Breakfast Briefing, 5.18.2017: Mueller named special prosecutor; Chobani wins retraction from Infowars

On one hand, a special prosecutor isn't good news for President Trump, for obvious reasons. Yet some say it could stem the leaks coming from congressional investigations into Russia's influence on the 2016 presidential election.

Special prosecutor appointed
The deluge of stories keeping the White House press shop in crisis mode most certainly did not slow down on Wednesday. The big story: the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director James Comey as special prosector to look into Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, specifically alleged collusion with the Trump campaign and related matters. One school of thought is that the appointment of a special prosecutor is a short-term win for the White House because it could slow down the nonstop stream of leaks to the press—if President Donald Trump can stop self-inflicted wounds usually caused by his tweets. Mueller's appointment also means life is about to get much more complicated for White House staffers, notes Politico.

That's not the only story on the minds of White House staff…
Here are two stories that could have led the news cycle on a normal day. The New York Times reported Wednesday night that Michael Flynn told the Trump transition team he was under investigation for undisclosed work for Turkey, but was appointed national security adviser anyway. Flynn and other Trump campaign staffers were in touch with Russian officials at least 18 times via phone or email in the last seven months of the 2016 campaign, according to Reuters, citing current and former government officials.

Don’t be this guy…
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told other top House GOP members last summer that he thought Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll, according to a conversation revealed by The Washington Post. Asked for comment by the newspaper, a spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan denied the conversation took place. Told the Post had an authenticated recording of it, the spokesperson acknowledged the conversation happened but contended McCarthy was joking.

Alex Jones issues rare retraction after Chobani sues
Conspiracy theory king Alex Jones, the man behind Infowars, retracted comments he made about Chobani and said he has resolved the yogurt company’s lawsuit against him, according to NBC News. Chobani sued Jones after he accused the company of supporting "migrant rapists" working in Idaho, according to CNN.

Twitter gives users a look under the hood
The platform released a set of privacy and data controls on Wednesday that gives users a peek at how marketers target and advertise to them on Twitter, via The Verge. The company is also extending the period of time for which it keeps web browsing data and letting users see what the company thinks they’re interested in, according to Recode. Click on "Your Twitter data" under Twitter's settings to take a look for yourself. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in