Today in 5 Lines
President Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end Robert Mueller’s investigation immediately. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the tweet, saying, “The president is not obstructing, he is fighting back.”
During the second day of Paul Manafort’s trial, a manager of a luxury men’s clothing store testified that the former Trump campaign chairman spent more than $929,000 on suits between 2010 and 2014 and paid using wire transfers.
Former President Barack Obama released a list of 81 candidates he’s endorsing in 2018 and said he’s “eager” to get involved in the midterms.
A federal appeals court ruled that the Trump administration can’t withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities.”
The Senate passed a $717 billion defense-spending bill that raises military pay 2.6 percent and boosts aircraft and ship purchases. The House had previously approved the same measure.
Today on The Atlantic
The Larger Picture: Paul Manafort’s trial is just one episode in America’s slow reckoning with kleptocracy, argues Franklin Foer.
Rooting for Kelvin: President Trump has finally nominated an adviser to direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The science community loves him. (Ed Yong)
When Getting Rich Is Bad for the Economy: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, is estimated to be worth about $150 billion. That success is a credit to his business acumen—but it’s also a policy failure. (Annie Lowrey)
So What if Collusion Isn’t a Crime? Trump is a national-security threat regardless of whether he actually acted criminally, argues David Frum.
What We’re Reading
A Northern Bellwether: Will grassroots efforts to pull the Democratic Party to the left be successful in 2018? Look to Michigan for the answer. (Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post)
Twitter Trolls: FiveThirtyEight has published nearly 3 million tweets from a “troll factory” where the Russian nationals charged with election interference worked. (Oliver Roeder)
‘We Are Q’: Devotees of a bizarre internet conspiracy showed up with signs at President Trump’s rally in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday. Who are they? (Isaac Stanley-Becker, The Washington Post)
The New Ellis Island: For migrants on long journeys to the border, one Texas bus terminal serves as a portal to the United States, just as Ellis Island did a century ago. (The New York Times)