Breakfast Briefing, 7.10.2017: A weekend of mixed White House messaging

Plus: Why several potential YouTube stars are becoming Facebook stars, Jay Carney's role in the Amazon-Whole Foods deal, and Spotify's pushback against 'fake music' accusations.

(By Zach Rudisin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Read more at
(By Zach Rudisin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Read more at

It was not a banner weekend in message consistency for the White House. On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed an "impenetrable cybersecurity unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded" at last week's G-20 summit. After hours of outrage, including from bold-face names in his own party, and many "fox guarding the henhouse" analogies, Trump stepped back and tweeted, "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a cybersecurity unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can and did!" On another front, the White House referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping in an official statement as the leader of Taiwan, which China considers a renegade territory.

Donald Trump Jr. also gave two conflicting statements over the weekend about why he met with a Russian lawyer with connections to the Kremlin during the 2016 election in response to a New York Times report. Trump Jr. changed his tune from claiming the meeting was about an adoption program after the Times reported damaging information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was offered to him. Trump later acknowledged that, but said none of the gossip was useful, according to the newspaper. The meeting was set up by music publicist Rob Goldstone, according to The Washington Post.

Axios has the scoop on how former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney worked behind the scenes to facilitate Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. Carney, SVP of corporate affairs at Amazon and a high-ranking member of PRWeek’s most recent Power List, arranged early executive meetings during the top-secret acquisition process.

Some potential YouTube stars are taking their talents to Facebook instead, according to The New York Times. One is Laura Clery, who hosts a weekly in-character cooking show, and was one of the first members of Facebook’s video revenue-sharing program. It’s nice work if you can get it; Clery earns seven figures annually and has her own line of t-shirts, according to the report.

You’ve heard about fake news, but how about "fake artists?" Spotify is pushing back against reports that it pads playlists with songs from nonexistent musicians, or at least bands with a very low public profile, few songs, and little buzz, according to The Guardian. The company told the newspaper the accusations are "categorically untrue, full stop."

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