We try very hard here to simply explain the Trump White House, and not join the pile-on. To us, the Trump world doesn't need more noise — it needs more explanation and illumination. But there are moments when it's important to remind even our staunchest pro-Trump readers that this often isn't anything approximating normal:
Be smart: Remember that we're living through history that will be studied and debated until the end of time. Many Trump backers, both the eager and reluctant ones, enjoy the destruction of norms and bemoan the highly critical coverage of this presidency. But we should never lose sight that we are experiencing a daily display of unprecedented actions and behaviors.
P.S. Quote du jour — Ivanka Trump on "Fox & Friends": "There is a level of viciousness that I was not expecting. I was not expecting the intensity of this experience. But this isn't supposed to be easy. ... [S]ome of the distractions and some of the ferocity, ... I was a little blindsided by."
Bloomberg's Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson: Russian hackers hit election systems in at least 39 states in the summer and fall of 2016, according to a person with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter.
The attack was "far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported."
At 2:30 p.m., Attorney General Jeff Sessions will face the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open hearing, where senators will grill their former colleague about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
The broadcast networks plan to break into daytime programming with special reports, with Lester Holt anchoring on NBC and George Stephanopoulos on ABC.
Scoopage by Axios' Jonathan Swan ... Here's how Sessions will address some thorny questions, according to sources familiar with his thinking:
Wildcard ... A Washington legend emails me this speculation: "Would not be surprised to see a counterattack. As was vividly seen in the campaign, Trump knows that golf, and much else such as the real estate world and politics, is a game of recovery. When you are deep in the woods, you try to find a miracle shot."
The brushfire — Trump said to be considering firing Mueller — took off quick. Axios' Jonathan Swan quickly discovered there was less to it than met the eye:
Trump's friend, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, told Judy Woodruff on PBS' "NewsHour" that the president was "considering perhaps terminating the special counsel": "I think he's weighing that option."
Click here for the anatomy of the brushfire.
Maggie Haberman tweets: "White House can't go too far in trying to distance itself from Ruddy, since he's one of few surrogates defending him on TV."
Uber is still figuring out how to change its frat-culture image, but one step is increasing the ranks of women in upper management — four have been added in recent weeks, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
"Tech Analysts Rule Out a Dot-com Type Bubble" — Wall Street Journal's Daily Shot newsletter (subscription):
"Tech firms have been under pressure over the past couple days, with market losses spreading to Europe and Asia. ... Analysts, however, point out that there is no evidence of a tech bubble similar to what we saw in the late 1990s. Tech valuations do not seem to be too far off from the broader market."
The talk of business ... Boston Globe lead story, "A post-transformation transition atop GE," by Jon Chesto: "General Electric Co.'s Jeff Immelt will step down as chief executive this summer, an earlier-than-expected departure that will leave Boston's biggest company under new leadership just a year after it relocated from Connecticut. John Flannery, the 55-year-old head of GE Healthcare, will take the reins as CEO on Aug. 1."
Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson, "Can Democrats Fix the Party? Trump's victory exposed the party establishment as utterly broken – now Dems hope to rebuild in time for a 2018 comeback":
"[A]t the dawn of the Trump age, one complex just south of Capitol Hill stands out. It looks like it missed the Obama boom entirely, which is hard to fathom because it's the headquarters of the Democratic Party – home to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as well as the Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
"The sprawling three-story concrete-and-glass structure is wedged between an elevated railroad track and the Capitol Power Plant. Exterior paint that may once have aspired to adobe has faded to an indistinct pink, recalling lox. Streaks of rust mar the walls. Someone has tried to spruce up the joint, on the cheap, tacking up a floor-to-ceiling poster in a third-floor window of the party's post-donkey logo, a blue-circled 'D.' ...
"The air of confidence and optimism around the DCCC is a sea change from the weeks after Election Day – when rank-and-file anger about 2016 House results spilled over into a minor mutiny against Pelosi's leadership. ... [F]or the Democrats to win back the House, the party will need to both harness the energy of its base and reach to the center."
"Five years ago, Spotify was a fledgling music-streaming service only months removed from its U.S. launch and YouTube had just started its push into original programming; Netflix was a year away from doing the same, starting with House of Cards," Forbes' Zack O'Malley Greenburg writes.
"But sometimes profound change happens quickly. Streaming is now the dominant platform for music consumption, and it's growing rapidly ... YouTube has birthed a whole new breed of celebrity: the YouTube star. And Netflix plans to spend hundreds of millions annually on original content."
Publishing soon ... Variety cover story by Brian Steinberg and Cynthia Littleton: "Unprecedented audience interest post-election has ratcheted up the competition between the biggest stars in cable news, with CNN, MSNBC and Fox News pulling out all the stops to claim victory."
"Warriors join Bulls, Lakers, Celtics on list of NBA's greats," by AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney:
"They could outrun teams like the Showtime Lakers and outgun them like Michael Jordan's Bulls — and the Golden State Warriors [of Oakland] had a more dominant postseason than either. Their run was better than anything Bill Russell or Larry Bird did in Boston, so they should be able to claim a spot on the list of the NBA's best teams ever.
"Golden State finished the playoffs 16-1 [last night] when they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 [before a home crowd] in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. They ended with the highest winning percentage ever in the NBA postseason and won 15 consecutive games, the longest streak in the major North American sports. ...
"[T]hrow in a 65-17 regular season, and the Warriors went 81-18 after Kevin Durant joined them, an impressive start to finish after their collapse in last year's Finals that prevented them from winning three straight championships.
"Golden State plays under a set of offensive-friendly rules, and critics said they wouldn't have stood up to the rugged play of the past. But the Warriors also had shooting that would have made them the envy of even some of the toughest teams of all-time."