Senior senators on the Judiciary Committee at a Wednesday hearing on the Parkland shooting. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Lawmakers on Wednesday questioned what social media companies were doing to respond to threatening posts or messages that can presage acts of gun violence.

Why it matters: Online platforms have become vectors for threats of violence against schools — an issue brought to the fore by the shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year. A YouTube user shared the name of the shooter to the FBI, which was later overlooked, after the gunman reportedly left a comment on a video referencing a desire to be a school shooter.

The details: Internet Association President Michael Beckerman, who represents Google, Facebook and other major web companies, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the ways in which platforms work with law enforcement, identify users who may be in need of help and deal with objectionable content.

What they said: Democrats and Republicans alike asked questions of Beckerman. "My request of you is that you will advocate that your member organizations strongly advocate for the repeal of the Dickey Amendment [limiting the CDC from studying gun violence] so that you and we can have the research and the data that is available if we just study this thing," said Sen. Kamala Harris. Beckerman said he would "absolutely go back and take a look at it and discuss it with our members."

The bottom line: More of the questions were about the capabilities of the platforms than they were about raking the companies over the coals.

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

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