Davidtaintor_profile2019

David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

President Trump on Wednesday urged his supporters to lower the temperature, a week after his followers stormed the U.S. Capitol in a mob that left several people dead.

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You,” Trump said in a statement that would likely show up on his Twitter feed, if the President still had one.

The statement took no responsibility for the violence Trump incited last week. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump showed no remorse for the shocking attack on the seat of the United States government.

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Twitter clipped President Trump’s wings by permanently banning him from the platform on Friday night.

Twitter’s decision to ban Trump came after the President incited a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. Trump whipped up an angry crowd as Congress prepared to affirm the Electoral College win of President-elect Joe Biden. The mob moved toward the Capitol, breached the building and attacked police officers, ultimately reaching the legislative chambers. Law enforcement swiftly escorted members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to secure locations.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Twitter homed in on two tweets from this week in its decision to ban the President:

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Twitter said the tweets were being interpreted by the President’s supporters as egging on violence and casting additional doubt on the now-once-and-for-all settled election

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At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, memories of office life are a bit hazy. Commutes have shrunk from crowded subway rides to a few short steps between bed and desk. Coffee breaks amount to another refill from the kitchen.

But TPM has always had offices that match the site’s idiosyncratic operation. Josh Marshall started the site working hours at a Washington, D.C. Starbucks. These were pre-Grady’s Cold Brew days, if you can believe it. Later, when Josh moved to New York, the TPM crew settled into a cozy office in Manhattan’s Flower District.

“We had a mouse die in the wall of that space, which made the place almost un-occupiable,” Josh recalled. “It was almost impossible to be in there.”

In 2009, amid another expansion of the company, TPM moved to where it remains (at least physically) today, a handful of blocks south, on the edge of Chelsea and Flatiron. It’s conveniently a stone’s throw from Trader Joe’s, where much of the staff would load up on groceries during a break.

The offices in Washington were a similarly scrappy operation. David Kurtz was living in Missouri while trying to navigate D.C. commercial real estate. After a temporary sublease, TPM’s fledgling D.C. team in 2010 moved into what was essentially an apartment, complete with working shower and bedroom/office.

“We’re doing this journalism thing that everyone’s paying attention to and at the same time we’re just scratching and clawing to make the whole thing work,” David recalled.

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A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed from the U.S. Capitol early Monday, a move Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam hailed as an “important step forward for our Commonwealth and our country.”

Virginia provided the Lee statue to the Capitol. In its place will stand a statue of civil rights icon Barbara Rose Johns.

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It’s going to be a while.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for surgeon general, poured some cold water on the Trump administration’s rosy vaccine distribution timeline on Sunday.

“I think it’s more realistic to assume that it may be closer to mid-summer or early fall when this vaccine makes its way to the general population. So we want to be optimistic, but we want to be cautious as well,” Murthy, who served as surgeon general under President Obama, told “Meet the Press.”

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The list is so short that these days it counts as news when a Republican lawmaker calls Joe Biden, the decisive winner of the 2020 election, President-elect.

So it was Friday night when Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) referred to President-elect Biden in an interview with ABC News.

But Blackburn campaign spokesperson, Abigail Sigler, told the Tennessean that the senator didn’t mean it.

“She simply misspoke — it’s nothing more,” Sigler told the paper.

A Republican senator walking back a statement of simple fact shows President Trump’s enduring dominance over the party as he wages an ineffectual but damaging effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

In an interview with ABC News Friday, Blackburn said she hadn’t spoken with Biden since his victory, referring to him as the President-elect.

“We did have the vice president come to the floor, the vice president-elect, come to the floor this week to cast a vote. I was presiding at the time. Didn’t get to speak with her,” Blackburn added, referring to Kamala Harris.

Even as she acknowledged Biden and Harris as the rightful winners, Blackburn repeatedly suggested the results weren’t conclusive.

“We will work through this process. Now is the time for the Trump campaign, if they have their information that they need to present in court, now is the time they need to be taking that evidence to court.”

Right now it is important that we settle this. I think if every legal vote is counted Donald Trump would get four more years,” Blackburn added, using a loaded term Republicans have latched onto in an attempt to delegitimize votes from predominantly minority communities.

Among Blackburn’s Republican colleagues, only Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) have explicitly called Biden president-elect.

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