Breakfast Briefing, 6.15.2017: Global Power Book, and another United Airlines apology

PRWeek asked the top comms executives around the world to pick the most influential communicator of 2017. Their answer: someone who doesn't work in PR.

PRWeek has launched the 2017 edition of the Global Power Book, a searchable database of the most powerful communications executives from around the world. Bonus: The executives featured in the Power Book were asked to pick the most influential communicator in the world. The winner might surprise you. Also new this morning: Oscar Mayer’s marketing chief chatted with PRWeek about controversial topics like whether the hot dog is actually a sandwich.

It’s deja vu all over again for United Airlines. The carrier apologized on Wednesday after a surveillance video surfaced showing an employee shoving a 71-year-old passenger to the ground in 2015 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The passenger has sued United for $1 million to cover his medical expenses. The airline said in a statement on Wednesday that the employee’s behavior "does not reflect our values," according to CNN.

Happy birthday, President Trump. You’re under investigation for obstruction of justice. That’s essentially what The Washington Post said yesterday when it revealed special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether the president impeded the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election. The White House is sticking to its strategy of deferring all questions about the inquiry to Trump’s personal lawyer, who now has a spokesman of his own. Mark Corallo did not deny the investigation is taking place, but decried "outrageous, inexcusable, and illegal" leaks from the FBI. Trump huffed and puffed about the investigation on Twitter on Thursday morning.

Uber’s ride-hailing rivals are seeing opportunity in the company’s crisis. Middle Eastern transportation app Careem, which has a footprint in 80 cities in the region, has raised $150 million to close out a venture capital round of $500 million, according to TechCrunch. Closer to home, Lyft announced a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover this week to collaborate on self-driving vehicle research. Meanwhile, Uber is being run by a 14-person committee in CEO Travis Kalanick’s absence, setting up what The Wall Street Journal calls "corporate Game of Thrones."

Your daily reminder that nothing is ever totally off the record. A video of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull mocking Trump’s propensity for outsized language has gone public. Turnbull, who had an infamously awkward first phone call with Trump, made the comments at the Midwinter Ball, the country’s (supposedly) off-the-record version of the White House Correspondents Dinner. 

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