Breakfast Briefing: Mixed messages from White House on Russia threat

Hours after national security officials described the threat of midterm election meddling, Trump again dismissed the "Russia hoax."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Mixed messages: President Donald Trump ratcheted up his war of words with the news media on Thursday night during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, referring to the "fake, fake disgusting news" (Washington Post). The appearance came hours after Trump’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials held a press event to warn the public about Russian interference in the midterm elections, actions Trump later dismissed as a "Russian hoax" while stumping for Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) (NBC News). He also contradicted minutes of video evidence by claiming Queen Elizabeth II was late to meet him during his state visit to the U.K. (Politico).

The monthly jobs report for July, set for release this morning, may give Trump another economic talking point. Analysts and economists believe the unemployment rate will drop a tick to 3.9% from the month before (Wall Street Journal).

The numbers are what CBS CEO Les Moonves stuck to on the network’s quarterly earnings call on Thursday. Not one analyst on the earnings call asked about Moonves’ status or reports the network has hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against him (Deadline Hollywood).

EA has apologized for editing the name of quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick out of a song it licensed for Madden NFL 19, calling it "an unfortunate mistake." The company said its employees were confused about its rights to use Kaepernick’s name in the song because they can’t use his likeness in the game. EA promised to re-edit the song to include the original verse in the game’s next update, coming in a few days (CBS Sports).

More bad data for Papa John’s: sales at the pizza chain fell 16% in the second week of July, as news hit about founder John Schnatter’s use of a racial slur on a conference call, according to numbers from Technomic’s Transaction Insights. That was down significantly from its 2.2% average monthly sales decline this year (Restaurant Business).

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