Wednesday Top News Executive Summary
Mueller addresses Barr summary, infrastructure package, Venezuela demonstrations, antifa scrutinized, and more.
MEDIA EXPLOITS ITS OWN GROSS NEGLIGENCE: “In a previously unreported letter obtained by The Washington Post, Robert Mueller complained to Attorney General William Barr about his summary of the special counsel’s over 400-page final report because ‘it did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions,’” The Daily Wire reports. “But in a follow-up call between Barr and Mueller, the special counsel admitted that Barr’s summary was not ‘inaccurate,’ the Post reports; rather, Mueller just felt ‘that the media coverage of the letter was misinterpreting the investigation.’” Meanwhile, the attorney general’s congressional testimony is underway today in the Senate.
INFRASTRUCTURE’S EYE-POPPING PRICE TAG: According to the Associated Press, “President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders agreed Tuesday to work together on a $2 trillion infrastructure package — but put off for later the difficult question of how to pay for it.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated, “We did come to one agreement: that the agreement would be big and bold.” Erick Erickson observes, “Dems can’t fund a $5 billion wall, but can spend $2 trillion naming roads after themselves.”
VENEZUELA OPPOSITION TRIES AGAIN: Via The Washington Post: “Opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on Venezuelans to join a massive anti-government demonstration on Wednesday as he tried to regain momentum following a largely unsuccessful effort to rally the military to his side and oust the country’s authoritarian government. … While the head of Venezuela’s domestic intelligence, Maj. Gen. Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, broke with [dictator Nicolás] Maduro, military leaders stayed loyal to him. Guaidó’s appeal to the military on Tuesday appeared to draw only a small number of soldiers to his side.” Government forces even resorted to running down protesters with armored vehicles.
FBI SCRUTINIZES ANTIFA: “The FBI has been collecting information on Americans who have been helping the migrant caravans heading to the US-Mexico border, and is now investigating an alleged plot by ‘anti-fascist activists’ to purchase weapons from a Mexican drug cartel,” The Daily Wire reports. The revelation coincided with CNN’s Chris Cuomo christening antifa “a good cause” earlier this week.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS A LUCRATIVE BUSINESS: “RAND researchers [have found] that drug trafficking-centric transnational cartels ‘control primary smuggling corridors into the United States’ and estimate that the total ‘revenues to all types of smugglers, not just [transnational cartels], from smuggling migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, combined, ranged from about $200 million to about $2.3 billion in 2017.’ In other words, cartels and trafficking rings earned as much as $2.3 billion from human smuggling just in the year 2017.” (The Daily Wire)
ANTI-SEMITISM IN AMERICA: “Anti-Semitic assaults more than doubled, and the U.S. Jewish community experienced "near-historic levels” of anti-Semitism in 2018, according to a report released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League. … Last year was the third-highest year on record for attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions since the ADL, an international Jewish non-governmental organization, began tracking such data in the 1970s. The ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents recorded 1,879 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions across the U.S. in 2018, representing a 5 percent decline from the 1,986 incidents recorded in 2017. Nevertheless, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2018 still remained 48 percent higher than in 2016 and 99 percent higher than in 2015.“ (Fox News)
DEEP-STATE UNMASKING: "The National Security Agency (NSA) disclosed the identities of nearly 17,000 U.S. residents and businesses to American intelligence officials last year through a legal — but controversial — practice known as ‘unmasking,’ according to a report released Tuesday. The number of unmaskings — 16,721 to be exact — marks a 75 percent increase from 2017, which saw the NSA make 9,529 disclosures to intelligence agencies. … The unmasking process has become controversial over the past two years. Republicans have alleged that Obama administration officials abused foreign surveillance laws by making unnecessary unmasking requests of Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign, as well as during the presidential transition period.” (The Daily Caller)
GOOD NEWS: “A letter carrier from Auburn, Maine, last week won a legal victory when the U.S. Postal Service was forced to reinstate him in a job after he was absent for 14 years while deployed in the ‘Global War on Terrorism.’ … The Postal Service informed him in January 2016 that it would not reinstate him because he had ‘abandoned’ his civilian post. His attorneys saw that as a violation of the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.” (Government Executive)
SATIRE: Democrats promise to do a better job of hiding their support for infanticide in the future (The Babylon Bee)
POLICY: Cut off Nicolas Maduro’s oil exports (Washington Examiner)
POLICY: Guess who’s really to blame for Amazon’s zero federal tax bill (Issues & Insights)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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