The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: He Said, He Said

President Trump said he accepts the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, contradicting his remarks a day earlier.

Andrew Harnik / AP

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey), Maddie Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2), and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump said he accepts the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, contradicting his remarks a day earlier. “In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word would instead of wouldn’t,” Trump said. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t or why it wouldn’t be Russia.’”

  • In a speech in South Africa, former President Obama warned about the rise of “strongman politics.”

  • During a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube executives addressed Republican claims that their platforms censored conservative content.

  • The company that owns Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the site of the October Las Vegas shooting, has filed legal complaints against more than 1,000 of the victims in federal court. Rather than seeking compensation, the company is hoping to dismiss claims against it.

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller is requesting that a federal judge grant immunity to five witnesses who might be called to testify at the trial of former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort.

Today on The Atlantic

  • One Country, Two Narratives: A new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic suggests that Americans have radically different views on the health of their country’s democracy. (Emma Green)

  • Let’s All Settle Down: President Trump’s performance in Helsinki was a new low, writes Danielle Pletka, but the reaction from the foreign-policy establishment was over the top.

  • Should They Stay or Should They Go?: In the aftermath of President Trump’s press conference with Vladimir Putin, critics have called on his White House advisers to resign. Will they? (Rosie Gray)

  • Of the Private School Persuasion: Four Supreme Court justices, as well as Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, attended private Catholic schools. Two—Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch—attended the same school: Georgetown Prep. (Alia Wong)


President Trump speaks to members of the press in the Cabinet Room, a day after his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

What We’re Reading

Where’s the Treason?: Commentators on all sides accused Trump of treason for siding with Vladimir Putin on the issue of election interference. But, argues Leonid Bershidsky, Trump’s actual policy isn’t that different from his predecessors. (Bloomberg)

Southern Baptists’ New President: The Southern Baptist Coalition has a new president, and he’s hoping to reorient the group away from accusations of political partisanship for which they’ve become known, writes Adelle M. Banks. (Religion News Service)

There’s No One Server: Despite President Trump’s insistence, the “missing DNC server” is not missing. In fact, it’s not even a server. (Kevin Poulsen, The Daily Beast)

Don’t Take Him at His Word: There’s disconnect between the “nonsense [Trump] spews” and the actions of his administration. Often, his policymakers simply ignore him. (Ben Shapiro, National Review)

The Working Class As It Is: Americans idealize hard work when it leads to class mobility and success. But for most American laborers, hard work doesn’t lead to a change in economic fortune. (Elizabeth Bruenig, Washington Post)


Going Up: Here’s how drug prices have changed since Donald Trump announced his candidacy. (Robert Langreth, Cynthia Koons, and Jackie Gu, Bloomberg)

‘Heat Makes You Dumb’: These four charts show how higher temperatures can affect cognitive performance. (Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post)