* Shane Harris, Ellen Nakashima, Michael Scherer and Sean Sullivan report that Putin has his eye on intervening in another 2020 contest as well:
U.S. officials have told Sen. Bernie Sanders that Russia is attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic contest, according to people familiar with the matter.President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also been informed about the Russian assistance to the Vermont senator, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken. U.S. prosecutors found a Russian effort in 2016 to use social media to boost Sanders campaign against Hillary Clinton, part of a broader effort to hurt Clinton, sow dissension in the American electorate and ultimately help elect Donald Trump.“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said in a statement to The Washington Post. “My message to Putin is clear: stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do."
Sanders’s full response, which you can read here, is good. You frequently encounter online supporters of Sanders suggesting that Russian interference is a big nothing, but in reality, Sanders himself has articulated a powerful case for why progressives should care about it a great deal.
* A new poll of ultra-delegate-rich California finds Sanders ahead, but interestingly, Elizabeth Warren is in second place, and the polling director says she’s making a big move.
* Joe Biden has lately been telling a story about getting arrested in South Africa, but Katie Glueck and Thomas Kaplan took a close look and cannot find evidence it ever happened.
* Mike Bloomberg puts out a new statement declaring he’s prepared to release three onetime female employees from non-disclosure agreements, if they want to talk openly about what happened. That Warren pummeling must have stung!
* Nancy LeTourneau takes a hard look at Sanders’s plan for winning in the event of a contested convention, and suggests it’s as dangerous to democracy as anything Michael Bloomberg is doing.
* Amanda Marcotte looks at how Elizabeth Warren’s feminism is inseparable from her longtime focus on reforming capitalism, and how that all culminated in her epic takedown of Bloomberg.
* Corey Robin has a good read on the descent of our democratic reflexes into atrophy, and how that’s resulting in the will of the majority becoming increasingly obscured.