Situational awareness: The Justice Department is charging Russian national Maria Butina with conducting unregistered work in the U.S. on behalf of the Kremlin. The DOJ alleges she tried to use her advocacy on issues like gun rights to create "back channels" to U.S. politicians.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
President Trump's press conference with Vladimir Putin was a disaster. And that was the assessment of many of his GOP allies.
Why it matters: Trump had a chance to assert himself — and stand up for his countrymen — against foreign interference in our elections. He passed, and stood by as Putin boasted he preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton.
Play the tape... Over the course of the press conference, Trump:
Jonathan Swan emails from Helsinki: "I was sitting maybe 20 feet from Putin, in the second row of press gathered at the palace in Helsinki. Putin was subtly smirking throughout the conference and pumped his chest as he forcefully smacked down U.S. reporters with his lies."
What he's tweeting... Trump defended himself this afternoon: "As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.' However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"
What they're saying:
Behind the scenes:
Be smart: Trump's behavior won't do much to dispel questions about his 2+ hour one-on-one with a leader who just publicly admitted that he preferred him to Hillary Clinton.
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
The All-Star game couldn't have come to D.C. at a better time, the WSJ's Gerald Seib writes.
"The need for such a refuge has only grown in a summer of raw emotions over immigration, Supreme Court vacancies and Russian election meddling. So, as baseball’s mid-summer classic, the All-Star Game, takes place in Washington on Tuesday, this is a good time to pause and reflect on the role—perhaps small, yet undeniable—that baseball and the Nationals play in bridging the increasingly stark divides in Washington."