I’m going to be away for a week. We prerecorded the latest episode of The Josh Marshall show. That will drop on Tuesday. You’re in good hands. Sign up for Prime if you haven’t already. Be excellent to each other.
You’ve seen the news of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe’s firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, late on a Friday evening East Coast time. Sessions’ full statement is at the bottom of Tierney Sneed’s report. Let’s stipulate that dishonesty, under oath, by an FBI official is a grave matter. That’s what Sessions’ cites in firing McCabe, and he lays it on the findings of the Justice Department’s inspector general and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. We haven’t seen their reports yet, so it is difficult to make an independent assessment. But this whole thing stinks.
Lot of stuff in this interview from earlier this afternoon with Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti. He tells us more about threats of physical violence that have been used to keep her silent, other “Trump surrogates” who’ve been involved in leveling those threats and spreading false information about Stormy. We also get into Michael Cohen’s tactics, his history of strong-arm tactics and more. Listen here on the site or on iTunes or Google Play. This is a Josh Marshall Podcast Extra. Listen and remember to subscribe. It helps us no end if you subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.
TPM is hiring a reporter to join our investigations desk. Full listing after the jump.
This is a White House press pool report from a few moments ago …
Since it’s a quiet day — albeit with heightened anticipation — I will point out the flurry around National Security Adviser HR McMaster’s brief appearance outside the West Wing a bit ago. He was escorting guests out of the West Wing entrance, near the stakeout area. Tara Palmeri of ABC News caught up with him. Per her tweet, he said, “Everybody has got to leave the White House at some point.” She asked if he was leaving sooner rather than later, and he said, ‘I’m doing my job.” Then he walked back inside.
We just recorded a podcast interview with Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti. We went into more depth on the physical threats Daniels’ has allegedly received to stay quiet, Stormy’s former lawyer, other “Trump surrogates” allegedly spreading rumors and threatening her. There’s a lot there. We expect to post this “Extra!” episode in about an hour. If you’re already subscribed on iTunes or Google Play to The Josh Marshall Podcast, it’ll show up on your device the moment it’s uploaded. Takes a bit longer to show up there if you’re not already subscribed. Stay tuned.
Good morning. Here’s what our team has its eyes on today.
First-rate mashup produced by TPM alum Michael Lester:
Today we recorded an interview with Asha Rangappa, a former FBI Special Agent who worked in counter intelligence and is now a lecturer at Yale and a CNN on-air analyst. We discussed a number of issues. But the part of the discussion that most caught my attention was about Paul Manafort. As you know, I’ve sought a number of times to wrestle out for myself just what to make of his role in the Russia story. I wrote this two weeks ago.
This is shocking and yet not at all surprising. Trump officials working with outside activists to purge undesirables from the State Department staff and foreign service. The activists in this case – David Wurmser, among others – are among the worst of the worst. We’ll be digging out of under this wreckage and corruption for years. Give this a read.