Wiretap: Manafort’s Russia troubles widen while Mueller’s probe into Trump’s role deepens

The Washington Post and The New York Times are back in full gear trading scoops on the Trump-Russian connection. The Post is reporting that two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president, his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was offering “private briefings” on the campaign to a Russian billionaire with Kremlin ties. The Times, meanwhile, is reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking White House documents relating to Trump’s role in firing both James Comey and Michael Flynn.

Vox talked to nine Republican senators about what improvements we might expect to see under Graham-Cassidy over Obamacare. The answers were in most cases, well, vague and in some cases downright embarrassing (for the senator, that is).

While some Republican senators are saying the bill is imperfect but the best they can do, The National Review offers a full-throated defense of Graham-Cassidy as a model that would finally allow the markets to become competitive.

Would Graham-Cassidy put an end to Berniecare as Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed, or would passage help cut a direct path to a single-payer plan the next time Democrats manage to get 51 votes in the Senate? Via The Washington Post.

Walter Shapiro: It’s not just the fate of millions of American who would lose their healthcare coverage that is on the line if Graham-Cassidy passes. There are also 28 Republican-held governorships on the ballot in 2018. Via The Hill.

Trump’s bid to make himself look strong before the world at the United Nations only made him look weak, indecisive and ineffective. It also gave a harsh look at the direction Trump’s foreign policy will likely take. Via The Atlantic.

As frantic search for survivors in the rubble left from the powerful Mexico earthquake continues, the death toll has climbed to at least 230. It is expected to go higher still. Via The Los Angeles Times.

Stories from the ground as Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico with full force, as the most powerful storm to hit the island in nearly 100 years. “Nothing looks like it was before.” Via The New Yorker.

If Amazon, Facebook and Google are the new robber barons, isn’t it time for conservatives to begin a new anti-monopoly movement? Via The American Conservative.

Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr: Creative Commons