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5 big things I learned this week

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1. Joe Biden gave the best speech of his life in a HUGE moment. I’ve watched a lot of Biden speeches — in the Senate, on the 2008 campaign trail and in the eight years he served as vice president. I’ve never seen him be as good as he was in accepting the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night.

2. The establishment vs. liberal fight isn’t over. While Democrats worked to put the happiest possible face on the convention, there were clear signs of cracks just below the surface. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the brightest Democratic stars in the nation, was relegated to a brief speech on Tuesday night. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to wade into the contested Senate primary in Massachusetts — on behalf of Rep. Joe Kennedy III — won’t make her any friends on the liberal side of the ledger.

3. Trump’s tax returns might be closer to coming out after all. A decision in federal court this week swatted away the President’s attempt to dismiss the effort by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to obtain his tax records as part of a grand jury investigation into hush money paid to two women in the run-up to the 2016 election.
4. The Senate Intelligence Committee released its final report on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. It was damning. Its key conclusion: Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s “high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services” was regarded as a “grave counterintelligence threat.”
5. Donald Trump embraced the QAnon conspiracy movement. Asked about an online (and increasingly offline) conspiracy that believes, among other things, that Trump was chosen by the military to lead — and that someday soon, he will round up all sorts of Democratic officials, including Hillary Clinton, and have them arrested for some sort of not-entirely-clear crimes. “Well, I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday.

The Point: What a week! And tune in starting Monday, when Trump gets a chance to respond to the DNC with his own convention.

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