The greatest witch hunt; how insecure is Mar-a-Lago really?; and more.

  • “What’s said in the family stays in the family,” said Paul Ryan at the end of an exchange in 2016 in which Kevin McCarthy voiced the opinion that Trump and California Republican Dana Rohrabacher are on Putin’s payroll, Adam Entous reports for The Washington Post. Spokesmen for Ryan and McCarthy denied the exchange ever happened—said any transcripts the Post might have acquired were falsified—until the Post told them they had an audio recording of the conversation. Then they said “oh that was just a joke.”

  • Michael Flynn told the Trump transition team he was under federal investigation for secretly lobbying for Turkey but was appointed national security adviser anyway, Matthew Rosenberg and Mark Mazzetti report for The New York Times.

  • Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein has appointed former F.B.I. director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the Trump team’s ties with Russia, Rebecca Ruiz and Mark Landler report for The New York Times.

  • Meanwhile, 84 percent of Republicans still approve of President Trump’s job to date, and conservative media are portraying his presidency as the target of a deep state attack by President Obama holdovers, Jeremy Peters reports for The New York Times. In other words: Fake news!

  • Donald Trump tweeted this morning, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

  • Sheriff David Clarke—whose accomplishments include letting a newborn die in his jail and claiming Black Lives Matter activists will work with ISIS to destroy American—is apparently heading to the Department of Homeland Security, Betsy Woodruff reports for The Daily Beast.

  • Army vet Charles Clymer points out on Twitter that Clarke’s “decorations” are just that: a child playing with military badges.

  • Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes died this morning, Elliot Smilowitz reports for The Hill.

  • Cyber-insecurity: In a collaboration between Gizmoda and Propublica, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Julia Angwin report on the poor cybersecurity at Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties. ”The risks posed by the lax security, experts say, go well beyond simple digital snooping,” they write. “Sophisticated attackers could take advantage of vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi networks to take over devices like computers or smart phones and use them to record conversations involving anyone on the premises.” Maybe not a big deal (for national security) if you’re a regular Joe Schmoe with $200,000 to spare for the Mar-a-Lago membership fee—but rather a big deal if you’re the President of the United States or a visiting foreign leader.

  • Andy Martino reports for The Outline on the biometric entry-exit tracking system in progress. Trump’s executive orders on immigration called for expedited completion of the project, although work on biometric tools has spanned roughly two decades.

  • This is civic tech: MySociety has published a report by Rebecca Rumbul and Emily Shaw on city-based civic tech tools in used in five U.S. cities, including SpeakUpAustin, in Austin, Texas; LargeLots, in Chicago, Illinois; RecordTrac, in Oakland, California; DC311, in Washington, DC; and Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) Police Complaint Tracker, in Seattle, Washington. Download the report here.

  • Presidential candidates in Iran are wooing younger voters on Instagram, Nilo Tabrizy reports for The New York Times, although Facebook (which owns Instagram) and Twitter have been blocked since 2009.

  • And Philadelphia civic technologists rallied around a political candidate like never before, Roberto Torres and Juliana Reyes report for Philly, seeing their girl, Rebecca Rhynhart, to victory over her rival, the incumbent Alan Butkovtiz, in the Democratic primary for City Controller.

  • Farhad Manjoo opines for The New York Times that unless the government steps up its work on artificial intelligence, technology companies will be calling the shots in the future.

  • Opportunity knockin’: 1776 is looking for nominations of startups for its 12-week Summer Startup Program. Learn more here.


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