Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III contradicted President Trump on a key point — and has a warning for the 2020 election.
What Mueller’s Testimony Means
Robert S. Mueller III, testifying to Congress for the first time about the Russia investigation, directly contradicted President Trump’s claims that he was fully cleared of any wrongdoing. But the former special counsel also denied Democrats the dramatic TV sound bites they hoped to wield against the White House, while also doing little to counter most Republican criticisms. Mueller gave primarily staccato answers, hewed closely to his written report and occasionally appeared shaky or uncertain during nearly seven hours of nationally televised hearings. As one Democratic congressman who supports beginning an impeachment inquiry against the president described the optics of it, “The Mueller testimony was a dud.” But one thing Mueller was clear about: his view that Russia’s meddling continues to be direct threat to American democracy.
-- North Korea fired two missiles off its east coast, the South Korean military said, appearing to escalate tensions as nuclear talks with the U.S. were to resume after Trump’s surprise summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
-- Trump vetoed a trio of congressional resolutions aimed at blocking his administration from bypassing Congress and selling billions of dollars in weapons and maintenance support to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
-- A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a new rule that bars asylum for the vast majority of migrants trying to enter the U.S. at the southern border.
-- A week before a critical debate, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden pushed back at rivals questioning his legacy and signaled that he was prepared to attack their records.
Kept in the Dark Over MS-13
Panorama High School was already on edge after 10th grader Brayan Andino went missing. Then, six students were detained in February 2018 with no explanation. Authorities now say several of the students are linked to the killing of their missing classmate and another man among seven slayings allegedly carried out by a local clique of MS-13. But teachers, students and parents say they received little or no information from either police or school officials about the gang’s alleged operations on campus until last week, when prosecutors announced charges.
More DWP Fallout
Four years ago, Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer cast himself as a champion for ratepayers hit by wildly inflated bills after the Department of Water and Power rolled out a disastrous new billing system. Now, after FBI agents raided the city attorney’s office and other locations this week, City Hall’s handling of that case and its larger response to the 2013 DWP billing debacle have created what may be the biggest threat to Feuer’s political future, including a possible run for mayor.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
You signed up for this newsletter online and are probably reading it on your phone, but back in the 1930 and ‘40s, The Times had extensive billboard campaigns to solicit subscriptions for the newspaper. Take a look at this collection of Times billboard ads from that era, including the sign below, photographed on this date in 1935.
-- The death of a 4-year-old boy from Palmdale has prompted changes at Los Angeles County’s child welfare agency, but many questions remain.
-- Gov. Gavin Newsom, touring one of the largest oil spills in state history, vowed to go beyond current efforts to curtail the use of fossil fuels and seek a long-term strategy to reduce oil production.
-- Weeks after Los Angeles officials gave the green light for a new development on the Hollywood site now occupied by Amoeba Music, critics are suing the city to stop it.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- In “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” film critic Kenneth Turan, who counts himself as a Quentin Tarantino skeptic, found a way to take great pleasure in the movie.
-- Walt Disney Co. has settled a lawsuit brought six years ago by the producers of the ABC sitcom “Home Improvement” who complained about the amount of profits they received from the show.
-- “Jane the Virgin” showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman is ready to say goodbye after five seasons on the air.
-- A new study finds that Earth has warmed faster in the last few decades than the previous 1,900 years.
-- Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is resigning after more than 10 days of unrelenting public demands for him to step down.
-- Boris Johnson has become Britain’s new prime minister, vowing to lead the U.K. out of the European Union, “no ifs, ands or buts.”
-- The latest protests in Hong Kong appear to have touched a nerve in Beijing, where officials and state media accused the U.S. of interference and ominously affirmed the People’s Liberation Army’s ability to intervene at the Hong Kong government’s request.
-- In need of fatherly advice? In South Korea, there’s a YouTube channel for that.
-- Drivers knew about DoorDash‘s tipping policy months ago. Why did it take so long for it to change?
-- Tesla continues to lose money as it sells more cars: It announced a second-quarter net loss of $408 million.
-- Clippers owner Steve Ballmer’s energy took center stage at the introduction for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
-- The Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez says he started producing when he stopped chasing.
-- Mueller said Trump wasn’t exonerated but left a key question unanswered. What should Democrats do next?
-- Trump may wish Guatemala were a safe place for asylum applicants to wait, but it’s not.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Were the Mueller hearings a dud or a quiet blockbuster? Ten legal experts weigh in. (Politico)
-- The new opera “Blue” tells the story of a black couple in Harlem and the death of their only son, killed by a police officer. (The Undefeated)
-- The bookseller CBD has changed its name because of people looking for cannabidiol rather than its products. After all, its acronym stands for Christian Book Distributors. (The Guardian)
ONLY IN L.A.
The Magic Castle is considered one of the preeminent magic destinations in the world. The food, though … eh. But for its next trick, it’s looking to create cuisine that’s worth talking about. To that end, the exclusive Hollywood club hired a new chef in April. Presto, change-o?