Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)
Today in 5 Lines
President Trump denied knowing about the June 2016 meeting between his campaign officials and a Russian lawyer, contradicting reporting from CNN and NBC News.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is “ready” to visit Washington, D.C., and has already invited Trump to travel to Moscow. The White House said Trump is “open” to visiting.
The U.S. gross domestic product grew at a rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to a Commerce Department report.
At least two people were killed and three others injured in the wildfires tearing across Northern California.
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, said he is representing three other women who allegedly had relationships with Trump and were paid “hush money.”
Today on The Atlantic
Big if True: Michael Cohen is an unreliable narrator, but if President Trump actually did know about the planned meeting at Trump Tower, it would be a very dramatic development. (David A. Graham)
‘The Lost Ones’: There are an estimated 463 migrant children still in federal custody whose parents have been deported. What will happen to them? (Alex Wagner)
Will There be a Blue Wave?: It probably won’t be a “Category 5,” but Democrats appear poised to win back a good share of power in Congress. (Dick Polman)
Going in the Right Direction: North Korea has returned what it says are the remains of 55 Americans killed in the Korean War. It’s a small but significant step in repairing a broken relationship. (Uri Friedman)
What We’re Reading
A Con Man in the Oval?: The leaked recording of President Trump and Michael Cohen discussing a payment to a former Playboy model reveals something really important, writes Andrew Sullivan: “This is not a man embarrassed by something unusual in his private life. … It’s a world-weary operator in sleaze and outright deception.” (New York)
‘Not Your Mother’s 1973’: Politicians have threatened that a Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade would mean a return to the days of “coat-hanger medicine,” but there are workarounds now that weren’t available then. (Lisa Belkin, Yahoo News)
‘Much Ado About Socialism’: A new wave of self-proclaimed “socialists” has taken the Democratic Party by storm. But the label isn’t inaccurate. (Damon Linker, The Week)
What Happens Inside: Police reports and call logs obtained by ProPublica detail hundreds of instances of abuse at many of the immigrant youth shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services. (Michael Grabell and Topher Sanders)
Seeking a Higher Power: The National Prayer Breakfast, which was once intended to unite people from across the world for prayer meetings and religious panels, “has become an international influence-peddling bazaar.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times)
Who to Watch: From rural Americans to suburban white women, here’s how five key voter groups view the president. (Alexi McCammond, Axios)