Good morning, Broadsheet readers! President Obama talks about what he learned about food policy from Michelle, Dell launches a new machine-learning platform for female entrepreneurs, and President Trump fires James Comey for…the Clinton email investigation? Have a productive Wednesday.
• Tuesday night massacre. Late yesterday afternoon, President Trump fired James Comey, citing the FBI director’s controversial handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server—an inquiry that is widely seen as having helped Trump win the election and which the president has previously praised.
Reaction to the surprising move seems to have split largely along party lines, with Republicans generally defending the firing and Democrats condemning it, connecting the president’s decision to the Comey-led probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), for one, tweeted: “President Trump just fired the man at the head of the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia” and called for a special prosecutor to pick up the investigation, adding: “The public deserves the truth.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that “any suggestion that this is somehow going to stop the FBI’s investigation of the attempts by the Russians to influence the elections last fall is really patently absurd.”
A Hillary Clinton spokesperson told CNN that Clinton had no comment, though her former staffers weren’t so reticent. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook tweeted: “Twilight zone. I was as disappointed and frustrated as anyone at how the email investigation was handled. But this terrifies me.”
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Ask Alice. Virtual accelerator the Circular Board, with help from Dell and Pivotal, has launched Hello Alice, a new machine-learning platform for female entrepreneurs. Alice connects users with information, mentors, referrals, and other resources—and according to Dell, the platform will get “smarter” as more entrepreneurs join and use it.
• Joining the boys club. After facing criticism for excluding female lawmakers from the group working on the Senate health care bill, Republican leaders invited Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to participate in a meeting about the legislation. Capito says she’s not sure whether she will be invited to be a full-time member of the group.
• Rice on Trump. Condoleezza Rice been on a media blitz this week, doing publicity for her new book, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom. In the interviews, the former secretary of state has shared her (largely positive) opinions about President Trump and his foreign policy on Syria, North Korea, and Russia.
• Serenity now. Simple Habit, an app founded by Yunha Kim, aims to be the “Spotify of meditation,” streaming a range of mediation exercises led by various teachers. The company just closed a $2.5 million round of seed funding.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• If you serve it, they will eat. Speaking at a food conference in Italy, former President Obama talked about the efficacy of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. “I think Michelle’s success was because she came at the problem as a parent rather than a policymaker,” he said, adding that she was very attuned to feeding their kids not just healthy food but food they would actually eat.
• Power tripping. In the run-up to matriculating at Oxford this fall, Malala Yousafzai is embarking on the “Girl Power Trip,” a four-continent, months-long tour where she hopes to meet young women who can “help her carry the mantle of girls’ education for the next fours years and beyond.”
• A different confidence gap. According to a new study from Pew, fewer women are feeling confident about America’s future now than in 2015 (29% vs. 43%). Meanwhile, men have gone in the opposite direction, with 53% now saying they have “quite a lot” of confidence in the future of the U.S.
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