Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

It’s always a bit hard to know what to make of polls of such wild questions. But Yahoo Finance used SurveyMonkey to poll all voters and particularly Republicans about whether or not they think it’s okay for Russia to help the Republican party in US elections. Trumpers have long been edging their way toward a “collusion is awesome” defense for some time. They’re in luck. Republicans are basically already there. Here are the numbers.

Looking toward the 2018 midterm, 11% of Republicans say it’s “appropriate” for Russia to help the GOP maintain control of Congress. Another 29% say it’s “not appropriate but wouldn’t be a big deal.” So fully 40% of Republicans, according to this poll, either think Russian election is assistance is actually great or at least aren’t going to lose any sleep over it.

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People frequently mock President Trump’s press strategies, or rather lack of strategies. They mock Rudy Giuliani’s floundering press appearances. Let’s put a finer point on this: I mock all of them! A lot. But recent days have seen a series of revelations that paradoxically show how relatively successful the President and his toadies have been in warning observers off more or less obvious conclusions about the President’s actions.

Consider the recent claims from Michael Cohen that President Trump knew about the Trump Tower collusion meeting in advance. Some pointed out that we shouldn’t take Michael Cohen’s apparent claims at face value. He lacks credibility. This is a massive understatement. Few people have more checks against his credibility than Cohen. Only President Trump is a more notorious liar. But an eagerness to believe the worst about President Trump isn’t the main reason many were and are inclined to believe this claim. Why would they? Because it’s really obvious that it is almost certainly true. Of course the President knew in advance.

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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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