The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to head an independent probe into Trump campaign Russia ties boosts faith that truth will be exposed. Right-wing media and some Trump supporters dismiss a week of damaging revelations as fake news and a media assault on the President. President Trump uses a commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy to decry his poor treatment by the press, and Homeland Security Chief John Kelly jokes on a hot mic that the President could use a gift of a ceremonial sabre on the press.‎ Meanwhile, Trump will have off-the-record lunch with network anchors today. Reports mounts that MSNBC’s apparent failure to renew on-air talent Lawrence O’Donnell may be influenced by parent company Comcast’s desire to curry favor with Trump, whom the host has vociferously criticized on his show.
-Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation
The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump’s four-month-old presidency.

Trump, Saying He Is Treated ‘Unfairly,’ Signals a Fight
An embattled President Trump used a commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy to defend himself on Wednesday, telling graduating cadets that no leader in history had been treated more “unfairly” by the news media and Washington elites.

‘Use that on the press’: Secretary Kelly’s sword joke to Donald Trump caught on hot mic
John Kelly, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, was caught on a hot mic on Wednesday joking with Donald Trump that he use a sword on the press. The comment came after the president had addressed graduates at the US Coast Guard commencement ceremony in New London, Connecticut, during which he complained about how he is treated by the media.

Trump to lunch with network anchors
President Donald Trump is set to have an off-the-record lunch with network anchors on Thursday, two sources with knowledge of the plans and a White House official confirmed. The lunch is expected to cover Trump’s upcoming foreign trip. But with bombshell reports about the Trump White House dropping nearly every day this week, the lunch is sure to cover more ground.

Is Lawrence O’Donnell Facing the Chop at MSNBC?
To several highly placed sources at MSNBC, it’s looking increasingly like the Comcast-owned cable outlet’s 10 p.m. host could meet the same fate as President Donald Trump’s fired FBI director.


Russian oligarch Deripaska sues AP for libel
A Russian aluminum magnate with ties to President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is suing The Associated Press for libel over its reporting on the pair’s relationship.

Mexico’s president pledges to help protect journalists
Shouts of “justice” echoed from the press corps Wednesday moments after Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto called for a moment of silence for journalists who have been murdered at a frightening pace. The president’s hastily called meeting with his security cabinet and the country’s governors was meant to show a united response to the slaying of reporters from one corner of Mexico to the other.

Backlash Grows Against Ukraine’s Attempts to Block Russian Social Media
The Ukrainian government has descended to the Kremlin’s level with its decision to censor Russian-owned social networks and websites, according to human rights advocates. Services such as Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki, as well as the popular Yandex search engine have been targeted as part of a Ukrainian cyberspace-blitzkrieg on Russian-controlled content. The order, signed by the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, has caused chaos, even barring a widely-used Russian accounting program.

Iraqi activists, journalists terrorized by armed groups
Activists and journalists feel they are facing a systematic campaign aimed at silencing them and preventing them from calling for reform of the Iraqi situation, which is suffering from security and economic deterioration and hit by a major political imbalance represented by the sectarian quotas management system in the country’s political institutions.

Bangladesh to watch journalists traveling abroad
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed all the foreign missions to monitor the activities of the Bangladeshi journalists traveling abroad and report back to Dhaka. The External Publicity Wing of the foreign ministry also sent the instruction to media on Wednesday.

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