Every time you’re sure the story will slow, it accelerates. Every time you think it’s near bottom, it plummets. While it was once easy to imagine that a lot of the Trump/Russia storylines were overblown, it’s now easier to imagine that every hunch we’ve had about Trump will turn out to be true. This week, it really feels like the walls between us and the truth are beginning to come crumbling down. But then again, though I really believe it this time, I’ve felt this way before (like a thousand times in the past two years). In the latest shocker, President Trump has reportedly invited Putin for a visit (Sure, you can sow chaos via the internet, but let’s see you say it to our face.). Think you’re surprised? Take a look at the reaction from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats who added, “That’s gonna be special.” How special? Let’s review:

+ First, it’s clear that the intelligence community is working harder to get the facts out about what Trump knew (a lot) and when he knew it (long before all the witch hunt talk). NYT: “Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.”

+ Will Hurd (former CIA office, current GOP congressman from Texas): “Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them.”

+ The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson: Why the President is so nice to Putin, even when Putin might not want him to be.

+ The most shocking news to come out of the Helsinki meeting (so far) is that Trump considered “allowing Russian investigators to question U.S.-born investor Bill Browder, former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and others.” But as Susan Glasser explains in The New Yorker, “the real scandal of Helsinki may be only just emerging.” Why? Because no one in the administration seems to have any idea what was discussed or what was agreed to behind closed doors. The leader of the free world is winging it. The Trump-Putin Summit and the Death of American Foreign Policy.

+ NYT: Who Heard What Trump Said to Putin? Only One Other American. (But asking a translator to say what she heard in a such a meeting is a slippery slope…)

+ In the latest twist, today we learned that Michael Cohen Secretly Recorded Trump Discussing Payment to Former Playboy Model. (The thing to focus on here is that we’re getting hints of what beans Cohen could potentially spill. The story of an affair and coverup, while salacious and intriguing, has been rendered minor by recent events.)

+ Is everyone viewing this news the same way? Unsurprisingly, no. A New Talking Point From the Pro-Trump Fringe. “If Russia assists MAGA Candidates on the internet in this year’s midterms, that’s not the end of the world.” (No, not the world. Just the world order…)