Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I wanted to share one more observation about Facebook and particularly how it compares to that other online behemoth, Google. As we’ve discussed, both these companies exercise various kinds of monopolistic power and anti-competitive behavior. But there’s one very big difference that is important to keep in mind as we assess their role in the 21st century cultural, informational and economic infrastructure.

Facebook has literally billions of users. Never in the history of the world has one thing had so many members or users or whatever else you want to call it. But if you set aside whatever loss would be suffered by people who want to use Facebook, Facebook could disappear tomorrow and it would have pretty little effect on the Internet as a whole. As I said, you might be bummed you can’t log on to see what your friends are doing. There would be a lot of broken “like” and “share” buttons around the web. Certain businesses, though many fewer than before, might tank because their business model was just an outgrowth of Facebook. But big picture, the Internet as we know it would be pretty much what it is today.

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As we’ve seen today, Rudy Giuliani, like his boss, says a lot of dumb or unguarded things when he speaks off the cuff. Back on July 28th of 2016 had this to say on The Mike Gallagher Show.

Remarking that if the Russian government “could get into the DNC server and be in there for one year, which they were, the DNC server is a more modern server, much better protected than the old equipment that Hillary had hanging around in the garage at home.”

“If they could get into that DNC server, they owned her server in Poughkeepsie,” Giuliani said, although the Clinton server was located in Chappaqua, New York. “And not only did they own it, you know, but so did the Russians, possibly the Israelis, maybe a couple of our other allies. And we do the same thing, so don’t get all upset.”

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Here’s a Getty Images/AFP photo of journalists and others waiting to enter the Albert V. Bryan US Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia for the beginning of the Paul Manafort trial today. Jury selection starts today. And there’s TPM’s Tierney Sneed, our DC Investigations Desk Reporter who’s been following the ins and outs of the Manafort case since the beginning!

People wait to enter the Albert V. Bryan US Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia on July 31, 2018, for the opening of the jury selection for the Paul Manafort trial. – Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort on July 31, 2018 becomes the first member of the president’s election team to face trial on charges stemming from the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 vote. Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud related to his lobbying activities on behalf of the former Russian-backed government of Ukraine. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Are you a TPM Prime subscriber? If you are, you make TPM possible. Thank you. Are you a reporter who’d like to join our Investigations Desk? Our award-winning investigative reporting team with over a decade of tenacious reporting. Well, we are hiring two new Investigations Desk reporters. The positions are open in DC or NY. Here’s a listing where you can apply.

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, the guy who just got subpoenaed in the Michael Cohen probe, was deep in the Trump University scam too. Allegra Kirkland reports.

We’ve now had Rudy Giuliani go on CNN and appear to concede that top campaign leaders met two days before the infamous Trump Tower meeting to prepare for how to handle the meeting with the Russian government lawyer. A couple hours later he appeared on Fox News and claimed that none of that was true, that he’d been denying Michael Cohen’s false claims. But there’s one big problem – key to what happened here – that is barely being discussed. In the first TV appearances, Giuliani listed a series of claims made by either Michael Cohen or Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis. Giuliani appeared to concede a lot but drew the line on whether President Trump attended any of these meetings or knew about them in advance. The problem is that neither Cohen or Davis has ever said any of those things.

So what on earth happened here? What is Giuliani talking about?

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Rudy Giuliani just went on Fox News and explained that actually he was denying that the pre-planning meeting took place. The walk back is just as convoluted as the original claims. So I’m going to just show you the video of what he said.

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Rudy Giuliani made two TV appearances this morning, one on Fox and one on CNN. Both are pretty convoluted and a bit hard to follow. So they’ve led to various interpretations. But there’s what I believe is one pretty big admission that is at least very new to me and I think a pretty big problem for Trump and Giuliani.

As I’ve mentioned a few times before, one of the oddities of Giuliani’s rolling defense of Trump in response to Cohen’s accusations is this: Giuliani says that the meeting where Trump allegedly learned about the Russia meeting never happened and he (Giuliani) has talked to the participants and they agree it never happened and Trump didn’t attend the meeting or know about the Russian offer. Now, there’s sort of a problem here. Cohen never said just what meeting he was referring to. And how can you be a witness to a meeting that never happened about what was said in that meeting?

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One of the things I have wanted for TPM for a very long time is a greater ability to visualize the story streams we focus on here at the site. This is a particular need for what we do precisely because we’re not a general interest publication. We’re focused on news about politics and political culture. But even within that purview, we tend to go deep and in a sustained way on a relatively few core stories we think are of particular importance and interest. Much of this you will recognize intuitively if you’re a core or longtime reader. I narrate some of these threads in my own commentary and analysis in the Editors’ Blog. But as the site has evolved over time that is not really sufficient. We’ve largely relied on these bigger pictures being clear in regular readers’ heads through repeat reading and immersion. But that’s not sufficient. 

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