was accused of pursuing and touching teenage girls:
I've been with you folks, so I haven't gotten to see too much. And believe it or not, even when I'm in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television. I know they like to say that. People that don't know me, they like to say I watch television — people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources.
But I don't get to watch much television. Primarily because of documents. I'm reading documents. A lot. And different things. I actually read much more — I read you people much more than I watch television.
Wall Street Journal front page ... "The wave of misconduct allegations has abruptly shifted the climate in American workplaces, prompting companies to scrutinize how employees work with one another, in one of the most rapid changes in corporate behavior in generations":
P.S. L.A. Times front page: "Louis C.K.'s candid admission .... that he engaged in sexual misconduct with multiple women has seemingly brought the curtain down on his acclaimed career and his extensive associations with several top networks."
"Some GOP political operatives fear Roy Moore could lose race," AP reports from Montgomery, Ala.:
Be smart: If you're in your 30s and you need to ask the mother's permission, date someone else.
What we're hearing ... A Republican close to Senate Republican leadership believes the party's effort to get Moore out of the race will fail.
Peggy Noonan's Wall Street Journal column takes the long view of the surprising size of the Democrats' 9-point win in the Virginia's governor's race:
Jared Kushner met Gary Ginsberg, a Time Warner executive vice president, early this year and told him CNN should fire 20% of its staff because they were so wrong in their analysis of the election and how it would turn out, the Wall Street Journal's Amol Sharma reports on B1:
"A White House official said Mr. Kushner didn't intend the comment to be taken seriously, and was simply trying to make a point.""Inside Time Warner, it wasn't taken lightly."Why it matters: "[A]s the government has raised concerns in its review of Time Warner's pending sale to AT&T Inc., people within the companies and on Wall Street are speculating that the Trump administration's feelings about the network could be influencing the deal.""The government has denied politics is playing a role in its examination of the merger, and AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said Thursday he has no reason to suspect that is a factor."On Monday, when AT&T executives visited the Justice Department, "Trump's recently confirmed antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, raised the prospect that the companies would have to sell either Turner, parent of CNN and other cable networks, or the DirecTV satellite unit."Meanwhile, Reuters scoops ... "Rupert Murdoch telephoned AT&T [CEO] Randall Stephenson twice in the last six months and talked about cable network CNN."Reuters' sources gave mixed accounts about whether Murdoch was interested in buying CNN."On Thursday Stephenson said he had no interest in selling CNN and that he was ready to defend the deal in court if necessary."
The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the broadest measure of the stock market, notched 61 record highs and climbed about 21.3% in the first year since Trump was elected, AP's Alex Veiga writes. But what's really interesting is the reason — it's not just tax-cut expectations:
Old-school auto makers just might steal Tesla's thunder, according to the Barron's cover story, by Andrew Bary: