From The Reporter’s Notebook
President-elect Donald Trump declined to inform his press pool about a late-night Tuesday visit to an upscale New York steakhouse, where he assured patrons that he would lower their taxes. The real estate mogul has shown little regard for the reporters assigned to cover his campaign before, forcing them to miss rallies by refusing to allow them to travel on his campaign plane and leaving them behind during his impromptu visit with the Mexican president in August. As TPM’s Allegra Kirkland notes, the protective pool is an essential way for the public to remain informed of the president’s whereabouts and get his or her response to breaking news. For example, pool reporters told the public that George W. Bush continued reading “The Pet Goat” to an elementary school classroom on Sept. 11, 2001 after learning that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: “Relying on a GOP Senate to exert some oversight over Trump is sort of laughable on the one hand. But remember, it doesn’t take many. Two GOP senators defect and Mike Pence can break a tie in the administration’s favor as President of the Senate. So at least three GOP senators would have to break ranks to block a nominee. But three is a pretty small number. Given Trump’s fixation on personal loyalty as close to the only criteria of service and given the sleaze attached to pretty much all the loyalists, what seems possible is that you get an extreme version of non-departmental government. In other words, confirmable people running the departments who have little sway with the president and real power controlled from within the White House where confirmation is not required.”
“No, I wouldn’t say I was either okay with it or not okay with it.”
– Rep. Steve King (R-IA) offered a bizarre, flip-flopping defense of Donald Trump’s newly-appointed chief strategist Steve Bannon.
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: “I see this as a super-important cautionary tale which is completely germane to the ‘progressives’ vs. ‘centrists’ in the ‘civil war’: do not throw out people who may, at some point, have been flawed. Purity tests and wars will not help us. I see strong parallels in the attacks on the Clintons for some of their record from the early 90s—particularly the ‘super-predator’ bit—and the ouster of Patman for having a complicated background. The lesson is: don’t destroy your own allies.”
Related: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sharply criticized Trump for populating his transition team with the very lobbyists and political insiders he targeted with his “drain the swamp” campaign.
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What We’re Reading
An oral history of three days that rocked America. (Wired)
Lowlights of Megyn Kelly’s book. (Jezebel)