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October 23, 2018

Hurricane Willa made landfall Tuesday night south of Mazatlan, Mexico, as a Category 3 storm, with winds up to 120 mph.

Mazatlan is a popular tourist destination, and several cruise ships bound for the resort town have been diverted and more than 4,000 people along the coast have been evacuated. Officials are warning of life-threatening storm surge, rainfall, and wind in parts of western Mexico, with Willa expected to be one of the most dangerous storms to hit Mexico in years, CBS News reports.

This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout. Catherine Garcia

4:16 p.m.

If more compromising tapes of President Trump exist, it seems Special Counsel Robert Mueller wasn't able to find them.

Still, that doesn't mean Russians weren't very aware of the so-called "pee tapes" — seemingly nonexistent footage of Trump telling prostitutes to perform some rather disturbing acts rumored to exist in the Steele dossier. And that doesn't mean one Russian didn't game those purported recordings to his advantage.

The somewhat forgotten pee tapes actually got a mention in the redacted Mueller report released Thursday, though not in the way some Trump enemies would've hoped. In a footnote, Mueller said that Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen got a text from a Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said he "stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there's anything else." Rtskhiladze said a Russian real estate group that helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia had the tapes. Probably not coincidentally, Trump's alleged pee tape was said to have been made while he was in Russia for that pageant.

The tapes were fake, but Rtskhiladze didn't tell Cohen that, per Mueller's report. Cohen also said he talked to Trump "about the issue after receiving the texts," meaning this rumor could've gone all the way to the top.

There are plenty more details in the Mueller report, though none are quite this scintillating. Read it all here. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:00 p.m.

It's a big day for President Trump, but it is an especially big day for the Democrats who hope to run against him in 2020.

Some candidates issued tweets accusing Attorney General William Barr of bias and unfair redactions:

Other candidates hit the president for putting his own interests ahead of the country's:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) expressed frustration with the number of redactions in the report:

Sen. Cory Booker's (N.J.) team released their own searchable version of the Mueller report:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) issued a video calling for Mueller to testify:

Several candidates did not issue any statements at all at the time of publication, including Beto O'Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, and Jay Inslee. Jeva Lange

4:00 p.m.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) doesn't feel any differently about impeachment in light of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.

Hoyer told CNN's Dana Bash on Thursday that "based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point." The top Democrat had in January called impeachment talk a "distraction" but said that "we'll have to see what the Mueller report says," per The Hill.

Now that the report is out, Hoyer still feels these issues should be litigated at the ballot box in 2020 rather than through the impeachment process, telling CNN, "Very frankly, there is an election in 18 months and the American people will make a judgement." Hoyer previously made this argument in March and told Fox News that impeachment is an "extraordinarily all-consuming process."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has similarly said that impeaching Trump is "just not worth it," per The Washington Post, but she has yet to make a similar statement since the release of Mueller's report. Brendan Morrow

3:04 p.m.

The differences between Attorney General William Barr's and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's conclusion on obstruction are night and day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday.

Pelosi and Schumer in a statement said the "differences are stark between what Attorney General Barr said on obstruction and what Special Counsel Mueller said on obstruction." They also said that Mueller's report, the redacted version of which was released hours earlier, "appears to undercut" Barr's conclusion that Trump did not obstruct justice.

Barr had said in his four-page summary to Congress that Mueller's report does not make a determination on obstruction but "also does not exonerate him." Barr explained that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined there was insufficient evidence that Trump criminally obstructed justice.

While the report indeed does not reach a conclusion obstruction, it does outline 10 instances of potential obstruction and says that "if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state." Mueller's report also says that Congress has the authority to make this determination. Barr said in a press conference prior to the report's release that he "disagreed" with some of Mueller's legal theories on obstruction.

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) also slammed Barr on Thursday, saying he "fundamentally mischaracterized" the report during his Thursday press conference, while House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Barr's statements were "disingenuous" and "misleading." Brendan Morrow

2:59 p.m.

Depending on whom you ask, the president is either having a great day or a terrible one. Luckily, the internet is the winner either way. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian election meddling was heavily redacted, as was expected, here are a few of the best spoofs and commentaries about the redactions and how one or two well-placed black boxes can change a whole paragraph. Jeva Lange

7. Pardon?

6. Your sharpie is going to run out of ink.

5. Nothing to see here.

4. This is [redacted].

3. One of those days.

2. Should have seen this one coming.

1. A Tale of Two Special Counsel Reports.

2:36 p.m.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had an escape plan all along.

Sessions had been one of President Trump's top internal enemies after he recused himself from overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in early 2017. According to that same investigation, released with redactions on Thursday, that move convinced Trump to fire Sessions in July 2017 before eventually backing down. Trump did turn to insulting Sessions on Twitter, though, and those "frequent public attacks" had Sessions worried, the report says. In fact, that July, Sessions wrote a resignation letter of his own and "for the rest of the year carried it with him in his pocket every time he went to the White House," Sessions' then-chief of staff Jody Hunt told Mueller investigators.

Sessions ended up sticking it out, and was eventually forced to resign the day after 2018's midterm elections. Read the whole report here. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:28 p.m.

Far from a total exoneration, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report actually contains an invitation to Congress to impeach President Trump.

Mueller in his report did not draw a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice but specifically said that "if we had confidence" Trump did not do so, "we would so state." The report also says, "The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president's corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law."

This is the sentence that Toobin says is key, calling it "all but an explicit invitation to Congress to impeach the president." Toobin also concluded that there's "no other way" to read this sentence other than Mueller telling Congress he "cannot enforce the obstruction of justice laws against the president" but that lawmakers "can do it" through impeachment.

Toobin clarified that he's not sure whether Congress will — or even should — actually impeach Trump. But he flagged this part of the report as being "highly contradictory" to Trump's repeated claims that it fully exonerates him. Brendan Morrow

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