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Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

Good Thursday morning.

Here is what's on the president's agenda today:

  • The president receives his intelligence briefing
  • President Trump meets with the secretary of Defense
  • The president has lunch with the secretary of State
  • President Trump hosts the Pledge to America’s Workers event

Media more hysterical than ever

The media cycle is so intense, so unhinged that I can barely keep up with the myriad of Trump attack-narratives spinning out of the various "news" rooms and Twitter feeds. I do my best.

The resistance media is very invested in this absurd, baseless RUSSIA-collusion fable so this "story" continues to dominate the headlines. The latest scandal is that Trump still won't admit that RUSSIA tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, which is an important admission for the media because they want to delegitimize Trump's election. Do you notice how often the media point out in their pieces or on television that the intelligence agencies agree the RUSSIAN inteference didn't impact the election outcome? They almost never mention this or if they do, it's in paragraph 47.

Trump told CBS yesterday that he agrees Putin is responsible for election meddling but that won't stop the media from continuing to ask the same question over and over again hoping the president will inartfully answer so they can have another news cycle or two for a freakout. CBS News laments that Trump declined to call Putin a liar during their interview. Now what kind of diplomatic relationship are we supposed to have with RUSSIA to cooperate on areas of mutual interest if Trump calls Putin a liar? Did the media ever second-guess or undermine Obama like this? No they did not.

To add insult to media injury, Trump told CBS he was pleased with his performance at the news conference following his private meeting with Putin. "I think I did great at the news conference," Trump said during an interview with Jeff Glor on Wednesday. "I think it was a strong news conference."

FBI Director Wray spoke at the Aspen Security Forum yesterday and said that the RUSSIANS are trying to sow discord in the United States. You know who is helping the RUSSIANS achieve their objective? The media, the grandstanding Democrats and the cultural elite.

More importantly, Director Wray named China as "the broadest, most significant" threat to the U.S. with active espionage efforts in all 50 states. By all means, let's alienate RUSSIA more and push them into the arms of China.

"I think China, from a counterintelligence perspective, in many ways represents the broadest, most challenging, most significant threat we face as a country," Wray answered.

"And I say that because for them it is a whole of state effort. It is economic espionage, as well as traditional espionage, it is non traditional collectors, as well as traditional intelligence operatives, it's human sources, as well as cyber means.

"We have economic espionage investigations in every state, all 50 states, that trace back to China. It covers everything from corn seeds in Iowa to wind turbines in Massachusetts and everything in between. So the volume of it, the pervasiveness of it, the significance of it, is something I think this country cannot underestimate."

Related:

White House disputes that Trump denied Russia still targeting the US

There are growing demands for Trump to release his tax returns after disastrous summit with Putin

Trump touches off new Russia controversy – and prompts new clarification

Trump was briefed about Putin's meddling role 2 weeks before taking office: report

Funny Pop star mocks Trump with new lyrics

'I don't know what the fuss is all about': Trump commends his performance at the widely-panned summit with Putin

Rand Paul Waterboards Former CIA Director For Calling Trump Treasonous

Treasonous RUSSIA collusion investigation roundup

Special counsel still investigating Roger Stone

Papadopoulos' Wife Says She's Not a Russian Spy

Reminder: Prosecutor Said ‘Trump’s Son Should be Concerned’ About Wiretaps of Butina’s Alleged Handler

Mueller lists pic of putting green, Yankees’ tickets as possible Manafort trial evidence

Will the U.S. turn over former Ambassador McFaul to RUSSIA?

RUSSIAN President Putin wants to question former U.S. Ambassador to RUSSIA Mike McFaul and the administration is considering it.

“There was some conversation about it, but there wasn’t a commitment made on behalf of the United States,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “And the president will work with his team, and we’ll let you know if there’s an announcement on that front.”

Putin broached the subject regarding the RUSSIANS recently indicted by witch hunter Robert Muller.

“We would expect that the Americans would reciprocate,” Putin said when asked about the 12 Russian officials who were indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

” …and that they would question officials, including the officers of law enforcement and intelligence service of the United States, whom we believe are — who have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia, and we have to — to request the presence of our law enforcement.”

McFaul appeared on The Rachel Maddow Comedy Hour yesterday to respond to the RUSSIANS' request.

"Vladimir Putin has been after me for a long time even when I was ambassador," McFaul said on Wednesday. "He's done some outrageous things around the world, but even to our diplomats and even to me personally."

"You can't establish this precedent," McFaul said. "You just have to push back on crazy stuff like that."

Nunes fights back

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is fighting back against the resistance media and the Democrats' effort to unseat him. Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI), has been collecting piles of cash money for his reelection. Take note, weak, cowardly Republicans: fighting against the crazy left has its rewards.

While Janz has emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s top online House candidate fundraisers, Nunes has managed to parlay his high-profile effort to delegitimize the Russia election probe into a fundraising juggernaut with conservatives across the United States. Nunes has banked more money than any other Republican House incumbent in California. This week, he reported raising about $7.4 million this election cycle, with $6.1 million in cash on hand. Nunes is also preparing to travel throughout the country raising money for other House Republicans.

Anthony Ratekin, Nunes’ chief of staff, wrote in an email that “we will be in every region of the country prior to the election and have more requests than days left in the year.”

