* Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian have the latest from the all-day Peter Strzok hearing, including this portion that’s representative of the tone:
The arguments took an ugly personal turn when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) indirectly raised the issue of Strzok’s extramarital affair with Page.
“When I see you sitting there with your little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent-looking into your wife’s eyes?” Gohmert said.
Lawmakers and the witness then started yelling, trying to speak over each other as the chairman sought to restore order in the room, as one Democrat hollered: “You need your medication!”
Once the commotion subsided, Strzok replied, “I have always told the truth. The fact that you would accuse me otherwise… goes more to a discussion about your character and what you stand for.”
Strzok denied his political opinions amounted to bias, and said that FBI personnel are trained not to let their opinions influence their work.
Ah, the glory of our elected representatives at work. Truly an inspiration.
* Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, and Michael Birnbaum report that President Trump ended the NATO summit on a high note:
The NATO summit was concluding on course here Thursday, with European leaders pleased that their unruly American counterpart had been surprisingly well behaved, if not truly conciliatory. Their planes were getting gassed up at the airport, and they were ready to call the whole shebang a success and jet home.
Then President Trump showed up, a half-hour late and with another agenda. He effectively took a meeting over Georgia and Ukraine hostage by seizing the floor and, one by one, scolding and shaming countries for their defense spending.
Trump was on such a tear that some diplomats said they feared he could well try to withdraw the United States from NATO, rupturing the existing world order. For more than an hour, the transatlantic alliance was caught in the chaos of Trump’s making — until the president called an impromptu news conference to announce that everything, in fact, was just fine.
“I believe in NATO,” Trump said, claiming credit for forcing Western allies to raise their defense spending to “levels never thought of before.” He called the alliance “a fine-tuned machine,” remarking that there had been “great unity, great spirit, great esprit de corps.”
On the bright side, our European allies apparently taught Trump the phrase “esprit de corps.”
* Ian Millhiser argues that the Senate is facing a legitimacy crisis.
* Bob Bauer and Ryan Goodman explain exactly what Brett Kavanaugh believes about criminal investigations of the president.
* Ishaan Tharoor explains why the World Cup is fed by the dreams of immigrants. Cool fact: 17 of the 23 members of the French team are the children of immigrants.
* And Olga Khazan explains why “find your passion” is terrible career advice.