* Chris Mooney, Juliet Eilperin, and Brady Dennis report on a climate change assessment that managed to slip by the White House:
The Trump administration released a dire scientific report Friday detailing the growing threats of climate change. The report stands in stark contrast to the administration’s efforts to downplay humans’ role in global warming, withdraw from an international climate accord and reverse Obama-era policies aimed at curbing U.S. greenhouse-gas output.
The White House did not seek to prevent the release of the government’s National Climate Assessment, which is mandated by law, despite the fact that its findings sharply contradict the administration’s policies. The report affirms that climate change is driven almost entirely by human action, warns of potential sea-level rise as high as eight feet by the year 2100, and enumerates climate-related damage across the United States that is already occurring as a result of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming since 1900.
“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” the document reports. “For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”
In response, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt immediately began working on a report showing that inhaling coal fumes makes you smarter and more attractive.
* Raphael Satter, Jeff Donn, and Chad Day report on how comprehensive Russian hacking against the Democratic Party was in 2016:
An Associated Press investigation into the digital break-ins that disrupted the U.S. presidential contest has sketched out an anatomy of the hack that led to months of damaging disclosures about the Democratic Party’s nominee. It wasn’t just a few aides that the hackers went after; it was an all-out blitz across the Democratic Party. They tried to compromise Clinton’s inner circle and more than 130 party employees, supporters and contractors.
While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the email thefts, the AP drew on forensic data to report Thursday that the hackers known as Fancy Bear were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government.
The AP’s reconstruction— based on a database of 19,000 malicious links recently shared by cybersecurity firm Secureworks — shows how the hackers worked their way around the Clinton campaign’s top-of-the-line digital security to steal chairman John Podesta’s emails in March 2016.
It also helps explain how a Russian-linked intermediary could boast to a Trump policy adviser, a month later, that the Kremlin had “thousands of emails” worth of dirt on Clinton.
But Clinton was the one who was colluding! And it’s all a hoax! And, um, Benghazi!
* David Weigel reports that in the wake of controversy over the joint fundraising agreements the DNC signs with presidential candidates, the party’s leaders are pledging reforms before the next election.
* Trump, who has said many times he has “one of the great memories of all time,” now claims that “I don’t remember much about that meeting” where George Papadopoulos suggested using his Russian contacts to arrange a get-together with Vladimir Putin. Funny, it totally escaped Jeff Sessions’ mind too. Weird!
* Elizabeth Warren warns that after Republicans hugely increase the deficit with this tax bill, they’re going to come back next year and say that our huge deficits demand that we slash the safety net.
* Antonio Olivo reports on a new study showing that in Virginia, rates of arrest in immigrant communities are significantly lower than in areas with mostly native-born citizens. This is the same state where Ed Gillespie is airing ad after ad suggesting his Democratic opponent wants to let MS-13 kill you and rape your daughter,
* And Hayley Tsukayama, Rachel Siegel, and J. Freedom du Lac have the story of the rogue Twitter employee who shut down Donald Trump’s account for 11 whole minutes.