The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Mueller Sends List of Questions to Trump

    These answers won’t fit in 280 characters. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia’s 2016 election meddling has reached the Oval Office, delivering a list of at least four dozen questions for President Donald Trump. They touch on the firings of national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James Comey, dealings with lawyer Michael Cohen, and campaign meetings with Russians. Though the queries offer clues to the direction of the probe, it’s not clear how any interview with the president will proceed from here.

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    Netanyahu, Pompeo Say Iran Lied About Nuclear Program

    Yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented what he called new evidence that Iran violated the terms of its nuclear deal through a secret program — and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it could impact the agreement’s future. Iran called the presentation a stunt intended only to influence President Trump’s decision about certifying the deal, due May 12. Rob Malley, a member of the U.S. team that negotiated the Iran deal, agreed, saying that Netanyahu’s information wasn’t new and was intended for an “audience of one.”

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    Trump to Postpone Tariffs for EU, North American Allies

    President Trump has given the EU, Canada and Mexico a “final” one-month reprieve on new tariffs — 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum — which are already affecting imports from China, Russia and Japan. Discussions over a renegotiation of NAFTA could put pressure on Canada and Mexico to make a deal, but the EU has said it “will not negotiate under threat.” Australia, Argentina and Brazil, meanwhile, say they’ve made deals to avoid the tariffs, and have 30 days to finalize the details.

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    Top Vatican Official to Stand Trial for Sexual Assault

    Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the Vatican’s treasurer, was charged with sexual abuse last June. Now a Melbourne magistrate has decided that about half of the more than 30 charges against Pell have sufficient evidence to warrant a trial. Pell has denied wrongdoing and consistently pleaded not guilty, while his lawyer claimed the cardinal was targeted because of the church’s failure to protect victims of abuse. At least two more hearings must be held before the trial can begin, which may be several months away.

  5. WhatsApp, Stormy Daniels and Racial Discrimination

    Know This: The CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp is resigning after a reported confrontation with parent company Facebook over privacy concerns. Stormy Daniels has filed a defamation lawsuit against President Trump. And a Black man in Toronto has been awarded $10,000 after a Chinese restaurant made him pay upfront for his meal while white diners didn’t have to.

    Remember This Number: $60 million. That’s the amount the U.S. government reportedly paid to settle cases of wrongful death, reckless driving, mistaken deportation and other offenses by border guards from 2005 to 2017, according to a new analysis.

    Give Us the Scoop: What do you know and what do you want to discover? If you’ve got an idea for an awesome story, we’d love to hear it. Send your pitches to and our reporters and editors will run them down.


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    Modi Slammed for Taking Credit for India’s Electrification

    They see him in a bad light. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared his government had “fulfilled a commitment” by providing electricity to every last Indian village, political opponents were quick to note that when he took the job in 2014, nearly 97 percent of the country was already on the grid. Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who slammed Modi’s comments, said most of the heavy lifting had been done by the previous government. Meanwhile, some Indian Twitter users pointed out that their villages still haven’t been electrified.

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    Central Asia’s Largest Economy Is Betting on Fintech

    Kazakhstan has oil, gas and uranium … but now it wants bitcoin. The country is trying to propel and manage a burgeoning fintech sector as part of an effort to reshape its $156 billion economy. So far, that includes entrepreneurial incubators in Astana, the capital, and government plans to digitize data and use blockchain to deliver services. But without a strong legal framework for cryptocurrencies, experts say it’ll likely struggle to attract investment — so officials are scrambling to educate themselves and create one before the moment passes.

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    Federal Appeals Court Hears Patent Case for Gene-Editing Tool

    The University of California is appealing a patent ruling that awarded the rights of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. The gene-editing tool was first devised by UC Berkeley cell biologist Jennifer Doudna, but a Broad Institute scientist harnessed the tool for mammalian cells and patented it before UC’s patent was approved. Now Berkeley finds its CRISPR use limited to bacteria and not humans. A decision, which experts say won’t likely be in UC’s favor, is expected by the end of summer.

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    Ashley Judd Sues Harvey Weinstein for Sabotaging Career

    She’ll see him in court. The actress claims the disgraced movie mogul intentionally damaged her professional opportunities by spreading “false and malicious statements” to director Peter Jackson as retaliation for rejecting Weinstein’s sexual advances. Jackson later admitted that Weinstein said Judd was a “nightmare” to work with and persuaded him not to cast her or Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino, another Weinstein accuser, in his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Judd’s attorney says if she wins the lawsuit, the proceeds will be donated to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.

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    Trump Asks African Nations to Support World Cup Bid

    At a press conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, President Trump — for the second time in a week — publicly asked other nations to back a joint bid by the U.S., Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup. “We will be watching very closely” who helps, he said, singling out African countries. Last week he tweeted it “would be a shame” if countries didn’t support the bid, which resulted in a warning from FIFA about ethics rules against governments interfering in the host selection process.