The Presidential Daily Brief


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    House Intel Committee Releases Russiagate Report

    Releasing a redacted version of their final report on Russian election meddling, GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee pointed fingers at the FBI and U.S. intelligence community, while clearing President Donald Trump and his aides. The report cited “significant intelligence tradecraft failings” in assessing Russian involvement, while finding “no evidence” of collusion by the Trump campaign, which did suffer from “poor judgment.” Committee Democrats, though, dissented, saying that at a minimum, “a consciousness of wrongfulness, if not illegality” was evident in campaigners willingness to accept Russian-provided dirt on Hillary Clinton.

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    North and South Korea Pledge Denuclearization of Peninsula

    That’s one small step for diplomacy. Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to set foot on southern soil when he crossed the border today to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The two shook hands before heading to the demilitarized zone’s Peace House, where they’ve reportedly agreed to make an anti-nuclear pledge and discussed a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War. “I came here to put an end to the history of confrontation,” Kim said during the summit. He’ll meet with President Donald Trump in June.

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    Jury Rules Bill Cosby Guilty in Retrial

    The first jury to try the comedian ended with a mistrial last year — but yesterday a Pennsylvania jury found Cosby guilty of drugging and raping Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. It’s the first high-profile sexual assault case to be decided since the #MeToo movement gained momentum. More than 50 women have accused Cosby of misconduct over several decades. The 80-year-old, who lashed out at prosecutors after the verdict, could ostensibly spend the rest of his life behind bars if he’s given the maximum sentence of 30 years.

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    Trump Aims to Distance Himself From Personal Lawyer

    Has he outfoxed himself? President Trump told cable news show Fox & Friends yesterday that Michael Cohen only handles a “tiny little fraction” of his legal dealings, unrelated to current investigations. But he also acknowledged that Cohen represented him in dealings with Stormy Daniels — contradicting his previous statements — which could lead to Trump getting deposed in the case. Meanwhile, a judge appointed a “special master” to review documents seized from Cohen’s office to determine if any are protected by attorney-client privilege before federal prosecutors see them.

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    Amazon Doubles Profit, Beating Forecasts

    This is one for the books. Amazon’s quarterly numbers saw it more than double net income, raking in $1.6 billion, and shares jumped 7 percent in after-hours trading, hitting record highs. The company’s share of the online market is only expanding, with 43 cents of every dollar spent online going to Amazon. It marked the occasion with the announcement that annual fees for the 100 million Amazon Prime members worldwide will jump from $99 to $119. That will ratchet up revenue even more as Amazon expands into the food and transit spheres.

  6. Otto Warmbier, Mike Pompeo and the PDB Quiz

    Know This: The family of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student who died after his return from imprisonment in Pyongyang last year, are suing North Korea. Britain’s new royal baby has a name: Louis Arthur Charles. And Mike Pompeo has been confirmed as secretary of state.

    Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.

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    Genealogy Website Helped Catch ‘Golden State Killer’ Suspect

    Blood will tell on you. Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, a former police officer, was arrested this week on suspicion of being a notorious serial rapist and murderer. But law enforcement hadn’t considered him a suspect until last week, when genetic material given by a relative to a genealogy site turned up a DNA match. Police then identified DeAngelo based on his age and location. Prominent sites 23andMe and, which use customers’ genetic material to determine ethnic heritage and potentially find long-lost relatives, deny being involved in the investigation.

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    Russia Bans Telegram and Takes the Internet With It

    They’re sending a message. After the encrypted messaging app refused to grant security officers access to user communications, the government banned Telegram on April 16 — along with a reported 18 million IP addresses thought to be associated with it. But that wide-net approach has hobbled the Russian internet for weeks, impacting YouTube, Gmail and other businesses within the country. Telegram says it’s not technically possible to grant access to messages because of end-to-end encryption. Meanwhile, Russian users are signing up to VPNs in droves.

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    Study Identifies New Genetic Depression Links

    In the largest study of its kind, more than 200 scientists examined almost 500,000 people’s DNA and discovered 44 genetic variants as risk factors for depression, 30 of which hadn’t been identified before. Researchers say the results suggest that every human might carry at least one of those genes. The molecular building blocks for depression have received relatively little study compared to other mental illnesses, but with 14 percent of the planet dealing with depression, that’s changing. New studies could potentially explain why only half of patients respond well to current treatment.

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    As NBC Struggles With Harassment Claims, New Reports Emerge

    Veteran news anchor Ann Curry, who left NBC in 2015 after 15 years with the network, says she was asked for help by a coworker who claimed she was being harassed by Matt Lauer. “I believed her,” Curry says. Lauer maintains that his work relationships were consensual. Meanwhile, reports are circulating of a pitch for a new show hosted by alleged harasser Charlie Rose interviewing other prominent men who lost their jobs over sexual misconduct allegations, spurring outrage that powerful men’s stories are still privileged over those of victims.

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    Browns Choose QB Baker Mayfield as First Round Pick

    Hoping to turn around their dismal 0-16 record last season, Cleveland kicked off the NFL draft with a Heisman-winning quarterback. But while Mayfield threw for 14,607 yards and 131 touchdown passes during his college career at Texas Tech and Oklahoma, he also had run-ins with the law and a reputation for rowdiness. New York teams had the second and third picks: The Giants took Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and the Jets snagged USC quarterback Sam Darnold. The second and third rounds take place tonight.