☕️ Good Friday morning ...
Until this week, public revelations about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation focused on characters who had been around President Trump.
The WashPost's Devlin Barrett tweeted: "In both of his guilty plea hearings, [former Trump lawyer] Michael Cohen has gone beyond the court filings to make clear his criminal actions were specifically on Trump's behalf."
The president of the United States was labeled "Individual 1" in yesterday's court filing by Mueller.
Cohen made it plain that Trump "was more involved in discussions over a potential Russian business deal during the presidential campaign than previously known," as the N.Y. Times put it.
Be smart: That suggests a profit motive for Trump's persistent and unexplained affinity for Russia.
Trump tweets from Argentina this morning:
P.S. ... Statement by Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump:
Every twist of the investigation shows that Mueller knows far more than we thought he did:
Be smart: There's a lot more behind the curtain.
"Sheryl Sandberg asked Facebook’s communications staff to research George Soros’s financial interests in the wake of his high-profile attacks on tech companies," the N.Y. Times' Nick Confessore and Matt Rosenberg report.
Why it matters: The Soros pushback "set off a public relations debacle for Ms. Sandberg and for Facebook, which was accused of trafficking in anti-Semitic attacks against the billionaire."
Go deeper: "Sheryl Sandberg's shifting story," by Axios' David McCabe.
After trekking for over a month across Central America and Mexico in the migrant caravan, a girl cries as it pours rain at a temporary shelter in Tijuana, Mexico.
In modern midterms, the trend has been for seats in both the House and Senate to shift in one direction, usually against the president's party.
And this month's was the most split of all.
House Democrats have gained 39 seats so far:
They haven't spoken in days — not since President Donald Trump called to congratulate Nancy Pelosi on Democrats' election night win, AP's Lisa Mascaro, Jonathan Lemire and Catherine Lucey write:
"[S]he's one prominent politician he has not labeled with a derisive nickname."
The decline of bugs, and what that might mean for life on Earth, is the N.Y. Times Magazine cover story by Brooke Jarvis:
Brad Lister, a tropical ecologist: "Nature’s resilient, but we’re pushing her to such extremes that eventually it will cause a collapse of the system."
Michelle Obama's memoir, out Nov. 13, is already the bestselling book of 2018, based on NPD BookScan data, her publisher announced this morning.
"Becoming" is selling at a pace rarely seen for a political memoir, or any nonfiction book, AP reports:
"Becoming" has 3.4 million hardcover copies in print.
Creative directed by Boots Riley / Courtesy The New York Times
This weekend's issue of the N.Y. Times' "T" magazine has four different covers, celebrating the work of contemporary black playwrights and novelists, shot by musician and filmmaker Boots Riley.
In her editor's letter, T editor-in-chief Hanya Yanagihara writes:
These writers’ works remind us that the black male is not something apart from America: Rather, he is America itself, and that to read literary works by black men is to read America, too.
Nearly two years ago, when I was interviewing for my job as editor of T, I told Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, that I wanted the magazine to feel urgent: In extreme political climates, art of all kinds responds to the government under which it’s created, and I wanted this publication to document and comment on the artists whose work engaged in some way with the culture around them.
Advent calendars go for booze, cheese, per AP's Joseph Pisani:
Adult advent calendars fit into an ongoing trend: people who want products and experiences that "let them embrace their inner child," says Caleb Bryant, a senior beverage analyst at trend-tracking firm Mintel.