Trump and Barr have been urging foreign governments to help them investigate the Mueller probe’s origins

Attorney General Bill Barr has been personally urging foreign governments to cooperate with an investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe during trips abroad — and President Donald Trump himself asked the prime minister of Australia to help Barr out, several news outlets reported Monday.

Though this is being breathlessly mentioned in the same context as Trump’s request that the Ukrainian president investigate Joe Biden, it’s a somewhat different situation, one that raises its own concerns about whether Barr is politicizing the Justice Department to serve Trump’s electoral needs.

What Trump is talking about here is a …

Three big ideas for tech regulation from Senator Mark Warner

Cooperation between the US government and tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Twitter has improved somewhat in recent years, Senator Mark Warner says — but there’s a snowball’s chance in hell they’re going to be able to continue to regulate themselves.

“There have never been companies of this size and this power that haven’t had some level of oversight,” Warner said on a recent episode of Recode Decode with Kara Swisher. “The old ceiling [for regulation] is going to become the new floor.”

On the podcast, Warner — a Democrat and the senior US Senator from Virginia — told …

9 questions about the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower scandal you were too embarrassed to ask

In the course of just two weeks, a previously unknown scandal sprawled to imperil Donald Trump’s presidency.

News broke that the Trump administration was withholding a mysterious whistleblower complaint from Congress on September 13. The chaotic days afterward were filled with leaks, revelations, document releases, and a new Democratic consensus in favor of an impeachment push.

So you’d be forgiven for feeling a bit of whiplash … and for having some questions.

Where did this whole thing come from? Why does this scandal, rather than so many other Trump scandals, appear to be catching on? Could it really …

Forever 21 is filing for bankruptcy. What does that actually mean?

Forever 21 is filing for bankruptcy, the company announced Sunday night. The fast-fashion retailer — which operates around 800 stores worldwide with more than $3 billion in estimated annual sales — had faced months-long speculation about its plan to pursue a Chapter 11 filing. The company was reportedly in talks with advisers and lenders to restructure its debt in June. It will reportedly close up to 178 stores in the US and up to 350 overall, according to the New York Times, and cease operations in 40 countries.

Forever 21 said it’s planning a global restructuring strategy and …

5 winners and 7 losers from a Succession that had much more embarrassment than usual

In this week’s Succession, “Dundee,” the Roys travel to Scotland, where Logan Roy grew up birdwatching and pooping outside, a reportedly hardscrabble childhood.

Logan’s being honored for 50 years of Waystar-Royco — by the town of Dundee itself, the family, the business, and, most of all by erstwhile PGM CEO Rhea Jarrell, who organized the whole affair (and whose affair with Logan is looking pretty damn real). But it’s actually just another excuse for the whole gang to be in the same fancy and uncomfortable room, so that the chess pieces can go flying off the board once again.…

Democrats are now eying Trump’s phone calls with Putin

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) would like to obtain more of President Donald Trump’s phone calls with world leaders — especially those with Russian President Vladimir Putin, although that’s the last thing the Kremlin wants.

The White House has released a record of a phone call Trump held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to rebut a whistleblower’s allegations Trump asked a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent. The White House’s record of that call did contain Trump asking Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and the whistleblower claims the administration placed its notes …

The Trump administration is ramping up its investigation into Clinton’s emails

The Trump administration is ramping up its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, according to The Washington Post, once again reigniting a politically controversial matter that has managed to live on for the past three and a half years.

These emails — which were sent to Clinton’s unsecure, private server during her time at the State Department — spurred an entire investigation back in 2015, and were the subject of much debate during the 2016 presidential election. Ultimately, the FBI was unable to find any malign intent on Clinton’s part.

Despite the FBI dropping the case, Trump did not; he used …

Food52, the recipes + cookware site founded by a former New York Times food columnist, is gobbled up

Food52, a recipe and cookware site co-founded by former New York Times columnist Amanda Hesser, has a new owner. The Chernin Group, the media investment and production company started by former News Corp. executive Peter Chernin, has bought the startup.

Both companies declined to comment on the deal to Recode, but told the Wall Street Journal that Chernin bought a majority stake in the company for $83 million in a deal that values the company at $100 million. Hesser and co-founder Merrill Stubbs had raised around $20 million in funding since 2010, per PitchBook.

That’s a nice and somewhat …

SNL pokes fun at the impeachment inquiry with a desperate Donald Trump

Saturday Night Live returned for its 45th season by once again poking fun at the 45th president of the United States. This time, Alec Baldwin’s President Donald Trump was desperately phoning friends, foreign leaders, and celebrity allies to solicit their help in fighting a newly opened impeachment inquiry.

A week of political turmoil led to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing her support for an impeachment inquiry, following a whistleblower complaint that alleged Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate a potential political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. SNL seized the opportunity provided by the situation, with Baldwin returning to …

A new Senate report is the latest threat to NRA’s tax-exempt status — and maybe its survival

Leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) traveled to Moscow using NRA funds, according to a new Senate report, raising the question of whether the organization broke laws governing nonprofit spending. If the association did in fact break those laws, it could lose its tax-exempt status — and according to a former IRS official, without its tax-exempt status, the NRA could be forced to shut down.

The report, which was compiled by Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee and released on Friday, investigates the relationship between NRA leadership and Russian nationals with Kremlin ties. Those nationals include Maria