Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Close Friend Identifies Trump as a Pathological Liar

Before more time goes by, I wanted to flag this item from Jonathan Swan’s Axios newsletter. An item entitled “White House Perjury Panic” explains that the President’s aides and lawyers are terrified of his doing an interview with Robert Mueller or his investigators. That seems wise. But in the piece there’s this passage …

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Trump’s Black Unemployment Boast

President Trump has been out bragging that “because of my policies” the African-American unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level ever. This appears to be technically true. But I thought it made sense to give some context for the nonsensical nature of this claim.

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A Very Bad Week for a Lawless President

Last week was a tremendously consequential week in the Trump/Russia investigation. This was so not simply because of the number of revelations but because each new revelation layered upon the previous one to confirm one overriding, consequential reality: a pattern and practice of obstruction of justice and abuse of office that didn’t end with the firing of James Comey on May 9 but continued right down to the present day, touching almost everyone in President Trump’s inner circle and beyond.

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This Is A Very Big Difference

Buried deep in Ashley Parker et al.’s Saturday Post story on Trump and the Russia probe is this paragraph …

And that same month, Trump did, in fact, order McGahn to fire Mueller, a directive first reported Thursday by the New York Times. But McGahn told West Wing staff — though not the president — that he would quit before carrying out Trump’s directive, and the president ultimately backed down, people familiar with the events said.

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This Sounds Just Right To Me

Former federal prosecutor shares a key point about June and July of last year when Trump’s staff was trying their best to keep Trump from destroying himself and the limits on Ty Cobb’s cooperation strategy. Give this a read. Very important perspective.

I wanted to share some thoughts on the President’s current legal strategy and the shift from Kasowitz to Cobb/Dowd, which I think is fascinating as you’ve discussed in your post this morning.

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Key Point

Here’s one structural/political point to keep in mind about President Trump’s proposed “four pillars” immigration deal. We know from hard experience that almost no piece of immigration legislation on the 2006/2013 model can make its way through the House. Even though a clear majority would likely vote for some version of 2013-era “comprehensive immigration reform”, the right-wing faction in the GOP caucus simply won’t allow such a bill to get a vote. But it’s a very different matter for the House GOP right to pass its own preferred legislation. And that’s what Trump’s “four pillars” proposal amounts to, even with Dreamer protections thrown in – which they’re allegedly up in arms over. Point being, we’re talking about a minority of the House. A bunch of different reasons make it much easier to block something than to pass something.

Boom

And we have more. Trump tried to fire Mueller in June. But he backed down when his White House Counsel threatened to quit. Sometimes it just seems like this won’t go four years. More to come shortly …

"A Defense Lawyer's Worst Nightmare"

From an ex-DOJ prosecutor whose insights I often seek, responding to a question I asked about this Prime Nugget item from yesterday.

Your layman’s sense is right: “this tells me that Mueller’s interest may not suggest he thinks these other events are indictable crimes in themselves. He may think they are evidence of a pattern which could strengthen a criminal case about the two earlier incidents we knew about – the Flynn request and Comey’s ouster.”

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