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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I think this point, from a former federal public corruption prosecutor, gets to the heart of what’s happening between Paul Manafort and Robert Mueller …

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The GOP nominee for Governor in California compares the Holocaust to long lines at the DMV. “You know, I met a Holocaust survivor in Long Beach. He survived concentration camps, and he said this was worse. He’s 90 years old and he had to wait four hours down in Long Beach. Can you imagine that?” Story here.

I’ve mentioned a few times that something does not seem quite right about Simona Mangiante, the wife of George Papadopoulos, a central figure in the Mueller probe as we currently understand it. It was a report about Papadopoulos’s drunken admissions about conversations with an alleged Russian intelligence asset named Joseph Mifsud that triggered the original Russian collusion probe. He pled to one charge of lying to government investigators late last year and became a cooperating witness. But a couple months ago, his wife, Mangiante began a press tour denying or appearing to recant on his behalf most of what he’d admitted to in his plea agreement. She made various claims that lined up with the general Fox News “deep state” conspiracy theories advanced by various Trump apologists.

Last night Mangiante went on Twitter and ask for a lawyer to come forward to take over her husband’s defense.

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From TPM Reader JO

Great job by Tierney and Caitlin covering the Manafort trial. Their dispatches were every bit as good as Wapo, and generally better than the NYTimes. In particular, they showed a great touch for identifying the evidence that illustrated the prosecution’s game plan of corroborating Manafort’s knowledge and complicity with a thousand small lies and deceptions. Many news orgs just focused on the “drama” of provacative questions. Tierney and Caitlin recogized the broader patterns.

It would be truly shocking if Manafort is not convicted of many if not most counts. Of course, juries do crazy things, so we know until we know.

Again, fabulous job by the team.

When I wrote this post about Trump’s pre-Twitter, 2011-12 video blog I went back and watched a decent number of the mini-episodes. One of the things I watch for in watching these – just can’t help it – is his verbal focus and precision. (Here’s the video series I’m talking about.) Watch video of Trump from twenty years ago and it’s very, very different from the guy you see now. There was some of this in these videos from less than a decade ago. But there was something else that I noticed, something that took me a while to quite put my finger on because it’s the absence of something.

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Yesterday we decided to dig deeper into this matter of Trump White House NDAs. Kellyanne Conway said they all sign them in the Trump White House. Then President Trump confirmed the existence of NDAs for White House employees in one of his broadsides against renegade ex-employee Omarosa Manigault-Newman. I want to first discuss the NDAs and then some broader lessons we can draw about Trumpism from this latest turmoil. In this storm of back-biting, intrigue and betrayal we see in microcosm the world system on which Trump wants to build US relations with the rest of the world. But first, let’s discuss the NDAs.

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Evolutionary biology is dragooned into the political culture these days for all sorts of bad ends. But if we’re candid with ourselves we will grant that one place where it provides a highly instructive analog is in explaining how Trump intrusion into the political ecosystem has created a niche opening for operators like Michael Avenatti and Omarosa Manigault-Newman.

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Over what are now the years since Donald Trump entered, took over and now totally permeates American political culture, I now and again think back to something that happened years ago, long before his presidential campaign. Starting in 2011 Trump started posting these video blog or ‘vlog’ videos to Youtube. They were called “From the Desk of Donald Trump”. They ran on the Trump Organization video channel. What settles in my memory is that at some point I started watching them and was chatting with a TPM colleague about them. They had a certain Dr. Evil-ish feel to them – or maybe one of the video messages from Blofeld, the Bond series villain on whom Dr. Evil is based. Trump has always been a comic book-like figure, whether you like him or not. That’s part of the brand, bold and over-the-top. Like a character from a Batman comic, there he is in his iconic headquarters, Trump Tower, sending out his videos messages: some new promise, threat, or angle.

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With the news that former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok was fired Friday, reportedly overruling the official recommendation that he be disciplined with a demotion and 60 day suspension, lets review the clarifying big picture. At the time two years ago when the FBI began investigating a far-flung foreign conspiracy to throw the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor, James Comey was Director of the FBI; Andrew McCabe was 2nd in command and Peter Strzok was Chief of the Bureau’s Counterespionage Section. There was ample suspicion then and ample evidence now that candidate Trump’s associates were deeply involved in the conspiracy. Comey, McCabe and Strzok have now each been fired. The President has threatened each with prosecution.

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