David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

A couple of quick points about President Trump’s Nixonesque threat to NBC’s “license” today:

  1. Complaints about fake news and rhetorical attacks on journalists may be contemptible, but in this morning’s threat Trump is introducing direct government retaliation against broadcasters into the mix. This is new territory.
  2. Whether Trump can or ever does follow through, the mere threat of government action or inaction by the president is itself an act. It puts not just NBC on notice, but any broadcaster with regulatory business before the FCC.

We’re reporting this story out now (a big part of it may be that Trump doesn’t even know how the FCC works). Stay tuned.

It’s not every day that you can report that the leading backer of the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate doesn’t just harbor a sepia-toned fondness for the old “Gone with the Wind” South but thinks secession is still in order … NOW.

As George Wallace might have put it: Secession now, secession tomorrow, secession forever!

Cam’s piece is a must-read this morning.

Note the scene where Roy Moore (above left), the twice-ousted Alabama Supreme Court justice and now the front-runner for Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat, warmly greets Michael Peroutka (above right) backstage on election night LAST WEEK.

And there’s more to come. Stay tuned next week.

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One quick takeaway from the just completed press conference on Capitol Hill held by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-VA): The committee basically concurs in the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian meddling.

The committee’s preliminary conclusion comes after it apparently interviewed everyone involved in preparing the IC’s assessment and reviewing the underlying intelligence. Burr and Warner were careful to say this isn’t a final conclusion, and the matter will remain open until the full investigation is completed. But they appeared satisfied with this conclusion based on what they know to this point.

While that’s not a surprise conclusion, it is important. Recall the poopooing of the IC’s assessment by Trump World and many Republicans. Also imagine if the Senate Intel Committee found serious fault with or took exception to the IC’s findings.

Tierney Sneed was in attendance and will have a full report shortly.

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A remarkable press conference by Rex Tillerson just now to, how else can you say it?, save his job. He didn’t deny calling the President a “moron” over the summer, as NBC reported this morning, but he didn’t address it directly, dismissing it as part of DC’s tendency toward the “petty” and divisive.

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The executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors talked to Alice Ollstein this morning about what a tough spot Graham-Cassidy puts red state Medicaid directors in:

We have members whose governors are strongly in favor of the bill who would be in a tough position if they spoke out. But I’ve talked to lots of people who said, ‘Politically, my state is going in one direction, but I’m extraordinarily concerned about what it would do to my state and its people in the long term.’

More here.