Breakfast Briefing: Lobbying execs under investigation in Mueller-referred case

Executives from the former Podesta Group and Mercury are under the microscope in the federal inquiry conducted by the Southern District of New York.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Current and former lobbying executives are under investigation by the Southern District of New York in a case referred by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Investigators are reportedly looking into former Podesta Group chief Tony Podesta, Mercury Public Affairs executive Vin Weber, and former Obama administration counsel Greg Craig for whether they failed to register as foreign agents (NBC News).

Edelman and Hill+Knowlton Strategies have won two of the eight spots on Shell’s creative roster, which includes four WPP firms. Edelman has worked with Shell since 2006. One Shell executive commented that the roster shows "we can no longer spend our way into our customers’ hearts and minds; we must earn our place."

Facebook has deleted 32 pages and fake accounts that it said on Tuesday are part of a false influence campaign designed to influence the midterm elections. The company did not link the pages to Russia, but Facebook officials said the tactics they used were similar to those of the Kremlin’s Internet Research Agency (New York Times). Some experts gave Facebook credit for avoiding a political firestorm while pulling the pages (Axios). Bonus read: Facebook and Instagram to show users how much time they’ve spent on the apps (CNBC).

Keep an eye on this tomorrow: CBS chief executive Les Moonves, accused of sexual harassment by six women but still on the job, is expected to take questions on Thursday’s quarterly earnings call (Business Insider). And look for Tesla’s Q2 earnings report on Wednesday at 2:30 EST (Recode).

This used to be called a "gaffe." Remember when it was important for politicians to know the price of milk? President Donald Trump claimed at a Florida rally on Tuesday that consumers need a photo ID to go grocery shopping, while making the case for more stringent voter-identification laws (Time). They do not. But free advice: If Trump can solve the insert-versus-swipe confusion at the register, he'll win a lot of votes.

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