10.19.2017 - 3:58 PM EDT

We’ll have reports on specifics shortly. But Chief of Staff John Kelly just spoke during the White House press briefing about the entire military bereavement phone call controversy. It was volcanic. He mercilessly attacked Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, both for her comments a couple days ago and for an earlier incident (which frankly seemed like a cheap shot). Kelly took basically complete responsibility for everything President Trump had done, what he had said, how he handled the phone calls to the families of the four who died in Niger.

10.19.2017 - 2:53 PM EDT

This is an uncomfortable topic. But when I came into the office this morning, CNN was interviewing the parents of Army Specialist Etienne Murphy about their son. It was a shattering interview. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder whether it isn’t exploitative for networks to put these families on camera at all. It seemed important to Etienne’s mother to read a statement she’d written about her experience. And if you’re going to do such interviews, the CNN host handled the interview with great sympathy and tact. The Murphys, like other families, had never received a call or any contact from the President.

But it also occurred to me: a lot of the relatives who received calls seem to be white and a number of ones who didn’t or had bad experiences seem to be black.

10.19.2017 - 10:08 AM EDT

While the storm and anguish of President Trump’s latest controversy rolls over the news, we’ve learned a lot more about the Russian influence operation supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy last year. Over recent weeks we had already found out about those few hundreds of accounts on Facebook and something in the range of $100,000 in paid advertising on the Facebook platform. Then there was a comparable series of findings on Twitter. More is in the process of emerging from Google and the various platforms it controls. But over recent days, as the information keeps coming, the very repetitiveness of the new findings or the constancy of the flow has perhaps obscured its newness and how much it expands the story.

10.18.2017 - 6:10 PM EDT

Russia ran a Tennessee Republican Party twitter account that had 10 times more followers than the Twitter account of the actually Tennessee GOP.

10.18.2017 - 4:20 PM EDT

Another simply bizarre new thread in the Trump bereavement call story. The Post called the families of service members who’ve died in the line of duty since Trump became President. There were some good stories, some bad; some had never heard from the President. There were a lot of what you might call Trumpian moments. But the really bizarre story was his conversation with Chris Baldridge, the father of Army Cpl. Dillon Baldridge, killed in Afghanistan.

10.18.2017 - 3:20 PM EDT

Yes, Trump is making a total mess of the Alexander-Murray deal.

10.18.2017 - 2:34 PM EDT

Alice Ollstein got hold of the memos Dems and GOPs are circulating to members to whip support for the Alexander/Murray Obamacare stabilization bill. It gives a pretty clear sense of the rough sled Republicans could be heading into, as I noted yesterday.

10.18.2017 - 11:53 AM EDT

We’re now getting all the accounts of just what President Trump said last night to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, how she interpreted it, how her Congresswoman did, how her family did. These are harrowing situations under the best circumstances. Even for a normal person, a normal President, it’s hard to know just what to say. But why are we here? Why is this whole thing happening? It’s happening because, for whatever reason, Trump went silent on this, not only with the families but even with the public.

10.17.2017 - 10:32 PM EDT

A disturbing report out of Florida. This comes from the local ABC affiliate in Miami-Dade …

U.S. President Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow Tuesday that “he knew what he signed up for …but when it happens it hurts anyway,” when he died serving in northwestern Africa, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens.

10.17.2017 - 10:19 PM EDT

Here’s the President’s comment on the Alexander-Murray Obamacare stabilization proposal from his speech this evening at the Heritage Foundation.

“And I’m pleased the Democrats have finally responded to my call for them to take responsibility for their Obamacare disaster and work with Republicans to provide much-needed relief to the American people. While I commend the bipartisan work done by Senators Alexander and Murray — and I do commend it — I continue to believe Congress must find a solution to the Obamacare mess instead of providing bailouts to insurance companies.”

… per the White House pool report.

10.17.2017 - 6:15 PM EDT

Here’s my backgrounder (sub req) on the likely fall out of this Obamacare stabilization bill which has been tentatively agreed to in the Senate. It puts Republicans in an awful bind.

10.17.2017 - 4:20 PM EDT

Russian trolls used “up to 100” activists in the US to organize events in the US during the 2016 campaign.

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