Mark Meadows. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

"GOP memo on surveillance ‘abuse’ targets dossier" — WashPost:

  • "A document described by House Republicans as a top-secret memo about [FISA] surveillance 'abuse' contains talking points focused on discrediting Fusion GPS, the firm that hired a British ex-spy to compile intelligence reports about alleged connections between President Trump’s associates and the Kremlin."
  • "It suggests that the former spy, Christopher Steele, lied to FBI agents who interviewed him during their probe of the 2016 election and that this purported lie was included in a successful application for a federal court order to conduct electronic surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page."
  • "The document was produced by the House Intelligence Committee’s GOP majority, which voted Thursday to make it available to the entire House membership, though not to the public."
  • "[T]he committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), called the document 'profoundly misleading,' saying it was 'drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI.'"
  • Why it matters: "Conservative Republicans are increasingly calling for the document’s public release after first declaring it should remain classified. Several have taken to social media, conservative television and radio outlets, and even the House floor, to demand the public be able to see what they’ve read."
  • "The hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo trended shortly after [Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the head of the House Freedom Caucus] and other House conservatives tweeted it."

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Election influence operations target journalists

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Foreign and domestic actors looking to influence the 2020 election are trying to trick real reporters into amplifying fake storylines. This tactic differs from 2016, when bad actors used fake accounts and bots to amplify disinformation to the population directly.

Why it matters: The new strategy, reminiscent of spy operations during the Cold War, is much harder for big tech platforms to police and prevent.

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Democrats demand Trump release his tax returns after NYT report

Compilation images of House Nancy Pelosi and President Trump. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats called on President Trump to disclose his tax returns following a New York Times report alleging he paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and nothing in 10 of the past 15 years.

Details: Trump said the report was "total fake news," that he's unable to release the returns as they're "under audit" by the IRS, "which does not treat me well." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement the report "provides further evidence of the clear need" for a House lawsuit to access the tax returns and "ensure the presidential audit program is functioning effectively, without improper influence."