Breakfast Briefing, 2.15.2017: More questions about Trump team ties to Russia

New reports by The New York Times and CNN on Tuesday night said Trump's campaign had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Look for reporters to pepper White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer with questions about it on Wednesday.

New this morning
London-based technology specialist firm Liberty Communications has named Jim Lubinskas as its first North American MD. Dexcom has launched an awareness campaign, called Know More. Prick Less., for its wearable and mobile-connected glucose monitor.

What to watch at Sean Spicer’s daily briefing
Trump campaign officials had repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a New York Times story posted Tuesday night. CNN took the story a step further, reporting campaign aides were "in constant touch" with Russian operatives. The Kremlin denied the reports on Tuesday morning, and President Donald Trump said on Twitter that the "fake news media" is "going crazy with conspiracy theories and blind hatred."

Who could see this coming…
More on the dispute between reality show villain turned White House aide Omarosa Manigault and American Urban Radio Networks journalist April Ryan. Manigault reportedly produced a tape, made without Ryan’s knowledge, of an argument between the two and played it for journalists. Ryan, who said earlier this week that Manigault threatened her with a dossier, has called the incident "freaking Nixonian."

What to watch today
Trump is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington amid new uncertainty about the path forward for the Middle East peace process. Here are five things to watch, via ABC News.

Intel drops longtime sponsorship
The technology giant is pulling out of its sponsorship deals for high-school science fairs. Last year, it dropped its support of the national Science Talent Search program, followed by the International Science and Engineering Fair this year. The nonprofit that manages both, the Society for Science and the Public, is looking for a new backer, according to The New York Times.

PewDiePie firing raises more questions
Disney’s decision to drop the controversial YouTube star has prompted questions about the future of its Maker Studios digital video network, according to The Wall Street Journal, as well as YouTube’s internet-celebrity-dependent business. Both Disney and YouTube dropped business deals with PewDiePie this week ater videos he posted containing anti-Semitic jokes came to light.

Elliott pulls out of IPG
Activist hedge fund Elliott Management has stepped away from its investment in Interpublic Group, according to the WSJ. It had bought almost 7% of the holding company, home to PR firms Weber Shandwick and Golin and creative shops such as McCann Worldgroup, by mid-2014 and encouraged it to explore a sale.

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