01.16.2018 - 9:38 PM EDT

Here’s one thing that caught my attention in the piece Jake Weisberg posted today about Stormy Daniels and President Trump. It seems pretty clear that Daniels and Trump didn’t just have an ‘encounter’ but a relationship over a number of months not long after Trump married Melania Knauss. We can’t prove this. But she seems to have told a number of people about it at the time and since. She also appears to have a decent amount of evidence to back it up. Trump also paid Daniels’ $130,000 for silence, which speaks for itself. In any case, there’s a small detail that caught my attention in connection to that story about a troupe of prostitutes Trump was allegedly offered in Moscow in 2013.

01.16.2018 - 6:49 PM EDT

Few stories I’ve read recently better capture the Trump administration’s mix of mendacity and ridiculousness. The Department of Justice prepared a report seeking to show that a huge percentage of terrorist crimes in the US are committed by immigrants. They did this by defining people extradited to the US to face terrorism charges for crimes committed overseas as “immigrants”. Here’s the story.

01.16.2018 - 2:56 PM EDT

We’ve been focused for several days on the President’s “shithole countries” remark, as we should be. But that only seems like one part of the story of that meeting, in some ways, not the most consequential or significant, inasmuch as it’s really not a surprise that President Trump thinks or speaks this way. A big story in The Washington Post and other information that has come out over the course of the day puts the whole meeting in a different light.

01.16.2018 - 12:02 PM EDT

Two major White House figures are now scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill this week or soon after: Steve Bannon and Hope Hicks. Bannon is set to testify today; Hicks later this week or possibly early next week. Given his centrality to the campaign and the fact that he’s now cut off and seems to have nothing to lose, Bannon may seem like the more consequential testimony. But that’s probably wrong.

01.16.2018 - 9:46 AM EDT

Welcome back from MLK day weekend. Both the House and Senate are back in session today. Here’s what’s on TPM editors’ radar.

01.16.2018 - 9:20 AM EDT

One of the most striking things about the last several days after the President’s “shithole” outburst is that two of the Senators in the room have now willingly and repeatedly lied on the President’s behalf to serve his narrow interests. Of course, politicians lie. Even the good ones will shade the truth and fail to speak up to clarify public confusion. But this is an extreme and almost unique case.

01.15.2018 - 1:09 PM EDT

A few more miscellaneous thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr. on this day of remembrance.

One: King was a troublemaker. In many ways, he became more of a troublemaker as he progressed through his life. In key ways, in the final years and especially the final year of his life, he was being abandoned by key supporters and sidelined because he was focusing not solely on race (on which the country was then beginning to build at least a notional elite consensus) but on poverty and democratic socialism and the Vietnam War, issues that divided many of his supporters. It is always important to remember that King died in Memphis because he was there to support a strike not an integration march, though racial discrimination and labor rights were and are impossible to separate.

01.15.2018 - 11:25 AM EDT

The fact that the FBI sent Martin Luther King a letter demanding he kill himself or risk the release of recordings of his extra-marital assignations has been known for decades. But the complete and uncensored version of the letter only came to light three years ago. You can see it here. Yale historian Beverly Gage happened on the original version of the letter during research at the National Archives.

There is a lot contained in this letter. To put it mildly.

01.13.2018 - 1:54 PM EDT

We still have no clear explanation, certainly no good explanation, other than that it was a false alarm. But just after 8 AM this morning in Hawaii residents received an emergency alert on television and mobile devices warning of an incoming missile attack on the state. It was explicitly alerted as “not a drill.” Again, it was a false alarm. 

01.13.2018 - 8:53 AM EDT

I am of Trump’s generation, and I grew up with the sentiments that he expressed about Haiti and African countries. When I was a kid, one of the hit songs in 1948 was the Andrew Sisters’ “Civilization.” You can click here to listen to it. Here’s a stanza:

So bongo, bongo, bongo, I don't wanna leave the Congo, oh no no no no no Bingo, bangle, bungle, I'm so happy in the jungle, I refuse to go Don't want no jailhouse, shotgun, fish-hooks, golf clubs, I got my spears So, no matter how they coax him, I'll stay right here.

So to many people of, say, sixty years or over, what Trump said resonated. It was all very familiar. So what? you might ask.

01.12.2018 - 6:01 PM EDT

The Supreme Court just announced it’ll hear two Texas redistricting cases. There’s been a lot of news about redistricting and the courts lately, and it can get confusing. So it’s worth sorting through what it all means.

01.12.2018 - 4:11 PM EDT

You’ve likely seen this story which The Wall Street Journal just broke which claims that in October 2016 Trump attorney Michael Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to an adult film star named Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) to remain quiet about an alleged sexual encounter between her and Donald Trump in 2006.

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