If you pay attention to the RUSSIA-collusion soap opera, you know that Nunes has been dragged all over the headlines, in cocktail-soaked newsrooms, and smeared by crazed progressives on resistance media outlets. Nunes is running a campaign ad fighting back against the Fresno Bee, the local "news" paper in his district. The "news" paper seems to have a real bee in their bonnet about Nunes, but of course that's not possible because the media are just unbiased chroniclers of noteworthy events, right? Here's Nunes' commercial slamming the Bee for its crazy reporting.

Nunes appeared on Hannity last night and pointed out the curious timing surrounding the events of the RUSSIA investigation.

"You might give them the benefit of the doubt, but why does this always happen?" Nunes, R-CA, asked. "Every time something happens on one side where we find out a new revelation about what appears to be real problems in the FBI and DOJ with this investigation, all of a sudden, they drop an indictment." Indeed.

Historical picture of the day:

Battery D-15th Field Artillery at Vaux-Cantila, France on July 19, 1918. (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

Senate Democrats want to question Trump's interpreter at Putin summit

Trump: It’s a ‘disgrace’ Turkey won’t release jailed pastor

Tucker: ‘Official Washington’ Wants To ‘Crush’ Anyone Who Questions If NATO Serves American Interests

Mark Zuckerberg clarifies his Holocaust comments

Police reportedly ID ‘Russians’ behind nerve agent attack in England

Michelle Obama recruits celebrities for voter initiative

Two US writers linked to rise of fake news from Macedonia: report

Census Bureau faces hiring woes amid low unemployment

Trump links Democrats to MS-13 in opposition to ICE

An Illinois inmate costs taxpayers millions of dollars because he compulsively eats metal objects

Is parental abuse causing a shortage of youth sports referees?

The Democratic Party’s New Motto Same As A Used Car Dealership, Personal Injury Law Firm

Jordan interviewed in Ohio State University sex abuse investigation

Zinke is the new Pruitt Interior watchdog opens probe of land deal linking Zinke, Halliburton chairman

HARD PASS Lab-grown meat could be in restaurants in 3 years

YA' THINK? MGM already facing backlash after suing Las Vegas shooting victims

Push for soda taxes across USA notches win in Philly

Nikki Haley blasts UN Human Rights Council

Violent 'F--- Trump' image removed by Portland art gallery after backlash

Military parade requested by Trump initially estimated to cost $12M, official says

Republicans poised to choose Charlotte for 2020 convention

California's Supreme Court just shut down a Silicon Valley investor's proposal to split the state in 3

EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile practices

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!

Here's one reason why the Democratic Party "blue wave" may be more illusory than real.

Following the shooting at Parkland school, one analysis shows that youth registration has surged.

A new TargetSmart analysis of voter registration data in the 39 states with available data show that registration rates for voters aged 18-29 have significantly increased in key battleground states over the last seven months, presaging the increased impact youth voters may have on the upcoming midterm and presidential elections.

Using February 14, 2018, as a reference point ­­– the date on which the Parkland shooting happened, which spurred a youth-led movement to register young voters across the country — TargetSmart’s analysis found that the share of youth registrants nationwide has increased by 2.16 percent, a potentially impactful surge in youth enrollment. With more than a dozen states’ primaries still left and months until voter registration deadlines, the findings are an early quantitative sign that youth turnout is on the rise in this year’s midterm elections.

The state-by-state analysis shows that younger voters are poised to have an outsized impact in key battleground races. Pennsylvania – which has November elections for U.S. Senator, Governor, and many critical House races – saw youth voter registration surge by over 16 points after February 14, jumping from 45.2 percent to 61.4 percent of new registrants.

Other states with critical elections that may decide control of the U.S. Senate and House also showed large increases in youth registration, including Arizona (+8.2 point increase), Florida (+8), Virginia (+10.5), Indiana (+9.9), and New York (+10.7).

This spike in voter registration activity comes on the heels of the grassroots movement to address gun violence issues.

I'm in the "I'll believe it when I see it" camp. Every midterm election, Democrats tout huge voter registration gains among blacks, Hispanics, the youth, single women, etc.

Lo and behold, on election day, they don't show up to vote.

Maybe some election, they will. But until those registration numbers translate into actual political power, I'l stick with history and expect little change in turnout among those groups.

This should make everything more irritating:

More from Deadspin:

Even after it officially approved a new helmet rule for the 2018 season, the NFL quietly made a significant change to the wording of a related rule that addresses the applicable penalty. The change was an attempt to provide clarity by distinguishing prohibited hits to the helmet from incidental contact. But there’s still a whole lot of confusion about how the rule is going to be enforced, which means there’s still likely going to be a flurry of flags thrown early in the year as players, coaches, and officials adjust to a change that has the potential to profoundly affect the way the game is played.

The main issue at hand is whether the penalty will apply to linemen, who hit and block each other helmet-to-helmet on just about every play. And, in a total reverse from what we have come to expect from the NFL, the confusion comes from the relative simplicity of the rule.

When the NFL isn't trying to ruin one of the greatest sports ever with politics, it's busy coming up with confusing rules to mitigate collisions and violence in a game that people tend to watch for the collisions and violence. That will always be the core problem: the nature of the game is violent, and all the rules changes in the world won't make that go away unless the fundamental way it's played is radically overhauled. As long as players are supposed to be tackled, however, players are going to get hurt.

Laugh until you cry:

That's no doubt in response to this story, which once again proves that American liberals are nearly impossible to parody anymore.

This slope will get more slippery with time.

Were any of these pronouncement and policies issued by Facebook and Twitter administered even somewhat fairly this might all be for the greater good. Both platforms, however, have repeatedly shown that they don't care about anything bad happening to conservatives.