Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Photo: Richard Drew / AP

Twitter said Thursday it would "off-board" ads linked to Russian state outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik over concerns they tried to influence the 2016 election. The move comes less than a week before the company sends a lawyer to testify on Russian election meddling on Capitol Hill, where he'll join colleagues from Google and Facebook.

Why it matters: The implications for tech companies of possible Russian election meddling go far beyond those ads purchased by a notorious "troll farm" that have already been disclosed.

The details:

  • "This decision was based on the retrospective work we've been doing around the 2016 U.S. election and the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government," the company said in a blog post.
  • Both outlets can continue to use the platform — just not advertise on it — "in accordance with the Twitter Rules."
  • The company will donate an estimated $1.9 million earned from RT ads since 2011 to "support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation."

What's next: Facebook and Google (which owns YouTube) are likely to face more questions about their relationships with RT.

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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.

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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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