Morning Update: Feed Two Birds With One Scone

Mueller says Michael Flynn helped a lot, senators get a crucial Khashoggi CIA briefing, crisis PR in the #MeToo age. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Dec. 5.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller said Michael Flynn has given “substantial assistance” to the Russia probe

Quick refresher: Flynn is the former Trump national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in the Russia probe.

And here’s what just happened: In a court filing, Mueller’s office said prosecutors are okay with a sentence that doesn’t include any jail time for Flynn.

Flynn’s plea deal required him to cooperate with Mueller’s office. Prosecutors said his offense was “serious” but that he deserved credit for accepting responsibility and “substantially assisting the government.”

How did Flynn help prosecutors? This is the question. Mueller’s filing was partially redacted — with prosecutors seeking to inform the judge in secret, at least for now, about the extent of Flynn's cooperation.

Sections detailing the other investigations that Flynn aided and what exactly he told investigators about communications between members of President Trump's transition team and Russian government officials are blacked out.

Top senators are now convinced of the Saudi crown prince’s role in the Khashoggi killing after a CIA briefing

After a classified briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, senior senators emerged more certain that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker, the outgoing chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said there was “no question whatsoever” that the prince was ultimately responsible for Khashoggi’s killing.

The White House has argued that it is not in the US’s economic interest to hold the crown prince personally accountable for the murder.


Trump retweeted a claim that they were chanting “We want Trump” in Paris. (They were not.) The claim came from young conservative Twitter figure Charlie Kirk. A video of people in England chanting for Trump is the closest thing we could find to match it.

The House Republicans’ campaign arm confirmed it has been hacked. Politico reported that months of sensitive emails may have been viewed, as the security breach “by an unknown entity” reportedly lasted several months.

High schoolers sang a song about the KKK to the tune of “Jingle Bells” as their classmates laughed. The superintendent said the students’ teacher was placed on paid leave, and the song, which includes the lyrics “KKK, KKK, let's kill all the blacks,” was written as part of an American history assignment.

PETA asked everyone to stop using “anti-animal” phrases and people were confused. The animal advocacy organization asked followers to stop using phrases like “kill two birds with one stone” and “beat a dead horse,” and offered alternatives like “feed two birds with one scone.” The internet was not having it.

Cardi B confirmed that her marriage to rapper Offset is over but insisted it’s “nobody’s fault.” After Cardi posted to Instagram explaining their breakup, Offset posted a comment appearing to blame public pressure for the demise of the relationship: “Y’all won.”

Kevin Hart is hosting the 2019 Oscars, and people are like, OK, sure. The comedian announced the news on Instagram, and let’s just say that reaction so far has been mixed.

Inside Edition called Troye Sivan a mere Pete Davidson lookalike in Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” video. On behalf of the Sivan fandom, we will not stand for this.

Meet the crisis publicists defending celebs accused in the #MeToo era

As the #MeToo movement has brought forward the names of many men accused of sexual misconduct, it has also revealed something else: a layer of legal and public relations professionals at the ready to fight for their clients.

This kind of crisis management communications is a special skill. Not all PR professionals are good at it. But for the ones who can do it well, business is booming.

They told us they wanted to fight the perception that they’d provide spin for anyone if the price was right: They value their own reputations too highly to take on clients they don’t trust.

How do they do the job? “We’re not allowed to lie and we’re not allowed to present anything false, but we are allowed to create a narrative most favorable to the client.”

Read our look at the people doing PR crisis management in the middle of a busy time for the industry.

Two friends — a man and a woman — both tried shooting their shot with a guy, and the result was so wholesome

There’s nothing like a good wholesome story in the morning.

Cody Craig from Salt Lake City was on the clock when his coworker handed him a note intended for him from two complete strangers.

I don’t want to spoil the heartwarming ending of this story for you, but you should know he did text one of the numbers. Here’s the really cute note:

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