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Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity. Photos: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images and Bennett Raglin/WireImage

On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow was literally laughing. Over on Fox News, Sean Hannity put up his dukes.

At 9 last night, you could just flip between the two and see an encapsulation of our two Americas — total dismissal of the memo's import, vs. the assertion that it's "only about 15 percent of what's coming."

So, Rachel, how was your day?

  • "This thing?! This was two weeks of: This memo is going to end everything. This memo, have you heard about the memo? Hashtag: Release the memo! This memo will make Donald Trump innocent. This memo will put Robert Mueller in jail. It will abolish the FBI. The Justice Department will have to rename itself the Donald J. Trump & Family Private Security Task Force."
  • "I mean, I can't believe this is it."
  • "I don't really believe in the whole Cable News Wars idea. I know people who work across the street at the Fox News Channel. I've got friends that work there. I think we're all doing our own thing in our own way best we can."
  • "But, oh my God, right? ... [T]his ... hyping and huffing and puffing and working their audience up into a frenzy for two solid weeks."
  • "And apparently, despite all of that, ... they either didn't know or they didn't notice that this thing they have been clamoring for and hyping for two solid weeks, ... it actually disproves their whole point."
  • "They release this memo to prove that the dossier started everything. The memo says the dossier didn't actually start anything."
  • Video

What's up, Sean?

  • "[W]hen you put all this information together, here's what it all means. The FBI misled and purposely deceived a federal court while using an unverified, completely phony opposition research bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton."
  • "We have never, ever in history seen anything like this, and it was spearheaded not by rank-and-file members of the FBI intelligence community and Department of Justice. No. High-ranking officials: James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, likely Loretta Lynch."
  • "But here's the bottom line: Crimes have been committed. There is no way that they did not know that the FBI was lying to a FISA court in order to spy on an opposition campaign during an election year. They have aided and abetted what is a massive constitutional violation."
  • "Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein and others all need to be investigated and, in many cases, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
  • "Now, of course, Comey is running scared. He's out of his mind right now, now that he is exposed with this memo."
  • "[T]he special counsel must be disbanded immediately."
  • "And, by the way — nobody else will say this — all charges against Paul Manafort and General Michael Flynn need to be dropped. It's that simple."
  • "This scandal is only in Phase 1. ... Stay tuned! Tick tock! "
  • Video

Go deeper

DOJ announces sweeping probe into Minneapolis policing practices

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced that the Justice Department will open a sweeping investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a "pattern or practice" of discriminatory policing practices.

Why it matters: The federal probe, which will also examine MPD's handling of misconduct allegations against officers, could result in significant changes to policing in Minneapolis in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

56 mins ago - World

South Korean president: Trump "beat around the bush and failed" on North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaking in Seoul in March 2021. Photo: Jeon Heon-Kyun/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in criticized former President Trump's attempts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, telling the New York Times he "beat around the bush" with North Korea and "failed to pull it through."

Why it matters: Moon, now in his final year in office, called denuclearization a "matter of survival" for South Korea and urged President Biden to resume negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after a standstill of nearly two years.

1 hour ago - World

U.S.-Israel tensions build as Iran talks progress

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Eric Baradat (AFP), Gali Tibbon (AFP)/Getty Images

As nuclear talks in Vienna enter a critical stage, the gaps and suspicions over Iran between the Israeli government and the Biden administration are growing.

Why it matters: Both sides want to avoid the kind of public fight that emerged during the negotiations over the 2015 deal. But in private, there's growing frustration on both sides about the lack of trust, coordination and transparency.

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