* David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell report that the president has finally come clean about the hush money he paid to Stormy Daniels:
In new financial disclosure documents, President Trump reported reimbursing his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for an expenditure over $100,000 last year — an apparent reference to the $130,000 that Cohen paid to ensure the silence of an adult-film actress who claimed she’d had an affair with Trump.
“In 2016 expenses were incurred by one of Donald J. Trump’s attorneys, Michael Cohen,” Trump reported in a footnote of his official Personal Financial Disclosure report, required of top federal officials. “Mr. Cohen sought reimbursement of those expenses and Mr. Trump fully reimbursed Mr. Cohen in 2017. The category of value would be $100,001 — $250,000 and the interest rate would be zero.”
That statement was included on the 45th page of a 92-page disclosure.
Earlier this year, Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he had not known about Cohen’s payment to Daniels.
That means that he lied about it. And does anyone think that if it hadn’t come out in the press that he would have filled out that form accurately?
* Karoun Demirjian reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee has a grasp of the obvious:
The Senate Intelligence Committee has determined the U.S. intelligence community was correct in assessing Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the aim of helping then-candidate Donald Trump, contradicting findings House Republicans reached last month.
“We see no reason to dispute the [intelligence community’s] conclusions,” the committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), said Wednesday in a joint statement with its vice chair, Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), who added: “Our staff concluded that the … conclusions were accurate and on point. The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton.”
This marks the second of four interim findings the intelligence committee has said it will disclose before tackling the more consequential question of whether Trump and his associates colluded with Russia to influence the election’s outcome, allegations the president has denied and sought to discredit. The committee, which earlier this month released related findings on election security, is expected to publish a comprehensive final report this fall.
This is in contrast to the House Intelligence Committee under Devin Nunes, which found that the Trump campaign did nothing wrong, Putin didn’t even know we were having an election, and when Trump walks in the room your heart just flutters like a hummingbird’s wings because he’s so damn handsome.
* Another fun part of the Senate Intelligence Committee report: “The Committee has obtained a number of documents that suggest the Kremlin used the National Rifle Association as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his campaign.”
* Amanda Marcotte says it isn’t just Flint; contaminated water is everywhere in America.