5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • McCabe gave Mueller memos, interview

  • Trump data firm linked to Russian oil company, data breach

  • Trump lawyer says it's time for Mueller's probe to end

  • Russia expels British diplomats over poison accusation

  • Engineer reported Florida bridge cracks before deadly collapse

Fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe created memos documenting his conversations with President Trump and former FBI Director James Comey, The Associated Press reports. He has given the files to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and has also granted Mueller an interview about the circumstances surrounding Comey's ouster last year. Comey also made private memos detailing his interactions with Trump and leaked them to the media via a friend. Axios reports the McCabe memos corroborate Comey's account of his own firing. In a tweet Sunday morning, Trump said McCabe "never took notes when he was with me." He added, "I don't believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date. Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?"

Source: Axios, The Associated Press

Cambridge Analytica, the data firm suspended by Facebook Friday, was in contact with Lukoil, a Russian oil company, in 2014 and 2015, The New York Times reported Saturday. When questioned last month, the head of the firm's British parent company denied knowledge of any business ties to Russia. Also Saturday, The Observer of London reported the company harvested 50 million American Facebook profiles for electioneering, a major data breach. "We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people's profiles and built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons," said former Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie. "That was the basis the entire company was built on." Cambridge Analytica was a Trump campaign contractor in 2016.

Source: The Guardian, The New York Times

President Trump's personal attorney, John Dowd, said Saturday it is time for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling to end. "I pray that Acting Attorney General [Rod] Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by [fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe's boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier," Dowd wrote in a statement to The Daily Beast. Dowd first stated he was speaking on the president's behalf, but then reversed himself, saying he was only giving his personal view.

Source: The Daily Beast, The Hill

Moscow on Saturday announced 23 British diplomats have one week to leave Russia, a retaliation for the United Kingdom's decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats and cut off high-level communications with Russia earlier this week. The first expulsion came in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter who now live in England. The U.S., U.K., France, and Germany have blamed the nerve gas attack on Moscow, which denies the accusation. Russia's Saturday announcement also said the British Council in Russia, a cultural liaison, and the British Consulate in St. Petersburg will be shut down.

Source: BBC News, The Wall Street Journal

The engineer who oversaw construction of the footbridge that collapsed in Florida Thursday, killing multiple people, left a voicemail with the state Transportation Department two days prior reporting cracks in the structure. The employee the engineer called was out of the office and thus did not hear the message until Friday. However, it is not clear that the tragedy would have been prevented even if the voicemail were received more quickly: The engineer said the cracking would be repaired but did not pose a problem from a "safety perspective." The specific cause of the collapse remains unknown.

Source: Reuters, The New York Times
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